Extremely poor quality and customer service
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, he 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.