really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 12
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,087 miles

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problem #56

Dec 302011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 47,397 miles
December 30, 2011, the engine emissions light came on. In addition, the brakes were slow to respond, especially in quick response situations, I.e. traffic light. I took the car to pep boys for a diagnostic on brakes/emission. They said there were no problems. Cost $100. February 10, 2012, the engine emission light came on and the brakes were slow to respond especially in quick response situations, I.e. traffic light. I took the car to a VW dealer/repair shop. They replaced the front brake rotors and pads and changed the brake fluid. I still experienced the brake problem during cold weather (below 15 degrees and wind chill). VW suggested bringing the car in when the temperature was the same as the temperature that I experienced the brake problem. Unfortunately it was March and there were no further cold days. I began to think the car was a warm weather vehicle. Cost $776. December 14, 2012, the VW dealer/repair shop replaced the rear brake rotors and pads. Cost $377. December 26, 2013, the engine emission light came on and the brakes were slow to respond, especially in quick response situations, I.e. traffic light. I took the car to a VW dealer/repair shop. They replaced hose and valve to correct a vacuum leak (valve stuck). They replaced the brake fluid. Cost $376. January 8, 2014, the brakes were slow to respond. I had to use the hand brake to stop. I called to have the car towed to VW dealer/repair shop. The tow driver stated it was a booster problem. The VW dealer/repair shop replaced brake booster and brake fluid. Cost $848. In addition to the brake problems, the belly pan (belly shield, skid plate, lower engine cover) came off twice while driving on major highways on April 21, 2012 and April 12, 2014. I had to pull over and pop the pan back up. I took the car to VW dealer/repair shops to have it reattached. No cost.

- Urbandale, IA, USA

problem #55

Feb 082012


  • 152,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. While the contact was driving approximately 25 mph, the engine power began to significantly reduce during acceleration. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The upward and downward oxygen sensors were replaced. The malfunction persisted after the repair was performed. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 152,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #54

Feb 082005

Passat 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
The vehicle has a safety issue as I cannot see when I put the heater on. The windshield becomes completely covered with steam. I have almost crashed 5 times already. Help!

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #53

Sep 142011


  • 62,000 miles
Ignition coils caught fire while driving. Mechanic states that they "catch fire all the time".

- Malaga , WA, USA

problem #52

Mar 052011

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
My complaint is more general in nature. I purchased a 2002 Volkswagen Passat in 2001. This was the first car I purchased brand new. As I think back over the time that I've had this vehicle and reading the complaints that have been logged in on this site, I can't help but think that Volkswagen should offer some type of substantial "hardship" reimbursement besides repairs and such. In the time that I've had this vehicle, I've had the following incidents occur: 1. have a control unit replaced (horn not working, unable to roll down windows, etc..) 2. replace ignition coil (stop motor status light coming on as I'm driving in the midst of traffic) 3. had undershield fall forward as I was driving on the state highway, pretty much scooping up potential debris from the roadway surface. 4. damage to engine from oil sludge and oil pump replacement no less than three times. (stop motor light again) 5. interior of car flooded and frozen over from sunroof flaw and electronics are affected... just on merits of being able to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle and showing that these services were indeed rendered at a Volkswagen authorized repair facility, I believe that at minimum, Volkswagen should agree to reimburse all expenses, no questions asked. It's become clear that the quality of these vehicles was substantially sub-par and poorly designed all things considered. The car is currently in my parents driveway, as the last time the oil pump went caused so many issues that I ended up not being able to drive the car (live and work out of state now and registration expired the same month the pump went then couldn't afford insurance after repairs). To add insult to injury, I didn't receive the claim notice about fixing the sunroof issue until a year later, as it went to my old address and now it's too late to even file the claim. All I want is have a reliable car to operate without worrying about if I'm gonna have skip lunch because I spent all my money on repairs.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #51

Feb 132011

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
In 2002, I bought my Passat new. At the end of December 2010, the stop oil light came on. Two weeks later, a recall letter arrived. I drove to pasadena and back to northern California February 2011. After a little malfunction on the freeway in livermore, I pulled into a gas station and the Passat started to sound like a diesel engine. Towed to dublin VW. They say the engine is fried and a new one would cost $6800. All this due to oil sludge issue.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #50

Feb 142011


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 30 mph the contact noticed that the vehicle lost power. He smelled a burning odor, and noticed smoke releasing from the vents. Within moments the glove compartment area was on fire. The vehicle will be towed to the dealer. A fire report was filed. The failure and the current mileage as 94,000.

- Norfolk , VA, USA

problem #49

Nov 152010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact was driving approximately 25-30 mph when he heard a noise coming from the engine and the vehicle immediately began to lose power. After driving an additional two miles, the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the check engine warning light. The vehicle was towed to his residence abd was neither inspected nor repaired for the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #48

Jan 082011


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost power. There were no warning lights prior to the failure. The vehicle began emitting smoke and was towed. The vehicle was destroyed. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #47

Oct 072010


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns 2002 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 60 mph, the contact smelled a strong burning odor of plastic and pulled over to the side of the road. The contact exited the vehicle. The front of the vehicle erupted into flames. The fire department extinguished the fire. A police report was filed. There was no injury. The vehicle was completely destroyed and towed to an independent mechanic. The failure mileage was approximately 103,000.

- North Logan , UT, USA

problem #46

May 282010


  • 100,000 miles
The 2002 Volkswagen Passat has given a lot of people problems. I called the dealership and spoke to them about the problem with the "stop motor oil pressure". their exact words to me were" they couldn't do anything, but it was a problem with the car. It is a filter in the engine that keeps getting clogged, and there isn't anything they can do." I told them that I needed my car and there has to be something, that cars are catching on fire. They said that I could get an engine flush every couple months. Nothing can be done to repair the problem by me. The Volkswagen Corp. Needs to fix the problem they messed up to begin with. Thank you

- Lumberton, TX, USA

problem #45

Dec 022007


  • 72,000 miles
2002 Passat engine fire. Car began to show cel while being driven on interstate. Left interstate and drove toward home (approx 5 miles). Light smoke smell pulled over 1/2 mile from home shut car off. Smoke increased called 911. Within 3 minutes flames appeared at dashboard. Within 10 minutes car was completely in flames.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #44

Aug 102008


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. While the contact was driving approximately 65 mph, a warning chime sounded inside of the vehicle with a "stop" message displayed on the instrument panel. Also, the "oil pressure" and "turn off engine" warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on two different occasions for the identical failures. The technician informed that the failures were contributed to an oil sludge buildup. The vehicle had repairs performed related to the identical failures two years ago. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Pearl River, NY, USA

problem #43

Sep 152009


  • 57,000 miles
TL-the driver owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat glx. While driving approximately 30 mph the vehicle engine light came on. The vehicle was driven to there destination and the vehicle was checked by a local mechanic the next day. The local mechanic did a diagnostic and she was advised that the calaltytic converter failed. The vehicle has not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 57,000 and the current mileage was 65,000. Vwb

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #42

Jun 182010


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated while driving at approximately 35 mph, smoke began billowing from under the hood and through the interior air vents. The contact moved the vehicle from the roadway and found there was oil leaking from the engine. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the cam shaft chain had broken and the engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 94,000.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #41

Jan 102010


  • 80,000 miles
1. oil was leaking and we repaired it in a local garage. A day later we noticed the oil sludge problem - which told us oil something, stop engine. We called the VW dealer in hartford, ct, and they suggested to bring the car in immediately otherwise it will impact the engine. We immediately took and droped it at the VW dealer and they called us next day telling the oil is not getting into the engine. Everything is blocked. They suggested to repair it otherwise the engine will be dead. We asked them to repair and paid close to $1800. They have replaced bunch of pipes, and parts but labor cost was lot more than parts. But I learned on the internet, that this is an existing problem and VW is aware of it. I read thru few forums on the net, and they all suggested, if I do not have all the oil change receipts, they will not cover the repair charges. But I am surprised, that VW dealer never mentioned about the existing problem, I had to learn thru internet. 2. check engine sign comes all the time on my dashboard, first time I took it, they repaired (same dealer) fixing and replacing small parts and again most of it is labor charges and less parts. We paid about $2000. All these repairs happened within couple of months of each other. Again 10 days later, the check engine sign comes and they repaired again few things and charged about $500. A week later the check engiine sign comes again. We call the dealer and he says bring it in. I am sick and tired of taking this car every week to the dealer and paying them lot of money every time I take it. My car is 2002 VW Passat 1.8T. I heard there are lot of known problem with this model and dealer never mentioned to us once.

- Simsbury, CT, USA

problem #40

Jan 262010


  • 98,000 miles
Engine compartment fire. Started 2002 VW Passat 1.8T and there was no heater fan or windshield wipers functional. Drove around the block. Let car idle to warm up and engine stopped. Smelled burning and put out small fire. Car towed to dealer.

- Urbandale, IA, USA

problem #39

Dec 012007

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
2002 Volkswagen Passat has engine problems. The consumer stated the vehicle has not been driven in a year and a half due to the oil sludge and misfiring problems. The catalytic converter failed and the spark plugs and coil packs were constantly being replaced.

- Earlton, NY, USA

problem #38

Sep 052009


  • 90,000 miles
I have talked to, blogged with, and communicated with various Volkswagen Passat owners and previous owners one complaint that has just become my biggest problem is due to oil sludge build up that occurs and effects the oil pressure censor in these vehicles I own a 2002 Passat wagon and had a terrible oil leak months after I got it covered by warranty. Now months after, I start blogging and investigating on my own the cost to repair this so called oil sludge problem which is so bad in these vehicles I am told this will cost $500-$2000 to fix! why hasn't this problem which is not covered or honored by Volkswagen or extended warranty been recalled"??" this is a very common problem, and the fact that I take very good care of my vehicle sound be taken into consideration when it goes in the shop for such a common default in these cars...please help shine the light on this issue I am sure if it is investigated by you that you will see the hardship of this problem hopefully you aren't a Passat owner yourself.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #37

Jul 262002

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that her vehicle was a lemon when she purchased it in 2002. Water enters the vehicle from the sun roof whenever it rains. She received a recall notice, but the vehicle was not repaired according to the recall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than fifteen times, but it has never been repaired. The failure mileage was 500 miles. Updated 8/24/09 the consumer was told the water leak was coming from the after market speaker. The headlight tail light and fog light bulbs were replaced. The check engine light illuminated and the coolant bottle had a hairline crack. The heat in the vehicle was not working properly. The technician discovered the heater core had a blockage. The water pump was leaking. Both outer cv boots were replaced. There was a large evap leak at the purge valve which was replaced. The cruise control light was on. The right side valve cover gasket was leaking oil and the alternator was replaced. Updated 08/26/09.

- Hampton, VA, USA

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