• Feb 2, 2011
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into Volkswagen Passat sedans and wagons built between 2001 and 2007. According to NHTSA, a total of 35 complaints have been filed regarding ignition coils that have malfunctioned, 14 of which resulted in an underhood fire.

If this sounds familiar, that's because this is the second such investigation opened by NHTSA. The first centered around models built only in 2002 and 2003; this second investigation has been opened and expanded to include all model-year 2001-2007 Passats due to additional customer complaints.

Details on the investigation from NHTSA can be found in the report after the break.

[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]
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NHTSA Action Number : EA11002 NHTSA Recall Campaign Number : N/A

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):

VOLKSWAGEN / PASSAT 2001-2007
VOLKSWAGEN / PASSAT WAGON 2006-2007

Manufacturer : VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC

Component(s) :
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING

Date Investigation Opened : January 26, 2011
Date Investigation Closed : Open

Summary:
ODI has received 14 complaints alleging that a fire started in the engine compartment of the vehicle that may be related to ignition coil failure, and 21 complaints of ignition coil failure that did not result in a fire. Reports state that the vehicle hesitated or lost power, and the check engine or dashboard lights illuminated. The vehicles were repaired by replacing the faulty ignition coil(s). Some of the complaints indicated that the ignition coils were replaced more than once. The scope of PE10-027 focused on Model Years (MY) 2002-2003 Passat vehicles and Volkswagen provided data regarding their analysis of the vehicle fires and faulty ignition coils for these vehicles. However, based on consumer complaints, ODI also requested and received data from Volkswagen regarding MY2006-2007 Passat vehicles. The failure report for this Engineering Analysis contains data for MY 2002-2003 and MY 2006-2007 vehicles. ODI needs to further investigate this issue. To facilitate the acquisition and analysis of additional information, this investigation has been upgraded to an Engineering Analysis. ODI is expanding the scope to include MY 2001-2007 Passat vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well engineered also doesn't mean well-built.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have seen one catch fire going uphill in a residential neighborhood...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course even the hallowed Honda builds cars that catch fire - no need to slam VW - http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/29/honda-recalls-646k-fits-around-the-world/ - they do seem to be the poster child for poor quality control but once you drive a 2002-2005 Passat you will probably not want to go back to your Accord or Camry lest you fall asleep at the wheel.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you're going to dig into VW's coilpack problems in this time period, you better be ready to pull a lot of long nights. I know most of them don't catch fire, but given how many failed, I'm not surprised to find out some of them failed spectacularly.
      • 3 Years Ago
      We all know how German automakers love to rail on about engineering, but at the end of the day, they're not that well built either.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You would think by now VW would get their act together and build cars that at least are as good as Hyundai. I have several friends that have owned VW cars and would not buy them again...... way to many problems
      • 3 Years Ago
      I currently own a 03 VW Passat. I havent quite had it for a year yet and I have had the ignition coils replaced FOUR times already! it's really becoming a pain! But other than that, i havent had any problems out of it. Hoping to sell it soon and updrade to an Audi A4 :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      I work on them all day long for years and I've NEVER heard of this before. 14 out of literally hundreds of thousands? Hardly a blip on the screen. Now talk about plastic water pump impellers...........
      • 3 Years Ago
      yep.... i have a 2006 passat.. burn baby burn?
      • 3 Years Ago
      14 of all passats built between 2001 and 2007 ? This must be a super low percentage....

      Won't change my opinion that the passat was a great car!