Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Nothing but problems

patziuspatzius Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
I feel like I have been severely let down with my 2001 VW Cabrio. I have had this car just over 2 years and have had it in the shop a minimum of 16 times for various repairs. I have read where others have had issues with the door handles peeling and I, myself have had each one replaced 3 times (making that 6 new door handles since I got the car). I've had the AC reharged, the seals on all windows replace due to severe leaking, blah, blah, blah. At this point I just want out. I feel like I sold my soul to the devil with this lease. I only had a 2 year/ 20,000 mile warranty and have basically paid for everything on this car, but the sales tax. The service I've received is equally as dissappointing as the car itself. I have also had issues with the easy chipping of paint and 1 of my tires literally came off(the tread part)while driving at 65 mph. Unfortunately, I REALLY wanted this car!!! If I could drop this car off at the dealer today and buy something else I definately would. I don't know if I have just gotten unlucky with this car, but I have a hard time believing that with as many different problems as I've had. Anyone else has this kind of difficulty?


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,826
    Why I don't like Volkswagens...?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    the ONLY issue that could qualify for lemon law status (without knowing mileage, maybe not then), is the weatherstripping/water leak problem. Only if there's water damage would that qualify.

    The door handle thing is just an annoyance, the a/c recharge is maintenance and the tire thing is no one's responsibility.

    Remember - to qualify as a lemon, a court has to rule that the vehicle has a "significant impairment of use, safety or value". "Significant", not "annoying".

    It has to be in court, since I can count on one hand the number of times a manufacturer has voluntarily bought back a car without being sued - that's out of 3,000 cases I've seen.
  • patziuspatzius Posts: 5
    I don't really know if all this does qualify for the Lemon Law, although I will look into that. And, yes, annoyance is the right word for most of this. But, not only annoyance! $$ too. Only after calling several times to VW Customer Service (which were very nice by the way) and complaining to the dealership did the window leaking get taken care of... and I had to pay for 1/2. Plus, when service was needed for the door handles, etc... I had to either get a ride to/from dealership or pay for a rental at my own expense. Most of my repairs (door handles specifically - 6 separate times) were known issues and my dealership did not have these on hand, so the repair was always a 2 step (2 day) process. They made me bring the car in for them to evaluate the needs - like I couldn't tell if the door handles really were peeling - then I had to bring it back to install.

    My car only has 30,000 miles on it. Routine Maintenance on the A/C? I'm not sure 2 years would qualify on routine? Do most cars need an A/C recharge after only 2 years? Never have I heard of so many issues with a car so new! I had a Toyota for 5 years and literally NEVER did I have to have service on it other than routine maintenance! I'm on my way back to Toyota I think, as soon as I can get out of this lease w/o losing my A@@! Unfortunate too, cause what I was really wanting next was a Passat (what a classy looking car that is).
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    is fairly normal.

    Please understand - while it is annoying, we're talking about "peeling door handles". That has an affect on use, safety or value about as much as body side molding.

    Trade it or sell it and get happy - no matter what happens from here on out, you're obviously convinced that your car is a pile (it's not, in comparison to what I see daily) and you'll never be happy with it again.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I don't ever remember anybody in my family having to recharge an a/c system on a car that's only 2 years old! It's been my experience that a/c systems usually don't start crapping out until they're around 6-7 years old. by "crapping out", I mean simply not working properly, which could need anything from just a recharge to replacement of lines, hoses, compressor, etc.

    As for the door handles, what do you mean by "peeling"? Just that the paint's coming off? Why would they need to be replaced...couldn't you just have them repainted? Or is the plastic itself actually coming apart?

    Truthfully, there's no excuse for the weatherstripping though. Maybe if the car was 10-15 years old or more, then I'd expect to have problems with weatherstripping. Not on a car that's only 2 years old, though.

    I have a feeling that they're cheapening up on certain areas of cars, like weather stripping though. The door seals on my '00 Intrepid shrunk up. Naturally, it happened once the warranty was up. All 4 shrunk, but only one is bad enough to be a nuisance, and it's to the back door. My roommate's grandmother has an '01 Altima that has *gasp* a WATER leak! I thought water leaks went the way of the pillarless hardtop!

    As for the tire, well, I'd classify that as the fault of the tire maker, not the auto maker. Depending on how many miles it had on it and why exactly it failed, it may have been covered under the tire warranty.

    Dunno about the easily-chipping paint though. Is that a common VW problem? Paint jobs in general seem to hold up pretty well nowadays, but with increased aerodynamics, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon. Seems like rocks are less likely to hit your windshield, but more likely to hit your hood! Back in the day, your bumper or grille would have caught most of those rocks, whereas today they have a better shot at the sloping hood, which then deflects them up and over the windshield.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    Actually after reading your posts a couple times, it seems to me that it's not the car as much as the inconveniences that are bugging you. In other words, if you lived near the dealer and could walk there and then to work, the car wouldn't seem so bad.

    It looks to me that you are experiencing just about what the average driver experiences in 30K miles with most cars. Every car has glitches. If you think you are going to jump back to a japanese car and be in car heaven, read through some of the Japanese car topics on this board. That might sober you up to the fact that there's always some risk involved in a new car.

    Having said that, I don't mean to diminish what a pain it is to have to shuttle this car back to the dealer for this relatively minor issues. I wouldn't much like it either.

    Since you are on a lease, you can kiss the car goodbye at the end. What have you got, another 6 months?

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

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • patziuspatzius Posts: 5
    I truly made a bad decision on this lease. It is 60 months (60,000 miles). The salesman was a smooth talker and made it all too easy for me to sign on the dotted line. He is a true tribute to the profession. I expressed my concerns about such low mileage allowed for such a long lease, and he made it seem as though I could just take the car back to the dealer in 2 - 3 years and they would take care of everything. Now what seems to be the case is I can trade up to something else, but I also have to pay an additional $5,000 or so to get out of the lease.

    And, yes, the annoyances have played a LARGE part in my dissatisfaction with the car as a whole. But isn't "service after the sale" all part of your satisfaction with most things you buy? It is a big factor for me in all big purchases I make.

    By "peeling" I mean that the handles are coated with some type of plastic / leather-like material. This seems to be a common problem with VW's as I have read several other owners complain about this same problem and that their dealers even keep them in stock because of it. Maybe VW should consider replacing this part with something else more durable. It is definitely a part that is subject to wear & tear.

    Oh and I forgot to mention too that within the 1st month of my lease I had to take the car in 2- 3 times to have the door locks looked at because they are power locks and every time I would lock them, they would unlock themselves. The CD changer they installed kept giving NO CD errors when the CD was full. As well as my Remote door openers only open the door if you are literally within 5 feet of the car. Again, just small things, but quite a few of them.

    I truly think this car (mine specifically speaking) is just one that you could call a "lemon". Not necessarily reflective of all VW's, but once bitten, twice shy.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    the car has 30000 miles in 2 years; makes 15000 per year.
    You are allowed to drive 10000. I means that at the end of the lease you might have 5*15000 = 60000 miles. 20000 miles times to many. What is your rate for miles over the limit ?

    It might be cheaper for you, in few years, to park the car, make payments and find something cheaper to drive.

  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    5 years X 15,000 miles driven per year = 75,000 miles total.

    Lease allowance = 60,000 miles over a 5 year period, driven any way she wants.

    75,000 - 60,000 = 15,000

    A common mileage charge is 15 cents/mile. $0.15 X 15,000 miles = $2250 charge + any excessive wear and tear charges.

    If I were in this predicament I'd call my bank, get my payoff, get an estimate of the wholesale price of this car, and see how close I was to that $2250. If I were within a few hundred $$ I'd trade it and get out NOW. No sense in driving a car I hate for another 3-4 years, even if it cost me $2500 to do so.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    cost more than that in the long run!

    And you're stuck with that long lease. I did that in 1987, before I new a little more about the car business.

    The stupid part was I leased to save $15 in a monthly payment - doh! $15,000 Toyota, $4,200 residual, 60 month lease. Could have been mine in 60 months for $15 more a month on a purchase.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    Zowie, that isn't such a great lease you got. BUT....BUT....I really think you need to get this "lemon" idea out of your head. On the face of it, the car is doing OK...not great, but okay. Door handles, no big deal. The CD player isn't even made by VW, so that doesn't add juice to the lemon. The door locks--okay, a defect, but not the engine or transmission.

    Embracing the concept of "lemon", especially when something DREADFUL hasn't happened, is rather "poisonous", and given that you and this car are married, I don't think it's a good idea to be too harsh in judging it. Sorry for butting in, but you know, sometimes an attitude adjustment works just as well as a door lock adjustment :)

    I don't mean be a weenie and take any crap from the dealer--UH-UH--- but just don't start convincing yourself that this car is awful. This isn't going to work for you, given the situation you're in.

    Put another way---if you were selling this car, and if I wanted one of these, and you ran down the troubles you've had, that wouldn't discourage me at all.

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

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    off that idea rather quickly...

    Any efforts towards legal recourse would be a complete waste of energy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    Oh yeah, I agree. When dealing with problem cars, you have to play your strongest cards and forget the long, long shots. You can accomplish more than you'd think just dealing on the personal level with dealerships, but it does take patience sometimes.

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

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    right now - I'm doing a version of one of my reports, but on my own car. This is weird. I'm filing tomorrow.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,659
    I didn't read it thru, I guess.
    Sorry. :)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,826
    I know that sometimes, a person just get's sick of a car. When this happens the minor problems get amplified to the point they start hating the car.

    And, it's too bad when this happens if they are buried in a lease or regular contract.

    Other times, life situations change. I had a nice lady the other day buried in a Miata. Well, it seems she is now pregnant and the Miata won't work. Tough sometimes...
  • patziuspatzius Posts: 5
    Just more sick of the problems, the inconvenience and the dealership. Thanks for all the input.
  • colie74colie74 Posts: 42
    Quote from post #4 I believe, "the ONLY issue that could qualify for lemon law status (without knowing mileage, maybe not then), is the weatherstripping/water leak problem. Only if there's water damage would that qualify."

    That is an incorrect statement. No water DAMAGE does NOT have to be present to qualify. My 2000 with 20K miles on it just got pushed through the lemon law from a leak in the trunk that couldn't be fixed after 4 attempts. It still leaks, but no damage. They are buying the car back, paying me back ALL money I paid into it, including down payment and are paying off the remainder of my loan. I think bc so many people assume they don't have a case or are told they don't by "people", they don't TRY. The worst case senerio is a "no" by a LL attorney. In some cases they may not buy the car back, but will settle and give you money for your inconvienence. Free money as they say. It's always worth a shot to call a LL attorney and ask! Maybe that is why my case went so well, so many people don't complain, so they go ahead and pay off those who do bc it's no skin off their backs!! Good for me I guess.

    "Remember - to qualify as a lemon, a court has to rule that the vehicle has a "significant impairment of use, safety or value". "Significant", not "annoying"."

    This is INCORRECT as well! Sorry, but my case didn't go to court. My lawyer made a demand and the manufacturer accepted it. No court involved. Also in some cases, you may not get a buy back, but they do settle most of the time as well. But WE need to complain when things are a terrible inconvienent. Maybe then the manufactures will see all the complaints. They are beyond annoyances!!! We pay good money for these cars and expect them to not be in the shop all the time and I expect a service department to be able to fix something the FIRST time. Not just half [non-permissible content removed] it bc they don't want to take the time to figure out the real problem. An adjustment here and there is a waste of my time!! 4 times and no fix on a leak in my trunk (flooded tire comparment), sorry, but mold growing in my trunk is not some annoyance I am willing to live with!! And I am NOT living with 4 repair attempts. That is not acceptable! If the manufacturer gets to see ALL the invoice from all the problems when I lawyer sends them off with a demand, I bet you get some sort of settlement!

    Always ask, there is no harm in asking if you have a case.

    BTW, the specifics that made my car a lemon, was 4 repair attempts on the same problem with no fix. I think taking those pathetic invoices of sorry repair attempts and add those to the other problems I have had with the car (coolant leak, ISS problem) made a good impression that I really have had a terrible time with this car. I may have just gotten lucky, but if I never called bc so many people said it wasn't a safety issue (which is only 1 repair attempt btw) and I had no case, then I wouldn't be a VERY HAPPY camper right now!! I was soo over my car as well, I know exactly what you are going through, luckily my dealer gave me a rental, but still only if they kept it for more than a day.

    It's not fair for those of you who have never been in this situation, to blow it off as par for the course! We pay good money for these cars, and to get a car that is falling apart, isn't fair. It's not like we only have to pay a "partial" payment that month on the loan! If I am expected to pay every month on time for a car I bought, I expect the car to be built as they advertise it to be.

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I'm a lemon law investigator and deal with these cases every day. Your case was handled really well, and if the manufacturer was doing what they were supposed to, you wouldn't have needed an attorney at all.

    Irionically, I just filed paperwork with my lawfirm to lemon law my 2003 PT Cruiser GT (today) - I tried working with the manufacturer's customer people and the service district manager to no avail.

    My point on the weatherstripping - weatherstripping that falls off or makes air noise or whatever isn't regarded as a significant impairment.

    And yes, most definitely, these cases settle before going to court.

    I have, to date, been involved in 2,446 cases, yet I've only been to arbitrations 76 times and have only been to 8 trials. I'd say the majority of them settle, huh?
  • patziuspatzius Posts: 5
    It sounds like you know where I am coming from with all this.

    And to clarify from post #22: The Weatherstripping wasn't making noise, it was "raining" inside my car every time it was raining outside my car. Not just a little either. That was the one repair (outside of my warranty) that VW did pay 1/2 on. At that time my car had 32,000 miles and was 1 1/2 years only. They originally quoted me around $800 to fix this, but when they were paying 1/2, it magically only cost (between my 1/2 and theirs) only around $385. Not that I am not glad the price was significantly reduced, but that just proves to me how much they planned on making over and above the real cost of the repair.

    Anyway, I am working on getting out of this car and this lease all together. So I hope to be on happier terms with my next vehicle (as I always have been in the past). This is the 1st car I can say I truly HATE!!! It sure is cute, but what a pain in the a@@.

    Thanks for all the posts, they gave me some perspective anyway.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    Lemons laws vary from state to state, but in California most definitely the defect has to be "significant". Here's how it reads:

    The Lemon Law commands that if a vehicle manufacturer or its authorized dealer(s) cannot properly repair a “material defect” in your vehicle while it is under warranty after “a reasonable number of attempts,” the manufacturer must either promptly replace your new vehicle or refund your money, at your choice. The Lemon Law applies to all vehicles (including trucks and recreational vehicles) purchased or leased in the State of California and under the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty.

    A “material defect” is defined under the Lemon Law as something which “substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.” Most mechanical or drive-ability problems will qualify under this standard. The more serious the defect, the fewer number of repair attempts will be necessary to qualify the vehicle as a “Lemon."

    What constitutes “a reasonable number of attempts” at repair is a question of fact that can only be answered on a case by case basis. However, as a guideline, the Lemon Law states that if within 18 months or 18,000 miles of use, whichever occurs first, either the same material defect has been subject to repair four or more times, or the vehicle has been in the shop by reason of repairs for material defects for a cumulative total of more than 30 calendar days, then the vehicle is “presumed” to be a lemon.

    end of quote

    So in California, it seems unlikely that a trunk leak would qualify, but as you say, by all means consult a LL attorney. Don't presume that you are out of luck, that's good advice.

    Also, there is a misconception that the dealer buys the car back. This is not so. It is always the manufacturer who is responsible for buy-back under the Lemon Laws.

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

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    has absolutely nothing to do with a lemon law case.

    In addition to the lemon laws in each state, the Magnusson-Moss act is stronger in many cases and depending on how it's applied, can render better results than just a disqualification. Mag-Moss works in many cases that aren't full-blown lemon law cases.

    Definitely consult an atttorney, but don't expect a repurchase or huge settlement. A couple of grand to make it "go away" and covering the attroeny's fees are likely all you'll recover.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    I cannot multiply.
    5*15 = 75 not 60.
    Stupid me.

  • colie74colie74 Posts: 42
    "So in California, it seems unlikely that a trunk leak would qualify, but as you say, by all means consult a LL attorney"

    Guess what? It did. The law is what the manufacturer can use to their advantage, doesn't mean a lawyer still can't send off a demand. My car was not quite 3 years old, had 20K miles on it (past the 18months/18K usage) and the trunk leak did indeed go through. I am in Cal.

    And what is the definition of "significant"?

    I never bothered with the manufacturers customer service number or so forth to try to get this rectified. After the 3rd attempt, I called an attorney and he said, put it through one more time, if still no fix, call me, we'll send off the demand. I sent the lawyer pictures and all my invoices (for ALL warrenty work). He sent off a demand and the manufacturer decided to buy back the vehicle. They could have used the law as reason to say no, but they didn't. They made good on my situation and I am very happy about that.

    It doesn't hurt to ask a lawyer, it's free.

    Ya, I read the law too, the lawyer even puts it up on his website, but he said that isn't always the case, as long as it is still under warrenty, it can still go through. Even something as simple as a leak in the trunk went through. I am glad it did, it may not mean much to some, but my own heart had a hard time dealing with the fact that I was going to trade it in and some poor unsuspecting soul was going to inherit a leak in the trunk. I didn't want to have to do that. It should be taken off the roads, it's not worth anything resale. The only way to fix it, is to strip off the under coating, find the leak and seal it up, recoat it. But the service dept. never went that far and had no plans to. I went straight to a LL attorney instead of spending more time begging for service from higher ups.

    It's over and done with, I get my money back and get to go buy a car without a trade in. I can't ask for more than that. I am very glad the manufacturer made good on this situation.

    I don't need to lighten up, I am just correcting those who continue to give advice that you can only push a car through the LL if it is safety related, and that just isn't the case. Yes, the law may say one thing, but still doesn't mean it is set in stone I guess. So quoting the law still isn't totally accurate and a person should just stop there. ASK. It doesn't hurt to ask, but do it sooner than later.

    Take care,

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    You're certainly right here:

    "I don't need to lighten up, I am just correcting those who continue to give advice that you can only push a car through the LL if it is safety related, and that just isn't the case."

    But please understand that considering the number of cases I see, you're certainly the exception, not the rule.

    To see a full repurchase on something like that is very rare and shows an extremely good attorney, weak manufacturer rep, or both.

    The one manufacturer I see doing this unusual step-up is GM, though - I applaud them for that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    Well, no, your car did not qualify under the law, but in effect we are still all saying the same thing. Your defect was not judged significant enough under the law but you hired an attorney and they settled, more or less outside the law's stricter interpretation. I bet they could have beat you on it, too.

    Going to court is not about justice it's about maneuvering, and that being the case, any suit can be presented for settlement, sure. No argument from me about that.

    I think you won on a real long shot, so congrats. I would have bet the other side on this one. Now I know to be more optimistic.

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

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    that involve dash rattles and wind noises - not a big bunch of maoney or a repurchase, but a win and some cash for the owner anyway.

    Once suit is filed, the other side starts incurring costs - a couple grand more to make it go away is just the way it works.
  • jackiepezjackiepez Posts: 1
    Lemon laws are different from state to state. I bought my 2001 Cabrio in Florida. The LL there is great. Three times in the shop for the same problem, OR 15 days in the shop, not consecutively, in a one year period, and your car's a lemon. Period end of story. No court necessary, just your money back.

    I got all my information on line from or something like that, filled out a couple of forms, sent a letter to the factory, and the LL business bureau in FL, had a meeting with VW and got my money back. No questions asked. It was THAT easy.

    By the way, I thought what are the chances of getting a lemon of the same car two in a row, (I really liked the car) and I upgraded to the GLX and took a shot and got a second one. Bad move.

    I have 30k miles now. It's been in the shop for all kinds of stupid stuff. From the leak in the weather stripping, to the door handle stuff peeling off, t o bigger problems such as the electrical problems that everyone seems to be having. Hmmmmm what else? Strut mounts, more electrical problems... There was almost $1000 worth of warranty work done this time.

    By the way, you can negotiate the deductible for the extended warranty. With this car, you shouldn't have to pay for the warranty because you're gonna need it. Mine is $100. I only have $500 more to go and I'll break even.

    If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have bought the second one. Do I still like my car? Yes. But only when it's not in the shop which is about every 4-5 months or so.
This discussion has been closed.