2003 Passat 35,000 miles major repairs

I took my Passat to 2 dealerships for annual check-up. Both have discovered major problems. Need sensor for airbags. Clock lost 2 hours over a month’s time. Starter may be going. Valve problem. Sunroof leak has caused major mold & mildow. Etc Etc–over $5,000 I bought this car new and I am the only driver. The orginal warranty was 4 yrs 50,000. Do I have a lemon or is this normal? Should I expect help from VW International?

You need to get some specific info from these guys .
The only thing in that list that you can verify is the mold/mildew . Everything else is based on their opinion .
You should look for a good independent mechanic and have your car checked .
BTW how long has this mold/mildew been a problem ?

We discovered the mold after we had been away for October when it rained like crazy. Car was outside. The dealership told us the sunroof drains should have been cleaned (but apparently were not) with the recommended mileage checkups that this car faithfully had. The check lights for the airbag and engine had come before I brought the car in. One dealership charged my $300 to inspect these issues. BTW, the car drives fine. Are the dealerships that unreliable? I owned Saab’s before which don’t have good repair reps yet I never had such problems. However, I lived close to the Saab dealership and now we live in the boonies. The closest dealership is over an hour away.

Expect nothing from VW of america but you can try.

I personally would trade it in for a little used domestic or asian car that appeals and move on.

I would have a reputable body shop look at the sunroof problem and get an opinion from them on the sunroof leak and mildew problem.

Why does the dealer think that the starter is going out? Does the car crank slowly? What is the valve problem? On some cars the valves should be adjusted periodically, but this is routine service. I would be very surprised if your car needed to have the valves ground. I would get an opinion from a good independent shop.

As far as the clock is concerned, put a piece of tape over the clock and buy a little digital clock with an adhesive back for a couple of dollars and affix it to the dashboard.

I had a 2002 with similar problems. These problems are normal for a VW. I got rid of my little gem and will no longer buy a Volkswagen.

Take your car to a crusty mechanic who runs his or her own shop with mechanics working strictly under him or her and that’s it. Show him or her the list of stuff from the dealer. Chances are he will cross out 80% of the items, and what does need to be done, will certainly not cost you $5k.