The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2009 Volkswagen Passat, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE09022

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: May 04, 2009
    • Date Closed: July 09, 2009
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Cooling Unit And Lines

    Summary: On May 4, 2009, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened preliminary evaluation PE09-022 to investigate an owner complaint (ODI no. 10260517) alleging contact between the atf cooling line and the radiator fan blades.the complaint indicated that the contact resulted in rapid atf fluid loss which rendered the vehicle undriveable.the incident occurred within the first 50 miles of service. In its response to ODI's information request letter for PE09-062, VW indicated that the installation and design of the atf cooling lines are the same for both the regular Passat and Passat cc models.VW has not changed the design or installation of either the lines or radiator fan since subject vehicle sales began.Volkswagen further stated that it is not aware of any other incidents of atf line contact with the radiator fan in the subject vehicles or any similarly equipped vehicles.VW believes that the one incident is an isolated case of improper installation of the transmission fluid lines. ODI inspections of several MY 2009 Passat vehicles did not identify any concerns with atf cooler line routing that could result in contact with the radiator fan blades.considering the very short time in service of the incident vehicle, it is likely any subject vehicles with similarly mis-positioned atf lines wouldhave already failed and been repaired.the absence of additional incidents supports VW's assessment that the single known failure was a random and isolated event. Accordingly, this investigation has been closed. The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. The Agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect in the subject vehicles and take further action in the future if warranted.