hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,228 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #9

May 222016


  • 155,000 miles
I decided to change the oil myself in my car, since I wanted to save money and I knew what I was doing. Instead of draining the oil, I accidentally drained the transmission fluid. I didn't figure out that it was transmission fluid because it looked like oil! so, this is what happened after; I drove home (not knowing there was no tranny fluid in it) and I noticed that the car wanted to take off by itself. It kept doing tis two or three more times when it became stuck in 4th gear. I managed to safely get home, and figured out what happened. I am reporting this because this is a design flaw!!! the transmission fluid drain hole is where the engine oil drain hole should be! luckily, after I put fresh tranny fluid in it, the car was fine. I wonder how many other people this happened to.

- Gladstone, MI, USA

problem #8

Apr 302014

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated while driving 60 mph, there was an increase in engine rpms and the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 155,000. Updated 7/25/14

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #7

Mar 232013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 143,000 miles
On 3/23/13, when turning left in traffic, the "sealed for life" 5-spd auto transmission made an incredibly hard shift, began slipping badly, and quickly lost 3 fwd speeds, "limping" in for service. Normally, a trans failure at 143K would not prompt an NHTSA complaint. It is not the car, but rather vwoa and its dealer network, that are the problem. My local dealer refused to check auto trans fluid level, and would only grudgingly do a fluid change if I wanted, for an extortionate $700, steadfastly maintaining that neither was necessary. Vwoa today 4/5/13, ironically, criticized me for not following the owner's manual recommendation of checking fluid every 40K miles. Local dealer wanted over $4400 + misc fees & tax to replace the trans. At the same time, they indicated my new tires with 500 miles on them were in a marginal tread wear condition. Ditto the recently renewed (at the same dealer!) rear brakes. Btw, the transmission manufacturer, zf, recommends communicating to customers the benefits of fluid changes at 50K mile intervals. VW won't listen to either customer or trans mfr. Trans was rebuilt at qualified independent shop. There was also an earlier recall (thanks, NHTSA!) of ceramic glow plugs that would fall into cylinders and cause catastrophic damage. Fortunately, I had the repair done independently, as this condition was known for at least 2 yrs before VW's official response. VW did compensate me for this, but I wonder how many $9K engines were destroyed while VW contemplated its collective navel. Btw, after the official VW fix (done at dealer), the car starts in winter like a 1980 rabbit diesel. I fitted a zerostart as corrective measure. VW also refuses to discuss the balance shaft chain drive issue with me. A ticking time bomb at 143K. They know it. I know it. NHTSA, please take vwoa to task! as for me, I'm now shopping competitors.

- Pewaukee, WI, USA

problem #6

Feb 022012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • miles
I recently had issue with the torque converter leaking and failed, I research this online to see if iwas the only one having this issue, but there are hundreds of people out there with the same issue. I would like VW to recall their VW Passat tdi for their torque converter failure. This should not go out for something right after the manufacture warranty. Some already has issue when it was only 51,000 miles. Here are some of the website, which reported the tc problem from individual owners like myself: forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?T=307836 www.passatworld.com/forums/68-B5-garage/327420-got-P0741-torque-converter-clutch-circuit-code-my-new-B5-5-tdi-Passat.html.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #5

Dec 112011


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Passat tdi. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle, he noticed that all of the oil had leaked out. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the chain drive of the oil pump and tensioner was worn, which caused damage to the crankcase. As a result, the chain assembly needed to be replaced with a gear assembly. Also, the lower housing, oil pan and tensioner needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 130,000.

- South Barre, VT, USA

problem #4

Nov 102010

Passat Diesel

  • miles
Volkswagen Passat passenger vehicle model year 2004 and 2005 with 2.0L diesel tdi engine. Balance shaft and oil pump are driven with a chain mechanism which has a history of failure with less than 100,000 miles usage. This prompted a design change and a recall of affected vehicles in europe. No recall in North America. Recalled vehicles in other areas of the world were retrofit with a gear drive mechanism that is reliable. Failure occurs without warning and will result in immediate loss of oil pressure and rapid engine damage including possibly engine seizure. If this were to occur at highway speeds it would be a clear safety hazard.

- Hudson, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 042009


  • 57,050 miles
The failure is with (1) the balance shaft oil pump chain drive system on the VW Passat 2.0 tdi diesel automobile. The failure has occurred numerous time to other VW owners and present an imminent threat to vehicle safety should such failure occur in heavy traffic. (2) ceramic glow plugs for the tdi diesel engine have a tendency to break off and cause catastrophic damage to a running engine. Both defects have been recognized by vwoa as evidenced by upgrades made to their european customers. However vwoa is totally ignoring the american customers and resulting in exorbitant repair prices. VW continues to violate epa rule by not releasing ECU reflash data to non VW service facilities, here again capitalizing on a known design flaw. Let it be know that only the symptoms of these impending failures have occurred at this point in time. Judging from reports of others who have suffered already this vehicle is in immanent danger.

- Smithmill, PA, USA

problem #2

Feb 082009


  • 102,000 miles
Eventual failure of chain driven oil pump and balance shafts, resulting in a sudden loss of power and destruction of the engine, leading to a potential life/safety situation in this 2005 Passat tdi. This method of driving the oil pump and balance shafts is a Volkswagen acknowledged engineering flaw as noted in technical product information bulletin 2016429/2. not wishing to replace an engine that as a result of said failure, might potentially place myself and passengers in a life threatening situation, I have proactively changed out the chain-driven oil pump/balance shaft module for a gear driven assembly at a cost to myself of $3000. I believe VW needs to step up and issue a recall for this model.

- Clinton, WA, USA

problem #1

Jan 092009


  • miles
2004-2005 Passat tdi w/ bhw engine code. The balance shafts in this engine are driven by a hex shaft off the chain driven oil pump. This unfortunate design subjects the chain to stresses it cannot withstand. On various tdi forums, especially tdiclub.com, there are a significant number of chain failures being reported. Of course, when the chain driving the oil pump fails, the engine is starved of essential lubrication. If the failure of the chain causes engine to stop running in the middle of traffic, merging onto a highway, or passing on the highway, this condition could easily cause danger to all citizens nearby, possibly leading to death. When the chain fails, the parts to repair cost approximately $1800 plus approximately another $1500 in labor bills to have the parts installed. If the engine is destroyed, it will cost the owner approximately $8000 to replace the engine. This is unacceptable.

- Reno, NV, USA