hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,658 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.

2005 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

May 082012


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving 30 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for a diagnosis. The dealer stated that they had to replace the engine. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was contacted stated that they were not responsible for the repairs because the vehicle was not under recall. The failure and current mileages were 125,000. The VIN was not available.

- Apison , TN, USA

problem #23

Mar 062012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I was driving on highway when the alarm message "oil pressure low: Stop engine" came on. I got off the side of the road and the engine locked up. Bent valves, broken piston shaft, engine needs replaced. I've seen this so many times on the internet as I've been looking into my options since then. Volkswagen will do nothing to help nor take responsibility. They offered me $1000 toward a new Volkswagen. Seriously? I have maintained the vehicle. They know there is a problem with these cars and as far as I'm concerned, it is criminal to sell these without recalling to fix the problem. If I wasn't able to get off the highway, outside of Chicago, my passenger and I would have been smashed with countless other injuries. I didn't stop the car once I got off the road, it stopped itself. Volkswagen needs to be accountable for their products.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #22

Feb 062012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 120,000 miles
2.0L VW Passat tdi had a rattling, vibrating chain noise from the oil pump balance shaft module in the oil pan. The oil pump chains/sprockets/tensioners were worn and caused noticeable vibration and rattling noise for thousands of miles; however, it was difficult to diagnose. We had the entire oil pump assembly replaced by a VW dealership at approximately 120,000 miles with oem gear driven pump which includes the balance shafts and oil pump. It was a $3700 repair to exchange the original oil pump with the gear driven pump. Not a cheap service. The sound before and after the module change was much improved because the gears are quieter. The replacement gear driven oil pump/balance shaft assembly uses a similar balance shaft but with a different oil pump and gear drive. The gear drive smoothes out stress on the oil pump hex shaft so runs much better. In summary, I am not happy with having to do such an expensive repair due to a poor design at the low mileage of 120,000 for a diesel that should last to at least 400,000 miles. This is a recurring expensive problem that should be reimbursed by VW.

- North Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #21

Jun 212011

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 82,000 miles


The tdi (diesel) engine in the '04 & '05 North american Volkswagen Passats was equipped with a chain driven oil pump/balance shaft module. The chain tensioner fails causing the chain to separate which stops the oil pump and destroys the engine. If a person is lucky, like I was, and hears the chain noise before it fails, the engine can be saved. The fix involves installing a new gear driven balance shaft module which contains a new oil pump. The repairs costs ~ $2,500 parts and labor. Volkswagen has ignored this fault in the us (and Canada), denying the problem exists, even though hundreds of cases of failure have been documented. In fact, the new design modules are currently on back order at the VW parts factory. The oil pump chain drive problem is without a doubt a defect. The fact that VW re-engineered and replaced the original oil pump drive assembly is an admission that the design was defective. Reference VW's technical product information no. 2016429/2 dated 29-Jan-2008. I see this as a huge safety concern. I can only imagine what would happen if one of these chains failed, on the highway during freeway rush hour traffic, causing the engine to destroy itself and spill oil and other fluids onto the road surface. Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #20

Feb 162012


  • 96,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact heard a clattering sound coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for routine maintenance where the mechanic advised that the chain drive assembly for the oil pump would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 96,500.

- Tacoma , WA, USA

problem #19

Nov 282011


  • 108,500 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Passat tdi. The contact stated that at engine startup, a noise was heard from under the hood. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the mechanic stated to the contact that the oil pump chain was loose. The manufacturer was contacted but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 108,500 and the current mileage was 109,000. Kmj

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #18

Aug 062011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 73,885 miles


I've had to get my 2005 Passat fixed 3 times for engine sludge issues and it's happening to it again. It has cost me nearly $4000 and counting.

- Lindenwold, NJ, USA

problem #17

Oct 202010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 168,000 miles
Oil pump failure leading to engine falue. Requiring engine replacement.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #16

Dec 172009


  • 134,500 miles
I have a 2005 VW Passat gls with approx 135,000 miles. I took it in to get "winterized", oil change and clear the engine light (whatever the misfire was for), and a factory recall on the engine coils. Got all that done (plus serpentine belt replaced) and was told that the engine light should be ok, if it comes back on...to let them know asap. A day and 1/2 later, the light came back on, and this time, there was barely any heat on in the car. Took it back...they stated that the coils needed to be replaced (again) and that there was an oil leak going into the coils & the fuel injectors, and that the heater core needed to be replaced. I had the coils and the 2 "faulty" injectors replaced. I got frustrated with this dealer and went to another VW deal, for their evaluation. They said that they didn't know how I could've been told that the heater core was bad, when there was so many other things wrong before they even got to the heater core!! and they gave me 3 options: Either pay for each service separately, get a new/used engine or see what I can get for this car and trade it in (not happy @ all). I called VW of a to see if there were any recalls or complaints about the heater core, since it was causing more damage that originally thought, but they nicely "documented" it and sent me a loyalty voucher if I were to get another VW. I am pissed. I know I have alot of mileage, but this is major, major damage and expenses to be put out for this car!!! VW needs to get it together. I loved my Passat until this point.

- Ocean View, NJ, USA

problem #15

Dec 292009


  • 87,400 miles
Numerous reports of VW bhw diesel engine oil balance shaft / chain failure are reported. Volkswagen of America refuses to acknowledge any responsibility for repair despite the fact that VW has recognized the issue and changed the design. Failure of the balance shaft / chain results in immediate lack of power creating a potential life safety hazard. VW of Canada has acknowledged responsibility in some documented cases. VW of America should be compelled by government authorities to resolve the matter on behalf of us citizens. I am having the repair done proactively to prevent any serious safety issue but VW should step up and reimburse those of us who have paid for the expensive repair on our own.

- Sullivan, WI, USA

problem #14

May 202009


  • 57,000 miles


I own a 2005 Passat tdi gls. My car had developed a very serious noise caused by the oil pump chain unit that was originally on this vehicle. I did talk to VW and my dealer service department about the thrashing chain noise. I got polite denials and blank stares when I told them of this issue. Members of the www.tdiclub.com discovered a VW engineered fix for the vehicles involved. Members who have driven their cars beyond the 80K or so seem more likely to have the chain snap during operation which renders the car inoperative and dangerous during the breakage. The fix is not exactly an inexpensive repair as the parts alone are around $1500 and the installation requires extensive disassembly of the vehicle. The repair involves replacing the chain driven oil pump balance shaft assembly with a gear driven assembly. The below link has videos/sound clips of my car before the noise, after the noise and after the fix. This was taken with 44,444 miles on the clock: www.youtube.com/watch"V=K0wmgcdjfqi this the car prior to balance shaft repair in May 2009 with 56,000 miles on the clock: www.youtube.com/watch?V=ttqx3sj6_fk this is a post-op recording June 2009 at 57,000 miles of my Passat after brian johnston of cardocautomotive in St. Louis Missouri. He is a nationally known independent ase certified expert on this issues repair. www.youtube.com/watch"V=xtqiak-cwd4.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #13

Jul 272009

Passat 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 VW Passat. While driving 30 mph, the low pressure warning light illuminated on the instrument panel; which instructed her to discontinue operation. It the contact chose to continue operating the vehicle engine failure could have occurred. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for inspection. A technician replaced the turbo along with the oil and pick-tube; to avoid oil from entering into the inner cooler. The current and failure mileages were 62,000. Updated 10/21/09 updated 10/20/09

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #12

Dec 152008


  • 69,000 miles
My 2005 Passat tdi was leaking a huge amount of oil so I topped off the oil and took it to the mechanic. He showed me a huge gash in the oil pan, resulting in the leak. When we took the pan off the oil pump chain tensioner and chain came out in pieces. The tensioner broke and slammed the chain into the oil pan, making the gouge. We replaced the oil pan, chain, tensioner, and completed an early timing belt change including a water pump. This was around $2000 total. After some research I found out this is likely due to a problem with the balance shaft module / chain driven oil pump setup on these cars. I found out that even though I spent $2000 fixing this I may need to complete the same repairs again or replace the balance shaft module which would be several thousand dollars. I also discovered that VW has upgraded the design of the balance shaft/oil pump drive so obviously they know this is a problem. I've read that I was rather lucky, it is entirely possible that I could have suffered a catastrophic loss of oil pressure and had the engine seize up, which could be deadly. I'm basically just afraid to drive my car now.

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #11

May 192009


  • 92,000 miles
I have a 2005 Passat tdi that had its balance shaft module and chain that drive the oil pump fail at 92,000 miles. It happened while I was driving on a two lane road and I had to stop the car on the side of the road. The mechanic that is doing the job is charging me $1500 for the repair and the parts are about $1300. I have started to research this failure and have found out that it is quite common and VW has not done a recall to repair the problem the NHTSA should look into this and force VW to recall these cars for they are a safety hazard on the road.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #10

Apr 072009


  • 79,000 miles
There is a problem with the bhw engine in my 2005 Passat tdi the balance shafts in this engine are driven by a chain off the motor, which also drives the oil pump. This unfortunate design subjects the chain to stresses it cannot withstand. On various tdi forums, especially tdiclub.com, there are a significant number of chain failures being reported. Of course, when the chain driving the oil pump fails, the engine is starved of essential lubrication. If the failure of the chain causes engine to stop running in the middle of traffic, merging onto a highway, or passing on the highway, this condition could easily cause danger to all citizens nearby, possibly leading to death. Recently, Volkswagen in europe recognized the problem and designed a repair, which changes the chain driven oil pump to a gear driven oil pump. This appears to be a permanent fix to the original design defect. The repair is quite expensive. When the chain fails, the parts to repair cost approximately $1800 plus approximately another $1500 in labor bills to have the parts installed. If the engine is destroyed, it will cost the owner approximately $8000 to replace the engine. This is unacceptable. I believe it is now obvious that all the bhw engines will fail unless the gear driven oil pump modification is undertaken. It is unfair to expect owners of these vehicles to pay for the repairs. The problem originated with a flawed design. This is not a small problem, as this design flaw will lead to total engine failure. My vehicle is currently experiencing severe noise oscillations that is attributed to imminent failure of the aforementioned chain assembly. Thus, I must pay to repair this design flaw before it can cause an accident. So far, Volkswagen of America has not provided adequate support for resolving this design problem.

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #9

Dec 312008


  • 94,000 miles
Nvs-216 mec and ref. # is 10257848 VW 2005 Passat tdi balance shaft replacement this was a very expensive repair($3200)ot avoid a catastrophic failure of the engine at any speed that could result in total lose of control. This is a design flaw by VW and should be replace at their cost!

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #8

Feb 152009


  • 66,000 miles
The balance shafts in this engine are driven by a hex shaft off the chain driven oil pump. This unfortunate design subjects the chain to stresses it cannot withstand. My own Passat had the oil pump and balance shaft replaced 2/16/09 with less than 65,000 miles. Thankfully, a good mechanic detected the problem before I had a catastrophic engine failure. A $3,500 repair is never welcome, but it was better than replacing the engine like the VW dealer recommended. I did a lot of research on this problem and inquired at several VW dealerships and chose the most experienced man to do the job. Recently, Volkswagen in europe recognized the problem and designed a repair which changes the chain driven oil pump to a gear driven oil pump. This appears to be a permanent fix to the original design defect. The repair is quite expensive. Parts will cost in excess of $1,400 and labor will be in excess of $1,200 at most shops. I believe it is now obvious that all the bhw engines will fail unless the gear driven oil pump modification is undertaken. It is unfair to expect owners of these vehicles to pay for the repairs. The problem originated with a flawed design. This is not a small problem, as this design flaw will lead to total engine failure. My wife normally drives the car and she should not be put through this. If the failure of the chain causes engine to stop running in the middle of traffic, merging onto a highway, or passing on the highway, this condition could easily cause danger to all citizens nearby, possibly leading to death. I would like to know what steps Volkswagen of America is taking to inform 2004 and 2005 Passat tdi owners of this problem. Good corporate citizenship would recognize a problem of this severity and should be communicated to the owners as soon as possible. These engine failures could leave motorists stranded under dire circumstances and their safety is at risk.

- Clifton, IL, USA

problem #7

Nov 222008


  • 52,000 miles
Engine noise, rattle, oil light. Engine (turbo diesel // Passat) does not seem normal and much noisier than usual. Other fiends with tdi's have had major concerns with their cars (same circumstances).

- Taylor Ridge, IL, USA

problem #6

Jan 102009


  • 80,000 miles
I have recently come to the need of having to replace a critical part of the engine oil system in my 2005 Passat tdi. For various reasons, not the least of which is an inferior design, the balance shaft assembly on this particular engine (2004-2005 model years) will cause oil flow to the engine to cease, disrupting safe travel of the car immediately, regardless of the speed of travel. This failure is exceptionally dangerous at highway speeds of 70+ mph. If this failure were to occur at highway speed, the driver would notice a sudden deceleration and a need to move to the shoulder abruptly. Not only would this endanger the driver and occupants of said vehicle, but other drivers on the roadway as well. Volkswagen has yet to issue a statement, recall or warning to owners of this particular vehicle, nor is it mentioned anywhere in the owner's manual as part of a vehicle maintenance program.

- Smithfield, NC, USA

problem #5

Nov 072008


  • 50,000 miles
I currently lease a 2005 VW Passat. Warranty offered: 5 yr/ 50,000 mile. Approx. Nov 7, 2008 vehicle dashboard began to register "stop oil press low". immediately pulled into closest gas station and purchased a synthetic oil for VW thinking this would solve the problem. On Nov 17, 2008 dashboard lit up again with same message and immediately brought vehicle into vista VW, pompano bch, Florida. Was instructed that issue was possibly due to faulty oil pressure dip stick cylinder and need of oil change. (cylinder replaced and oil change completed) prior oil change was completed at vista VW pompano beach. VW mechanic placed a clear oil change maint. Sticker with incorrect mileage due at next oil change. Oil change should have occurred at 38,000 miles vs. 45,000. Vista VW stated I would need to pay for a diagnostic test to be completed (approx $166) as well as an hourly charge for labor (approx. $110 P/hr) not including any and all repair to be paid for upon completion. This due to warranty expired. Brought vehicle in at 792 miles over 50,000. Due to the expense that I would have incurred it was not feasible for me to go ahead and perform this diagnostic test hence causing me to leave no further choice but to decline service. I attempted to trade my Passat in early and release a new vehicle and was unsuccessful in doing so. Approximately 1 month later I was at gunther VW coconut creek and informed finance mgr that I now have an engine light on. I was told to try and drive the vehicle back home and see if the light goes out. That maybe it's a faulty sensor. Upon arrival at my residence the vehicle completely shut down and engine failed. The following day I had the vehicle towed to a mechanic. My mechanic stated that the approx. Cost for repair would be anywhere between $8,000 - $10,000. I immediately began research and found there is a lawsuit from the consumers of VW Passats in regard to this exact same mechanical issue & VW will not comply with this issue.

- Deerfield Beach, FL, USA

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