A leak in the windshield seal allowed water to seep into the electrical system, causing some dashboard lights to flicker on and off, at will.
The locks freeze easily. You're often able to open the door, then unable to close it because the latch freezes.
A short-circuit appears to have occurred in one of the heated seats. The seat starts to smoke when I turn on the seat heater, and it almost caught fire -- I notice smoke and a brown burn mark on the back of the seat. So now I don't dare use the heated seats.
A passenger door handles is sticky. Had it replaced using a Volkswagen part by a licensed mechanic who specializes in Volks. The thing still sticks.
The AC is toast. It doesn't cool at all. Had it tested for leaks last summer. None were found, so the freon was topped up. This got the system going, but it still wasn't cool enough for my liking -- would have expected better for a near-luxury car described as a Poor Man's Audi.
When the AC did work, the car lost power. This car typically roars up steep hills at 75 MPH -- set the cruise control and it holds its speed well on any incline. However, when you turn the AC on, the car lost all power on hills. I would set the cruise to 75 MPH and the vehicle would struggle to stay at 60 MPH.
The windshield heater isn't very powerful -- certainly not powerful enough to burn off the icy condensation that we get in a Canadian winter.
The rear defogger also isn't very powerful. It takes a long time to burn off fog and ice. Before buying the Passat, I owned a Nissan Sentra Classic, the cheapest car Nissan sells. It had a better windshield heater and better rear defogger than the Passat.
The clamps and mechanisms that hold the windows on the driver and front passenger doors have both rusted out and have had to be replaced in the past year.