With its smooth ride, elegant cabin, and extensive list of safety features, the Passat remains our top choice among family sedans. Cornering is competent, with quick, nicely weighted steering and minimal body lean. The GLS model we tested handled securely and completed our double-lane-change avoidance maneuver with impressive ease.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2002 Volkswagen Passat has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
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POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
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Engine Minor
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Engine Cooling
NA
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Transmission Major
NA
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Transmission Minor
NA
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Drive System
NA
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Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
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NA
Electric System
NA
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Climate System
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Suspension
NA
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Brakes
NA
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NA
NA
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NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
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NA
NA
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Paint/Trim
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Body Integrity
NA
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Body Hardware
NA
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NA
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NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Mar 07, 2014
A failure of the timing belt may cause the engine to shut down, potentially increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Summary:
The Gates Corporation (Gates) is recalling certain aftermarket Tru-Flow Water Pumps, part number TFW 41127, sold at certain NAPA Auto Parts and/or installed by automotive service technicians after November 1, 2013 (and manufactured August 2013 through October 2013) that have a black-colored pulley/sprocket or do not have 'US9377' stamped on the water pump housing. These service replacement parts were sold for use in model year 1999-2005 Audi A4, 2000-2006 Audi TT, 1998-2005 Volkswagen Beetle, 1999-2006 Golf, 1999-2008 and 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, and 2000-2005 Volkswagen Passat. In the affected water pumps, the pulley or sprocket that turns the timing belt may develop microfractures causing the timing belt to fail.
What should you do:
Gates will notify owners, and dealers will replace the water pump, free of charge. The recall began during May 2014. Owners may contact The Gates Corporation at 1-303-744-1911.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14E007000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 50
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Apr 07, 2008
A HEAT SHIELD THAT MAY CONTACT THE EXHAUST SYSTEM CAN RESULT IN A VEHICLE FIRE. IN ADDITION, A FUEL LEAK FROM A FUEL LINE OR FUEL TANK VENTILATION VALVE, IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, CAN LEAD TO A VEHICLE FIRE.
Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING 412,000 MY 1999-2005 PASSAT (5TH GENERATION) VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS AND PRODUCED AFTER JUNE 14, 1999. THESE VEHICLES MAY HAVE AN UNDERBODY HEAT SHIELD THAT CAN BECOME DAMAGED. IN ADDITION, AFFECTED VEHICLES WITH AUTOMATIC OR MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS MAY HAVE A FUEL LINE (1.8T ENGINES ONLY) OR FUEL TANK VENTILATION VALVE (4MOTION/ALL WHEEL DRIVE ONLY) THAT CAN LEAK DUE TO FRACTURE.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL ADDITIONAL UNDERBODY HEAT SHIELDS ON VEHICLES WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS TO COVER THE POSSIBLY DAMAGED AREAS AND FLASH ALL 1.8T ENGINES WITH A PRECAUTIONARY SOFTWARE UPDATE. DEALERS WILL ALSO INSPECT AND ADJUST THE FUEL LINE ROUTING ON 1.8T VEHICLES AND THE FUEL TANK VENTILATION VALVE ON 4MOTION/ALL WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES, AND REPLACE COMPONENTS IF NECESSARY FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JUNE 13, 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
VWOA RECALL NO. 26E5/R5.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 08V156000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 412000
TIRES
Apr 22, 2003
THESE VEHICLES SHOULD HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED WITH TIRES HAVING THE LOAD RATING INDEX 97H.
Summary:
CERTAIN SEDANS AND STATION WAGONS EQUIPPED WITH 4.0L W8 ENGINES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 110, "TIRE SELECTION AND RIMS." THE AFFECTED VEHICLES ARE EQUIPPED WITH TIRES OF THE MAXIMUM LOAD RATING INDEX 93H; HOWEVER, THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED WITH TIRES WITH THE LOAD RATING INDEX 97H.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE ALL FOUR TIRES WITH THE PROPER SIZE TIRES. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN SEPTEMBER 19, 2003. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT VW AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
VOLKSWAGEN RECALL NO. WD.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V154000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 11
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Jan 25, 2002
FUEL LEAKAGE CAN OCCUR INCREASING THE RISK OF A FIRE.
Summary:
ON SOME PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE FUEL TANK FILLER NECK CAN SUFFER ABRASION DAMAGE IF THE REAR TIRE GOES FLAT AND THE VEHICLE IS DRIVEN UNTIL THE TIRE DISINTEGRATES.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL FIT PASSAT VEHICLES WITH A NEW WHEEL HOUSE LINER THAT WILL BETTER PROTECT THE CAR'S FILLER NECK. JETTA VEHICLES WILL BE FITTED WITH A DIFFERENT METAL SHIELD DESIGNED TO ENHANCE ABRASION PROTECTION IN THE EVENT OF TIRE DISINTEGRATION. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN JUNE 13, 2003. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V026000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 487284
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