2001 Volkswagen Passat GLS 2.8 V6 30v from North America


Quality and reliability were a bad joke


Timing chain tensioners, twice on right side.

Recurrent oil leaks.


Rear door wouldn't open.

Trunk wouldn't close, then later wouldn't open.

Water leaking into car.

Previous owner replaced ABS module.

Left front turn signal light self ejected.

O2 sensors and flex pipes.

Rough idle and hesitation, undiagnosable.


General Comments:

Bought this as a 1 owner car, with some service history. Warranty helped, but the car was in the shop for about one third of the 388 days I owned it. Oil leak repairs lasted about 3 weeks each time. Oil leaked onto manifold and cats, causing smoke and bad odor. Oil ruined the plugs and wires. One of the leaks was near the timing belt. Replacing the belt and water pump required removal of the front bumper cover to gain access. The used dealer finally empathized and assisted with repairs. Finally, the right timing chain tensioner started to eject through the gasket, defective part sourced through Audi. Dealer bought the car back.

Other than a lack of storage and odd controls, the car was great when it worked. Very quick once it got moving, 90-100 mph with no strain at all. Good MPG, 30 on the open road. Smooth shifting 5 speed. Nice ride, seats, and handling. No rust, and the paint was still nice.

I've owned many cars. By far, the most unreliable but best performing. Required premium fuel and full synthetic oil.

Unless you have a friend in the business, a fat bank account, and other cars to drive, run the other way. Never again, VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th July, 2017

9th Jul 2017, 18:14

VW/Audi products have a long history of being unreliable crap with outrageously high maintenance cost. However, you bought this car with quite a bit of wear and tear on it already at 137,000 miles. I wouldn't expect any car to be trouble free with those kind of miles.

10th Jul 2017, 15:54

As someone has already mentioned, a lot of what you listed as faults come under wear and tear at the mileage stated.

However you are right, quality and reliability of VW products in recent years has went downhill. Also I have noticed on here most negative reviews for VW come from the USA - I believe the cars for your USA market are not built in Germany and are made elsewhere (South America I think) and standards have fallen. In the UK where I live VW have a solid reputation and generally most VW's I have had (German built) over the last 20 years have been as good as any car, so long as you look after them.

One more thing I'd mention when people talk about "quality" cars; they don't always seem to be referring to reliability. Most compliment the fit and finish and general feel of the car's interior materials, like the doors closing with a satisfying 'thunk' and so on, in comparison to something much cheaper and nasty from a lesser manufacturer where the car looks and feels cheap the second you look at it. Generally VW have an "up market" feel. Unfortunately that does not always mean it will be more reliable mechanically than any other car.

2001 Volkswagen Passat 2.8 from North America


Never again will I buy a Volkswagen car


The car is a good car, but it's so full of problems, Volkswagen, why?

At first it was a moving machine, but after I made a journey of 500 miles, I noticed the gear was not selecting properly. I managed to get it to my place, and took it to a mechanic shop for repairs, and they told me that the transmission control module had gone bad, together with the gear box and range sensor. Ever since then it's been one problem to another, and the car is still parked down in my garage.

Volkswagen, if you can come pick the car from my garage for free, I would appreciate it. What a problematic car indeed. Enough is enough with me and Volkswagen.

General Comments:

Volkswagen should do away with transmission control module and range sensor, and look for better parts to replace them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th January, 2012

16th Jan 2012, 09:59

Sometimes in life you end up with a lemon and/or a money pit. Learn from your mistake... put some lipstick on it... clean it up and sell it... hopefully to a Volkswagen mechanic. But on your next car/truck/SUV, do your homework before you buy your next car. With today's Internet, there are so many websites that have the won and lost records of most cars out there. Don't make the same mistake again.

17th Jan 2012, 15:02

I agree with the previous comment, a bit of research on the Net before buying a car, which for most people is their second biggest purchase of their lives, costs nothing, yet can save so much misery in the long run.