really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,014 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.

2008 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 302010


  • 18,850 miles


Intermittent problem that causes engine to want to continue working instead of idle while foot on brake and gear in drive. Rpms between 8-10K. Appears to happen in hot afternoons when air is on full blast. When brake is engaged there is enormous pressure back on the foot and the car wants to go. First taken in to VW dealer and they had another car of same year and model and color which was doing same thing. They cleaned the throttle cable. As I pulled away from the dealership the problem happened again. I immediately called back and let the service guy know the fix didn't work. On 8/1 I took it back and the problem was happening while I was in their garage. The other car was back again with same issue. VW had a tech bulletin about a loose ground wire. The service tech put a jumper cable somewhere and told me to try that out. Within a mile I experienced the problem again.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #6

Jul 192010


  • 42,000 miles
The vehicle was parked in the parking garage after being driven at lunch and within approximately 15-30 minutes of owner having turned off the vehicle the garage attendant reported smelling smoke. According to an eyewitness, there was smoldering smoke coming from under the hood and within a minute or so of discovering the smoke an explosion took place under the hood and the entire front hood compartment was engulfed in flames. The fire department was able to put out the fire but the vehicle is a total loss.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Jun 152010


  • 39,249 miles
Owned the car for 9 months, and have had documented problems for 8 months including a complete failure that required towing. The primary problems are: 1. steering column warning light on - the comfort module and steering electronics were replaced 7 weeks after purchasing the car 2. ongoing intermittent problems starting the car. The car died on 6/15/10, was towed, and the ignition coil was replaced. Current: Car did not start on first attempt on 7/4/10, which is less than 3 weeks later! 3. car burns excessive oil. Need to add oil between scheduled oil changes. In April 2010, oil pressure light came on. Dealer added 2 qts of oil and tank was still not full. Still had 1,000 miles to go before next scheduled oil change. Have had oil added on two other occasions between oil changes. 4. car is sluggish, especially when going up hills. No response or resolution for this, but the car has a turbo engine note: This car has only been serviced by VW dealerships.

- Essex, MD, USA

problem #4

May 112010


  • 54,000 miles


VW Passat 2008, low oil light come on before schedule oil change frequently. The car burns oil because of the turbo engine. And the emission system has a valve failure too.

- Ottawa, Ontario Canada, 00, USA

problem #3

Oct 202009


  • 10,000 miles
My '08 Passat with a 2.0 T engine burns through a great deal of oil. About 1/2 liter per 1,000 miles. It is a new car (now 28,000 miles) and should not burn oil! VW states this oil consumption is normal, but I disagree. I lease the car and have had all maintenance done at the dealer. I must frequently add oil to the engine and have brought it in to be serviced for this oil consumption issue several times. From research done online, this is not a problem unique to me. Please help!

- Crosslake, MN, USA

problem #2

May 152009


  • 56,000 miles
Exhaust pipe broke at the flex pipe. Hot exhaust gas burned through the wiring of the electronic steering rack. Lost steering and then engine shut off completely and not able to be restarted. Exhaust pipe, steering rack & steering wiring was replaced (wiring needs a heat-shield to protect the wiring).

- Vernon, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 262008


  • 11,000 miles
1. slowing to stop at red light. 15 feet behind another car that was stopped, and with my foot firmly on the brake, the engine revved to top speed and the brake did not stop the car. I bumped the stopped car, put the car in park and turned off the engine. 2. no damage to either car. Police were called and came out until tow truck arrived. Car towed to dealer where the car (9 months old and 11000 miles) was purchased. 3. one week later, the dealer said they could find nothing wrong. They paid for a rental car for the week. I refuse to drive the car so they offered to trade it in on a new one and that it had depreciated 50% in 9 months. VW corporate offered a $1000 rebate on a new car. 4. I called VW corporate to register a complaint, but they said that the dealer was "empowered" to made decisions. They would do nothing.

- Mason, OH, USA

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