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VW Ignition Coil Problems?



  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    you are right, VW is NOT bound to any exclusive contract if the manufacturer of the part VOIDS the contract by making faulty parts.

    i blame VW. no one else.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    See the following:

    04 FEB 2003

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Audi of America, Inc. today announced a customer service action in which the companies will ultimately replace the ignition coils in all 2001 and 2002 model year cars equipped with certain engines that have been experiencing a higher-than-normal failure rate. Also affected are very early production 2003 models.

    The companies are currently notifying all customers potentially affected and are initially replacing those ignition coils that fail at no cost. The updated customer service action, replacing all ignition coils whether they fail or not, will be implemented in the coming months.

    “We know that some ignition coils installed in our cars are not up to our high quality standards, and we are determined to do the right thing for our customers. The right thing to do is to fix every single car with these coils by replacing them whether they are broken yet or not. That is exactly what we will do as soon as we have the parts,” said Gerd Klauss, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc.

    The vehicles affected in this action include cars equipped with 1.8 liter engines, which includes the Audi TT and A4; and the VW Golf/GTI, Jetta, New Beetle and Passat. The companies also included the Passat W8 engine, all VW’s equipped with the 2.8 liter VR6; as well as the Audi 3.0 liter V6 engine. In total, approximately 530,000 cars are affected by this action.

    The ignition coils provide electricity to the engine’s spark plugs during operation. Volkswagen and Audi have recognized through service reports that the ignition coils used in the products listed above have a higher-than-normal failure rate. If an ignition coil fails, the check engine light/malfunction indicator lamp will blink. The car’s performance may, in some cases, become rough and/or the engine will lose some power and the car should be taken to an authorized dealer for repair. The engine and its electronic controls are designed to keep the vehicle running. Some deterioration in performance, however, can be expected.

    Volkswagen and Audi are announcing the following customer service action:

    The supplier is working triple shifts and seven days a week to make as many new parts as possible. Additionally, a second supplier has been activated.

    Soon customers will be notified by mail that Volkswagen and Audi will proactively begin replacing all ignition coils in cars potentially affected, whether a failure has occurred or not. This action will begin in the coming months as soon as replacement ignition coil supply volumes will allow.

    In order to minimize inconvenience to customers during repair, Volkswagen and Audi dealers will offer alternative transportation at no cost.

    Customers with questions should call VW Customer Relations toll-free at (800) 822-8987 or Audi Customer Relations toll-free at (800) 822-2834.

    # # #
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    But it's a bit late. Indeed, this was the class PR foul-up -- self-inflicted wound. If VW had simply made this decision a month or two ago, they would have avoided all this bad PR. What they should have done was to send a letter to the owners of the affected cars, telling them about the problem, that parts were currently in short supply, but that 1) they would be taken care of if their coils failed and that 2) they would issue a recall as soon as they had enough parts on hand.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    as a non-VW owner, so far, they've proven they can screw up in several dimensions like anybody else. I can think of a few examples, like ignition modules from GM in the 70s and 80s and ford in the 90s, when folks got stonewalled and stayed stonewalled on parts that died when hot, so it isn't the worst.

    of course, it wasn't my car acting like a lawnmower with water in the gas tank.

    now we get to see if VW can play catch-up ball and if the fix works.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    I heard Letterman did a Top Ten list on the VW recall last night, did anyone see it? Would someone mind cutting and pasting it from the cbs website? For some reason my firewall at work is blocking (???)
  • 2 weeks ago the MIL light came on but did not blink. I called dealership, they told me it was probably because I did not tighten gas cover. It should reset in about 5 days.
    On the day I was to call back the EPC light came on,also not blinking. Called up. They said they were very busy and I made an appt for 2 days later. I was concerned because I drive over 100 miles a day. Service person assured me it was safe to drive. At this time I was not aware of the coil problem!
    On the way to drop car at dealership my car lost power, luckily it was on my street.
    It was towed to the dealership 8 days ago. They did provide a rental. I finally heard from them this morning. Surprise! It is the ignition coil.
    But service person said it is not the same problem as the other ones since mine is a V6.
    Mine is only the 2nd one he has seen with the problem! I asked him to explain why it would not be the same problem and he said because he has only seen 2 of the V6's with the problem. Now that's a good answer! We have told dealership that we will not take car unless all 6 coils (I thought a V6 had 6 but he says it has 4) are replaced. He said if it was his choice he would replace all 4 but VW won't let him. As mentioned in previous posts the VW customer care center is useless.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    What year was your V6?
  • My V6 is a 2002. Purchased at end of Aug. 02.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Jeez, I thought the V6's were safe from this. Guess I'll wait and see how the 2003's hold up before I make any decisions. It would be nice to feel confident the problem has been taken care of.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    your link is

    and your system administrator is a doofus, he/she/it needs to install a cache server....

    Top Ten Signs Your Volkswagen Needs To Be Recalled

    10. The steering wheel is in the back seat

    9. You're constantly stopping for coffee so you don't doze off from the carbon monoxide

    8. Mix-up at factory gave you an anti-lock radio and AM/FM brakes

    7. The roof rolls back, but it's not a convertible

    6. If you're in an accident, you have to call a guy to inflate your air bags

    5. Hazard light on dashboard reminds you to sign your will

    4. Horn emits a very soft meow

    3. Warning on tires reads: "For Indoor Use Only"

    2. Goes from zero to sixty in about seven weeks

    1. Any part of the car may be used as a cigarette lighter
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Geez, I have this mental image of the President of VW of America, after having worked a long day trying to get the coil pack problem nailed down, feeling pretty good with himself that a letter had been sent out to the customers trying to set things right, crawling into bed and switching on Letterman for a little relief. He probably spilled hot cocoa on himself when this hit the air.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Thanks for the list. I was shocked that it made such a national level.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    that it doesn't count.

    but that's what happens when you let customers fester and mumble and cuss in public without addressing their concerns, your image breaks out in bloody pustules and you are laughed to death.

    that's why the Tylenol tampering cases were a watershed in public relations. the CEO got on the news programs, starting with Nightline, within 24 hours and pulled the whole product line until they could tamper-proof it, and offered medical assistance to anybody who had a case. he slapped the table, put his butt on the line, and flatly promised they would not sell until there was no way this could happen again, and would cover every legitimate claim while they reinvented product safety for the whole consumer market. they were off the shelves for something like 14 months.

    still the gold standard in crisis response, very seldom reached, alas. despite all the topical jokes about "Tylanide" and "Killemall", they were #1 again almost immediately after the coated caplet came back into the market. dollars to doughnuts you have some at home and at work and trust that Tylenol will do its deal the same way, every time, no matter what. probably trust it more than your family members, in fact. they handled the two or three goofuses and their little plots right, and the world noticed.

    VW has nobody to blame but themselves, and I bet no customer has to pay for a coil for five years on these engines as a result, no matter what happens to them.

    for reference, it took a little while for Ford to get it in line over some sort of little dustup over the tires on Explorers, but costly Nasser finally got that right with the "customer satisfaction initiative" of recalling every bloody Wilderness AT tire ever used on a Ford-built product. and the explorer remains #1 in its market. folks notice honest make-goods.
  • mrd63mrd63 Posts: 8
    Got my letter from VW today. Basically it's just a reiteration of their existing policy: if it breaks, we'll fix it. No mention of pro-actively replacing the defective coils BEFORE they fail. Now, all the news stories mentioned that VW would eventually replace all the coils, but the letter says nothing about that. Frank Maguire did, however, "personally apologize" for my inconvenience. Thanks.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    It's "unintended acceleration" all over again only this time it's unintended deceleration and it's a real problem. It was handled very poorly.
    Anyone who frequents the internet sites with VW/Audi content has been aware of this problem since this fall. Evidentally that doesn't include VAGs technical or customer service mavens.

    How many times will VAG take one step backward for every two forward in North America? They had real winners in the Passat and the A4 but they have blown it.

    I say this as a fan of Volkswagen group cars who has owned them on and off since 1965 and always enjoyed good service and good luck with them including my current '98 A4 AvantQ. Heads should roll!

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • mrd63mrd63 Posts: 8
    This one has some information I hadn't read before.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Volkswagen/Audi in Massive Recall

    More than 850,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles --
    about 530,000 sedans and hatchbacks sold in the
    U.S. alone -- are being recalled for a faulty
    ignition coil. Volkswagen announced the recall last
    week, noting that the problem could cause spark
    plug failure and rough running, which is usually
    indicated by the vehicle's "Check Engine" light.
    Most of the cars affected carry the VW corporate
    1.8-liter turbo four (which includes the Audi A4
    and TT coupe; the VW Golf, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle
    and Passat), the 2.8-liter VR6 and the 3.0-liter
    V6 engines, as well as the VW Passat's W8.
  • I am a new Audi A4 1.8T owner (bad luck) and commute over 200 miles a day. Since Audi/VW will only replace coils after the vehicle fails, I am forced to wait until I experience a break-down on my daily commute before this manufacturer will voluntarily replace the defective parts!

    How come the US Governmental agencies that "regulate cars" have not gotten involved and MANDATED AN INVOLUNTARY RECALL?
  • James,

    I believe that the US Government hasn't issued a manadatory recall for at least two reasons. First, I have not heard of any owner of a failed coil encounter any physical injury or fatality from the failure. Sure, one can say that the potential exists, but since it hasn't happened for the thousands of failures that have occurred, it's more than likely that it won't.

    Second, both VW and Audi have made public announcements about the problem along with plans for the replacement of the failed coils and plans for the eventual replacement of all coils regardless of failure. Usually, the Government won't do anything if the company has announced plans for replacement.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Looks like VW is going to replace all the coil packs regardless of whether they fail or not.

     All affected cars, all coil packs.

    See post #111, also we'll have a link for you in just a bit.

    So this should wrap up this mess for everyone in the near future.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Volkwagen and Audi To Replace All Ignition Coil Parts ON 2001, 2002 AND SOME 2003 MODELS

    To quote some of the article:

    "We know that some ignition coils installed in our cars are not up to our high quality standards, and we are determined to do the right thing for our customers. The right thing to do is to fix every single car with these coils by replacing them whether they are broken yet or not. That is exactly what we will do as soon as we have the parts,' said Gerd Klauss, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc."


    "The updated customer service action, replacing all ignition coils whether they fail or not, will be implemented in the coming months."

    Perhaps this may put some of your concerns to rest. Near the end of the article, you can read details of their Customer Service Action. They've also listed VW and Audi 800 customer service relations numbers for customers that have questions.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • We received the letter couple weeks ago and we started to think that there might be potential problem 'cos my wife drive 40miles a day on busy freeway with obnoxious drivers around.

    Yesterday, my wife stopped by the dealer here in Arizona. Because she felt there is some lack of power couple days ago in her 2003 1.8T which we bought in Oct last year. The service department tested the car and said the car we fine. And the service manager said so many excuses like "there is not a lot of problem cars out there", "we can't fix the coil unless it breaks", "even it broke, we can only replace the one which failed". With all these excuses he brushed off my wife. On her way back to work, she thought it might be a good idea to get some proof of this checkup. So she went back to the dealer immediately and asked the service manager to get a copy of the test he has done to the coils. Then he said it can be done and took the car to the garage again. This time it takes much longer time for him to test it. 30 mins later, he came out and told my wife that they are going to replace all the coils because the datecode of the coils shows they might be the bad coils. Then we got all 4 coils replaced.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    NHTSA-- I don't think a mandatory recall is necessary except for demonstrated safety hazards,(as in people being killed or hurt with the defect actually proven to be at fault) and a rough-running engine or even a stall has never been shown to be dangerous, in terms of actual evidence or accident data. It's more of a fear than a fact that such a thing would be dangerous. It's really no more dangerous than running out of gas.

    So I agree that a government mandated recall is not appropriate for this type of fault as genuinely annoying and inconvient as it may be.

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  • As I write this, my 2002 Passat has been sitting at the dealership waiting for a coil pack for the past 5 days. The dealer will not replace all four of them, only the one that went bad. I of course asked that all four be replaced, but was told they can only replace the one that went bad because of the difficulty in getting them. To add insult to injury, they gave me a Toyota Echo to drive around while I'm waiting.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Yes, but you will get all of them replaced as soon as they have them, so hopefully your hassles will soon be over on that count.

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  • I love my Passat, don't get me wrong... But it has been 10 days since I took it in to the dealer for a coil pack. The dealer has no idea when they will get it in. This is becoming totally ridiculous. Maybe I should have bought that Honda Accord.
  • My Passat was at the dealership for 28 days waiting for two coils. They refused to replace the other two. It is my wife's car and she only uses the car to drive the kids to school. She refuses to drive any distance fearing the other two will go bad and leave her stranded.

    I am still waiting for the letter from VW concerning the replacement of the other coils. This is our last VW.
  • mrd63mrd63 Posts: 8
    I had already scheduled a Providence to Montreal round-trip when I became aware of the coilpack problem via the news media (my 2002 Passat GLS 1.8 blew two coils back in October but I thought it was an isolated incident). I debated the merits of renting a car for the 700 mile trip or just risking it with the Passat. I finally decided to go the rental route and made the trip without incident in a Mazda 626. I returned home on Monday, backed the Passat out of the garage for a quick trip to the corner store and...the two remaining defective coils blew out. Talk about a close call. I took it to the nearest dealer (VW of North Attleboro, MA) and they had me back on the road in one day, as they had in October. So now I'm whole again, with four replacement J series coilpacks. But it'll take awhile before I really feel secure again with this car, if ever.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Oh you will, especially after you see other makes of cars broken down on the highway. A streak of bad luck with our own cars has a way of narrowing our vision, don't you think?

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  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "A streak of bad luck with our own cars has a way of narrowing our vision, don't you think?"

    It's not just his car that has these problems. I don't know if you could call it a "streak of bad luck" when every 1.8T made had bad coils. That's quite a streak of bad luck.....
This discussion has been closed.