You seem to miss the entire point of having radio codes...if they were easy to crack or easy to look up on the internet...they would be worthless in deterring theft.
The fact that you're using language like "crack the radio code" and shying away from a visit to a dealer in favor of calling a bunch of them on the phone (thankfully to no avail) leads me to question the history of your "neighbor's" radio.
I've needed the radio code on a number of occasions both for my VW vehicles and Volvo's (same dealer in my case). Since I have built a solid relationship with them, they have been more than happy to help me out over the phone...so it's not like the dealerships are trying to sqeeze money out of you.
I'd pretty much guarantee that if your pal tooled on into the local VW dealership in his Passat, pulled up to the service dept and explained that while he recently was working on his vehicle with the battery disconnected--his radio reset and he does not have access to the code...that they'd help him out gratis. Now if that VIN # doesn't match his vehicle, you may have some 'splaining to do.
BTW, if it's just too painful to make the dealer trip, perhaps working with someone offshore might be more to your liking: http://www.davidsonelectronics.co.uk/radiolist.htm OR http://www.unimark.freeserve.c...s.htm where you can get your odometer fixed too. If you don't mind yanking the radio to retrieve the serial no. -- this site will hook you up for $48. http://radio-code.com/page3_1.htm Enough seedy links....Good luck.