3rd Generation (1990—1997) Passat Problems

This generations ranks 9th out of 45 Volkswagen generations in reliability and is one of the safer bets out there. Owners have the most complaints about the engine (54%), electrical (18%), and the hvac (9%). We've listed some of the most recent complaints below, see them all on CarComplaints.com.

  1. Ignition Module 1 complaints at an average of 90,000 miles in the 1996 Volkswagen Passat.
  2. Stalls 1 complaints at an average of 96,000 miles in the 1997 Volkswagen Passat.
  3. A/c Not Working 1 complaints at an average of 99,000 miles in the 1996 Volkswagen Passat.

What Passat Year is Most Reliable?

Generations are a good baseline for prediciting reliability, but there will almost always be year-to-year differences. We've calculated a reliability score for each model year within this generation, but we've based that score on how the model year compares to all Volkswagen model years.

Watch out for the 1996 model year which has the highest PainRank™ score in this generation.

Year Complaints Recalls TSBs PainRank (?)
1997 1 1 30 0.29
1996 4 1 25 0.98
1995 1 1 20 0.25
1994 1 1 11 0.21
1993 2 3 10 0.27
1992 2 1 9 0.41
1991 0 1 10 0.0
1990 0 2 2 0.0

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