What's Wrong with the Passat?

There are 833 complaints over 28 Passat model years. These can be broken down into 4 generations with their collective PainRank™. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Generation Breakdown

Compare NHTSA
Gen Years Score Problems Recalls Inv. TSBs
6 2012—2017 14.5 156 22 9 404
5 2006—2010 19.63 187 13 8 412
4 1998—2005 19.23 479 38 83 354
3 1990—1997 0.3 11 8 14 53

What Owners Are Saying

“My car was driving perfect, no problems at all. Then all of a suden my car starts making this weird noise, then its dead? My friends have cars that are a piece of garbage but they outlasted my 'solid' car.”

2002 Passat Owner with Oil Sludge

“The van looks good, drives good, but drinks oil like a 1950 Chevy with 300k miles. The oil use isn't consistent! Some times on a trip it doesn't use as much as the next trip, same distance.”

2009 Routan Owner in Elizabethton, TN

“Within two months of buying car, with 92,000 miles, engine / low oil pressure light came on. Checked oil all good lights went out and we drove it two more weeks. Then lights came on again and engine seized up.”

2003 Passat Owner with Oil Sludge

Recent Passat News

NJ Timing Chain Lawsuit Will Continue After VW Was Denied a Motion to Dismiss

Car owners think the time is right to hold Volkswagen accountable for their defective timing chains.

And despite VW’s best efforts, a timing chain lawsuit will continue in a New Jersey court after the judge denied the automaker’s motion to dismiss. The case is a combination of two other lawsuits in the state, both of which allege VW is concealing known timing chain defects that lead to premature engine failure.

Timing Chain Lawsuit Will Continue in Court. Image by Claire Anderson on Unsplash.com

You know that stack of papers they have you sign when you buy a car? Volkswagen’s argument for dismissing the case was a hidden clause that says all problems must be taken into arbitration and not in front of jury. Which, let’s be honest, is a shady thing to throw into a purchase contract. Luckily the judge ruled those agreements are between the consumer and the dealership, not the automaker.

While a few of the lawsuit claims were thrown own, this is overall good news for consumers who have dealt with (or are worried about) timing chain failure

Greased Lightnin'? 2012-14 Passat Recalled for Burning Up the Quarter Mile

The right half-shaft grease boots in 2012-14 diesel Passats are leaking grease. And as luck would have it, those same cars have a heat shield that is too short to stop the leaks from hitting hot exhaust parts.

When that happens, you’ll really be burning up the quarter mile.

Not nearly as cool as Travolta's Hair

But wait, there’s more about the recall from CarComplaints.com:

Engineers also determined diesel particulate filters overheated because they were being overloaded with soot caused by failures of the upper boost hoses. VW learned Passats made up to July 2012 had higher failure rates of the upper boost hoses and if the hoses fail, compressed air from the turbo chargers can escape before entering the combustion chambers.

This leads to more fuel being injected than needed, which results in soot and a higher likelihood of the engine overheating.

Jetta owners can expect a fix in July 2017.

Leaking Brake Lines in the 2017 Passat

It’s been a bad week for 2017 Volkswagens. First there was a tiny recall for seized up engines in the 2017 Jetta. Now the 2017 Passat is being recalled to replace leaking brake lines.

Engineers traced the brake fluid leaks to end flares of the brake lines that were damaged during manufacturing, causing the seals to be faulty. A low brake fluid warning light will activate when the fluid reaches a certain level.

Details on this recall are still coming in.