really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,882 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

problem #5

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 #4

Oct 212010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Engine compartment fire NHTSA defect investigation #PE10027 1.at about 2:45 in cvs 2.waited about 10 minutes 3.I was paged by identification of my car 4.advised car on fire 5.a man in a deffenbaugh uniform was trying to extinguish the fire coming out from under the front of the car 6.the fire extinguisher was aggravating the flames 7.I advised him to stand back 8.I asked if the fire department had been called 9.a cvs employee did contact fire department two times 10.cvs pharmacy employee came out her car was parked two spaces to the passenger side of my car 11.the man from deffenbaugh moved her car 12.an older man approached man and said that he was the one who reported the fire 13.he was walking in front of my cat to enter the store and sparks where coming out from under the hood 14.the fire spread rapidly 15.what looked to be like card board substance was falling to the ground toward the front of the car 16.the product was engulfed in flame. Car was deemed totaled.

- Smithville, MO, USA

problem #3

Aug 032010


  • 84,575 miles
Noticed a leaking gas tank on my 2003 Volkswagen Passat. This is the first time that this has occurred. However, there has been several recalls on this car that pertain to issues with the fuel line, gas tank cap, heat shield and gas tank. After noticing this leak, I immediately took the car into the Volkswagen dealership for service because the amount of gas leaking from the rear end of the car was fairly substantial and enough to easily cause a serious fire. Once at the dealer, they said that the issue was the gas cap/nozzle that is connected to the gas tank. This nozzle is very small and seems to be very brittle, easy to break off. My concern is that there are a number of these cars on the road that spontaneously seem to start leaking gasoline from their fuel tanks. As I was never involved in an accident, never went down a dirt road or even hit a speed bump all of which might (in a remote circumstance) cause the nozzle to break.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082009


  • 95,837 miles
Recalled VW coil failure.

- Bushnell, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 052008


  • 0 miles
Analog gas gauge and digital feeds from gas tank inaccurate most of time - sometimes half a tank off. Took multiple times and 5 weeks for dealership to repair (gave up once - then took to another dealership). Gauge also seems to have sticking points. Sometimes moves while being watched.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

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