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VW Touareg Maintenance and Repair



  • My friend recently purchased a VW Touareg with all the trimmings. The car was a demo model with 5000 miles on it but it appeared fine. Ever since it left the Millennium VW dealer in Somerville, it has been one problem after another.
    1. Check engine light came on - Fuel pump replaced. It took them a week. He only had the car for 2 weeks
    2. He picked up the car and it had a dent where one did not exist before.
    3. Breaks squeaked and vibrated intermittently. The car was taken back in kept for a whole day by the dealership and they called at 5pm to say they couldn't reproduce the problem when they drove..they did not even examine the breakes and questioned my friends concerns.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    All cars have problems and some dealers are better than others. Complaints on the net have to be taken with a grain of salt, and I'm afraid that friend of friend complaints rate even bigger grains of salt.

    I'd recommend that your friend contact a customer service rep at VW of America - my sister did that with a recurring problem and the dealer managed to pay better attention to her problem the next time.

    Steve, Host
  • steve-why did your sister have to contact vw of america-don't you think that her vw dealer should have had the sensitivity and responsibility to take care of their customer's (your sister) needs? i believe that you are reinforcing my point-if you buy an expensive car at a dealership used to selling low price cars, you might get low level service. there is no reason that you shouldn't get good service when you buy a $13,000 car-but that isn't the way it is, at least not in the real world. as more customers buy $47,000 t-regs and 75k phaetons, the vw dealers are going to have to increase the level and attentiveness of their service to accomodate the customers that they are attracting. if those customers have to call vw of america to make their dealers perform, than these cars will sit unsold.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    My sister is in northern Virginia and from what I've seen, she's yet to find a good dealer for any of her cars she's owned in the last 20 years. I don't think it's all her (I keep clipping Edmunds stuff for her and gave her the book, but it hasn't helped her much; she's always getting ripped off for service).

    She didn't even know she could contact VWofA for help until I suggested it.

    VW is aware of their dealer reputation in North America and has been working to fix it, even for new Beetle drivers like my sister. But she probably won't buy another VW.

    At least she now knows that the local AutoZone will pull her CEL codes for her for free!

    Steve, Host
  • okg0okg0 Posts: 7
    I find it hard to believe that a VW dealer would refuse to do warranty service on a VW that wasn't purchased at his dealership. As I understand the warranty, I should be able to take my Touareg to any authorized VW dealer for service. If I was czer, I would take this up with VWofA.
  • tregownertregowner Posts: 26
    Well, just to provide a different side to all of this. The tire pressure monitor mysteriously disappeared from the MFI the other day. I called my service rep at the dealer, and he said that there was a TSB on this (right rear transmitter needed to be moved). I brought the car in, they gave me a new Passat to drive around, and said it would be fixed by noon the next day. They did a bunch of other TSB/Recall items, had the car washed and ready by noon, and I picked it up in the early afternoon. Fast, courteous service, a free (nice) loaner, everything works, and I'm a happy camper. So, for all of the "horror" stories out there about service, there are some good ones, too......
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    I would agree, there are good dealers out there. But that's only if we "force" them to be good. Courteous - yes! Kind - yes! Firm - without a doubt! Don't accept mediocrity, especially after paying that kind of money. If it doesn't work, forget the lawyers (for the moment), there's state or local licensing authorities and the State Attorney General's office. After all, isn't there an implied committment for service? Or, in reference to one of the earlier posts, should the manufacturers add still another warning sticker on the vehicle -- "if you didn't buy it here, don't expect service here!!!"
  • to be sure, all vw dealers don't have bad service. the toureg and the phaeton is vw's first experience in selling upscale cars. many buyers of 50k plus vehicles require loaners, their asses kissed, tlc, etc. hopefully, the vw dealers will learn
  • davesterdavester Posts: 1
    can anybody tell me how to turn off the seat belt warning signal? I am truly annoyed with the DARN thing going off, especially when I am in the parked position with the engine running.

    thank you.

    PS. - is DARN ok to use or is that word also offensive?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You did good ... this time! :-)

    tidester, host
  • spockcatspockcat Posts: 100
    You can use a VAG-COM by Ross-Tech to shut it off. See their website at:

    Look up the Touareg page.
  • A loaner isn't too much to ask for when the car is out of commission due to a fault for which the manufacturer is clearly responsible. Naturally, buying the first stock of any model car is always a risky proposition as the company works to iron out quality warts and kinks. But, the growing-pains excuse is rather lame for a company whose stable includes Porsche, Audi and Bentley. To expect owners of TRegs to put up with Jetta-like service is asinine. Heck, Audi's costing thousands less come with better perks.
    All in all, if you live in Northern VA I'm glad to report that I've found service at Stohlman VW in Tyson's Corner to be much more professional and courteous than at Fairfax VW. I had to take the car in for the 5K scheduled service and decided to try a different dealership. They also had to replace a faulty air bag harness because the warning light was on continuously. Still, there was no loaner, but the car was done in a few hours. VWOA has promised to refund us the cost of renting a car for the day, but I still wish dealerships made loaners available.
    All that said, my wife and I still love this vehicle and crazy as it may sound are considering buying a second one. I don't know about the Cayenne since I've never been in one. But, compared to the Mercedes ML and the BMW, I wouldn't trade the TReg for any of them. Someone suggested Lexus as the alternative, and I'm sure Lexuses are fine cars. However, IMO from an esthetic and pedigree standpoint Lexuses, Infinitis and Acuras attract a completely different automotive consumer than do the Euros. For instance, I've heard the Infiniti FX is a fun car to drive, but I simply can't get past the gimmicky exterior.
  • I just bought a Touareg with the navigation system. The system looks great, but.. large areas of Wisconsin (the state I live in) are not mapped (and I assume that other state maps have similar problems). This shortcoming is not spelled out in the VW sales literature and I wonder whether that results in a case of false or misleading advertising, or none delivery of performance. I contacted VW and they said that this is not their problem, but Navstar's(sp. ??), and I should deal with them. Does anybody on this board have a similar problem? Any recommended solutions? Should this be a law suit concerning breach of performance?

    Any suggestions?
  • spockcatspockcat Posts: 100
    First, make sure you have your zoom set for 0.2 miles so you can see all the secondary roads.

    If you check into other nav systems and their suppliers, you will find that full coverage is not guaranteed. I recall about 16 months ago when I was looking at the FX35/45, the nav supplier's website showed which areas were covered and which areas lacked coverage. I don't recall the name of the supplier but I'm sure you can find it with a google search.

    The Touareg uses NAVTEQ data CDs. New nav CDs are coming out in the near future. They were initially scheduled to come out in July but this has been pushed back a couple of months.

    If you find roads that are not on the NAVTEQ maps, you should fill out a driver's feedback form at NAVTEQ's website. They are quite prompt at checking your feedback and replying. This is one way that data gets updated.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Any word on an update to a DVD based nav system for the Touareg?

    We are adding the Touareg to our shopping list because my wife really likes the exterior look and thinks she may be willing to give up the 7+ passenger seating of the others we are looking at (Pilot/MDX, XC90, GX470).

    However, we would like to get a navigation system and are spoiled by the one in my 2004 Acura TL (8" screen, voice activates, DVD based). Am I going to be dissapointed with the VW system? The two Touaregs we have looked at didn't have nav.

    Also, is there a difference between the Touareg nav and the one used in the Cayanne, or are they virtually the same?
  • I got a new Touareg last week. There are no aftermarket tires or wheels. Stock. Right away it was very obvious that the speedometer was reading about 5-6mph fast at highway speeds. I've checked it against 3 other vehicles and a radar gun used by our security patrol co. in our community. It's been back to the dealership 3 times now. First two times they didn't look at it. This time they say they can't find a noticable difference. They only checked it at low speeds. It's a little harder to tell at low speed and the difference is less (about 3-4mph at 25mph). I just got off the phone with the service manager. Told him to take it out on the highway, check it out and, call me back. Haven't heard from him yet.Anyone else had this problem?
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I believe that it is fairly common to have a vehicle speedometer read a bit high when you are traveling over 45 mph. I don't know the actual reason for it but my guess is that it gives the driver the feeling that he is actually traveling at 5 mph over the posted speed limit when in reality he is doing only 1 mph over the speed limit. Of course, this is just my opinion.
  • Please don't take any offense but, that is one of the silliest things I've ever heard. Can you imagine the problems (law suits) a manufacturer would bring upon themselves if they intentionally distorted their speedometers readings? I'm kind of an anal guy about these kinds of things and I've never owned a car with an inaccurate speedometer unless it was made so by a gear or tire size change. Anyway, I've checked it again with 2 more different vehicles, a new Cady SUV and my neighbors Ford Expedition. Both show my speedometer as being wrong. So, where do I go from here? VW of America customer service?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I've checked my various speedometers over the years with both a stopwatch on highways with mile markers and with my laptop computer with a GPS attachment.

    I have found:

    1995 Maxima SE: Actual speed 65.0, indicated speed 69-70.

    1996 Isuzu Trooper: Actual speed 65.0, indicated speed 66.

    2002 Honda S2000: Actual speed 65.0, indicated speed 65 (digital).

    2004 Acura TL: Actual speed 65.0, indicated speed 67-68.

    I don't think there is much recourse for anything that is within 5 mph. Although it is disturbing that, given the components that can be manufactured to tolerances of 1/1000 of an inch., the speedometers can be off by 5-7%.
  • Thanks for your reply spockcat. I used navigation systems before, and had a more accurate map(Mercedes Benz) I can't recall the name of the software manufacturer. The problem with the VW system is that they advertise it as being capable to bring you to any point in the country, and here I am driving through cities and the navigation system tells me that I am off-roading!

    I did not buy the system from NAVETEQ, but from Volkswagen, they in turn have a contract with the software supplier, and VW is my sales agent!

    If I buy a computer with pre-loaded software, Microsoft tells me that the computer manufacturer is responsible for the software, and not Microsoft. The same applies for VW. I do not see any reason that I have to buy new software because VW delivered the system with inadequate software. The minimum I expect from VW is a new set of CD's for FREE once they become available!

    I paid way over $40,000 for this vehicle and expect it to be flawless, or, if that cannot be achieved, I want VW taking care of this without me having to fight them every inch of the way to an appropriate performance!

    Concerning thedoctor's question on speedometer accuracy, the EU directives allow a deviation of 3-4 miles and North America (US and Canada) say it shall not deviate by more than 10% from the actual speed.
  • gerrrrgerrrr Posts: 6
    Here's a new one... Driving home from work in my Red Treg when out of no where, i hear a loud beeeeeeep, then everything and I mean everything on my dashboard starts flashing. "Brakes, Cruise, ABS, MFI disappeared, etc...". It's almost like a laser light show. Start smelling some plastic burning. Pulled over and everything under the hood looked okay. Made it home and checked all the fuses and they seemed okay. Wipers no longer work. I think one of the circuit boards got fried. Bringing it in Monday for service. In the mean time I'll enjoy the light show on my dashboard. One good thing, the seat belt, door open, lights on alarms aren't working. Just hope it doesn't rain this weekend.
  • panzerpanzer Posts: 125
    My Touareg speedo is optimistic as well. I'm glad I didn't lease it. My informal measurements indicate it's high by about 5 to 7 percent. It's low on my worry list though. I got tagged for only 79 in a 65 when I thought I was going to get the big ticket. I suspect VW knows all about it and there's a Technical Service Bulletin for this. For further information, you might try another forum that has the company initials and something about the middle of a hurricane, if you know what I mean.
  • Thanks for the reply. I'm going out today with a GPS. I really wouldn't be so bothered by this if it weren't for the mileage restriction on my lease. At the error rate I believe the speedo has, assuming we drive 3hrs. a day, at the end of my lease, the car could show 18,900 mi. more than it has actually been driven. And guess who would pay for that?
  • Well, brough the Treg in to find out what the light show was all a bout. They said they did all kinds of test and found nothing. Told me everything was working fine. Go figure. When I dropped it off, the lights no longer flashed, but the speedometer read 60mph and that was sitting still. Gas gauge was pointing at the little icon. Tech said maybe something (plastic) flew into the engine while I was driving causing the burning plastic smell and distrubing the electronics, hence the light show and gauges gone wild. Anyway, everything is back to normal. Think I would have felt better if they actually had a rational explanation for the whole adventure.
  • The speedometer in the Touareg is optomistic. # to 4 mph at highway speed. BUT the odometer and speed indicated in the MFI is accurate. To prove that, try this test; on a nice relatively flat open road set your speed with cruise control at 63 MPH. Go to the MFI average speed and do a reset. Then drive for several miles at 63 MPH on cruise. The MFI will indicate 60 MPH. This shows that the car does know the true speed but that VW has set the speedo to show a higher speed.

    If that test isn't enough, then get a Garmin GPS unit like an iQue 3600 and check the mileage against the Garmin.
  • I believe late 2005 is the target for DVD nav.

    As for the current nav, you will be disappointed by the lack of features but the nav will get you to your destination. And the fact that you can change/set your destination while in motion, while other systems require that you stop to set/change your destination is one benifit.
  • We purchased a new 2004 VW Touareg and we noticed that the tread of the front tires was almost gone after driving it about 10,000 miles. It appears to be an alignment problem. Since most of our miles were driven on the highway I don't believe that road conditions are responsible for the faulty alignment. I wondered if others have experienced the same problem and if maybe the original factory settings on the vehicle were off.
  • This kind of slightly higher reading of the speed on the speedo is something that is common to all German cars that I have owned/driven. Of 4 VWs, 3 BMWs and 1 Merc all showed a speed on the speedo of 3mph higher than the actual speed. I've never discovered the exact reason why but they have all done it.

    For comparisom the 3 Hondas and 1 Toyota I have driven did not show this.

    BTW my testing is with those speed display signs on trailers that our local police like to leave in various places for a week or two before they do a speed crackdown. If I compare my speedo to that there is always a +3mph difference. This is at 35 or 65 so it's not related to what speed you are doing, just an absolute adjustment to the indicated speed.
  • I have less than 500 miles on my touareg. The second day I had it i was putting the hatch down and heard a pop. Now the hatch will not stay up on it's own. Today I tried to turn on the wipers and they dont work. Made sure that the hood was closed tight and it was. The washer will spray but the wipers will not come on at all. Have vehicle scheduled for service on friday. The only good thing is the dealership threw in a lifetime loaner vehicle with the deal.
  • There is a service circular about poor alignment. Check with your dealer about it. VW should give you a new pair (or more) of tires plus a proper alignment.
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