ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA -- I have owned VWs for 26 years. I always had great luck, and thoroughly enjoyed driving them. When I took a job that required a long commute, I decided to buy a diesel for the mileage and longevity of the engines. I had the dealer (New Motors, in Erie, PA) perform the maintenance for the 1st 2 years, but still had to have the turbo replaced at 18K miles (warranty), and the MAF sensor replaced 3 times (twice under warranty). I then began having the maintenance performed at a local shop (dealer was 1.5 hours away) that only works on VWs (and has for 40 years). I also changed my own oil a few times (only using VW approved oil).
At 97225 miles, the turbo failed again (10 year/100K mile warranty on this). I towed the car to the dealer (quite expensive - $$$$) who informed me that there would be a $90 charge to use the diagnostic system. I said that I didn't think I should be charged for this if it fell under warranty. He disagreed. I called VW customer service, who sided with me.
Strangely enough, the dealer called me 2 hours later to inform me that I had to produce every receipt for every quart of oil and filter ever used, to show that proper maintenance was performed. I faxed him my maintenance log, showing all changes, who did them, the date and mileage performed. He said my records were inadequate, and my warranty was voided. I called VW of America (customer service) and they opened a case. I faxed them the log, along with receipts for everything ever done, with absolutely nothing missing. (The dealer had voided my warranty before he saw my receipts).
VWOA called me back and said that the dealer denied my warranty, saying the receipts were not adequate. I called the dealer, who told me he DID NOT say that. He said the receipts were adequate, and that he only denied warranty until he saw receipts (this was VWOA lie #1). I called VWOA back and told them the dealer agreed with me. However, even though he was satisfied with them, he couldn't service my car because VWOA had voided the warranty in the database. They said they would re-investigate. They called me back to tell me that my receipts did not specify the proper motor oil (only 3 or 4 permissible oils for TDIs).
When they gave me an example by reading me one of my receipts from my mechanic, they were "embarrassed" to find that the receipts did indeed specify the brand, and it was one of the approved oils (VWOA lie #2). Again they said they would call me back. Next call, I was told that it was the area rep who had reviewed my records and found that I showed an oil change within 200 miles of the previous change, and that was suspicious, so they voided my warranty for that.
I asked for them to show me where that change was in any records, but they didn't know. I have reviewed my records (I have copies of anything ever sent to them), and have had several people (including a service manager for another car brand), and no one can see where this happened (because it didn't!!!!) (VWOA lie #3). The one who determined that was not allowed ANY customer contact, meaning I cannot talk to him, and he cannot talk to me. It seems that they were tired of being caught in lies, so they decided to blame someone I could not contact.
The only "good" thing about this is that I can proudly state that I have personally prevented 2 people from buying VWs (my uncle actually had the money in his hand for a new Toureg that he intended to purchase the same week I talked to him. He now owns a brand new Toyota Sequoia). Including aunts & uncles, my family has owned 14 VWs since 1976, including 3 currently. None of us will ever own a VW again. I will make sure everyone I know hears about my experience with VW.
I know I will cost them many times more than the $1K they cost me. From my searches on the internet, I know I am not alone (search for problems with VW engines, brakes, paint, turbos, electrical, transmissions, brake lights & switches, MAF sensors, airbags, etc). I only wish my loyalty hadn't kept me from doing a better job of researching VW problems. I am partially to blame for my problems, because God knows, there was plenty of information showing their complete disregard for customers.
I just want to let people who might be considering the purchase of a Volkswagen Jetta what they can expect. I have more things go wrong with this car than the last 10 cars I have owned. I live 6 hours from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan a Volkswagen dealer, 8 hours from Winnipeg, Manitoba and the dealership where I purchased this car. I guess my first warning should have clicked in when I ordered my car through a dealership in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I ordered my car in July of 2008, at this time I was told not to expect delivery until mid-December. This at the time was acceptable so I made a deposit and got ready to wait. Well the December date came and went, the dealer always had a real good justification for the delay. Well mid-January 2009 comes and still no car, still really good with the excuses though. So I started phoning around the country and looking on the internet, and lo and behold I find several cars sitting on lots - same features as mine only different colours.
Soon February comes, still no vehicle, and now I am getting impatient as we had plans for this car. Now I was able to arrange purchase of my present car, 2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, from another dealer in Winnipeg, Manitoba for less money than the car I had ordered, and the original dealer did return my deposit. Like I said, this is when I should have started running and never looked back.
The very first incident came when I happened to pull too far ahead to a parking curb and cracked the front air dam below the front bumper. I phoned up the body shop of the dealership from whom I had purchased the car. I thought they could run the vehicle identification number or look in their records obtain the colour code of the car, order me the part, paint it, have ready, and install it when I got into town. I was willing to pay for the part in advance, just so I would not have to make a second 8 hour drive to have the part installed.
I got a flat no from the women at the appointment desk; they would not even consider working with me on the issue, just a flat no, without any consideration for circumstances whatsoever. I assumed since I had purchased the car from them, I could be afforded a little leeway, but once the car was purchased all bets are off; they treat you like you live next door to the dealership. I am getting so extremely tired of hear the standard line "this Volkswagen's policy".
Before the purchase of the car, when I went into the showroom, every salesperson who walked by stopped to talk. After I purchased the car, I sat in the showroom waiting room for at least 2 hours one day waiting on the service department, not one salesman even said good morning - not even the one who sold me the car. The sunroof stops functioning; this is when I find out there is no manual way to close it (this has been discontinued). I have to look forward to an 8-hour drive, unable to close the sunroof - thank God it did not rain and the weather held out. I also had a garage to park it in before leaving on a trip. This trip also cost a hotel room for 2 days.
When electric door locks stop working, there is no way to manually lock the doors (this is not pointed out before or at the time of purchase) - this makes for real passenger and content safety. It was not long until my left rear door lock stopped functioning. I decided at this time find another dealership in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan closer to where I live; this one is only a 6-hour drive. I phoned to make an appointment to have the lock repaired, I explained my situation. This service person phoned me back to inform me because of the distance I have to travel, she would order the part ahead of time and have it on hand when I arrived.
This appointment went just marvelous. Great, I figured I had finally found a satisfactory dealership which actually had customer relations in mind when dealing with the customer. Before I was able to return home, the right rear door lock stopped functioning, surprise. Circumstances are such that I am not going to be able to make a return visit to a dealership for some time. Well I phone to make an appointment to have the door lock repaired, as well as the 64,000 km warranty check-up. I inform the service personnel of my distance to drive, and assume because of the service I got here last time, they would have a door lock there to replace it.
In the meantime the stereo system stops functioning. I figure no problem, I can phone up, they can run the vehicle identification number, order me up a stereo have it on hand to change out when I get there. Well guess what, Volkswagen has another surprise in store: they cannot even order a stereo system until they run a computer scan on the car. There is absolutely no way to obtain the part number for the stereo without doing a computer scan of the system in the car.
Well here are my circumstances: 6-hour drive,hotel room for 2 nights, 6-hour drive back home to get the scan; now 6-hour drive back to dealership, 2 nights in a hotel, 6-hour drive back home to have the stereo system installed. I wonder what high-paid Volkswagen engineer came upon this pearl of wisdom. What would be very nice is they would inform you of these issues before you made the purchase. I may be the entire winter without a functioning stereo in my car, and guess what, then it will be off of warranty and they won't have to cover it.
Here is a direct quote from an email from customer service when asked if I could not get to dealer before the vehicle was off of the first year warranty, if the problem would still be covered: "It is Volkswagen Policy that if there is a repair within the warranty period, it would have to be repaired within that period for it to be claimed under warranty," even though the problem was known to have happened within the warranty period. Let us make sure we screw over this customer good and proper.
Now back to the original appointment for the 64,000 km warranty work and the malfunctioning right rear door lock. I drop the car off, the dealership has the car most of the day; they phone it is ready. I get to the dealership to find out the warranty work is completed (great thanks), the door lock was not replaced because they could not duplicate the issue in the shop. I had told them this was intermittent issue. Service personnel said they could not replace door lock Volkswagen would not cover it unless they could reproduce it in the shop.
Yes I am going to drive 12 hours, spend 2 nights in a hotel, and lie about the issue just to get a new door lock. This is what I mean about Volkswagens customer service. Don't spend a few dollars on a door lock because the customer is a liar. I walked out to the parking lot at the dealership unlocked and locked the door twice and it would not lock again. Now they were able to replace the lock as I was fortunate enough that they happened to have one in the inventory. This meant having the car for another couple of hours and what plans I had made for after I picked up the car were scrapped.
It is Volkswagen's policy not to change a part unless the technician can duplicate the problem in the even if it means a tremendous inconvenience to the customer, as long as does not inconvenience the mother company. I also had this dealership scan my stereo to get me the necessary information so I would be able to get the stereo replace next time I was close to a Volkswagen dealership.
A short time later I find I will be making a trip to Regina, Saskatchewan. I phone up the dealership there give them the information from Saskatoon so they would be able to order the stereo and have it in stock when I got there to replace it. I now find out my car has to be re-scanned the info from Saskatoon is not sufficient, the stereo cannot be ordered.
People, if you are considering the purchase of a Volkswagen Jetta and don't live right next door to the dealership, don't appreciate the fact that you are automatically assumed to be a liar - think long and hard. Is the great fuel economy really worth all the grief?
My car is a 2009 Jetta SportWagen TDI. I purchased this car new because I was about to retire. The wife and I like to travel and were going to be in a position to start doing some now. We were looking for great fuel economy so we would be able to afford to travel. Well any moneys we may have saved in fuel economy has been more than offset many time over by hotel rooms and added travel expenses of obtaining warranty service. We now have to consider getting rid of our new car and making another purchase of a new car.
My worry is that on my fixed retirement income, I am not going to afford this car when it goes off of warranty. Hell I am barely able to afford in when cover by warranty. I am so tired of hear this statement: "this is Volkswagen's policy". To me this translates in English to "let's see how bad we can screw this guy". Volkswagen's customer service is Germany's way of getting even with the Americans for winning WWII.
I had to buy another hub cap ($63.00) for my Jetta because the center VW emblem came off. It appears that VW only puts a little glue on the emblem. My hub cap is nothing special. It's the 15" stock cap. Should run about $25 to $35. Even Honda sells their stock hub caps for $20. What is so special about VW's caps? I contacted VWoA about the price, only to get a "our dealers make up the price based on the region they are in" aka: dealerships are allowed to "milk as much money out of the consumer as possible".
This car cost more in parts than its worth as a full-running vehicle. I went to all my local auto wreckers only to find out that most of the hub caps there are missing the center emblems as well. Come on VW. Spend some money on the proper amount of glue to keep this emblem on the hub cap!!!!
I own a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta which I purchased in 2004 with only 6000 miles on it. I have all maintenance records of every service ever done on the car including every oil change done by a Volkswagen dealer at every 2000 miles. Mind you, I understand that my car is now 9 years old, but it only has 44,357 miles on it. I take exquisite care of my car. In exactly one year I have put over $6000 into this car. At 30,000 miles, the transmission went. Yes.... 30,000 miles! I had it towed to a Volkswagen dealer and they rebuilt my transmission for the cost of $4100.
Two months later, the ignition coil went which again was replaced by a Volkswagen dealer who told me that the spark plugs, spark plug wires and O2 sensors would need to be replaced also, which they did. Not two weeks later, the catalytic converter went. One month later, the alternator went. Any person reading this would probably think it's the dealer you're taking your car to..... but one problem. I moved three times last year due to my husband being active duty military. Three different Volkswagen dealers performing the work at three different locations across the US. I am not an unreasonable person, but to me this is excessive.
I called the corporate headquarters of Volkswagen and explained to them my situation. They told me that they could not help me because the work was not done by licensed Volkswagen dealers. I calmly explained that I have every documentation possible regarding the work that was done by licensed Volkswagen dealers. They were able to pull my VIN up and see that I was not lying. They then explained to me that they could not help me because when I purchased my vehicle in 2004, I paid to have an extended 5-year warranty, but because I purchased it on December 31, 2009 and my transmission went on January 3, 2010.... the 5 year warranty was up.
They told me that had it happened January 1, they would have covered the labor portion of the bill. What??? Are you kidding me??? Now here we are one year later and my engine needs to be replaced. I again called Volkswagen headquarters, went through everything with them and the woman told me and I quote, "ma'am I understand you're frustrated but you need to understand that your car is 9 years old and it doesn't matter the amount of miles on it, it's how old the car is. It could have only 10,000 miles on it and still have all these problems." Huh?? "All I can offer you is $1000 off your next purchase of a Volkswagen." Umm.... yeah.... there will never be another purchase of a Volkswagen by me.
PALMDALE, CALIFORNIA -- I recently purchased a 2007 VW Jetta for my 16-year old daughter. While my 16-year old was driving it, I would keep yelling at her to brake and she would say she was trying. So I drove the car and had others around me drive it; the brakes are terrible and feel mushy. You can't do emergency stops in this car! I was driving in heavy traffic and a car cut me off so I had to slam on the brakes. The car would not STOP! I literally had to swerve into the carpool lane to avoid an accident.
I took the car to VW and they said it drives normally and that's the new braking system in all 2006 and up Jettas. I don't see how a car like this could ever pass a road safety inspection. VW needs to recall the Jetta and install proper brakes on it. As of right now, VW is not going to help in this matter and I am stuck with a brand new car that I would not feel safe having anyone drive. Please, if any of you have had this problem put it on here so I know there are others with the same concerns about this car.
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NEW JERSEY -- I have a 2000 VW Jetta, purchased in May of 2000. The first 2 years of my ownership went relatively smoothly, but after that everything started to fall apart. I've had so many parts replaced on that thing, from belts to vacuums, to God know what else. My car FAILED inspection after just 4 years... what kind of piece of ** car DOES THAT?!
My biggest and most serious problem though is the oil consumption. I can get an oil change today, and less than 2000 miles later, my engine oil will be completely dry. Engine smoking and all. I've taken the car a few times for the oil consumption test. The first time however, my light came on while I was driving around on a weekend, and so I went to a gas station to put some oil in it.
When I got to the dealership the following Monday, they said that because I put oil in it elsewhere, the consumption test would be invalid. I had to do it again. Then when I did, they said it was normal to have just a quart of oil left after 2000 miles, and that when the light came on, I still had a good quart left so I didn't have to worry.
So last night, I was driving along the NJ turnpike at around 1 in the morning, and my oil light goes on again. This time it's been 1850 miles since my last oil change, and I was about 30 miles from home, so I figured it'd be best to at least have someone look at it. When the guy at the gas station opened the hood, the engine again was overheating and smoking, and there was absolutely no oil in my car. He knew it was absolutely insane and couldn't believe that the dealership would find this acceptable.
Every person that's taken a look at my car cannot understand what moron would say it was OK. Even 2 mechanics at their own dealership said they wouldn't drive my car, and mentioned that their employees have a tendency to try to rip you off. The service people, though for some reason say that there is nothing they can do, because this simply is not a problem. I've spent well over $1000 in the past year alone, and close to $1500 on just repairs. I know for a fact that they are royally screwing me over, but at this point, I don't know what I can do anymore!