really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,870 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #4

Jan 132010


  • 150,000 miles
I was in the passenger seat of my 2002 Volkswagen Passat wagon, when I felt the seat get extremely hot. I immediately turned the seat heater to zero and just lifted my left leg off the seat a little bit until it cooled down. I didn't think much of it until I first saw a burn mark on the left, back side of my coat and then a line of burn marks and holes on my passenger seat. I investigated a little further, and it appears the seat heater began to also overheat/melt the back part of the passenger seat and the driver's seat along the same line that burned my coat and leg in the passenger's seat.

- Peru, VT, USA

problem #3

Feb 132010


  • 78,221 miles
2002 VW Passat drivers seat warmers burned through the seat and burned my leg.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Nov 042006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 91,000 miles
Driving North in the far right lane on gallatin pk in nashville, tn, another driver in the South bound turning lane turned into oncoming traffic with no warning. My view was obscured by the line of traffic in the left hand North lanes. The car I was driving (2002 VW Passat) hit the car that turned in to my lane in a direct, classic T-bone hit. I never saw the car and hit the car at approx. 32 mph without braking. The driver's side airbag on my car failed to deploy although the passenger side airbag did deploy. I was wearing a seat belt, but the car seat also slid forward and I hit the steering wheel. The back seats came unlatched and everything flew forward through the car at impact.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #1

Sep 102001

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 260 miles
Ever since the vehicle was purchased, the drivers seat emitted a clicking sound and a slight feeling of movement in the seat when the car lunges forward or is stopped. We complained about the issue several times. This is documented on my bills with mileage reading 19K and 35K miles. The dealer was unable to identify the cause of the sound and movement. Finally, when the car had 40K miles on it (after the warranty period) the issue was identified. A factory rep was on hand that day at the dealership and identified that there was play in the seat track. I asked that this be covered and fixed under VW's goodwill program and appealed that this has been an issue since the beginning of the life of the car (during the warranty). I was denied this claim as the rep said that the seat did not pose any safety threats and this resulted from normal wear and tear. I felt that this was not a fare determination of this case so I appealed twice to VW (case # 60127133). They stated twice that they had to stand by the determination of the rep on hand that day and would not fix the issue (cost = over $800). I have been advised by consumers union to contact you as they stated that any play in the seat track is in fact a safety issue...

- Langhorne, PA, USA