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Automatic Transmission Control Module Problems of Volkswagen Passat



Volkswagen Passat owners have reported 32 problems related to automatic transmission control module (under the power train category).

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 1999 Volkswagen Passat 1
Failure Date: 03/13/2011

Water in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, from any source (including the sunroof drains that were recalled but not effectively fixed) or snow from boots that has melted. . . Drains to the lowest point, which is where vw put the tcm (an electrical component highly sensitive to moisture) this caused the transmission to slam into limp mode at 65 mph with 2 kids in the back seat. Volkswagon is aware of the problem as are thousands of 1500$ poorer vw owners who had to replace the tcm and hope that this doesnt happen again.

See all problems of the 1999 Volkswagen Passat.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 2
Failure Date: 02/28/2011

Due to a design flaw with all Passats 1998 and up they are prone to having major failure of tcm transmission control module as in cases of heavy rain water will leak into passenger floor area and fill the tcm with water hence locking transmission into park and no longer allowing vehicle to be shifted. . .

See all problems of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 3
Failure Date: 01/08/2011

Power train lack of power when pressing the accelerator may have caused an accident, pulling out in traffic. This was due to water leak in pollen filter box (cracked) which affected the shift lock solenoid, affecting the transmission control module. 2003 Volkswagen Passat mileage of 121,000 miles. Normally garaged and maintained according to schedule. After rain, found an inch of water in rear passenger floor. Transmission non-functional, air bag warning light and other warning lights on. Dealer said the pollen filter seal was no good and that water leaked in and destroyed the transmission control unit which is located in the floor behind the passenger seat. I have read many accounts on the internet from many angry owners of similar problems where leaks from this seal have caused catastrophic repairs. The service manager at the vw dealer told me that checking the pollen filter seal is not part of any regular maintenance and that in order to check it, you'd need to disassemble quite a few things in the engine compartment. When I asked him how an owner could possibly know if the seal needed replacement and he replied "you found out how". I am clearly not alone in having experienced a failure from a part that is not in any way maintainable (the pollen filter seal) and that has caused major damage to the car. I feel this is a consumer issue and that this is a design defect in the Passat that vw should compensate owners for. There is no way for an owner to be able to avoid this situation -- it is not a matter of maintenance. It got to do with the Passat leaking water and the location of an extremely expensive component in the rear passenger floor, the area where any water that leaks migrates to. If this failure had occurred during driving, I might. I have been told to replace transmission spent another 2000$ and its not even this the problem!!!!.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 4
Failure Date: 11/16/2009

2005 Passat wagon - 38000 miles blocked drains around the sunroof caused rain water to leak into the floor boards of the car. The build-up of water caused the tcm (transmission control module) to malfunction. The (automatic) car was able to be driven only with hard shifts between gears and now will not move out of park. (undrivable). Replacement of the tcm will cost $3210. The car was a garaged car up until a few months ago. It was at the dealership for all scheduled maintenance. I was told by the dealership that the drain tubes can get clogged with "one leaf" and the next rain can cause this problem. I was advised to park in a covered area and never drive in the rain. This seems like a significant design flaw that one leaf followed by any rain can cause the tcm to fail and need replacing.

See all problems of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 5
Failure Date: 08/14/2009

2004 Volkswagen Passat: failure of transmission control module located under passenger seat in floor board due to manufacturer defect. Caused by water into vehicle after heavy rain. Volkswagen has known of this problem since 2000 and has failed to make changes. Failure of the control unit has the potential to cause a fatal accident should the transmission shift gears during highway driving or a high rate of speed.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 6
Failure Date: 11/25/2008

Every time it rains, I have an accumulation of water under both the front and rear passenger side carpets. The car smells of mold and mildew. This is a recurring problem with many years of vw's and the dealers know about it. My research indicates design problems with pollen filter. Major problem is that the transmission control module is located in the same vicinity as the puddled water. I have had transmission problems for a while although have not had to replace tcm yet. Check the web for how many people complain about this problem. I understand there is a recall for the 2002 model year. 2003 is no different. First noticed problem after warranty ran out.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 1999 Volkswagen Passat 7
Failure Date: 08/11/2008

The contact owns a 1999 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that she was unable to change gears. The contact also stated that the failure occurred once prior, and both occurrences took place during rainy weather. The first time the failure occurred, the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer, who stated that the transmission control module needed to be replaced due to water damage. Two years later, the transmission control module failed again after a storm. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 59,859 and the current mileage was 81,000.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 8
Failure Date: 02/25/2008

1. My wife was driving the car (2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS, 1. 8 l turbo), and it felt like it was having trouble shifting from first gear to subsequent gears. It was sudden, not gradual by any means - the car just started to hesitate when shifting, and the mil lamp was lit. . . This happened in heavy traffic in the detroit suburbs - not an ideal time to not be able to accelerate. 2. The transmission was replaced under my powertrain warranty (it's my opinion that this was an unnecessary replacement). Upon further investigation, it was found that there was a water leak in the vehicle, and the passenger side floorboard was filled with water, inundating the transmission control module. It turns out that this damaged the module, and effectively rendered the car is not able to be driven. 3. The transmission control module is being replaced, as well as a "seal" that caused the water intrusion (I haven't been able to get out of them which seal was replaced - this can be addressed with a follow-up).

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 9
Failure Date: 01/26/2008

My 2003 vw Passat has shown cases of transmission problems following a recent rain storm. The rear passenger footwell collected water and the car would not shift normally. The car would not upshift and slammed into gear from park. I'm now unable to get the car out of neutral and can't remove the key.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 10
Failure Date: 10/14/2007

The tcm (transmission control module) failed due to a leak,that is a common problem ,I now find out $1300. 00 later on this 2004 glx Passat. After searching for 4 months for a tcm I learn that this is an on going problem 2001-2004, that vw hasn't addressed ,but is aware of due to the configuration of a drainage system that causes water to enter the passenger floor board and fry this tcm . Which could result in an injury or further damage to the vehicle,due to transmission shifting suddenly and unexpectedly into 3rd gear.


 
car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2002 Volkswagen Passat 11
Failure Date: 09/11/2007

2002 Passat began thumping and lurching while in motion and while idling. Check engine light came on. Acceleration was abnormally slow. Three inches of standing water appeared in right rear footwell. Dealer informed me acceleration problem was due to water in tcm. Tcm short circuited and then powertrain dropped. Water damage was due to leaking pollen filter seal, which was subject to p9 recall. Car was past warranty on time, but not miles. They fixed pollen filter seal and told me they couldn't do anything about the $4,000-$5000 damage from the leaking water. The car is not safe to drive. My car is parked outside. We had several rainy days in the week before the problem. The service manager suggested I must have left the window open. I contacted vw corp and they suggested I take it to a dealer for repair at my own expense.

See all problems of the 2002 Volkswagen Passat.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 12
Failure Date: 08/15/2007

Transmission on car "shudders" when accelerating between 50 mph and 75 mph creating unsafe distraction and performance liability.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 13
Failure Date: 06/27/2007

2003 vw Passat with a sudden downshift in the transmission. Customer states the problem occurred through a leak in the sunroof. Dealer also stated he would have to pay for the repairs, because it wouldn't be covered under warranty. The dealer stated that a clogged sunroof drain had caused water to overflow down the passenger front windshield. A pillar causing corrosion in the transmission control module harness which was located at the passenger side footwell. The dealer stated the leak was considered an outside influence and that's why it wasn't covered under warranty. The consumer approved the repairs, however as he was pulling out of the dealers lot, the same problem happened. The consumer called the consumer and informed him, this time the problem was a faulty transmission control module and that the repair was covered under warranty. The consumer believed the problem may have been with the tcm the entire time.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 14
Failure Date: 04/05/2007

While backing up out of the driveway the car lurched into reverse and then would not shift out of 1st gear causing drastically slow speeds while driving the car. Any speed above 15 mph would redline the tac and the engine. The vw dealership determined it was a bad computer control module that needed to be replaced.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2000 Volkswagen Passat 15
Failure Date: 03/13/2007

1) rain water entered the vehicle , 2000 Passat, 6cylinder, auto matic transmission and pooled approximately 2-3 inches) in the rear passenger side of the vehicle. Source of leak was unknown. All windows and doors were closed. 2) this led to the transmission control unit, which is housed under the passenger side, to become wet and malfunction. The transmission then began shifting up, and down erratically, while driving. 3) the dealership claimed this was not covered under the transmission warranty. The transmission control unit had to be replaced at a cost of $1351 dollars for the part and $250 for labor. Research on the web indicates that this is a common problem with vw's and is likely due to a design flaw which causes water to drain into the interior of the vehicle when certain drain holes become clogged.

See all problems of the 2000 Volkswagen Passat.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 16
Failure Date: 11/17/2006

I've spent over $8000 towards vw dealership attempts at fixing the horn, radio, homelink, climate control (a/c and heat) rear passenger side window, heated seats, dashboard panel lights, and defroster flap. Vw replaced abs and brake light module, but only fixed the horn. Vw stated they are not responsible even after I paid for them to fix the above problems and they are still unable to determine the cause of the problems. I request reimbursement from Volkswagen for the repair attempts and related expenses. Current vehicle mileage: 127,000.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 17
Failure Date: 07/06/2006

1. Heavy rain storms 2. Water entered the car via either the pollen filter or backed up from the battery well. This water caused the transmission control module (tcm) to fail. 3. I paid for the pollen filter to be replaced, the tcm to be replaced, the cowl drain holes to be cleared, and the water to be removed.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 18
Failure Date: 03/08/2006

This is a 2003 vw Passat with 27,000 miles. It is kept outside in northern California. There have been rains here recently, expected this time of year. The rear footwell was found to have water in it recently. Neither the sunroof nor windows had been left open. Although the vehicle has been maintained by vw dealers according to schedule, the bottom of the sunroof drain tube was clogged, backing water up. The resulting damage included carpet, dampened transmission control unit, wiring harness and a safety relay amounting to over $3,000 to repair. The dealer is replacing the damaged parts and unclogging the drain tube. There is no guarantee that this will fix the problem permanently. The transmission control module had an internal short.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 19
Failure Date: 01/01/2006

I am investigating and gathering incident information about the flooding problems that Volkswagens, especially the Passat, exhibit from model years 1998 to the present. There is a chance of a class action suit for which this information is being gathered. If interested, please respond to doctor. Vinnie@gmail. Com for more information.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 1999 Volkswagen Passat 20
Failure Date: 12/16/2005

Purchased a 99 vw Passat wagon from a virginia dealer in Nov 2004 mileage 47. 5k . The transmission control unit/module has now completely failed. This expensive ($1300) circuit board is located under the front passenger seat. It is in a non-draining well in the floor pan under the carpeting and padding. It is in no way sealed or waterproofed to prevent corrosion from condensation or failure from water buildup in the area. Normal use in inclement weather allows drops of water to accumulate in this area . Once the water gets to the area where the tcu is located it remains there. Whatever evaporation that does occur just increases the humidity around the tcu, it then condenses on the cold metal floor pan or the tcu and drains back into the well the tcu is in. Since it is under the carpet and the padding one cannot see or easily detect that water or even just a dampness exists here. The tcu corrodes until it fails, when it fails the vehicle is undriveable and must then be towed to a vw dealer. There is no diagnostic data available that would allow a regular garage to repair it. Even gc Volkswagen requested 3 hrs of diagnostic time. Their final charge was 3. 5 hrs to identify the problem and replace the tcu. A 12 month/12000 mile warranty was given except for failure due to outside influence. As I understand it this means any use of the vehicle outside of a temperature and humidity controlled enclosure. I was assured that it will fail again and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. By the time one discovers water in the area the damage is already done. Vw will not reimburse me for the repairs or issue a solution to prevent further damage to the tcu. This is a design flaw and should be recalled as it effects every 1. 8t w/ tiptronic auto transmission. Vw is endangering peoples lives and costing people thousands of dollars due to the poor placement of this component. Outside influence is a scam to deny payment. I would not buy a car I couldn't drive outside- would you?.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat 21
Failure Date: 12/05/2005

Car had trouble starting, electrical problems, lurching while driving and ultimately transmission and air bag failure.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2001 Volkswagen Passat 22
Failure Date: 12/03/2005

2001 Volkswagen Passat low mileage of 21,000 miles. Normally garaged and maintained according to schedule. After rain, found an inch of water in rear passenger floor. Transmission non-functional, air bag warning light and other warning lights on. Dealer said the pollen filter seal was no good and that water leaked in and destroyed the transmission control unit which is located in the floor behind the passenger seat. Cost of repair in excess of $3,100. Vw refuses to compensate in any way because warranty was only for two years. Transmission and power train are covered for 5 years, but vw says the failure was due to "outside influence". I have read many accounts on the internet from many angry owners of similar problems where leaks from this seal have caused catastrophic repairs. The service manager at the vw dealer told me that checking the pollen filter seal is not part of any regular maintenance and that in order to check it, you'd need to disassemble quite a few things in the engine compartment. When I asked him how an owner could possibly know if the seal needed replacement and he replied "you found out how". I am clearly not alone in having experienced a failure from a part that is not in any way maintainable (the pollen filter seal) and that has caused major damage to the car. I feel this is a consumer issue and that this is a design defect in the Passat that vw should compensate owners for. There is no way for an owner to be able to avoid this situation -- it is not a matter of maintenance. It got to do with the Passat leaking water and the location of an extremely expensive component in the rear passenger floor, the area where any water that leaks migrates to. If this failure had occurred during driving, I might have had an accident.

See all problems of the 2001 Volkswagen Passat.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2001 Volkswagen Passat 23
Failure Date: 08/09/2005

Lack of power when pressing the accelerator may have caused an accident, pulling out in traffic. This was due to water leak in pollen filter box (cracked) which affected the shift lock solenoid, affecting the transmission control module.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 24
Failure Date: 12/01/2004

Water coming into front passenger seat resulting in damages to the tcm (transmission control module), wet carpeting, and rust under the passenger seat. The transmission module failure resulted in vehicle not able to shift into higher gear, and delay acceleration. The tcm and carpeting was replaced.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 1999 Volkswagen Passat 25
Failure Date: 10/18/2004

Clunking noises heard when transmission is in gear and moving forward-not heard in reverse. Car would not go into any forward gears, it would only shift in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined that the transmission control module had been damaged beyond repaire. The unit sits beneath the passenger seat of the vehicle and was completely submerged in water due to the failure of the sunroof drains which caused rain water to collect and pool inside of the vehicle.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 26
Failure Date: 05/27/2004

When slowing to a stop transmission/drive train occasionally will demonstrate a jarring and potentially dangerous "clunk" as if the trandmission is dropping out of the car. The car also lurches forward slightly. We have read that some dealers tell their customers the problem is due to a faulty transmission control module. Our dealer, russel vw in catonsville MD said they could do nothing, denying ever hearing about the problem. We contacted vw-USA and they said they had no knowledge of such a problem. This is clearly untrue!!! there are complaints of this problem all over the internet. Vw is setting itself up for tremendous liability issues should injuries occur because of this problem.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 27
Failure Date: 04/05/2004

There is a problem with the transmission. The car shifts sharply in lower gears causing severe jerking of the vehicle at times. Dealer "rebooted" the control module but no change. The mechanic at the dealership let it slip that they were aware of this problem and that there is no solution at this time. I can't believe they sold the car knowing of this problem. I contacted vw and complained to the dealership. I was offered 2 months of free loan payments by vw. I recently received a call from the dealership saying that the software problem has been fixed. I am taking car in this week.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 28
Failure Date: 03/03/2004

Vehicle transmission lurches forward when slowing to a stop. Vehicle purchased on 12/9/03. Problem occurred on 3/3/04. Dealer replaced the transmission control module. Problem has reoccurred on 5/20/04. Dealer states they are aware of the problem and are awaiting "software update" from Volkswagen. They have no anticipated date from Volkswagen on the correction.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 29
Failure Date: 02/02/2004

Automatic transmission lurched on downshift when coming to a stop. Dealer replaced the transmission control module. . . Problem has not yet been duplicated again, but it has only been a day.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 30
Failure Date: 01/01/2004

Purchased 12/03. Within 2 weeks began to shift abnormally slamming in/out of 1-2nd gears. Drove technicians 3 times before they would admit something wrong. Unplugged transmission module - no fix, replaced module - no fix, then admitted they have software programming problem and engineers are working on it - no fix right now. Has been 6 mos of poor shifting, now likely transmission damaged, still no fix available.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2001 Volkswagen Passat 31
Failure Date: 09/03/2001

I purchased a 2001 vw Passat on August 21,2001 from patrick motors in auburn, mass. In the 5 weeks I have owed the car it has had been returned to the dealership 4 times ( 2 x towed) for the same related problem. Malfunction light has gone on each of those times. Car has driven in low gear and there is a problem with hesitation of the vehicle when you press on the gas. The transmission control module has been replaced as well as frayed wires repaired that came from the manufacturer. The car has be undriveable per the dealership during these times. I have safety concerns with the type of commute I do every day to work. I drive 50 mins one way down rt 2, 495 and rt 3. I have been in the position of concern if my car will make it home, to work, will I cause an accident with the cars continued problem with the hesitation when stepping on the gas. To me this has created a safety issue. Further info can be provided with more detailed information as well as copies of service repair order. Thank you.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2004 Volkswagen Passat 32

When coming to a complete stop or while cruising, the vehicle lurches forward. The dealer recalibrated the computer chip in the accelerator pedal and also replaced the transmission control module. After the repairs, the problem continued. The transmission made a clunk noise, malfunctioned in heavy traffic/highway, and a hard shift was present at times.


Other Common Power Train related problems of Volkswagen Passat