hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,574 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Volkswagen Passat fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Apr 282015

Passat 8-cyl

  • 82,500 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While refueling the vehicle, it started to leak fuel from underneath the fuel tank. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 82,500....updated 06-12-15 the consumer stated VW customer service was advocating to get a new fuel tank installed for him at no cost. Updated 06/23/15

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #35

Mar 022015

Passat 6-cyl

  • 209,000 miles
NHTSA campaign id number: 08V156000 "fuel tank ventilation valve (4motion/all wheel drive only) that can leak due to fracture." NHTSA action number: PE08008 the car is oozing gasoline from top left (driver's) side of gas tank. There is a strong smell of gasoline inside and outside (outside due to a gas puddle). VW dealer (VW downtown los angeles) refuses to grant the repair, asking for $140 inspection fee. Vwoa representative sites the recall performed in 2009. The recall ( PE08008 ) issued has 2 parts: 1) underbody heat shield installation. 2) "dealers will also inspect and adjust the fuel line routing on 1.8T vehicles and the fuel tank ventilation valve on 4motion/all wheel drive vehicles, and replace components if necessary free of charge." I suspect the second part was not fulfilled, given the exact nature of mechanic failure described.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #34

Dec 082014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
As I was parking my car in the school parking lot, a strong odor of gasoline started to come through the vents. I open the hood an a line behind the engine bay was squirting out gasoline directly onto the hot surface of the engine. I check online and I see that there was aprevious recall the R5 recall but many owners were being told by Volkswagen that it's no longer covered or that there VIN wasn't covered even though the car was the same year on the recall. I called Volkswagen aswell and they mentioned to me that there was a recall but no longer active or had been serviced already. It leaks when it's on or not.

- Aurora , CO, USA

problem #33

May 172014


  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, it would stall. The failure was intermittent. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 06V017000 (fuel system, gasoline). The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Bradford, RI, USA

problem #32

May 012014


  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that there were gasoline fumes emitting from outside of the vehicle. The failure continued to occur over a period of one week. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the fuel tank needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline); however, the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 108,000.

- Spring Valley, CA, USA

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problem #31

Dec 022013

Passat 8-cyl

  • 10,300 miles
While driving my car reported 1/4 tank than abruptly spurting and reported an empty tank, causing me to pull over on the highway due to no fuel in tank. This has happened multiple times.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #30

Mar 282014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


Since after the day one of the purchase my car started shaking, vibrating. I had to have coils replaced. The car started running for 2 weeks then when I was in the traffic it started shaking then stalled. I was able to pull over in the parking lot. I had wiring harness and coils replaced again this time. The car had startup issues and then mechanic replaced camshaft sensor. After 3 weeks same problem!!!! I was on the side of the road had to be towed. Changed spark plugs and coils but after 2 months oh my goodness same problem now they think ECU is fried coils are bad maybe fuel pump no one is able to figure out and I cant spend any more thousands of dollars on a car im still financing. Very disappointed! I don't feel safe at all on the road and im scared to cause an accident because of the stalls on the road. Please help! feel very unsafe!

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #29

Oct 072013

Passat 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Fuel pump failed while I was driving on the freeway. It was highly dangerous and my car had to be towed. I go to the dealer and find out that there was a fuel pump for certain 2003 VW Passats but my VIN number for my car did not fall under the category for the recall and therefore VW had refused to reimburse me for fixing the fuel pump. My dealer had told me that their were similar customer complaints for all VW 2003 but unfortunately my car didn't fall under the right VIN.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #28

Jun 012012

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Volkswagen Passat. Consumer writes in regards to safety recall 26E5/R5 concerning underbody heat shield the consumer stated due to the recall, the fuel pump failed. The consumer was informed it would cost $ $1343 to replace. Recall # 08V156000 the consumer stated even if the dealer performed the recall, she would not feel comfortable in the vehicle. Updated 09/13/12

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #27

Feb 292012

Passat 6-cyl

  • 108,830 miles
Fuel pouring out of the rear of the car. Fire could happen.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #26

Feb 282012

Passat 6-cyl

  • 108,819 miles


Coils failing randomly and causing the car to shake violently and lose power on highway. Potential damage to be caused to other areas of the car because of this. Ie oxygen sensor etc.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #25

Jun 072011


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that there was an overpowering odor of gasoline from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where the contact was advised that there was a fuel leak and that the fuel tank needed to be replaced. There were no recalls for the failure. The manufacturer was contacted who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Center Harbor, NH, USA

problem #24

May 012011


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked and shut off when he noticed a strong odor of gasoline. The contact also noticed gasoline leaking from the fuel tank. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the fuel line inside of the fuel tank was leaking. The contact was also informed that the failure was not the same failure addressed in NHTSA campign id numbers: 02V026000 (fuel system, gasoline:storage:tank assembly:filler pipe and cap), 06V017000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump), 07V375000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump), and 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Arden, NC, USA

problem #23

Jun 062008


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated after he received a voluntary recall in regards to the emissions system and having the repairs done, he noticed that the check engine light illuminated for approximately 2 1/2 years. The vehicle was then inspected by a independent mechanic who advised him that the valve on the fuel tank had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance since there was a one year warranty on the voluntary recall. The failure mileage was approximately 114,000. Updated 07/08/11 updated 3/13/12

- Kunkle Town, PA, USA

problem #22

May 232011


  • 95,200 miles
Metal fuel line in the rear of the engine compartment dripped gasoline onto the exhaust system below, despite a patch that a VW mechanic had installed earlier. First smelled gas in March and took it to a VW repair shop. Patch with clamps was added. Smelled gas again in may and discovered the fuel leak. VW customer service said the leak was not a recall issue. Mechanic said it was the result of a cracked fuel line, which he said is a known issue with older Passats.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #21

Dec 312010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 121,752 miles
I was driving my VW Passat 1.8L turbo stationwagon at a speed of 40 miles per hour and the car suddenly stalled without any warning. My four month old baby was in the back in his carseat and had I been in a different setting we both could have been injured or killed. This was the first time it had occurred and once I took it to the mechanic the car started and drove fine and they could not duplicate the problem. They informed me that it was likely a parts recall issue: Recall: 07V375000: Fuel pump replacement. I contacted VW America, Inc. And was informed that while in fact there was such a recall for 2003 Passats, my VIN number was not covered in the recall and thus there was nothing they could/would do to help me despite the fact that the problem appears to be the very one indicated in the recall notice. This is very frustrating and scary.

- Kamuela, HI, USA

problem #20

Nov 192010


  • 107,235 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that he noticed a fuel odor and when he inspected, he saw that the fuel tank was leaking. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where the cotnact was informed that the plastic gas nozzle cracked and put pressure on the fuel tank. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for recall 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline: Delivery) but the dealer would not replace the fuel tank because the fuel like was too long. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 107,235.

- Orem , UT, USA

problem #19

May 152010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Ruptured fuel line - pressure side fuel line failed at point where it is secured to the fire wall in engine compartment. The gromet wore through, allowing the fuel line to rub against the fastener and the line subsequently ruptured allowing fuel to escape in a large volume.

- Mount Kisco, NY, USA

problem #18

Aug 252010


  • 95,000 miles
Vehicle is 2003 VW Passat 4 motion. A fuel leak was detected in the tank area. Automobile was brought to an independent repair shop where it was determined that there was a crack on the rollover valve. A recall was issued on this car for this problem (recall #(08V156000, NHTSA investigaiton #PE08008) and the necessary repairs were purportedly done by the authorized VW repair shop.

- Clairton, PA, USA

problem #17

Jun 172009


  • 173,000 miles
Fuel pump failure on 2003 VW Passat. Driving on interstate and lost power and was lucky to be able to coast to the side of the road. VW has a recall on this part but they claim my vehicle (NHTSA 06V01700 and 07V375000) is not in the VIN range covered. I feel my fuel pump should have been covered in the recall as it is a defective unit and not safe.

- Mcmurray, PA, USA

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