Howdy, Stranger!

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

VW brand experience - good or bad?

I have a 2001 VW Golf GLS, and a 2001 Passat GLS. Two lemmons. The Passat is somewhat less problematic. The Golf is a lemmonade.
For the Golf, at 36,000 miles, and two years old, I have already replaced: Battery - 20,000 mi;
rear brakes - 30,000 mi; two window mechanisms; A/C compressor - 12,000 mi; cooling fan - 34,000 mi; and lastly,
the AC evaporator at 36,000 mi, purchase price: $558.00 (Parts are priced like made out of gold, well, gold is not very strong, it happens). Warranty used to be 24,000 - 2 y, now it is 36, 3 y; but parts are very prone to failure.
Don't be lured by the powertrain warranty; it rarely fails in any car. it is the engoine accesories, the windows, the A/C, what fials pretty soon, and belive me, they will make money out of your missery.


  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Sorry to hear about your problems with your cars. Can I suggest using the spellcheck feature.

    Lemon is with 1 m. Engine does not have an o....... and misery only has 1 s.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Seriously, though, the brakes are not worthy of mention on this list. It's not news to replace brakes at 30k mi, is it? Batteries are no big deal, either. I have had two cars have batteries die within 2 years of buying them--and I know others with the same issue. I hear it has to do with the cheap batteries some manufacturers use to save costs. Things like the window mechanism and A/C compressor should have been hadled under warranty, thus not costing you anything to fix. Lastly, just because you've had some bad experiences does not make the whole line a prime choice for lemons, now does it?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Warrranty is now 4 year and 50,000 miles bumper to bumper, not 3 yr 36.
    Window regulators had a flaw, VW recognized this, VW fixes the windows under warranty even if the car is not under warranty.
    Brakes at 30,000 miles are not a lemmon issue, they are a maintenance item.
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    i must admit that i have a golf gls that i purchased about 3 months agoand its been the worst car that i have ever owned. other people that i know who own vw cars like the new beatle and other jettas have had similar problems with thier vehiclesas well. regardless of how long the warranty is its simply not worth the pain and agravation as well as timeto keep going through these problems.i am in a pretty good financial situation to unload this car and get something more reliable. perhaps a honda civic, or the hyndai elantra, just a few examples that come to thought.anyway thank you.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    VW owners and no grammar and spelling?
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    I was wondering the same thing, zues...
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I do realize VW has isues with reliability. But, I do hope that the new models coming out in 2004 as '05s get better. I am glad that I have had no problems with my 2002 Jetta GL. Other than an annoying dash rattle. Mechanically it has been VERY sound....BTW I have almost 19K miles.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Sounds like a family members experience. Has owned 3 VW's since 1997, a Jetta, a GTI, and a Passat. The Jetta and Passat have been pretty good but the GTI was problematic. The window regulator failed several times and there were a few electronic gremlins and the various rattle.

    Considering VW's poor showing in JD Powers recent survey I can understand the frustration.

    Who was the #1 European brand in the latest CSI rankings? Yep, Saab. Finished 7th overall. BMW was 10th, MBz and Volvo tied for 11th, Audi was 20th. The 2003 J.D. Power CSI study focuses on experiences with the dealer service department during the first three years of vehicle ownership. The 2003 study includes 37 automotive brands, and is based upon the responses of nearly 106,000 new-vehicle owners and lessees. Saab's score of 892 exceeded both the industry average and the luxury average and jumped 17 points over last year’s score of 875.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    No picking on spelling, typing, or grammar... they're not a requirement to post here, but civility and respect are.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    I hope someone passes along that I believe there is a level of bad spelling and writing that becomes disrespectful.

    The occasional misspelled word because of a typo is one thing, but for anyone who currently owns a computer, to not use a spell checker or perhaps is, IMHO disrespectful.

    I'm not saying I get everything write (oops right) :) but bad spelling and grammar do make it difficult to understand a point.

    And as the commercial says, "people judge you by the words you use..." and bad spelling and grammar will weaken your argument as others will consider the apparent level of intellect.

    I hope this was respectful enough for others to understand.

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... Thanks for the pointer - .. that's what I nead, nede, neud, need ..!

                        Terry :)
  • Ai thinc yu maide yor poynt. reespekful inuff phur Mi et ouas!

    veeDubs Shtink!
  • You're right, VW aint no SAAB. Saabs are for freaks and they should stick to making airplane engines. To Steven39, sorry to hear you've had problems with VW. All cars have one or two lemons, good luck with you Hyundai? LOL LOL>..
  • Well, if you look at reliability, you can't go better than a Saab 9-5. 9-3's ain't so bad either.

    VW's on the other hand, suck accross the board, except for the Passat, which has been marginal.
  • "Saabs are for freaks..."
    LOL! Then I guess I'm a freak wannabe...I've pretty much decided on a CPO 9-5 for my next car. Fine by me if that makes me a freak. BTW, Saab Scania (which is no longer affiliated with Saab Automobiles; GM owns them now) builds entire airplanes, not engines. Aircraft engines are still handled pretty much by the Big Three (GE, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls Royce.)
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I'm a freak too....I have always been a Saab fan and I am very much enjoying the 2002 9-5 I'm driving right now. Came in trade on a Lincoln it's ok to be a freak.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Betterbydesign seems to like insulting people. I actually think Saab has some unique designs. I think either you love them or you don't. They are a safe car as well.
  • Apologies fish8 there is no intent to insult, just some dry humour to keep us all going. SAAB design/ergonomics is indeed very unique. SAAB drivers though seem an odd, affluent bunch. Yes, I should of meant airplanes rather than engines....Thank god planes dont need mudguards..(humor man, only dry humor;)

    best regards

  • I have had and still have LOTS of trouble with my GTI. VW quality has been going down big time lately. The CR showed that too. It's a shame because these cars are really fun to drive.

  • wetwilliewetwillie Posts: 129
    Can you be more specific with the problems you've had with the GTI?
  • It's a 99.5 model, with a 2.0 liter. I had the starter changed at 10k, a reverse light switch, the catalytic converter at 50k, the infamous windows-in-the-door, a gas pump at 60k, and lately the car has been in the shop for 30 days....
    Engine problems which appeared after a few sensor changes to take care of a CEL. VW techline is baffled. waiting for a 'Master tech' to come and look at the car.

    Of course, I also have electrical issues (like the alarm going off here and there, the locking/taking down the windows with the key not working when the weather is hot).
    For a 4 year old car, that's a lot of things if you ask me....

  • I am have left a $500 deposit with a VW dealer for a 03' Jetta GLS. After coming home and reading the bad reviews about the Jetta GLS - I am worried that I have meade the wrong decesion.

    Have tried the Mazda 5 and the Jetta. Please help there must be some VW owners there with good experiences with the Jetta.

    I will need to call the VW dealer tommorrow to tell him that I am backing out and hold the cheque.

    Am relying on opinions from here since I do not have any other source of reviews.

    Must add that I am looking for a reliable car that gives me 5-6 years of trouble free operation, since I do not have the big $$$.

    Thanks and please send me your responses soon.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,719
    First, I wouldn't advise looking at only one source of information. That said, I have not gotten trouble free operation out of my 1999 Jetta. I'm sure the newer ones have improved, but it's still hard to say how much batter a 2003 model will fare than a 1999 model at their respective 5-6 year birthdays. For what it's worth, I'm looking to replace mine with a car with a better reputation. The new VW's have a 4 year, 50,000 mile comprehensive warranty, but a warranty doesn't mean you won't have trouble with the car. In years 5 and 6, you're on your own. By the way, I love my Jetta, but it's been a real moneypit.
  • Those Protege's are reliable if nothing else. It is a much safer bet reliability-wise than the Jetta. In the end, buy the one you want but the Protege will be the cheaper, more reliable alternative.
  • I had a '91 Mazda Protegé for 12.5 years and didn't drive much, but it was solid and trouble free. I'd buy another one if I wanted a compact car again. I know someone who has a '90 Protegé with 270,000 miles on it--no trouble until a head gasket blew at 240,000--car fixed and still in use. If you get a Protegé, make sure you get a LOW price deal because the Protegé is being discontinued (it'll be called the Mazda 3 for 2004) and will be an all-new car. It looks great--see pics on the web. BTW, I sold my Mazda and replaced it with an '04 Accord EX-L because I wanted something heavier and safer. For a mid-sized 4 cyl. sedan, I think the Honda Accord has everything else beat........Richard
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    I wouldn't get all excited by reviews you read at sites like this. People that love their car rarely take the time to say so on chat boards. Whereas everyone with any problem, real or imagined, uses boards like this to vent.
  • Judging with my experience, and experiences of friends, you will most probably not have a trouble free 4-5 years with your Jetta. Quality is an issue for VW right now. The cars are nice, fun to drive, but NOT reliable.
    This will not be a problem if your dealership is good, but I would try to learn about them too. VW dealers have a bad reputation as well.....

    Good luck with your car purchase.

  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    during the 4 years I owned my Jetta. Complete and total lemon. Everything electrical died in that car, at least once. Thankfully, I had manual roll-up windows. Before I start my list, make sure you either have keyless entry or live in a warm climate. VW locks are beyond horrible, and will freeze up so hard you need to carry around one of those "lock deicers" AT ALL TIMES. I forgot mine a couple times, and ended up kicking the side of my brand new car to "manually deice" the lock. One one of many adventures to the service bay, I ran into a woman who was getting her door handles replaced for the FIFTH TIME because the locks would just croak.

    The grandest thing that happened to my car is when the battery disintegrated all over the engine compartment, destroying hoses and belts galore. That one was under warranty, and good thing, it was a multi-thousand-dollar repair.

    Amount of times the car was towed from my house: 3. Starter, ignition, battery (this is when it "ate" itself all over, so no amount of jumping would have helped that bad boy).

    Funniest thing that happened with that car is when the VW dealer was fixing the cruise control (died for the second time), somehow the radio just wouldn't "come back" to life. They had to replace it.

    Once the car started, but the steering wheel wouldn't "unlock" no matter what I did. This was about 3 years into my ownership of the car and had had about enough, so I just went nuts on it. Fixed it somehow, maybe German cars only understand aggression.

    Under warranty, they replaced 4 O2 sensors (which caused the "check engine" light to come on). I paid for one myself ($120) once the car was out of warranty, and 6 months later it died again. I drove around with that stupid light on for the last 6 months I had the car.

    The A/C had to be fixed because for some reason the smell coming out of it smelled like rotten yogurt. I consider this a minor issue.

    The alternator! Ha ha, that wacky thing. Died, when I had had the car nearly a full year.

    I think I'm just going to stop right there, I'm sure some good person out there reading this is already calling "shenanigans" on my sad tale.

    The car that preceded it, a 1989 Ford Escort Pony, got me through college like a champ. Never failed to get me to class. Unfortunately the WEEK before I was to begin my final semester, some dude in a K-car came out of nowhere and ran right into the side of me on campus. Poor Escort was totalled out by insurance, so being the naive 20-something I was, went to look at those cool Volkswagens. I leased a brand new Jetta for 4 years (something I don't recommend doing, BTW, but that's a whole other topic), and was in love with the car for about two weeks. It drove like a dream, and was FAST compared to my Escort. I ended up turning in my lease about 4 months early just because I was tired of my then-girlfriend giving me rides in her ratty Ford Tempo.

    Oh, I ended up fighting with VW, on all things, the CD changer. I had it replaced by the dealer 3-4 times before I just demanded a refund on the thing. And they gave it to me, probably after looking at the car's service history.

    I'm serious when I say that I wouldn't rely on a VW if I got one for free. I have friends and acquaintences who are in love with VWs and think they're cute, or flawless German machinery or whatever, and despite my pleadings they buy them anyway. One guy had to have his Jetta towed THREE DAYS after taking delivery, because the coil pack was defective. He bought from the same dealer I bought my Nissan from, and my salesdude was full-up with VW horror stories like that.

    My Jetta Trek was a 1996 model, but I just bought my Maxima this past March and apparantly VW has learned NOTHING. It's insane. I would buy a Kia before a VW, and that is God's honest truth.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    It sounds like you went through hell in that Jetta. But, I don't think it's fair to compare a '96 Jetta with a 2004 Jetta. They are different cars. As I have said before, VW's do not make the most reliable cars, but they have improved since 1996. You would buy a Kia instead of a new VW? You apparently have not done much research on Kia's. You would probably say the same thing about Daewoos huh?
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    when I talked to the salesguy who sold me my Nissan, he says that new VWs being towed back to the dealer are a common sight, as well as his customers coming back to him and telling him what a piece of junk he'd sold them. Therefore, I conclude that today's Jettas are no higher quality than my '96.

    What's funny is that it is the EXACT same problems. All electrical; if you look back over my post, the only mechanical thing I complained about were the locks. The drivetrain in that Jetta was a work of art, the engine perfect. I'm sure my Jetta is still running somewhere, if the wiring harness didn't catch on fire by now. :)

    One thing I did neglect to mention in my early post is that a friend of mine *just* bought an '03 Jetta, and in the two months he's had it he hasn't had any problems. Hopefully he proves me wrong. It's not a gamble I'd take again, though.

    And I'm quite serious, I'd specifically buy a Kia Sorento over a VW Toureg. Or an Optima over a Jetta. This is all severely hypothetical, I wouldn't touch either brand. All quality rankings flush these two to the bottom of the latrine, and deservedly so.
Sign In or Register to comment.