It is no joke, to be driving around in a car that is a potential fire hazard; it is in fact every driver’s fear the dangers are just too much to contemplate.
However there is every possibility this is the case with the VW Passat, as there have been at least 19 cases of the Passat having a fault that can actually cause a fire in the engine compartment. There problem lies with the ignition coil pack, these can overheat and when something keeps overheating eventually there may be the occasion when the heat is just too intense which can then lead to a fire in the engine compartment, the instrument panel, or even possibly underneath the car, it may depend on the condition of the car, if it has oil leaks etc, then it is more likely to be dangerous.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are said to be currently looking into this situation following the 19 incidents which only affect the cars built in 2000 to 2003, but do not affect the Tdi or the W8 models.
It is early days so there is no plans to recall any cars, but giving the amount of Passats that were sold in that period, VW could be looking to fix around 350,000 cars, not the sort of thing that any car company would like to have to sort out.
Source [Auto Blog]