Auto Recalls for Consumers

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT - 2004 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT Problems & Complaints

 
Auto Recalls For Consumers
by VOLKSWAGEN

There are 244 complaints filed for the 2004 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT

Below is a list of complaints & problems filed against the 2004 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT. These problems includes information received by NHTSA from consumers either directly or as recorded by the Vehicle Safety Hotline. This information may be used by NHTSA during the investigation process. If you like to file an official complaint for the 2004 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT, you can do so by calling the NHTSA Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm at 888-327-4236, TTY: 800-424-9153. You can also file your complaint online by clicking here. Your complaint will be added to the NHTSA complaints database after a thorough review. If a trend is discovered, an investigation will be opened by the ODI.

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View other component problems for this vehicle or view all problems
Air Bags (7) Engine And Engine Cooling (60) Fuel System Other (4) Seats (30) Structure (15)
Child Seat (1) Equipment (3) Interior Lighting (3) Service Brakes (1) Suspension (2)
Communications (1) Exterior Lighting (15) Latches Locks Linkages (1) Service Brakes Air (1) Tires (6)
Electrical System (22) Fuel Propulsion System (10) Other (1) Service Brakes Electric (1) Unknown Or Other (2)
Electronic Stability Control (2) Fuel System Diesel (4) Power Train (38) Service Brakes Hydraulic (13) Vehicle Speed Control (6)
Engine (10) Fuel System Gasoline (26) Seat Belts (1) Steering (2) Visibility (13)

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ComplaintDescription

SEATS: FRONT ASSEMBLY: SEAT HEATER/COOLER

5/5/2009 - STAATFBURG, NY
TL CONTACT OWNS A 2004 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT. WHILE DRIVING FOR TWO MINUTES WITH THE SEAT HEATER ACTIVATED, THE DRIVER'S SEAT CAUGHT FIRE. THE CONTACT SUSTAINED MODERATE INJURIES. PRIOR TO THE FAILURE, THE VEHICLE WAS REPAIRED ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER'S RECALL FOR THE SEATS: HEATING SYSTEM. SHE CALLED THE DEALER AND IS IN THE PROCESS OF HAVING THE VEHICLE REPAIRED. THE NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID NUMBER WAS UNKNOWN. THE FAILURE AND CURRENT MILEAGES WERE 55,000. UPDATED 5/26/09 UPDATED 05/28/09.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING: ENGINE

4/29/2009 - LEHIGHTON, PA
I PURCHASED A USED 2004 VW PASSAT WITH 34K MILES IN SEPTEMBER 2007. THE CAR WAS RUNNING FILE AND HAS BEEN KEPT CURRENT WITH OIL CHANGES. ON APRIL 3, 2009, MY FIANCE WAS DRIVING US HOME FROM WORK AND A LOUD KNOCKING NOISE STARTED AND A MESSAGE DISPLAYED SAYING STOP! OIL PRESSURE LOW. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. WE WERE STILL FAR FROM HOME SO WE PULLED OVER AND TOOK A LOOK UNDER THE HOOD. THE OIL WAS LOW FOR SOME REASON, ALTHOUGH IT WAS RECENTLY CHANGED, SO WE PURCHASED A QUART TO GET US HOME. WE CONTINUED TO DRIVE HOME AND STARTING LOSING POWER AS THIS KNOCKING NOISE CONTINUED. WE DID MAKE IT HOME. THE CAR WAS TOWED FROM OUR HOME TO A VW DEALER THE NEXT DAY. WE WERE TOLD THAT THE CRANK SHAFT WAS DAMAGED DUE TO OIL SLUDGE BUILD-UP IN THE ENGINE. BASICALLY, THE ENGINE WAS SHOT AND I NEEDED A NEW ONE, WHICH WOULD COST ABOUT $4K WITH ABOUT $2K IN LABOR. THE CAR ONLY HAS 55K MILES ON IT - HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? WE THEN WENT ONLINE AND CONDUCTED A SEARCH. WE FOUND THAT THIS IS A WELL-KNOWN PROBLEM WITH 1.8 T ENGINES BETWEEN 2003-2005. I WAS MORTIFIED. I WAS NEVER GIVEN ANY INFORMATION FROM VW ABOUT THIS ISSUE, ALTHOUGH THE CAR WAS PURCHASED USED. THE DEALER TOLD US THAT VW EXTENDED THE POWERTRAIN WARRANTY FOR TO 8 YRS DUE TO THIS ISSUE BUT WE MUST PROVIDE OIL CHANGE RECEIPTS. WE HAD NONE, BECAUSE NOT ONLY DID WE NOT HAVE ONES FROM THE PREVIOUS OWNER, BUT MY FIANCE CHANGES MY OIL AND ALTHOUGH HE USED THE REQUIRED SYNTHETIC OIL, THE DEALER TOLD US THAT THERE ARE "APPROVED BRANDS" THAT MUST BE USED. WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THIS INFO BECAUSE THE OWNER MANUAL ONLY SAYS USE 5W40 OR IF NOT AVAILABLE, USE 5W30 OIL. SO, WE ARE LEFT WITH NOTHING. IT CAN COST ANYWHERE BETWEEN $4-8K TO FIX. THE COST TO GET A NEW OR USED ENGINE PLUS LABOR IS RIDICULOUS. I'M DRIVING MY OLD HONDA THAT HAS 231K MILES WHILE MY VW SITS AT THE SHOP WAITING TO BE FIXED. I FEAR THE BILL. I PLANNED TO PURCHASE A NEW VW IN A COUPLE YEARS, BUT NOW I WILL NEVER BUY A VW AGAIN AND WILL MAKE SURE MY STORY IS HEARD!!

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING

3/27/2009 - GAITHERSBURG, MD
I OWN A 2004 VW PASSAT TDI (DIESEL) WITH 64, 500 MILES ON IT. I DID NOT HAVE A FAILURE BUT I WAS SO CONCERNED ABOUT IT, THAT I HAD IT PRE- FIXED. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE BALANCE SHAFTS IN THIS ENGINE ARE DRIVEN BY A CHAIN OFF THE MOTOR WHICH ALSO DRIVES THE OLL PUMP. THIS UNFORTUNATE DESIGN SUBJECTS THE CHAIN TO STRESSES IT CAN'T WITHSTAND. ON VARIOUS TDI FORUMS, ESPECIALLY TDICLUB.COM, THERE HAVE BEEN A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF CHAIN FAILURES REPORTED. WHEN THE CHAIN DRIVING THE OIL PUMP FAILS,THE ENGINE IS STARVED OF ESSENTIAL LUBRICATION AND IF IT FAILS IT CAN CAUSE CATASTROPHIC ENGINE DAMAGE AND THE ENGINE COULD SEIZE UP WHICH WOULD BE LIFE-THREATENING. RECENTLY, VW IN EUROPE RECOGNIZED THE PROBLEM AND DESIGNED A REPAIR, WHICH CHANGES THE CHAIN DRIVEN OIL PUMP TO A GEAR DRIVEN OIL PUMP. THIS APPEARS TO BE A PERMANENT FIX TO THE ORIGINAL DESIGN DEFECT. SINCE, UNLIKE VW OF AMERICA, I AM UNWILLING TO PUT MY AND MY CHILD'S LIFE AT RISK, I RECENTLY PAID ALMOST $3000 TO HAVE THE BALANCE SHAFT MODULE REPLACED WITH THE GEAR DRIVEN ONE. MOST OF THE PEOPLE HAVING THIS PROBLEM ARE EXPERIENCING IT AFTER THE CAR IS OUT OF WARRANTY AND VW DONE NOTHING TO NOTIFY THE NEARLY 12, 000 OWNERS OF THESE VEHICLES. MOST OF THE PEOPLE DRIVING THESE VEHICLES HAVE NO IDEA THAT THEIR CAR IS A POTENTIAL TIME BOMB. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF IF, BUT WHEN, BECAUSE OF THE POOR DESIGN, THEY ALL WILL FAIL. I WAS FORTUNATE THAT THE PARTS WERE AVAILABLE; THERE HAS BEEN A SHORTAGE AND PEOPLE HAVE HAD TO WAIT SEVERAL WEEKS JUST FOR THE PARTS TO COME IN. IF THE PART FAILS AND DESTROYS THE ENGINE, THE COST FOR THAT REPAIR IS $8-10,000. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BY VW OF AMERICA AND WE NEED YOUR HELP. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. THE MECHANIC INFORMED THE CONSUMER THE MODULE AND CHAIN DRIVE HAD NOT FAILED, BUT THEY WERE SHOWING SIGNS OF FATIGUE. UPDATED 04/15/09.

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VISIBILITY: WINDSHIELD

3/13/2009 - BROOKLYN, NY
IN APRIL 2008 MY 2004 VW PASSAT SPONTANEOUSLY DEVELOPED A CRACK, GRADUALLY LENGTHENING, IN THE WINDSHIELD. I REPLACED IT WITH AN ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT WINDSHIELD, AND NOW, IN MARCH 2009, THE WINDSHIELD HAS AGAIN SPONTANEOUSLY DEVELOPED A LENGTHENING CRACK. IN NEITHER CASE WAS THERE ANY CHIP OR "DING" OR ANYTHING SUGGESTING ANY IMPACT OF ANYTHING INTO THE WINDSHIELD.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING

3/5/2009 - NASHVILLE, TN
A POTENTIAL ISSUE HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT SOME ENGINE PARTS RELATED TO THE BALANCE SHAFT ASSEMBLY AND THE ENGINE OIL PUMP SYSTEM DRIVE CAN FAIL AS EARLY AS 45,000 MILES. AND IF THE FAILURE OF SAID COMPONENTS DO FAIL, SEVERE ENGINE DAMAGE CAN EASILY OCCUR FORCING THE DRIVER, AT MINIMUM, TO PAY AN UNREASONABLE AND VERY COSTLY SERVICE BILL. IF A DRIVER EXPERIENCES A SUDDEN LOSS OF POWER FROM THE ENGINE DURING A TYPICAL HIGHWAY PASS OR MERGING ON A ROADWAY, THE COST WOULD BE UNFATHOMABLE PERTAINING TO THE LOSS OF LIFE, FAR SURPASSING THE COST OF A NEW ENGINE AND THE LABOR TO INSTALL THE ENGINE. VOLKSWAGEN HAS COME UP WITH A FIX BY CHANGING THE CHAIN TO A GEAR. THEY HAVE NOT ACKNOWLEDGED THIS PROBLEM AS YET, EVEN WITH MANY OF THESE VEHICLES HAVING FAILED. IT IS JUST A MATTER OF WHEN NOT IF THIS WILL HAPPEN TO EVERY 2004 PASSAT WITH THE BHW ENGINES. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT STEPS VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA IS TAKING TO INFORM 2004 AND 2005 PASSAT TDI OWNERS OF THIS PROBLEM. GOOD CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP WOULD DICTATE A PROBLEM OF THIS SEVERITY SHOULD BE COMMUNICATED TO THE OWNERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THESE ENGINE FAILURES COULD LEAVE MOTORISTS STRANDED UNDER DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING

3/2/2009 - CHESAPEAKE, VA
WHILE UNDER WARRANTY COMPLAINED TO DEALER OF NOISE FROM ENGINE AREA. DEALER COULD NOT DETERMINE WHERE NOISE WAS COMING FROM BUT SAID NOT TO WORRY PROBLEM WAS NOTED AND WOULD BE COVERED IF/WHEN SOMETHING FAILED. OUT OF WARRANTY NOW, DEALER STATES POWER STEERING PUMP NEEDS REPLACING, NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY. HAD THE POWER STEERING PUMP REPLACED, NOT BY DEALER BUT SEVERE WINE REMAINS. WAS TOLD IT IS PROBABLY AC PUMP. HAD BELT TENSIONER REPLACED ALSO WITH NO RESOLVE. NOISE IS A LOUD WINE, CONSTANT VARIES SLIGHTLY WHEN AC IS ON. HAVE HEARD SEVERAL OTHER PASSATS WITH SAME NOISE. NO FAILURE HAS OCCURRED AS OF YET.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING: ENGINE

3/1/2009 - RIEGELWOOD, NC
THE BALANCE SHAFT CHAIN DRIVE IN THE BOTTOM END OF OUR 2004 PASSAT TDI HAS STARTED TO MAKE NOISE. THEY WILL ALL FAIL. I AM A CAR ENTHUSIAST AND FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND THROUGH THE PAINS OF MANY THAT HAVE ALREADY REPLACED THEIR FAILED OR FAILING CHAIN DRIVEN BALANCE ASSEMBLY, MANY BREAK APART COMPLETELY, AND CAUSE THE OIL PUMP TO QUIT TURNING AND THE ENGINE TO LOCK UP SUDDENLY. VW HAS COME UP WITH A FIX FOR THIS, TO RETROFIT A GEAR DRIVEN UNIT, BUT AS OF YET HAS NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED THIS VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT MORE TIMES THAN NOT MANIFESTS ITSELF IN THE 60 TO 80K MILE RANGE. THE COST TO REPAIR PROACTIVE IS ABOUT $2500, BUT IF THE ENGINE IS DAMAGED, THE COST IS ABOUT $9000. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE, AND CAN CAUSE THE ENGINE TO SUDDENLY SEIZE WHILE UNDERWAY! CURRENTLY THERE IS NOT EVEN A WARNING OF ANY KIND FROM VW TO OWNERS OF THESE VEHICLES TO BE AWARE OF THIS ISSUE. IF NOT FOR AN INTERNET FORUM, FRED'S TDI CLUB.COM, I LIKE MANY OTHERS WHO STILL ARE, WOULD BE COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THIS SERIOUS AND POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC FAILURE.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING: ENGINE

2/26/2009 - BUCYRUS, KS
THE CHAIN ON THE OIL PUMP, BALANCE SHAFT ASSEMBLY FAILED AT 96,000 MILES. IT WAS DETECTED BY A MECHANIC BEFORE THE ENGINE SEIZED. THE ENTIRE OIL PUMP AND BALANCE SHAFT ASSEMBLY WAS REPLACED. HAD THE PROBLEM NOT BEEN DETECTED, AND THE CHAIN BROKE, THE ENGINE WOULD HAVE BEEN STARVED OF LUBRICATION AND FAILED. THIS IS THE DIESEL PASSAT WITH THE BHW ENGINE.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING

2/25/2009 - GREENLAWN, NY
THE BALANCE SHAFT ASSEMBLY AND THE ENGINE OIL PUMP SYSTEM DRIVE WILL FAIL. FAILURE OF BALANCE SHAFT ASSEMBLY AND THE ENGINE OIL PUMP SYSTEM DRIVE CAN LEAD TO CATASTROPHIC ENGINE FAILURE WITH LOSS OF OIL PRESSURE, BROKEN OIL PAN, BROKEN FRONT ENGINE SEAL FLANGE, AND DAMAGED CRANKSHAFT. THIS CAN RESULT IN DAMAGE TO THE EXTENT THAT THE ENGINE MUST BE REPLACED. IF THIS OCCURS WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN TRAFFIC, IT CAN LEAD TO A COLLISION WITH INJURIES OR DEATHS.

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ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING: ENGINE

2/24/2009 - UNION, MO
THE BALANCE SHAFT CHAIN DRIVE IN THE BOTTOM END OF OUR 2004 PASSAT STARTED TO MAKE NOISE. THEY WILL ALL FAIL. I AM A MECHANIC SPECIALIZING IN THESE CARS, AND HAVE CURRENTLY HAD TO REPAIR 27 OF THESE, INCLUDING MY OWN. MANY BREAK APART COMPLETELY, AND CAUSE THE OIL PUMP TO QUIT TURNING AND THE ENGINE TO LOCK UP SUDDENLY. I HAVE ONE SUCH CAR HERE RIGHT NOW. VW HAS COME UP WITH A FIX FOR THIS, TO RETROFIT A GEAR DRIVEN UNIT, BUT AS OF YET HAS NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED THIS VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT MORE TIMES THAN NOT MANIFESTS ITSELF IN THE 60 TO 80K MILE RANGE. THE COST TO REPAIR PROACTIVELY IS ABOUT $2500, BUT OF THE ENGINE IS DAMAGED, THE COST IS ABOUT $9000. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE, AND CAN CAUSE THE ENGINE TO SUDDENLY SEIZE WHILE UNDERWAY!

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