hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,557 miles

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problem #24

May 252012


  • 68,000 miles
This has happened 3 times now. My car beeps at me about 3-4 times & the ABS & brake lights come on for a few seconds before turning off. From everything I have read online, its a problem with the ABS module & this is a common problem in the Passat.

- Clyde, OH, USA

problem #23

Feb 012012

Passat 8-cyl

  • miles
Torque converter failed. The ABS module is bad. 02 sensors are bad.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #22

Feb 152012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 220,000 miles
ABS system light was activated while driving. Car sent to authorized dealer where it was confirmed that ABS unit had failed. $3000 repair bill required to bring car back to specs, including replacements of upper links (8E0407505A), and ABS unit (8E0614111aq).

- Dorado, PR, USA

problem #21

Jan 142012


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the brake pedal was extremely stiff and would not respond when depressed. The contact applied the parking brake and the vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the brake booster would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 62,000.

- Randolph, NJ, USA

problem #20

Jan 062012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
When the outside temperature is below freezing, the brakes on my 2002 Passat wagon do not work. The brake pedal is hard, and will not depress. I have been told by a mechanic who has worked on my car for the past ten years that there is a significant amount of water in my brake lines. This water may have entered the brake lines from the brake booster in a manner described in incident report #PE07018. Attempts to fix the problem have been unsuccessful so far (water has been drained out of system, drains have been cleared of leaves and other debris, but the problem recurs when the temperature drops below freezing). Does VW have any other suggestions how to fix this problem? when the problem happens, I do not have functioning brakes (a rather dangerous situation, to say the least).

- Charlottetown, MA, USA

problem #19

Dec 132011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Started car 5 am during winter months-car brakes were completely depressed-brakes were un usable. Car was able to accelerate however brakes could not be used at any point. This is a serious and dangerous issue as any freezing temperature will render the brakes un usable and possibly result in a crash. Brought the car to several repair shops and was notified that a P9 service which sealed pollen filters to prevent debris from entering the area surrounding the brake booster had been done, but debris still entered.

- Round Hill, VA, USA

problem #18

Dec 082010


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. When the contact started the ignition and attempted to engage the brake pedal, there was no response as a result of a frozen brake line. The failure would occur during cold weather temperatures. There was an opened and closed defect investigation associated with NHTSA action number PE07018 (service brakes, hydraulic: Power assist: Vacuum). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. In addition, on a separate occasion, the engine stalled and emitted blue smoke from the exhaust system after a rain. Also the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was previously repaired for the engine failure. The failure mileage was 113,000.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #17

Dec 012008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that when the weather was cold the brakes would fail and he was unable to stop the vehicle. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 58,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #16

Sep 062010


  • 150,000 miles
This just started happening to me and I was searching the web and it seems like it's a problem for a lot of people. About once every 20 minutes while I'm driving my 2002 Passat, the car beeps, and then the ABS light comes on and the red brake light flashes. I loose a little of my braking power for a few seconds every time it happens.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #15

Jul 062009


  • 25,000 miles
This complaint is related to NHTSA action number PE 07018. My 2002 VW Passat experienced a complete transmission control module (tcm) failure in mid 2009. Water had gotten into the passenger compartment and disabled all its functions, including brakes, transmission and engine. It included sudden, unpredictable surging when the gas pedal was depressed. This occurred in a parking lot and there were no injuries. VW repaired the car at their expense. Several months later, in very cold weather, there was complete loss of brakes and the car rolled down a driveway, across a busy street into a wall. Again there was no bodily injury and minor crash damage. VW diagnosed the problem as water (ice) in the brake booster and repaired the car at my expense. VW refused a request for an adjustment claiming that this event was unrelated to the first one. Last month, VW sent me an update notice for revised maintenance of the water drains and plenum chamber, as originally described in their service bulletin of Nov. 2007. I consider this a serious and potentially life threatening safety issue and request that NHTSA take appropriate action.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #14

Jan 152010


  • 66,000 miles
About 9 months ago I was caught in a heavy rainstorm with my 2002 Passat 1.8T. Water flooded the battery compartment due to drainage hole located under the battery clogged with leaf debris. All power (steering, brakes, etc.) was lost and car stalled out on the highway. Now the car's brakes are malfunctioning in freezing weather. The brake pedal sticks to the floor at times; other times the pedal is very hard and must be stomped on to stop the car. I cannot use the car under these circumstances as it is too dangerous. VW dealership confirmed diagnosis of problem as resulting from freezing water in brake booster. I reported the problem to VW customer care. They refuse to reimburse me for the dealer's $1600 fee to replace the booster, booster lines and vacuum pump. Why hasn't NHTSA forced VW to issue a recall as I've discovered there have been numerous other similar complaints" VW's stance on this was that the problem would be noticed in the driveway or at low speeds and therefore doesn't pose a safety hazard. This is totally unacceptable as temperatures can change quickly during a journey. Why has NHTSA backed down in the face of such a lame response" I will never again buy another VW car since their vaulted safety reputation is not deserved and their customer service stinks.

- Lansdowne, VA, USA

problem #13

Dec 082009


  • 94,800 miles
Water in brake booster frozen, causing breaks to fail - near incident on the freeway at high speeds. Frozen water is due to known service issue with 2002 Passat. VW will not take responsibility for failure of brake booster even though mechanics indicate failed air plenum/filter is only way for water to enter brake booster. VW will not take corrective action on brake booster, a $600 repair. This is a major safety issue in cold weather. See investigation #PE07-018.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #12

Mar 142003


  • miles
Driving 2002 VW Passat in normal winter driving conditions including road salt cause premature failure of rear break calipers.

- Avon, NY, USA

problem #11

May 072009


  • miles
Got in my car one morning and the brake felt like there was gravel in the shaft-very hard and choppy feeling when depressing the pedal. Backed out of driveway and noticed a vapor cloud behind my car but thought it was due to high humidity in air. When I tried to stop the car at the corner the brakes didn't work quite right but the car did stop. Went a little further and applied the brakes to make a turn and my care started shuttering and lots of white smoke came out the back -actually almost enveloped my car so I had a hard time making the turn due to poor visibility and the cars vibrations. Again the brakes did not respond correctly but luckily was able to pull over without hitting anything. I sat there trying to evaluate the problem by pumping the brakes and every time I did so the car shook violently and huge clouds of smoke enveloped the car. I had it towed to the dealers and they called to say that it was not under warranty and charged me over $700 to fix. I also had them do the P9 recall repair at that time. I drove the car for less than a week and then had a repeat of the same problem! this time the brakes actually failed twice before I could get back to the house. I had the same thick white smoke and the car was shaking violently whenever I pressed down on the brakes. Again had car towed to shop. They are now fixing as part of the warranty to the brake booster issue as they found new leaves clogging the brake booster lines and found total failure of that part. The VW service rep said several gallons of water came out of my engine when they removed the debris. Their solution was to drill a huge hole to allow the leaves and water to drain away from the brakes! luckily, we borrowed my brother's van two days before to bring my daughter back from college (located in lynchburg, va which is in the mountains or we may had the brakes fail and gone off a cliff!) please do something about this-- it is totally unsafe and unethical!

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #10

Dec 052008


  • 50,200 miles
Copy (excerpt) of letter sent to VW of America: Car history the car was purchased at danbury, ct VW 2002, put in service on 03-19-2002 and is still owned by the original owner (florian kahlert). The car is regularly maintained at VW recommended intervals by foreign car motors Inc. And has also been serviced by riverbank VW in stamford, ct. All VW service actions have been addressed by VW dealerships (except the most recent campaign R5 26E5 which is still outstanding). The car is accident free and no after market parts are installed. The overall condition of the car is 9 out of 10 for a car its age. Riverbank VW in stamford performed the P9 service action on 10/10/2007at 40957 miles. Brake booster failure in cold weather in December 2008 (at approximately 51000 miles) owner experienced repeated brake problems in cold weather, which were eventually diagnosed as a brake booster failure. Upon inspection, extensive water and rust was found in the booster as well as the connecting vacuum lines and one-way valves requiring the replacement of the booster and other parts. Foreign car motors replaced the booster with a new original VW part 8E0612107E. During replacement foreign car motors also found that the drain below the booster was clogged with heavy debris, indicating that the drains had been clogged for a long time. Enclosed expert opinion by foreign car motors states that the only reasonable cause and explanation for the presence of water and rust in the brake booster is that the P9 service action did either not remedy the underlying problem or that the damage started before the P9 action was performed and the damage only became apparent in December 2008/January 2009. In either case, the reason for the booster failure is directly linked to the underlying cause that triggered the P9 service action. Based on this assessment I kindly request the reimbursement of incurred repair expenses:

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #9

Oct 012008


  • 90,000 miles
Failure of ABS module.

- Reistestown, MD, USA

problem #8

Nov 182008


  • 26,000 miles
Spring 2008, experienced water in cabin due to faulty seals/drainage. Winter 2008, experienced brake failure related to previous water intrusion.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #7

Nov 122008


  • 110,000 miles
First cold evening of November 2008 (below freezing) brake pedal failed to depress, and brakes appeared to be completely locked. After several minutes of warming up, brake function partially returned, but without power assist. Husband flushed dot4 brake fluid through ABS regulator, brake lines and bled brakes. No change whatsoever. Waiting for dealer to recognize problem. Dealer failed to acknowledge problem over phone, however, this may help. Believed that air/power booster sucked water in to brake booster from defective drain. Sunroof also leaks, and 3rd set of cv boots for car in 3 years.

- Lakeville, MA, USA

problem #6

Feb 012006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,359 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The rear brake pads wear out every 15,000 miles, which is about four times faster than a normal vehicle. This is unexpected on a vehicle with such low mileage and could cause brake failure. In February of 2006, at 25,359 miles, the dealer informed the contact of this possibility. He notified the manufacturer and they denied any knowledge of the failure. The current mileage was 39,722 and failure mileage was 25,359.

- Grassvalley, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 172007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
- the contact stated that while in the driveway the brake pedal would not depress and the 2002 Volkswagen Passat would not stop. Fortunately, my driveway goes uphill and the vehicle stopped. Towed the vehicle to the dealership, who determined the tree debris clogged a tray and the rain water overflowed into the brake booster and freezed. And this freezing caused the failure. The debris was cleared, and the master vacuum and other components were replaced at cost of $780.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

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