2001 Volkswagen Passat from North America


My Passat is unreliable


Since I bought the car in April, I have replaced two rear door latches, the oil valve gasket cover, the electric mirror device, vacuum hoses and had numerous electrical problems. I have put $1,000 into repairs, and still my number three spark plug won't fire.

Worse yet, when I confronted the "the counselor" about an exorbitant repair estimate, he lied to me and told me that when they ordered parts, VW manufactured them just for my vehicle so they couldn't be returned. I was told it's probably the computer.

I'm so sad because I was so excited to have such a neat car, or so I thought. Now it's a money pit.

General Comments:

I will never buy a VW again.

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

Review Date: 6th July, 2010

2001 Volkswagen Passat GLS 4 cylinder turbo from North America


Don't buy a VW used


I bought my Passat new, and it was reliable for the first 6 years. However, the past couple of years have been a nightmare. It's in the shop every couple of months, and it ranges from moderate to severe problems.

The check engine light appears regularly. At first it started with a couple of vacuum hoses. Then the water pump broke, coolant had to be replaced after 10,000 miles (this was supposed to last at least 50K because it is a sealed system). Now, the timing belt wore out and the cylinder head broke.

Not to mention, my local VW dealership is very expensive and shady. Every time there is a recall, I end up spending hundreds of extra dollars because "things" (i.e., waterpump) suddenly fail while in the shop.

General Comments:

It's a beautiful car and well engineered, but the problems never end, and just seem to get worse. I just junked mine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th June, 2010

27th Jun 2010, 20:35

VW hasn't made a decent car since the original Type 1 Beetle. My VW Rabbit was crap and every owner of a watercooled VW I've ever talked to says they're junk. They can be meticulously maintained and not driven in an abusive manner, and they still break all the time. They're fun to drive, but you pay for that fun in mechanical trouble. Let's put it this way, they make GM cars look good.

16th Jan 2011, 14:47

I agree with the first post about the 2001 Passat. I had the exact same problems. I stopped going to VW dealer because they were outrageously shady.

I purchased the car new and loved it. At about 50,000 miles, it never worked. Check oil light on, burning smell, replaced radiator, water pump, whole cooling system. I replaced the timing belt twice! It is supposed to last for 110,000 miles.

The fire dept. was called to extinguish my car one night at a fancy event, because so much smoke coming from under the hood.

I spent $5,000 on maintenance in the last 2 years that I had the car. When shopping for a new car, I really wanted a Passat, but that was crazy. After I traded in the Passat for a Ford Fusion, I received a recall letter from VW stating that there was an oil leak in the engine. Also, I would replace the oil, and in less than 1 month it would be empty. Do you think that 2001 Passat was a bad year/model, or are people still having issues?

2001 Volkswagen Passat 4 cylinder turbo from North America


It's a lemon


Dealer broke 2 hub caps.

O2 sensor has been replaced twice.

Two sets of rotors and brake pads replaced.

Numerous headlamps and tail lights have been replaced.

Headlamp socket melted and had to be replaced.

All the bolts have fallen out of the oil pan shield twice, causing the shield to fall down while driving.

Brought the car home from the dealer and checked the oil, and the whole dip stick mechanism pull out.

Sudden disappearance of oil. One week oil okay, then another week later 2qts are gone, but the dealer says that happens.

Had to switch to all synthetic oil to prevent sludge.

Replaced ignition coils three times.

Have had four hub caps fall off while driving.

Engine light came on and had to have to car towed to the dealer. Had to have the engine flushed to remove sludge build up.

Car just died, and I am replacing the battery for the second time.

General Comments:

The car handles and drives great when it is not in the shop. The car has cost me more in maintenance than all the cars combined that I have owned over the last 30 years. I have owned VWs in my earlier years, and loved them, but we will never purchase another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th June, 2010

14th Jun 2010, 15:52

A lemon is the rare car that has a multitude of problems. With VW, this is designed into the vehicles. Calling them lemons would be inappropriate.

16th Jun 2010, 06:12

Passats are a bag of trouble from 2001 onwards. I had a TDI one, and every couple of months something needed replacing. In Ireland Passats are very common due to good fuel economy, good looks and comfort, but the heater rad went, then a sensor on the turbo, then the dash clocks went haywire, speedo. Then the electric window motors went, and the timing belt kit costs a fortune when it's due. When it needed the annual NCT test, everything underneath was worn, they have so many suspension bits. This car had 120 thousand miles on it and a full service history, I was very disappointed. Bring back the the good old days with good old cars, the days you could buy a car for a few hundred quid, drive it for a year, and never have to open the bonnet.