really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,521 miles

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problem #45

Dec 232010


  • miles
I had a 2002 VW Passat with 1.8T engine. Its original engine was dead due to oil sludge 3 years ago; and its replaced engine was dead today again. I think Volkswagen should pay back my money, about $6000, for replacing 2 engines; and recall this engine immediately.

- Markham, 00, USA

problem #44

Feb 132010


  • 102,000 miles
I have a 2002 VW Passat. I had numerous problems with it since I bought it, the control arms go, the engine coils fail constantly and just recently my low oil pressure light came on. I had my car towed to the place where I purchased it and they said this means that my engine is shot. I have done some research and tried to look for used parts and it turns out that with the 1.8L turbo Passat engine this occurs very frequently. Now I am stuck paying almost $11,000 for a car that I cant even drive because it is going to cost me nearly $5,000 to fix. I really would like this problem to be looked into and I am highly surprised that this has not been a recall issue yet.

- Danielson, CT, USA

problem #43

Jan 272008


  • 120,000 miles
During trip in 2008 the "low oil pressure" light came on while driving my 2002 Passat 1.8T (w/ auto transmission) on the freeway- I pulled over and shut the engine off the car as the warning light advised. The car was towed to a dealership & I was told I needed a new oil pump due to oil sludge ($1300). The car had approx. 120K miles on it. The dealership did tell me about the extended warranty for 02 Passats for oil sludge-related repairs, however, Volkswagen wouldn't honor this warranty without receipts for every oil change done on the car - which I did not have. Approx. A few months later, the engine stopped running.this is all due to oil sludge issues. I had about 90% of all of my oil change receipts and VW would not honor the warranty. As and engineer in know that the 1.8T engine was not designed correctlybecause if it were, VW would not have changed the size of the original oil filter to a larger one and there would be no need to use synthetic oil.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #42

Jan 182007


  • 60,000 miles
In Jan. 2007 the "low oil pressure" light came on while driving my 2002 Passat 1.8T (w/ auto transmission) on the freeway- I immediately stopped the car as the warning light advised. The car was towed to a dealership & I was told I needed a new oil pump due to oil sludge ($1300). The car had approx. 60K miles on it. The dealership did not tell me about the extended warranty for '02 Passats for oil sludge-related repairs; I found out about it by researching online. However, Volkswagen wouldn't honor this warranty without receipts for every oil change done on the car - which I did not have. Approx. A year & a half later, the same oil pressure light came on while driving & I had to immediately stop the car. This time, I had to replace the entire engine ($8000!!) due to oil sludge issues. Again, extended warranty for oil sludge repairs was useless to me because I didn't have receipts for every single oil change done over the life of the car.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #41

Jul 272009


  • 126,945 miles
I was driving my 2002 Passat 1.8T for a approximately 30, reaching my house the car started sputtering and acting weird. Once I parked in my driveway and open the hood the engine was on fire for no apparent reason. The car was running perfectly fine for the first 30 minutes and then was on fire.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #40

Aug 052008


  • 54,000 miles
My wife was driving the vehicle and heard a pop from under the car. She pulled over right away and saw fluids and smoke coming from the engine compartment. Within five minutes the engine and passenger compartments were fully engulfed in flames. The vehicle was considered totaled. Volkswagen is blaming it on an after market stereo power cable and an investigator with 23 years of experience said oil lines ruptured and the fire initially ignited low in the engine compartment -- not on top by the stereo power lead. Photos and a description of the incident is posted at the following link: www.dslreports.com/forum/R21108730-rant-our-2002-Volkswagen-Passat-glx-death-trap.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #39

Aug 122008


  • 16,000 miles
Driving at 60 mph the engine completely stalled requiring an emergency maneuver to clear highway. VW mechanic says rod snapped and put hole through engine. Not oil-related.

- Rye, NY, USA

problem #38

May 092008


  • 80,000 miles
Engine was running rough, engine light came on (flashing), I was advised engine was missing on a cylinder and could drive 'slowly' to the mechanic. On way to dealership warning light came on (stop - no engine oil). Mechanic changed vacuum hose and reset computer, engine not loosing oil. Week later - warning light (stop - no engine oil). Mechanic confirmed engine was not loosing oil. Took to VW dealership. Dealership advised vacuum hoses were 'bad'. original mechanic changed vacuum hoses. Week later - warning light (stop - no engine oil). Took to VW dealership - dealership advised "after market parts" (vacuum hoses) causing issue. - changed hose. Day later - warning light (stop- no engine oil) - took back to VW dealership - dealership advised hoses are 'bad' - replaced 3 other hoses. About 2 weeks later - engine running poorly, delay when pulling out from stops, took to VW dealership. Dealership took apart engine. Advised that they 'scraped carbon deposits¿ from the filter leading to the oil pump. (cost $500+) car ran well for approx 2 weeks. Spoke to original mechanic about ¿carbon deposits¿. mechanic advised ¿carbon deposits¿ are ¿engine sludge¿ - VW will not replace engine under 'sludge¿ recall because I do not have all oil change receipts for the last 6 years.

- Pine Bush, NY, USA

problem #37

Jun 152007

Passat 4-cyl

  • 73,099 miles
Cylinder head failed without warning, car had less than 75K. Car was serviced on a regular basis. VW refused to pay for cost losing a thirty year loyal customer. They offered to apply $2200 to the repair of the car or apply it toward another new VW on the dealer lot, what a insult. I will never recommend their product.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #36

Nov 012007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Oil sludge -- need new engine.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #35

Feb 032008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40 miles
Mechanical defect in the 2002 VW Passat that causes sludge build up in the engine on August 8, 2006 which in turn caused the engine to breakdown on Sept. 29, 2006 and other associated mechanical problems like stalling approximately June 2007 and failure of front wheel suspension on February 3, 2008 upon exiting the highway.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #34

Sep 062007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
On September 6th of this year, a message appeared on the dashboard display low oil pressure, stop motor. I immediately called the dealership in pompton plains, NJ (the closest dealership to my house) to arrange servicing, since the car was not to be driven. The Volkswagen representative with whom I spoke on the phone instructed me to bring my car to the dealership. When I finally brought the car in, service manager joe informed me that what I experienced was likely engine trouble requiring of multiple part replacement and called oil sludge. I was told that it would cost $2,800 for repairs because the warranty on my five-year-old/56,000-mile car ran out. I called customer care at 1-800-822-8987 and spoke with representative named frodet and her supervisor, james custer, both of whom told me that this problem is not unheard of and has even been termed oil sludge and is covered under VW's special extended warranty 8 years/unlimited miles. Frodet opened case no. 70295194 in my name and called service manager. I received a call next day. I was told that in order to fix this problem under VW?S special extended warranty, I needed to provide all eleven receipts for oil changes that took place within the entire five-year period of ownership. After scouring my files, I found that I have a total of 20 receipts pertaining to service and maintenance of the vehicle, seventeen of which were not from the crest mont dealership. I faxed these seventeen receipts to the attention of service manager joe. The very next day September 18th, joe called me again to let me know me that a field factory representative reviewed these receipts and refused to admit sixteen of them. These receipts were from my personal mechanic to whom I had entrusted the care and service of every car I had. But, because my mechanic failed to specify my car's VIN, license plate number, and oil filter part numbers in the receipts, I was out of luck.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #33

May 132007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,365 miles
I was traveling from ga back to tampa when the message of "stop oil pressure, stop motor" appeared on the dash. Of course I was terrified because this has never happened before. I pulled into a gas station and had a gentleman to check my oil. I knew there was oil because I had an oil change on May 3, 2007. The gentleman stated there was oil and to allow my car to cool. I waited about 30 minutes, the gentleman checked my oil again and it read the same.I preceeded to try to reach to interstate to go home and the light came on again. This time the message was "stop, stop motor and check service manual". now I'm really terrified. I pulled into an advance discount auto shop and called my extended warranty and had my car towed from gainesville, fl to tampa (approximately 145 miles). I cost me $227. My extended warranty covered $100. The full price was $327. Monday morning I called kuhn VW and was told to bring in my car. I was informed by a lady (who was taking my information) that it was a common problem. A diagnostic was ran ($94). I was told that suldge was in my engine and that a further diagnostic needed to be ran which would cost $282. To de-sludge the engine wolud cost $2,788 plus tax. Needless to say, I instructed them to put my car back together. I called my extended warranty and informed them about it and they would not cover it. I have my car at a mechanic who "de-sludged" my engine for $450. The light continued to come on and with further examination it was diagnosed that the oil pump was the problem. The mechanic is trying to fix the oil pump and then will I trade it in for another car. My car is five years old. I bought my car brand new in 2002, from the dealership. I've had all of my services completed by the dealership; except for two. I have all of my receipts. I was not aware of this defect until now and I'm very upset and concerned that a company can put people's life in danger. My car has approximately 77,360 miles.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #32

Aug 082002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I owned a 2002 VW Passat V6 for 2 years. Three times within that time during rainstorms, the engine died and all the electrical equipment, including the power brakes, failed. I have just found out that the air intake for the engine is either near a wheel well or behind a headlight, as is apparently common for sporty cars. The water gets sucked into the engine. VW charged me $9000 after the second event, blaming it on pine needles in drainage wells. Five days later, I went through a small puddle and it happened again. I sold the car. I think this warrants investigation as a major safety hazard.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #31

Jul 142006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
Stop oil pressure light went on and car died. Towed car to dealer who accused me of not servicing car. I took exception to this nonsense and noted a manufacturing defect that caused VW to extend their warranty to 8 years. I produced all oil change receipts as required and have still not heard a verdict. They extend a warranty with the strictest of conditions and then refuse to honor it in a timely manner.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #30

Mar 302006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,256 miles
Customer was driving from Mississippi when light come on reading stop. Customer stopped vehicle. Nothing found wrong. Drove to South Carolina without anymore incident. Took vehicle into dealer in columbia, SC when got here to have oil changed, and check out vehicle for light coming on. Dealership performed oil change, said they could not duplicate problem. Sold customer on replacing both front cv joint boots and repacking bearings. Two weeks later light came back on reading stop, oil pressure. Turned vehicle off, had towed to dealership. Dealer said they were checking car, would have to order new oil pan. Called dealer when didn't hear back for several days, told engine had oil sludge, would need to get all receipts for oil changes to get covered under warranty. Called three dealerships, all said would fax records. One faxed records, but the service manager that had them was no longer working there when we went to dealership and records were gone. Records were faxed from all 3, no oil changes now existed. After talking to VW America, got some oil changes sent, said that was our responsibility to provide. Asked dealer what the actual problem was with engine, not sure, but I needed to buy a new or remanufactured one though. I requested to speak to tech who worked on car, he said they found the problem when brought car in for oil change first time, said bearings burned out in engine, when they used the synthetic oil that was now recommended by VW, it would have freed up the sludge in the engine and caused it to clog up the oil pump and the bearing to be burned as they were. I know that customer having problem locating three oil changes from various facilities, 55K mi on car, VW not even considering any assistance in engine replacement. Strongly advise against engine repair only replacement, denial of any responsibility on vx part.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #29

Mar 182006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
I received a letter from Volkswagen (VW) of America, dated August 2004, detailing an engine malfunction being reported by some VW owners. The problem is described as "oil sludge." As a result the letter states that my warranty on the 2002 VW Passat is being extended to 8 years regardless of mileage. It goes onto state that, "Volkswagen will cover necessary engine repairs if oil "sludge" causes a malfunction in your engine and you can provide documentation of oil changes according to the maintenance schedule for your vehicle." On March 18, 2006, I was returning from a conference in Wisconsin when my engine light and oil lamp appeared on my car. I had my car towed to hatfield VW. I was shocked to find out that VW would not even diagnose the problem until I could produce "documentation" of oil changes. While my husband was outraged, I was confident that all would be resolved. My husband changes the oil in both our vehicles from products purchased from autozone; however, he did not realize that I began keeping documented records on my computer at home detailing the date and mileage of our oil changes. I began doing this as a result of the August 2002 letter from VW. I soon found out from the hatfield VW service department that my oil change log was not sufficient "documentation." I spent the next 2-3 days working with chase bank in order to get my bank statements. I found the purchases to autozone, and each corroborated with the log. I took them to the hatfield regional manager on Saturday, March 25, 2006. He felt confident that the matter would be resolved. As soon as we got home, we received a call from the hatfield service manager stating that the documentation was insufficient. The service manager told us we needed itemized receipts. I went to autozone that evening and was able to reproduce the last oil change receipt. I was then informed that I needed a new engine costing $4000-5000.00, yet they had no diagnosis.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #28

Mar 092006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles
My wife purchased a 2002 Passat with a 1.8T engine. All was well (except for the very expensive maintenance on this vehicle) up until a couple of weeks ago. My check engine light came on so I took it to the dealer. They told me they were going to clean the throttle body and replace an axle boot. This was a Friday morning and I had my car Friday night, $512 later. Saturday I took the car for inspection and it failed due to emissions. On Monday (2 days later) the check engine light came on again. I took it back to the dealer Tuesday morning. Wednesday I picked it up. Belts were changed, including the timing belt, the water pump was changed, and various other repairs not properly explained to me. This time it cost me an additional $1,087. So far in less than a week I had spent $1,600. Thursday morning I drove to work and I called the dealer to report that I still felt a "twitch" in the engine. He said that was "strange" and asked me to bring it in. On Thursday I was driving to a lunch meeting with a colleague when all of a sudden a loud rattling noise was heard coming from the engine. I immediately pulled over and discovered engine oil all over the ground. I called the dealer who was "shocked" and had the vehicle towed to the dealer. Turns out the engine threw a rod right threw the block and oil pan. Basically my engine is toast. Coincidence? I have a hard time swallowing that. This is less than one week after I originally took the car in and they worked on it. Now I have to spend upwards of $4,000 to fix this and no one, not the dealer and certainly now VW, is willing to help me with this. VW totally dismissed me because while the car is only 4 years old it has 91,000 miles. I have kept up with the maintenance and an engine should not throw a rod after 90,000. This is obviously a defect of some kind or something the mechanic at the dealership did to it.

- Colonia, NJ, USA

problem #27

Feb 132006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
The throttle body on my 2002 Passat gls 1.8 turbo failed at only 56,000 miles. This part is not covered under the power train warranty. This seems to premature of a failure, and Volkswagen should look into this. I have spoken to other Volkswagen owners who own other Passat models and they have had the same issues, some even at 30,000 miles. VW take action please and investigate this issue.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #26

Nov 262005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
2002 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T engine failure due to oil sludge at 62,600 miles..

- Beverly, MA, USA

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