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VW brand experience - good or bad?

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  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Oh, I know that the VW oil consumption issue isn't new, I guess I'm just not familiar with how a class action suit works.

    I worked at oil change places through high school and college. We did fluid top offs, and we also checked the oil on every car before we changed it, so we could note if it was low on the work order. VWs with the old 1.8L and 2.0L were always low. I thought it was normal for VWs.

    I remember when the 99 Jettas came out and we had people bringing them in for oil changes even though VW offered free ones. They were bringing them in because the VW dealers were backed up. I remember one guy with the 2.0L came back for a top off 1000 miles after an oil change after he checked his oil at the gas station nearby. He needed a quart, and I know it wasn't underfilled from the oil change because I did it. Interesting. The engine holds about 4 quarts and VW recommends 5000 mile oil changes. That engine will blow up if you don't check the oil between oil changes.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    VW only offered free (warranty-like) oil changes at 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 miles - if you want an oil change in the meantime (danged good idea), you bought it.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,172
    How many miles on your X5?
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    If you're not familiar with class action suits, read "King of the Torts" by John Grisham. It's a real eye-opener into a world of greedy lawyers who win billion-dollar class-action settlements from corporations selling bad products, then rake fantastic fees off the top, with far smaller pay outs going to the people harmed by the products.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    It's a real eye-opener into a world of greedy lawyers who win billion-dollar class-action settlements from corporations selling bad products, then rake fantastic fees off the top, with far smaller pay outs going to the people harmed by the products.

    What's the difference between greedy lawyers and the business execs at VW who are cashing fat bonus checks and stock options for selling overpriced lemons?

    There's an easy way for automakers to stop class actions. Make a good product or, if the product has a problem, fix it on your dime, not the customer's.

    If automakers did those 2 things, driftracer would have to find another line of work.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I know, and people were bringing the cars in at the same 5K interval and within the mileage for free oil changes. I even reminded the customers that they had free oil changes at VW and always got the same response. I guess people figured they could call the dealer and get in for an oil change in a couple days, not 3 weeks to a month.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    the problem with these "free" maintenance visits is that VW restricted dealers from upselling, because the maintenance visit actually did quite a lot for the car (air filter, cabin filter, etc) AND it paid like any other warranty claim - cheap - the tech does an hour's work of work on your car and gets paid 3/10 of an hour -

    Techs were screaming at their service advisors about losing money all day long, so many shops made these visits "less convenient" for the customer and they went to Jiffy Lube...
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    "There's an easy way for automakers to stop class actions. Make a good product or, if the product has a problem, fix it on your dime, not the customer's."

    Ironically, the same action can stop lemon law suits and breach of warranty action - it's a Catch 22 - I wish ALL manufacturers would work harder to eliminate their problematic issues - on the other hand, I know they won't, for bean counter and legal reasons (hurdles), so I don't have to worry about being out of work for a LONG time...
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    "What's the difference between greedy lawyers and the business execs at VW who are cashing fat bonus checks and stock options for selling overpriced lemons?"

    Probably not a big difference.
    My point is that the people harmed by the products should get the larger benefit of these class action suits, not the lawyers. The compensation the lawyers rake off the top is way out of proportion to the amount of effort put in.
    Now back to the cars...
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    You noted that there were some VW vehicles as old as 1990 models that were cited in the class-action suit that you mentioned earlier.

    I'm just curious- were the Vanagon models ever affected or involved in any of this? I know that almost all VWs (including Cabriolet) used the 1.8-liter four in '90, but the Vanagons used the 2.1-liter horizontally-opposed engine. I think that motor was known for blowing head gaskets.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    and they weren't sold in sufficient numbers to build a large enough complaint base for their head gaskets issues, I'm guessing.
  • catecate Posts: 8
    Similar with my case. The garage near my home knows me very well now: they can write down my name, phone number, car year, model. I visit them every month since I bought my 97 Passat GLX VR6. Having owned this car for 9 months, I spent about $2000 on it, including some maintainance and repairs, such as clot in AC, thermostat, a belt under the hood, lock of trunk, misfire, etc. The CEL went on 3 times for different reasons.
    VW dealer near my home also sucks. The earliest possible appointment I can get is always two weeks later, and this is because I didn't buy this car from him. And He wanted to charge me $650 for a CEL on last year, while another independent garage fixed the problem for me with $100.
    The advantage of this car is, you feel comfortable driving it. My husband loves it, although its reliability is the pain.
    Overall, my suggestion is, if you have another car as backup, and if you are DIY fan, go for it. Otherwise, keep away.
  • mellow_vwmellow_vw Posts: 1
    I own a 2001 Silver Jetta GLS. I've only had a few problems with my Jetta. The notorious window in door incident, faulty brake light, and my front bumper wasn't attached properly. I bought the car used though and the bumper was already detached so there's no blaming VW for that. I have notice many other Jettas with the same problem however. I think it just might be that the front bumper is low and people aren't careful when they park their cars. I'm nearing 48,000 miles on my car and I still love it. I really wish I would of gotten a 1.8T as opposed to my 2 liter though. Those new 1.8T GLI's are quite nice. Since I've bought my VW I've read about the oil consumption on countless boards. My Jetta does consume more oil that average but nothing to extraordinary. I usually add 1 quart of oil through 2 oil changes. Nothing too crazy.

    As far as people saying the new model year Jettas won't experience the window problem I would say thats false. My friend got a platinum gray 2003 GLI VR6 and she had her window problem before mine.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "My Jetta does consume more oil that average but nothing to extraordinary. I usually add 1 quart of oil through 2 oil changes. Nothing too crazy."

    After working at a lube shop, I'd have to say that "average" means burning little to no oil. Most regular cars don't really burn any oil.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    My point is that the people harmed by the products should get the larger benefit of these class action suits, not the lawyers. The compensation the lawyers rake off the top is way out of proportion to the amount of effort put in.

    Can't disagree with you, but if the lawyers lose the class action, they foot the entire bill and don't get paid a dime, so they deserve some profit for the risk taken.

    I'm more steamed about the compensation paid to top business execs who are getting ridiculous option packages even when they underperform.

    At least the greedy lawyers have to win before they get paid.

    Also, you can always opt out of a class action, pay your own lawyer by the hour (fair compensation), hire your own experts and do a lawsuit on your own.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I wish ALL manufacturers would work harder to eliminate their problematic issues - on the other hand, I know they won't, for bean counter and legal reasons (hurdles), so I don't have to worry about being out of work for a LONG time...

    Not trying to imply that you belong in the unemployment line. I'm sure you're worth every penny paid to you and probably more.

    From what you're telling me, it sounds like there's some tacit collusion between the class action lawyers and the auto industry.

    The class action lawyers get mucho bucks, the auto industry gets some kind of legal cover from lemon law suits and can put an end to their legal liability.

    Figures. You can't expect justice when you put auto industry execs and class action lawyers in the same room.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    "The class action lawyers get mucho bucks, the auto industry gets some kind of legal cover from lemon law suits and can put an end to their legal liability."

    The firm I work for has 3 current CA suits, but also over 5,000 current lemon law/breach of warranty suits - I don't think THEY are giving any slack to ANY manufacturer...

    In fact, it's more like a predatory hunt....
  • granolajgranolaj Posts: 10
    I'm considering purchasing a Jetta wagon 2.0 GL or GLS (probably used 2002 or 2003). I've read about the various reliability problems with the Jetta. Are these problems isolated to the sedan, or do they occur in the wagons, too?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    problems as sedans, but I haven't seen any lawsuits, more than likely because of the low wagon production numbers.

    Stick with the 2.0 and you'll be fine, but it's still not a car I'd drive without an extended warranty.
  • granolajgranolaj Posts: 10
    Thanks, driftracer. If I buy a Jetta, I'll definitely get an extended warrany.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I LOVE VW products, having owned 8. Their interiors and fun to drive factor are great. They just aren't cars, with my experience in seeing hundreds of lemon law cases, that I'd own after a lease term or without a warranty...
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    prices are negotiable like everything else in a car deal!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,962
    Guy I know at work with an 04 Jetta TDi was loving it...but now at 3 months and 3500 miles has a rattle in the dash, a rattle in the door, a sunroof that works now and then, and a drivers seat that isn't anchored properly. He's taking it in tomorrow to have it remedied. We'll see how it goes.
  • frogpondfrogpond Posts: 17
    I purchaced a new 01' Jetta wagon and only had it for a year and a half because it was in the shop more times than I can count. To make a long story short I decided to give VW another chance and fought and eventually the dealership helped me out more than VW did and got me into a new Golf TDi. Well a year and a half later and while not as many or as frequent, problems still persist. While the Golf has some of the best handling, performance and standard features for its class and price there are little nagging problems that my wife's Toyota has never had. The seatbelts are problematic, the bolts in the driver door consistently come loose, bulbs burn out prematurely and the interior while looking rich seems to scratch, chip and scuff just by looking at it again something that does not happen in my wife's car. These small quality issues really bug me and the Golf will sadly be my last VW.
  • lewshellewshel Posts: 37
    My wife just ordered a 2004 VW 4Motion GLX (See prices paid thread). While my 2003TDI with 37,000 miles is not perfect it still would be my first choice as a car. I hope to keep it in the family to the the 200,000 mile mark. To date we have received good sales and service at Patrick VW.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    MSN has a car site where you can compare cars and reliability ratings.

    http://autos.msn.com/research/compare/compare.aspx?src=URES

    Just click on reliability ratings and punch in the car you are interested in. To some it will be a surprise.

    In my case reliability ratings wouldn't be nearly as important if sales and service were on the top of the list for VW. But traditionally studies haven't shown Parts and service to be one of VWs strong suites.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    Interesting, check the reliability of the Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, and Toyota Camry on that site. I thought they were supposed to be more reliable than the Passat.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I looked up a Ford mustang, just to stay out of the VW vs Honda fray, and found some weird input on engine reliability. The poll showed engine management system problems, but it doesn't say WHO reported these issues, or how many people were polled, showing how many cars were in the polling group.

    That site leads you to believe that they ALL have engine management problems, which is ridiculous.

    No offense to any consumer, but getting my reliability ratings from someone without experience related to the automotive field is just about as reliable as a group of people rating cologne or perfume - to some, a certain fragrance is great, to others, it stinks, but it's the same smell, no matter what.

    Take tires, for instance - the Tire Rack has a great rating system if you know nothing about tires and trust total strangers. I'm not dogging their system, because I buy tires from them all the time - I just don't read the ratings.

    I just bought a set of tires for my son's car, and it was a size and speed rating I hadn't bought before. I looked at the consumer ratings - right next to an entry from one guy saying "these things are great, they blow away the Micheleins they replaced", the next guy said "these totally suck".

    Neither account is subjective, neither has any meat to it, since there were no real test stats, just an opinion from someone who took 15 seconds to blather their thoughts about something they really know nothing about.
  • I leased my first Passat back in 1998 (1999 model). There were minor annoying issues pertaining to the windows, and some electrical stuff. Nothing that ever left me stranded. It DID burn oil though. This did not bother me much because it was a leased vehicle.

    In 2001, I traded that Passat in for a 2002 model. I had the usual ignition coil problem, I had a battery that died because the electrical components to it somehow shorted out, and a couple of the minor issues. Still nothing, that ever left me stranded.

    I live and work near several VW dealers, so getting the minor issues addressed has never been much more than small hassle. I've usually been able to get them taken care of at the regular service intervals.

    All and all, the extra hassle has been worth it, considering the alternatives. For one thing, I am fairly tall, and VW is among the few automakers who produce sedans that tall people can be comfortable in - especially when it comes to having the top of the sun visor ABOVE my eyes.

    My lease expires in a couple of months, and I will most likely either buy the car at the end of the lease or I will buy/lease another VW.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,172
    With respect to Tire Rack, I read the reviews, but don't place too much faith in them. The numerical survey results are useful for comparing similar tires, but by no means are they absolutes.
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