Yes I've been driving with the engine light on for 6 months due to converter problems. The customer service rep keeps telling me there is " no recall ". However I know for a fact that other VW Passat's have the recall, just my enough complaints about the 2003 W8
Check engine lite throws torque converter codes. Found a German W8 site where a mechanic took it apart to see what the issues were. Found that it was not torque converter. Instead, it is the cam shaft postion sensor that feeds data to ecm. Issue is dirty oil gumming cam solenoid that moves cam in response to engine loads! Do an engine flush and change full synthetic oil every 3,000 miles.
Was informed by dealership (out of state) of a cam shaft advancement problem. Their remedy is to replace the engine. "No way...Jose"! VW knows that this is a problem, thus the reason why the engine is no longer offered in the U.S.. My mechanic back at my home shop is going the identify the real problem and correct.
I bought the car not knowing of this problem. Bring to a reliable mechanic instead of a dealership. Needed a whole new tranny. dealership said 7k. mechanic found a tranny kit with all parts for an 04 w8 auto transmission and is doing the job for 4k. research into a few mechanic shops and it will be well worth it.