14th Feb 2003, 23:42

98 VW Passat V6.

Life with the Passat started out great...4 years later - it is now a complete nightmare!

This Passat has been in the shop 5 times over the past 3 months - and the 1st visit was for routine service!

Problems have included: Oxygen sensor, driver door lock sensor, trunk light, driver door noise, vibration while stopped in gear, oil leak, toxic fumes inside (from oil leak), trunk light.

However here's the latest and best one:

Much like a in a previous review on this site - I have experienced accelerator "sticking". Initially my wife complained (hysterically) of this problem and I (and the dealer) dismissed her claim as "not possible". It happened to her again, and I immediately test drove the car myself.

After backing out of a parking space and putting the transmission into drive - the engine revved to 4,000 rpm and the car took off! As I applied as much brake pressure as I could, the car still surged forward. Fortunately, I had the sense to drop the car in neutral, where the engine then surged up to as high as 5000 rpm - with my foot no-where near the gas pedal!!!

The good news? - No one was hurt.

I checked for the obvious mechanical "sticking" on the gas pedal and found nothing.

I am very upset at this stage, since this is a potentially deadly issue, and am considering legal action (in the form of negligence). If anyone has some advice - I would love to hear it.

26th Jun 2003, 12:30

I had so many problems with my 98' VW passat. Pointless to list them all. And customer service is terrible. This is my last VW.


4th Oct 2005, 14:09

I've definitely had problems with my '99 Passat, with cooling leaks and the engine revs. Little stuff as well, but minor enough that it hasn't bothered me. My cup holders are broken, my radio always switches stations every time I turn my car off. Continual squealing in my brakes. If anyone is starting a class- action lawsuit, I"m happy to join in. Too bad the car is so cute!

8th Jun 2006, 19:37

Can anyone tell me how I can file a complaint with the Volkswagon Corporate headquarters?

I've had 3 nighmare, costly experiences with a Volkswagon dealership and can't get any satisfaction on the local or state level.

I looked on the internet and found(I think) the corporate headquarters in Auburn, Michigan(?) But the site lists no departments(like customer service) or even a main switchboard number(?!)

I am desperate to vent my story, but the more I read, the more stories I hear like mine about the terrible SERVICE at these Volkswagon dealerships everywhere!

Is there any one out there who had gotten response or satisfaction in taking their dissatisfaction to the corporate level?

Any contact names or numbers would really be appreciated.

Sheila C. In Richmond, VA.

15th Aug 2006, 12:34

I have owned my 1999 Passat for almost three (3) years and have encountered numerous problems, starting around six (6) months into ownership.

At approximately sixty thousand (60k) miles, I experienced a rattling noise in the front-end suspension, which resulted in the replacement of the top control arms. I had the problem resolved through my own, reliable mechanic, who expressed to me that a problem of this nature should have been non-existent in a car with that many miles, and that this wasn't due to normal wear and tear. The cost of repair was just over $400. His opinion suggested that a recall should have been issued by VW, and to my dismay, a month later, one was.

Recently, with approximately 85k miles, I experienced an alarming decrease in power. A diagnosis, performed by the aforementioned mechanic, suggested the replacement of all the spark plugs, which cost me over $300. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was incorrect and the spark plugs were not the source of the problem.

My local VW Service Center diagnosed my car and found that a component called the Power Output, which provides the coil packs with a spark, which ultimately power the cylinders, was the actual problem. They estimate that cost at just over $600. They also discovered that my Oil Cooler Lines, and two (2) other related lines, need to be replaced. They estimate the cost of those repairs at just over $800. In other, unrelated findings, they estimate additional costs to be approximately $300.

I am not a mechanic, however, after researching 1999 Passats, it's my conclusion that this particular model is problem prone and that the issues I've experienced are atypical, especially for a seven (7) year old car with under ninety thousand (90k) miles. I do not drive my car hard or tamper with its mechanics in any way that might suggest my troubles to be normal. I understand the need to replace timing belts, brake pads, rotors and other components that experience typical wear and tear, but not the components I've had to replace.

To those contemplating the purchase of a Passat, my vote is against the 1999 model. It's possible that my problems are completely random, but they are nonetheless, disconcerting.