Russell Volkswagen Catonsville MD Complaint - Poor Customer Service

Review by ScottA on 2004-12-06
CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND -- Since I purchased my 2003 Passat in November 2002 from Russell Volkswagen located at 6624 Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville, the dealership has consistently provided extremly poor service. The only reason I return is to ensure that I can prove that "proper maintenance" has been performed on the car during the warranty period. Among the problems at Russell is the fact that no one answers the phone and it is next to impossible to find out the status of your car unless you speak directly to the orignal service representative you dealt with. When the fuel pump in my car quit working at about 30k miles it took over a week for Russell to replace it. When the car was returned to me the interior reaked of gasoline and grease marks were on the upholstery of the rear seat. It took two days for the smell to dissipate. Additionally, when I left the car overnight for a simple oil change the next morning, and clearly stated on the instructions that I needed the car by 10 am, it was not ready until 11:30 am. During that same visit a valet driver from Russell managed to back into my car and my original service representative lost my keys preventing my from leaving the dealership for over half an hour. To their credit, the Service Manager has offered me a gift certificate for my 40K mile service which is advertised at $399. But I have strong trepidations about taking my car back there.

As for the car itself, as mentioned the fuel pump went out at 30K miles. Wiper blades are outrageously expensive ($65) and the salesman conveinently forgot to mention that the turbo engine requires super-unleaded gasoline. They also fail to mention that VW turbos are prone to oil sludge build up so oil changes must be made religiously. The rear brakes often squeal but Russell VW says they are operating correctly. The car drives very well and handles nicely but the 5 speed automatic transmission can act funny during sudden accelerations.

Overall Rating
Russell VW: F
Volkswagen Passat (1.8 L Turbo): B-
Comments:1 Replies - Latest reply on 2004-12-07
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-12-07:
If you feel uncomfortable at this dealer, change repair facilities. You can have your service done anywhere all you need to do is document time and mileage (that is what that section in your owners manual is for, afterall) As far as the sludge condition goes, I don't think you can blame the salesman on that, We as an industry are just learning about this in the past 8 months. VW has been experiencing some serious reliability problems the past couple of years. Good Luck

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