definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,266 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 302007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,085 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the brake lights would constantly shine on and off at random. The light would illuminate while driving and would dim when the brakes were applied. The contact discovered recall number 07V063000 (exterior lighting:brake lights:switch). He took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that his vehicle was not included in the recall. The contact stated that his vehicle is experiencing the same failure as noted in the recall. The failure speed was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 67,085. Updated 02/01/08. Updated 02/01/08

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #6

Aug 012006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 65 mph or attempting to stop, the vehicle loses power and shuts off without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times and the speed sensor was replaced. However, the vehicle continues to shut off. The contact stated that the brake lights also malfunction and the electrical switch was replaced. The vehicle is currently at the dealer and they are unable to determine the cause of failure. The vehicle's warranty has been charged for each replacement. The current mileage was 57,006 and failure mileage was 47,000.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #5

Jul 102007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. After parking the vehicle, the contact noticed that the brake lights were illuminated. The lights failed to dim. The dealer stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA recall # 07V063000 (exterior lighting:brake lights:switch). The current and failure mileages were 35,000.

- Mine Hill, NJ, USA

problem #4

Aug 202006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


My 2003 Volkswagen Passat wagon glx had a brake light problem identical to that found on the new (Feb 07) VW recall for several other models. However, the Passat was not on the recall list. The brake lights would remain on at random times and without warning, over several months. NHTSA and VW should strongly consider recalling the Passat along with the other VW models because the Passat has the same safety concerns. I traded my car in but offer this info to help other VW owners.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 062007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
My 2003 VW Passat 4-door sedan has experienced multiple occurrences where the brake lights continue to remain on while driving and even after the engine is shut off. This happened again today and I noticed this time that the emergency engine light came on while driving earlier in the day - this is also another issue that also comes on/off for no reason. I've reported the warning light a couple of times as well to the VW service and they don't know why that happens either. The warning light will at least shut off when the car is turned off, unlike my brake lights. Since today is Saturday, leaving my brake lights on until the service department reopens on a Monday is probably going to run my battery dead. With that concern in mind, I immediately called the VW roadside assistance hotline, 800-822-8987, to see if they had any repair instructions I can look into and the operator said she was unable to find any documentation. She advised that VW roadside can come tow my vehicle to a dealership (that won't reopen until Monday) or they can come to jump-start my car (which can take up to 45-60 min. After dispatch). This seems a terribly long time to wait & a huge inconvenience esp. Since it also took 30 min. Just to reach the live operator in the first place. I love driving my Passat; I bought it brand new direct from the dealership in 2003. Car safety is very important to me which is why I'm adamant about following service guidelines and bring my car in for regular maintenance & oil changes. I only bring it into a VW dealership service, never a local garage mechanic. Can NHTSA please look into both issues: 1. sporadic check engine light warning while driving 2. brake lights remaining on while driving and after the car is shut off. I am very concerned as both are major causes for safety concern, in addition to further expensive repairs which may be defects that the manufacturer should cover instead. Thanks.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

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problem #2

Jul 202005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Brake lights have failed twice.

- Murphy, TX, USA

problem #1

May 082004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,780 miles
Failure of all brake lights.

- Paramus, NJ, USA

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