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VW brand experience - good or bad?



  • vikdvikd Posts: 187 the one area that has somewhat soured my ownership experience. I can live with some of the little gremlins that have popped up during my ownership in exchange for a vehicle that is a blast to drive and a pleasure to spend time in.

    If VW's are to be built and marketed as a step above the norm, they service dpts also need to follow suit. This is not anything groundbreaking but it's really my only complaint.

    Regards... Vikd
  • 'That most of the really bad problems seem to come from VW that are not built in Germany. It's a mystery to me why the German makers canno0t translate the quality of their German-built cars into those made in Mexico, Brazil, or even the USA.'

    This is VERY wrong. My GTI was made in Wolfsburg, and I have had numerous problems with it (including the infamous piston ring not installed properly). Now VW has paid for pretty much every repair (even when the car was not under warranty anymore, and except for the $500 gas pump). But still recent VWs are not reliable. Peugeot-Citroên sold more cars than VW in Europe last quarter for a good reason. VW is having SERIOUS QC problems. And that has nothing to do with the location where the cars are built....

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (wain) Both of these issues have been addressed by VW.

    *)All new VWs hav the improved window regulators.

    *)The Ignitors are being replaced as fast as the parts become available. (dont forget this is an AUDI engine and the parts are needed for AUDIs too)

    Lets try to get beyond these 2 issues... I dont see folks dwelling on the Honda forums about all of the faulty automatic transmissions. Nor do I see folks in the Toyota forums still complaining about the engines gumming up and crapping out.

    An automobile is a complex machine and there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect machine. Glitches are unavoidable. A responsive, well-trained, fix it right the first time, service at the dealership makes for happy customers that tend to forget that there was a problem to begin with. Poor dealership service is the root of VWs woes.

    That is why I drive about 80 miles (passing 2 other VW dealerships) to get to Kinney motors in Rutland Vermont. The service is professional, reasonably-priced and competent.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The bigger issue is that the problems with the VW windows and engine coil packs were far more widespread than the problems with oil gelling in Toyota engines - and VW did nothing to warn the owners. Toyota did stall briefly - but not for as long as VW did. There are far fewer Toyota owners with engine problems than VW owners with window and coil-pack failures - despite there being a lot more Toyotas on the roads in the US and elsewhere than VWs.

    VW has acquired an image problem in the US in the last few years - and that image problem isn't going to help them sell $60-80,000 Phaetons in large numbers.

    Hyundai Motor is probably in better shape to move upmarket than VW is - and it's having a tough enough time doing that with $25,000 cars - let alone VW's stretch to $60,000 models.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Did VW fall into the German thing of making parts more complicated than usual ?- my son said when you have a very complicated system, if the formerly excellent quality of any one of the many parts degrades, then the complicated system really, really fails. Is that a factor with VW?
    Honda had distributor igniter problems (sorta like coil packs - same result - no go ) in the late 80s, and early 90s. they fixed my 91Civic free (parts about $400) when it had 80k miles and reimbursed my son for a private mechanic repair on his 89 when it was 6 years old and 100k + miles. Thats service.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I have allready mentioned my 1991 Honda that the dealership replaced the ignitor during a normal oil-change visit. Most folks had no idea that ther was a widespread issue with the Honda ignitors because Honda squelched it before it became a big issue.

    The same can be said about the more recient automatic xmission failures on Hondas and the Toyota engine problems.

    I have been saying for months that VW has an 'image' problem mostly due to their approach to "customer sastifaction" (or lack therof) at most VW dealerships.

    VW could learn an important lesson from Honda and Toyota. (But I am afraid it will be a hard lesson for VW)

    But the fact remains that it is more of an "image" problem than a reliability issue with the vehicles themselves.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,716
    Read my post #55. In my particular case, it was a reliability issue with the vehicle itself. I happened to find a good dealer, which cushioned the blow...
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Boy, you seemed to have had a lemon.

    How do you like the 2002 Altima 2.5S?

    Would you beleive that after the Jetta, the Altima 2.5S was my wifes second choice?

    I liked the Nissan myself but was aprehensive about the longevity of the body thru many years of salt-coverend roads. My last Nissan rusted VERY badly. (but the drivetrain was bulletproof!)

    The VW has a 12 year/100,000 mile warantee on the body.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    I am very familiar with Kinney Motors, as I live in Vermont (Bennington). I have hear nothing but very good things about them; Hand in Manchester is another story.

    Also, what kind of Nissan was your last one? I had an '87 Toyota Corolla with an excellent drivetrain, but the body rusted.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (jrosasmc) I work with many folks that drive past 2 other VW dealerships to get to Kinney Motors. (over 80 miles)

    My Nissan was a pickuptruck. Bought it with 80,000 miles on it... it ran flawlessly until it rusted too badly to pass state inspection. From there, with over 120K miles, It went to the family farm where it ran several more years. I understand it was sold to somone who rebuilt the bed with pressure-treated lumber and it is STILL on the road today. There is no question about it, Nissan builds bulletproof engines!

    Like I said, it was the VW 12year/100,000 mile warantee that drew me to VW. Only the Saturn has a better warantee (plastic car) but they have a reputation of consuming oil.

    In Vermont, I now consider a galvanized body a MUST HAVE on any vehicle I purchase. I can replace brakes, suspension and even an engine... but I CANNOT replace the body of a vehicle.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,716
    I've had it for a couple of months now. I love the extra passenger room and thoughtful storage space (both of which were lacking in the Jetta). It's pretty quiet and refined, as well. Not as fun to drive as the Jetta, but at this juncture in my life, the trade-off is worth it! Mine has the rare optional ABS and side airbags. 2 recalls performed, one more pending. One rattle in the driver's seatbelt fixed. No other problems to report.
  • I have owned a Seat Toledo TDiSE since the end of 1999. My car was made in the VW factory in Belgium. It has now done almost 90,000 miles and has always been 100% reliable. Not even a rattle or squeak. I live in the U.K.
     My previous car was a VW Fox, which I bought in South Africa in 1992. My relative still drives that car in England and it has always been fantastically reliable. It has done an incredible mileage.
     The car before that I also bought in South Africa. I was living there then. It was a Golf GLS 1500cc.I did an enormous mileage in it during it's 14 years. I sometimes drove from Durban to Cape Town in one day over a thousand miles in the day.
     The car before that was a VW variant 411 L. It was an estate car I bought second hand. That was less good; because I was cheated when I bought it.
       I have been very lucky with VWs and the VW Seat group.
     I took a test drive in a Touran compact MPV 7 seater ( third row folds into foor ). I drove the 2.0 litre diesel near Exeter UK. I was delighted with it. The performance and roadholding were excellent. The seating arrangements are extremely clever. The driving position is very comfortable. I am temted very much to buy one!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    I was talking to a salesman from a very large Bay Area VW dealership and he said that if they sell 30 VWs on the weekend, maybe 1/3 of them are back in a week for something or other. Not inspiring. He feels, as I do, that the Jetta, Bug and Golf variants are more prone to troubles than the Passat. My polling of friends and family with Passats seems to confirm this.

    Interestingly, I know two people who had VW buy back their cars and then went out and bought them again! They just don't like Japanese cars, the way they look and drive.

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  • I don't want to talk polotics; but sometimes unfortunately it makes a big difference where a car is assembled. If there are militant strikes, then the car will be rubbish. Unfortunately all these car companies have assembly spots all over the world. They just can't seem to keep control of quality everywhere all the time. Cost of labour in different places must sway these companies.
      I have just been lucky I admit!
  • I have my sincere sympathy for those who have troublesome cars. It sounds as if the boss of VW needs to kick very hard indeed!!
     When I was working in South Africa for 18 years, towards the end of my stay there was unrest at VW. Apart from militant action by the workers ( luckily my Fox was good ), Ferdinand Piech who was boss of VW worldwide at that time walked in to the SA assembly unannounced. He wasn't happy with the then new Golf assembly, so he temporarily stopped it. It cost them a fortune; but he was a sensible man. Quality always sells, people are not fools!!
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    "was talking to a salesman from a very large Bay Area VW dealership and he said that if they sell 30 VWs on the weekend, maybe 1/3 of them are back in a week for something or other. Not inspiring. He feels, as I do, that the Jetta, Bug and Golf variants are more prone to troubles than the Passat. My polling of friends and family with Passats seems to confirm this."

    I bought my Nissan from a Nissan/VW/Mits dealer, and while we were waiting for F&I to get the paperwork in order my salesperson was telling me pretty much what you stated above. He was something of a green pea, but was astonished at how many brand new Jettas were towed back in because of some catastrophic electrical failure. He told me this because we were talking cars, and I told him how much of a disaster my '96 Jetta was. Apparantly VW hasn't changed much over the last decade.

    There is no conceivable way I'd ever buy one myself, and really get in the face of any friend of family member considering it. Then again, most people write off VW when I tell them my Jetta story. :)

    What kills me is that Jetta was my first new car, and around the time I had to have it towed back to the dealer for the third time, I was thinking that everyone who bought new cars had to put up with this, kind of like buying a new house. Fortunately, one Chevy, one Ford, two Oldmobiles, and one Nissan later I can now say with confidence that VW was a truly haunted car. None of the other new vehicles my wife and I have bought have failed to start... ever. Sure, there may be stupid things like a rear windshield wiper not wiping the entire window, but I hardly classify that in the same category as the battery exploding and ruining everything plastic or rubber in the engine compartment.

    Good riddance, VW.
  • I am shocked at what you have had to put up with. The assembly for the American VWs must be absolutely disgusting.
     Both a Golf and Fox I had for very many years and were extremely reliable ( South African assembly of 1978 and 1992 ). The Seat Toledo TDiSE I have in England was assembled in a VW factory in Belgium at the end of 1999. It is a fantastic car. Not a buzz, rattle or squeak, and always totally reliable.
      I have heard of terrible striking at various assembly plants lately. Hasn't there been terrible trouble in Brazil also in what used to be East Germany and now it is all one. The workers want the same conditions and pay as the ones in the Western part of the country. There have often been big strikes in South Africa.
     It is a good thing to find where your car is assembled. A lot of right hand drive C class Mercedes and 3 series BMW right hand drive are assembled in South Africa. I have nothing against those countries. I know and love South Africa. People have a right to know where their cars are assembled.
  • The South African Fox was really a version of the Jetta 1
     It had four headlights. Mine had a 1600 cc engine.
     If you type in to Google Search:
     South African VW Fox
    all sorts of headings come up. The first 2 headings were the most useful.
     My Fox was excellent!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,886
    can be checked's indicated in the first letter/digit of the VIN. If you like I can publish a partial list list.

    I do think it has a bearing, particularly in the case of VW products, which seem to vary widely depending on where they are assembled.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • VW just seem to have been taking a knock lately.When I took the new VW Touran 2.0 litre diesel for a test drive near Exeter U.K. I was delighted with the handling, performance and quality. Some of the competitors look more cudly and cute; but I have always liked the quieter more practical German vehicles. The Touran is made in Germany at present.
     What you said about VIN numbers is very interesting.
     I am not interested in automatic lights, automatic wipers, digical displays and automatic handbrakes. Also key card entry systems. Lots to go wrong !!! Thank you VW for not putting those silly things in to the Touran. It was so easy to drive and understand!!
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    do you have the full japanese car selection available to compare the VW to?
  • In the UK, the main competitors for the Touran are: Renault Scenic2 ( a 5 seater; but there will soon be a 7 seater), Ford CMax ( an excellent 5 seater ), Vauxhall (Opel) Zaffira 7 seats simillar to Touran with third row of seats folding in to floor and the Citroen Picasso 5 seater, still the best seller ( very roomy and comfortable. Excellent value at it's knock down prices ).
     The Japanese do have good MPVs and 4 by 4s. The Toyota Previa and the Avensis Versa are good. There are other good makes here too.Nissan and Honda of course.
      In it's class though, that first group I mentioned are normally compared together in the UK magazines. The Ford has the most car like performance, The Renault is very cleverly designed. Driving position has been made lower and more car like also. The Renault looks cutest and it has so many tricks. The Zaffira is still a brilliant design, as to the way they fold the rear seats in to the floor. It has been going a number of years.
  • One sees plenty of excellent Japanese vehicles in United Kingdom.
     In July I will be moving back permanently to Dublin, as I come from there. The Toyota Avensis is the nomber one car there this year. They can't make them quickly enough!!
     I see Toyota is stiil by far the best seller in South Africa. They had a good advert in South Africa: " Everything keeps going right Toyota ".
  • lewshellewshel Posts: 37
    I purchased a VW Golf TDI GLS 5 speed last March. 22,000 miles later it is running aok. There are two rattles (hatchback cover and a part-time rattle in the driver's seat height adjuster) and the brakes chirp on bumps. I have gotten 53 mpg on the highway and I get about 38 mpg in the city. I hope to keep the car for 200,000 miles. I once owned a 1976 Rabbit and kept it for 95,000 miles before I traded for my first Mazda 626. I swapped a 1997 Mazda 626 with over 135,000 miles for the VW. The Mazda had a comfortable ride and I considered both a Mazda 6 or a Protege 5. Then I remembered how many transmissions my 626 had (3) and my wife's 2000 626 LX V6 had (it's on its 2nd).
    No car is free from problems, even with my "better than by-the-book" maintenance. Those of us who take them time to write on these forums have either pain or pleasure in owning their cars.
    (If you want perfect reliability walk or ride a bike). I enjoy my VW and the information I get about it on this and other websites. When the time comes next December to replace the V6 626 we will not get another Mazda, despite the fact that they are fun to drive. We may get either a Passat V6 Four motion or a Subaru Outback Sedan. But even our old Subaru has had it share of minor adjustments (165,000 and still going strong in California) The Subaru was not much fun to drive but here in New England it was useful.
  • Your message is very interesting. I am just extremely lucky with my Seat Toledo TDiSE. Mine was made in the VW factory in Belgium near the end of 1999. It has been incredibly reliable.It has now done 90,000 miles, which is not much for a diesel.It has many years of life left in it.
     The VW Fox I bought in 1992 when I worked in South Africa, still goes excellently with an enormous mileage on it back in England.
     I have been incredibly lucky so far. Of course I'm sure parts will wear out in time. I bring my Toledo over to Dublin permanently in July 2004.I'll be moving over there from the UK. A fast ferry ride from the north of Wales.
     I have hired a vast amount of cars. Recently I hired a compact MPV when visiting Dublin. Four times I hired a Citroen Picasso. Good fun to drive and lots of room for five people. In England they are selling them at huge discount.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Hi- I'm an American college student and studied in London for four months last year (Sep. to Dec.). I went to Ireland three times while I was in the UK because I loved it so much. Have you ever been to Galway, on the west coast? I have also been to Dublin as well.
  • Yes I have been to Galway. It is a pleasant place near some superb scenery.
     I wonder, did you visit Leenane and Clifden?

    They have lovely scenery surrounding them.
     Also the Cliffs of Moher further south and lovely peaceful Sheeps Head in the far South West. The scenery is always best just after rain. It rains an awful lot on the west coast; but that makes the fantastic sunsets. Wonderful skies. Lovely soft colouring.
     I am sure you loved the historical parts of Dublin.
      I am a classical musician and I have had wonderful American friends whilst playing full-time in orchestras.
     My wife loved visiting the States; but I have never been. I must go!!
      Driving in Dublin can be very exciting.It's best to get buses and taxies during the day.
     Sorry I'm sure you know all that having been there.
      Killiney and Dalkey Hills give a wonderful view of the southern coastline of Co.Dublin. Howth on the northside is a lovely area.
     Up in the mountains just south of Dublin, The Pine Forest, the"Feather Bed "road leading near and past the Sally Gap leading down to Glendalough is superb. I'm sure you know all this though.
      Thanks so much for the message, it is extremely interesting.
      The roads near Dublin are in a transition stage. It will take a while to settle down with all the building.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Unfortunately I did not get a chance to visit Leenane and Clifden. However, I did go to Inis Mor, the largest Aran Island, as well as Blarney (kissed the stone, what a treat!) and Drogheda, which is to the north of Dublin. I agree with you, the traffic in Dublin is such a hassle.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Wait, you're a classical musician? I am too, but on a very part-time basis though. I'm a classically-trained pianist and organist.
  • Very many thanks for taking the trouble to write back such an interesting message. much appreciated!
     Unfortunately I have never been to the Aran Islands.I must go there.
      My late mother was a church organist and choir mistress. She also had a lovely singing voice.
     Even though I am a cellist, I listen to piano concertos played by Ashkenazy, Rubenstein and Richter etc on my 6 CD autochanger and 8 speakers in my Seat Toledo TDiSE. It certainly is a worthwhile included extra. I drive a resonable mileage in the Devon countryside. I find Rachmaninov is very relaxing to listen to when driving long runs.
      Thanks so much again for your interesting message.
     I am scared to kiss the Blarney stone, as you have to lean back with an awful drop. I am not good with heights.
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