Volkswagon Passat

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I own a 2003 Passat Wagon
Posted by on
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I agree with the other 2003 Passat owner review here. Bought it because it was a nice car. Leather interior, sunroof, premium sound, TipTronic Transmission, good looks, Heated seats, Everything, Etc.....
In the initial years I owned it, first 40-80,000 miles, an engine mount broke (which has since broken again), Transmission seal/gasket broke/ leaked, Water pump, CV boots replaced 1 & 1/2 times along with one axle.
Fortunatly these were all under warranty. This is what I can think of off the top of my head. Its been years now and I should have written reviews on every discussion forum I could find then. I didn't.
Since then: I'm at 160,000 miles. Brakes have never worked well, I believe contributing to an accident I was in, the car just didn't stop when I had to jump on them. Heater no longer works, Driver door mechanisim electronics no longer work, meaning no more warning buzzer that the door is open or the lights are left on, no seat belt warning (which is kind of an improvement, Etc.... $525.00 or so to repair.
Car locks itself whenever it feels like it, not all the time, just whenever.
Both catalytic converters are gone. $1500.00 +
Transmission is leaking again $225.00.
Electonic key no longer works, I was told not a battery issue. $120.00 + to replace eletronic key.
I'm sure there's more but I will end it here.
I've taken very good care of my VW and it still looks great, No dents, no dings, a couple of scraches, one from my bike and one shopping cart scratch, that's it. Still a good, cool looking piece of junk.
If you have any smarts you will stick with Toyota or Honda....My opinion.
Certainly better cars if not the best. I'm not a Toyota or Honda sales person, and actually wasn't very pleased with my Toyota T100 either, They were just a bad model for them. But if I was to buy a new car it would not be a VW.
     
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trmn8r on 2011-11-11:
I bought a '98 Passat Wagon new and put 130,000 miles on it. The problems I had were the coil pack failed, the water pump failed at 95,000 miles (replaced for free under the wonderful OEM warranty they had back then), a couple of window regulators(one warranty, one not), the ignition switch (warranty). Then the secondary air pump failed at 130,000 miles and that was $800.

That was one comfortable and sporty wagon, and I miss it. I did get a bit disappointed at the frequent repairs. But boy it was fun to drive, and was a great value at the time.

German engineering is a double-edged sword and always has been. Currently I own a BMW motorcycle, and it is no different. The fuel gauge sensor appears to break (repeatedly) due to ethanol in US gas. Not really their fault, I guess.
swimjim on 2011-11-11:
These (ignition) coil packs must be a common problem, as I've replaced the ones on my sister's car twice over on her 2k Passat with now 160k miles on it. She says she still loves it, and has had no other real mechanical issues with it - still looks good and rides nice. Replacements can be found online for about 40.00 apiece - 1/2 of what a local parts place wants for them and it takes about 5 minutes to replace one.
MRM on 2011-11-11:
The ignition coil in my mother's 98 Dodge Caravan has failed at 53,000m and after I replaced the coil, the Caravan no longer stalls.
chemman on 2011-11-14:
I have an 05 Passat TDI with 230k miles on it and it has been running like a champ. I've heard you either get a good one or a lemon, I guess I git lucky because I have done nothing but oil changes and a timing belt change and mine has run smoothly this whole time. My factory brakes lasted until 200k. Sorry to hear yours has been such a problem. I wish they could get their act together and make a consistent product.
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"Retail" Lease
Posted by on
I leased a 2006 Passat from Palisades Volkswagen, in Nyack, NY. It was a 4-year lease. During those 4 years, it had numerous repairs (fuel pump "melted", both boot blocks cracked, coolant system crack, and then your various brake jobs, 8 tire replacements, and more -- I drive a LOT). Every time I diligently took it in for service, it had recalls to be fixed. While I had VW's before, this Passat seemed to be laden with defects. With 9 months left on my lease, faced with more repairs, I talked to my sales person and voiced my dissatisfaction, wishing to turn the car in early and pay the penalty. I wanted to be rid of the car and its headaches. He, now the finance manager of that dealership, told me to turn in the car with the remaining payments, and that would be it.

When I called VW Credit to get the exact amount of payments left, I was surprisingly informed I could not turn in my car, regardless of my agreement to pay the penalty, because it would then be considered a "Voluntary Termination" and would adversely affect my credit. I had never heard of this, nor had the salesman who leased me the car when I called him to confirm! According to VW Credit, I have to wait until 90 days before the lease was up, and that was the earliest I may turn in the car, even paying the penalty! I made it painfully clear my dissatisfaction, and my intent to purchase another car, and pleaded to turn in this car to be rid of it and its headaches.

Had I leased another VW, they were ready to let me break the lease. (I had broken 2 previous leases when I moved up into another VW.) But since I was not, the same consideration vanished. I was a loyal VW customer for YEARS, and touted the brand when everyone else I know steered clear of it. Had they looked at their policy and realized that they could recoup the value of the car more quickly on their lot than in my garage during the next six months, they would see that allowing me to turn it in -- paying a significant penalty -- would be more beneficial to them, and a win-win for both. Now, I will use my connections to virally spread the word of my dissatisfaction so that future VW customers can make a more educated decision on whether to do business with VW.

In this economy, with the magnitude of auto choices available, VW needs to brush up on their understanding of brand management and customer loyalty. When customers vanish, so does the brand.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-09-20:
You will find that with ANY vehicle maker. You avoided the early termination by staying with the same company so your lease info was transferred to another car. If you return a car on lease or mortgage, it goes against your credit just as a voluntary repo does IF you are not upgrading with the same company.

You seem surprised that a lease would go on your credit. You must have good credit to get one. Why wouldn't your credit be an issue to the leasing lender?
spiderman2 on 2009-09-20:
Why don't you just buy a car? Leasing a car for personal use really ties you down, as you found out. You are still liable for all repairs and the company controlw when you can buy a new car. Also, for someone who drives "a lot" limited mileage probably isn't a good idea. The only scenario I have seen where a lease is a good idea is for a business. Buy a car you can afford and you will have much more control over your life.
KelleyBriggs on 2009-09-21:
I do drive a lot for business, or I did when I got the lease. It seemed to make more sense to put the mileage on someone else’s car. And I had two VWs before this one, no issues. Didn't understand I couldn't break this lease because I had done it two times before, but -- you’re right -- it was to get into a newer VW. Guess it makes sense they would try to keep me as a customer, but seems like an unprofessional way to do it. It really makes no business sense to have it sit in my garage for 6 months, when it could be on their lot selling!

Yes, I do have good credit. Neither I nor the salesman who sold me the car (or so he claimed) knew of this detail in a "lease retail agreement", I thought it was the same type of lease I had with the two other cars. But with increased mileage allowance, it must not have been. This has been a horrible experience with this car and VW now in general in the way this was handled. I consider it is my right to inform others so they can make the educated decision as to whether to do business with VW or not. And as a former VW brand champion, I sadly now choose the latter.
Anonymous on 2009-09-21:
Did you ever read the agreement? The little bitty disclosures?
PepperElf on 2009-09-21:
though technically racking in the miles on "someone else's car" can cost you more than getting your own car can
klobbersaurus685 on 2009-09-23:
I have leased 3 VWs and I read the lease agreements. They aren't that hard to understand. if you are driving many miles you shouldn't lease anyway. It's really expensive if you go over the miles.
KelleyBriggs on 2009-09-23:
The salesman who leased me the car, had leased me the two previous cars, and said (verbally) this lease was the same. And yes, I read it, but very quickly, because it seemed the same. Even now, 3 years later, he was surprised that I couldn't turn it in, said he had never heard of this (or at least faked it well). And thanks, klobbersaurus685, for insinuating I am stupid -- I didn't find it easy to understand, and I am a fairly intelligent individual. My lease arranged for many miles, and I didn't go over. At least I understood math enough to be able to calculate that correctly. I was hoping for helpful feedback, not reprimands.
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2006 Passat Problems
Posted by on
GIATHERSBURG, MARYLAND -- This comment is to everyone who has had or is having problems with their 2006 Passat, please write to NHTSA.dot.gov.

Between 38,000 - 41,000 my camshaft and coolant system were replaced. I am now having oil consumption problems. I have always taken my car to the dealer for all scheduled maintenance, including oil/oil filter changes. Volkswagen of America has admitted that the camshaft lobe was a manufacturer defect, but the bulletin was only issued to the dealership (not the public). No explanation re the coolant system, and as far as the oil consumption problem, they don't think there is a major problem - when I am having to add 2 2/1 quarts of oil between oil changes.

If I knew that I would be having to carry oil around and check my oil at every fill-up I would never have bought this car.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-08-03:
Why are you blaming King Volkswagen? They didn't make the car nor did they issue the bulletin. If the dealer refuses to replace the defective camshaft then contact the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection -240-777-3636
saj80 on 2009-08-03:
I don't believe this is an issue for the NHTSA, as these are not safety problems; someone please let me know if I am wrong.
Anonymous on 2009-08-03:
In response to PassingBy and saj80. Correction - I think "Volkswagen of America" should be responsible. For over a year I have been back and forth to the dealer with "engine light" and "oil light" coming on, until the camshaft and coolant flange had to be replaced by King Volkswagen at 38,000 miles. My point I want to get across to the consumer who still has a warranty on their Passat, to be aware of the camshaft lobe defect. If your car is not under warranty the cost to replace a camshaft is around $3,000. Under normal driving conditions a camshaft should last at least 100,000 miles or more. The oil consumption is still a problem. I do not think that a car with 44,000 miles should need 2 1/2 quarts of oil added between oil changes. As far as Mont. County Office of Consumer Protection - they did nothing other than send my original letters addressed to Volkswagen of America to King Volkswagen. I do believe there could be a safety issue, if the engine ran hot for a period of time, without oil.
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passat wagon -be warned
Posted by on
ROSWELL, GEORGIA -- German cars look great, drive great, nice and tight, athletic and fun, but be warned their reliability is at the bottom of the list surpassing even lower end American cars with repair problems.The new Consumer reports came out of the most problem riddled cars of 2004 and VW was at the top of the list along with BMW 5 series and several Mercedes models.I bought a production year car (1999). I will not make that mistake again,yet even after 5 years the Passat is still one of the most unreliable cars ever made.Oddly enough, the Passat wagon and sedans were ranked #1 in quality/value by the same company that condemned it.So to clear up the confution I will list the problems Ihave had in my 99 passat GLS wagon with 88k miles. My car has never been in an accident, mistreated in any way, and has been fully serviced,maintained, and garaged.
01) Brake rotors must be replaced- rotating is not an option (very expensive to install)
02) Purge valve clogged
03) Complete failure of the turbo system
04) Rear passenger door has never closed correctly
05) Rear passenger door won't open from inside
06) Rear passenger door window fell out of track- standard garage could not repair
07) Oil changes very difficult due to placement of filter and undercarriage protector
08) Wipers totaly suck even with replacement blades
09) Console broke suddenly
10) Rear cup holder broke
11) Gear shift cover flap broke
12) Rear wiper has stuck from day one
13) Carpetting will not clean- it traps hairs and schrapnel
14) Battery went all of a sudden
15) Two exterior lights have burnt out
16) Interior rubber parts are flaking
17) Power locks actuator broke
18) Undercarriage cover cracked and fell off on highway
19) Recall on power window motor
20) Windshield is poor quality
21) Lighter socket broke (not a fuse issue)
Now my car is going in for scheduled maintenance where the timing belt will have to replaced ($550)
and a complete tune-up,new rotors etc. I'm scared!
My advice to buyers would be for them to determine if the"fun-factor" is more important than reliabilty. At the very least if you must buy German,buy extended warranty and be prepared for operational downtime.
     
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ejack053824 on 2004-11-19:
Wow...what a piece of shyt!
LegalCollector on 2004-11-21:
If the rear passenger door has never opened correctly why did you purchase the car?
speedy06 on 2005-01-23:
Sorry for your misfortune, I am sold on German made cars. It is pointless to judge all German made vehicles because of one lemon. Happy BMW owner!
OnWatch on 2007-05-13:
I also wrote review for my VW Jetta. I also had many of your problems just did not list them all in mine. One other I did not mention and started to have problem with was water flooding my front driver and passenger floors (car still under warranty). Called and they "would not" even see it because their "one" water person in the whole DC metro area would only come on Thursdays and it was Friday. I'm talking about at least 1/2 in on each floor. Area was calling for much more rain. Took it somewhere to have the water sucked out of the floors. Three times it happened and each time they did not want to see it. Third time I had to (once again) have a melt down in their face. They took it and the service rep (One of many, they have a huge turn around because reps are mistreated) told me there was a defect in the rubber hose coming from the top to drain out along the door. The size of the opening is like a pin hole and they clipped it to make it bigger(so I was told). This was without their "water guy" and took them about 20 minutes. So why did they not do that the first time? The story is even better this. Unbelievable! They would not even treat it to prevent mold. Told me to go to Trac Auto and buy something! :0
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Buyer Beware!
Posted by on
I recently brought my car into the dealership since the check engine light was on and was informed that the camshaft needed to be replaced. My car only has 77,000 miles, but is outside the VW power train warranty. The repair is $3,000.

All that VW would do to assist in the repair to stand behind their product is offer me a $1,500 voucher toward a new Passat. I do not want a new headache!

If you are looking for a new car that will only last 70,000 before major expenses start to occur, buy a VW.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-06-04:
No thanks!
Anonymous on 2009-06-04:
Never liked those hippie cars.
tnchuck100 on 2009-06-04:
Engine light for bad camshaft? I question that. If the camshaft is bad the engine will not run. The only thing the engine light will tell you that is related to the camshaft is the cam position sensor is bad.

Get another mechanic to check your problem.
MRM on 2009-06-04:
I prefer Jeep brand name.
Toni I. on 2009-06-04:
While I have never had a problem with a VW (I used to own a 1995 Jetta), I don't like their stupid television commercials featuring the talking Beetle (the car, not the insect).
Anonymous on 2009-06-04:
MRM not a good time to buy a Jeep.
Slimjim on 2009-06-04:
I don't know what the engine computer is sensing to flip the light on, but at that price, I wouldn't do anything if the car appears to be running right. One lobe maybe is hanging an exhaust valve a split second open too long/short? Heck, probably any cam with almost 80 moles will have some undetectable minor wear.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-06-04:
MRM, bought a Jeep Wrangler Sahara in November. LOVE IT!!! I'm not a VW girl.
MRM on 2009-06-04:
MsCantBeWrong, is it a four door or 2-door? Personally, I prefer a four door Wrangler.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-06-04:
It's a 2 door MRM. I like the looks of a 2 door vs a 4 door but it's just personal preference I guess.
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Horrible Car And Worse Customer Service
Posted by on
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI -- I leased a 2006 VW Passat and its been in the shop for various problems 6 times in less than 3 years... engine valve, sunroof leak, faulty wiring, engine lights and bad battery. I have contacted VW numerous times and have gotten nowhere.

I requested to be let out of my lease several times and they refuse, sometimes flat out rude about it.

DO NOT BUY A VW!!!!!!!!!
     
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saj80 on 2008-11-14:
Consumer Reports rates this vehicle as a "do not buy". I know this doesn't help you now, but hopefully other interested buyers of this vehicle will notice.
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