really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,460 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 #5

Oct 052015


  • 108,000 miles


Driving at night, 65mph, interstate hwy. Low beam headlights went out. High beams did work. Replaced both headlight bulbs. Did not fix. Cost $95. Replace headlight relay. Did not fix. Cost in excess of $200. Recall for later year Passat for same problem caused by "hood slam?"

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #4

Aug 022003


  • 2,300 miles
Brake failure light appears even after multiple brake repairs. Driver"S side rear upper brake light replaced for 29th time in less than 2 yrs. Multiple coolant leaks still present even after repair and water pump replacement. Radio/amplifier not functioning even after replacement (radio was only used twice in vehicle"S lifetime). Diagnostics show airbag malfunction. Regulator pin on rear passenger side window keeps breaking (3rd replacement since 2003). Engine cover below car keeps falling off due to rusted bolts. Homelink system keeps malfunctioning. Fuses keep blowing out. Dashboard panel lights out (odometer, fuel gauge, etc.). ccm module keeps breaking down. Car needs to be jumpstarted when not in use for over 48 hrs. Climate control (A/C and heater) works only sporadically. All repairs performed by VW dealership, yet same issues keep reappearing just a few weeks after repairs. Repairs performed in past 2 years: ECU unit replaced, brake light switch replaced 3 times, A/C compressor unit replaced, ABS module replaced, alternator replaced, brakes replaced 3 times.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #3

May 022008


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving at any speed, the contact attempted to activate the turn signals, but they did not work. The hazard lights also stopped working when the turn signals failed. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle beforehand and the failures were intermittent. The vehicle has been diagnosed by the dealer several times; however, the failures continue to occur. The current mileage was 77,500 and failure mileage was 77,000.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #2

Nov 112006


  • 130,000 miles
Radio not functioning, air conditioning unit works intermittently, airbag malfunction recognized, operation unit in steering wheel malfunctions, no communications with brake control unit, brake light switch causes drivers side brake light to malfunction. Horn not functioning nearly caused 2 accidents within a month. I drove over an island to avoid one collision from the other non-attentive driver and ended up scraping the transmission pan. Cost of replacement: $550. After thousands of dollars in repairs and diagnostics, VW dealerships still unable to fix any of the above!

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 272005

Passat Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Front headlights malfunctioned - replaced them but they couldn't make the alignment of the beam. The car runs to the right but the wheels are calibrated and the direction alignment is done. The car infiltrated water inside the car and trunk. Sunroof malfunction - opens in all positions but don't close. The car as the front glass is from 2005 and all the others are from 2002, construction of the car 2003. Diesel escaped from the pump. Cd changer - 6 cds as malfunction the radio doesn't eject the cd's. the motor gag various times a constant rotation. The trunk was hard to open and close. There are other complaints.... the complaints begin 15 days from the purchase.

- Porto, 00, USA

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