Volkswagen Passat Years to Avoid

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The Volkswagen Passat is one of the oldest legendary cars still driven to this day, thanks to its dependability and reliability. The Passat is a large family car that comes with pretty enough technologies and features as expected for each model year. The German automaker, Volkswagen, still makes the Passat legendary car up to this date.

There have been many model years of the Passat, and not all of them are really recommendable. What are the Volkswagen Passat years to avoid? Actually, the Passat years to avoid are basically the years that received a high number of complaints and a high frequency of repairs. The most notorious years include 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2013.

Volkswagen Passat: Overview

volkswagen passat years to avoid
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Volkswagen uses the Passat nameplate for a series of large sedan cars that are built as luxury rides, but they are actually not luxury cars. The Passat series have experienced lots of redesigns, facelifts, and overhauling of the drivetrain/transmission systems. VW started producing the Passat in 1973; the series is currently in its eighth generation.

Across the many years of active production, the Passat has been marketed under different brands, including Santana, Dasher, Magotan, Quantum, Corsar, and Carat. Passat is a four-door full-size car for the family and it typically comes with really powerful engines you can vouch for. All Passat models produced to date are four-door cars.

Notwithstanding, for the 2011 model, Volkswagen Passats got classified as a New Midsize Sedan (NMS). Currently, three different models of the Passat are being produced for the North American markets, Chinese markets, and other markets, respectively. But, in all these, the Volkswagen Passat has made a name for itself in the market and has a strong reputation to protect.

Volkswagen Passat Years to Avoid

These years are to be avoided because people who have owned them indicated a lot of issues you may not be comfortable dealing with. Also, these model years have more complaints on CarComplaints, RepairPal, and JD Power. Hereunder are the Volkswagen Passat model years to avoid:

  • 2002 to 2004 model years
  • 2006 model year
  • 2010 to 2014 model years

However, although these model years are considered the worst, many people still own and drive them. These Passat model years are mostly linked with engine failure problems that occur around 85,000 miles and the average cost of fixing these issues is $3,000. Hereunder are the common issues reported for these “worst” Passat years.

Why You Should Avoid These VW Passat Years

1. Engine Problems

Affected Years: 2002 to 2006 models

These indicated model years have the highest reports of engine malfunctioning and fatal failures. The most commonly reported engine problems on these models include damages due to oil sludge inside the engine, low oil pressure, ignition coil issues, and motor mount failures. These issues typically occur after hitting about 80k miles.

Engine problems are daring, apparently, no one wants to face them consistently. So, the frequency of dealing with engine faults on a Passat is one of the reasons you should avoid the specified model years. Notwithstanding, the average cost of fixing these issues is around $2,900, depending on what failed.

2. Interior Accessories Problems

Affected Years: 2002, 2003, and 2013

Quite a high number of complaints were raised for the interior accessories in 2002, 2003, and 2013 Volkswagen Passat models. It is alleged that the interior accessories used in these indicated model years are not sturdy, so they break down easily. Some of the reported issues were cruise control failure, heated seats not working, navigation unit problems, door lock problems, and more.

Most of the reported concern occurred at low mileage – before 20,000 miles- raising more concern about the materials used. The average repair cost ranges from $250 to $1,000, depending on how bad the affected components are before you went for the fix. There were interior accessories failure reports on other Passat models, but the reports were more for the models indicated above.

3. Transmission Problems

Affected Years: 2000, 2003, and 2012

After engine problems, another major problem you could face with a car is transmission failure. Quite sadly, there were high reports of transmission failure and breakdown on the 2000, 2003, and 2012 Passat models. The issues are mainly about the gears getting stuck in one position or the car jerking when changing gears.

Of course, there were fatal transmission failure reports, but not many. You’d be coughing out a whopping $6,000 or more to fix fatal Volkswagen transmission failure problems. Now, that’s a whole lot of money, and you may not be willing to spend that – these transmission issues with Passats typically occur after 50,000 miles.

4. Electrical Faults

Affected Years: 2002, 2006, 2012, and 2014

There are other years that have reports on the electrical components breaking down easily, but these specified years have higher counts. The majority of complaints were about the car’s battery and sensors refusing to start the car because they are bad, weak, or had already gone out.

Also, the power steering and windows allegedly fail repeatedly too. These issues have an average repair cost of around $2,000, depending on which one got spoilt. These electrical faults can be very annoying when they occur – you wouldn’t want to experience such annoyance repeatedly.

5. Fuel System Issues

Affected Years: 2006 and 2013

A few, but disturbing reports were made about the fuel system in 2006 and 2013 VW Passat models. Highlighted problems include fuel leaks from the delivery system, engine hesitation and jerking due to poor fuel delivery, fuel pump failure, and complete fuel system failure. You’d be spending an average of $1,000 to fix most of these fuel system issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Best Volkswagen Passat Years to Buy?

There are quite many good years of the Volkswagen Passat. While it is not advisable to go for the very old models (models made before 2000), there are many good recent models to buy. The best VW Passat model years include 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

What is The Most Common Problem With Volkswagen Passat?

Based on data collated by CarCompliants, and other reputable sites, the most common issue with Volkswagen Passat is engine components failure. Several engine components on Passats fail repeatedly after several miles, and it costs an average of $2,000 to fix any of them that fails.

Is Volkswagen Passat a Good Car?

The Volkswagen Passat has written its name into the record books of the top reliable cars in history. Although there are many reports on some model years, the Volkswagen Passat is one of the strongest large cars to own, even to this date. It is solidly built, offers so much space, and includes pretty many techs for everyday driving.

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