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Volkswagen Owners: Dealer & Service Experiences



  • reidkreidk Posts: 46
    Just had the 40K service performed on my '99 GLS V6 (5 Spd). Did it a bit early (39K+) to accommodate schedule & take care of Recall notice (2ndary air vacuum line). Cost seemed high: $356 (without brake fluid change or tire rotation; former done last year; did tires self), but nearest 'not mistrusted' dealer wanted something like $600 (!) to do the job (nearly fainted...).

    At least the car was returned without significant damage (one noticeable scratch across trunk lid; polished it 90% out...sigh... but car has numerous other surface scratches from 3 years driving), and it does run well - seems to have a tiny bit more 'oomph,' and the MPG is Perhaps up a bit, but don't really have enough time to tell that.

    Am still impressed by the Passat - major problems are numerous paint chips (no rust, but the front end has dozens of tiny chips exposing white (?)undercoat) and more 'rattles' than seem appropriate, even though they (mostly) only show up on rough / uneven pavement. Beyond this, the car is going strong - ride, handling, performance, lots of creature comforts (a loaded GLS V6), and I still park at the back of the lot & walk away 'backwards'... Cannot say For Certain that it would get replaced with another Passat - there are a lot of very nice cars out there - but anything else would have to be Very Impressive: after 3 years this car has been nearly problem free, and is still a joy to drive Spiritedly (major standard of comparison: Taurus SHO, 5spd).
  • alexqalexq Posts: 3
    My friend who has VW Passat V6 1996 has a lot of bad experience with repair service. Could anybody recommend a good and reliable dealer/shop which is really professional and responsible for the work they are doing. My friend is living in Hinsdale about 20 miles from Chicago. I would be greatful for any info about good repair service for VW Passat in Chicago area.

  • Have a 2001 Jetta Vr6 with 47,000miles. I was putting on about 120 miles a day / 6 days a week for about a they are all highway is less than 2 years old, and at 41,000miles my check engine light comes on. car's acceleration is terrible now, and my A.M radio reception is now lousy. Smithtown VW replaced knock sensor, cam sensor, knock sensor. In that order, all after about 20 miles the check engine comes on again..acceleration is still terrible. These guys are professionals? $650 bucks later they take the car in for 10 days, now they think a wire in the harness is shorting. But it is in the harness so they have to replace the whole thing...$1100 dollar job...finally got VW to "good will"me the harness at $400. got the car back 10 days later accelerating better. but they did not hook up speedometer. told the dealership I thought the 8 hours labor was unfair, since they just kept replacing sensors that already costy me $650 needlessly....Lou the service mgr could care less. and in between all this my window falls into my door...apparently the plastic that holds up the windows is shattering on a lot of vehicles. I was pissed could not get my window up...I have leather interior, what if it rains? They fixed it supprisingly enough that day in 3 hours....anyway after they did the harness, 10 miles later...guess what....check engine on again...and I find out they set back the timing or something so that I would not notice the loss of acceleration as much...I used to redline at 65oorpm they set it back to about 5100rpm...did not even notify me...seems a bit much....the smithtown dealership in NY is terrible, service is the worst .....the whole ordeal with the unfair pricing led me to telling my story to someone in the showroom, and they went crazy...when I asked the for my receipt on the window repair they refused, so I told them I would not leave without it...and they called the police....what customer service..anyway got to tell my story to 3 other police officers...who would not by a car from that dealership...guess I got something accomplished..any one having similar complaint son windows, radio reception shorting out sensors...service similar to what I got at SMITHTOWN VW in NY? VW customer service is of no help, they say they can do nothing about dealerships the yare independent franchises? Who polices the dealerships? doesn't VW of america care...finally got an address from germany, will keep them posted...and they tell me ther eis no one else I can talk to mediators? is this true....? I kno wI am rambling but I am so frustrated at this point....Thsi car was great till I got to 40000 that all $26.5K gets me? someone please help......
  • PLEASE READ THIS before buying any new Volkswagen!

    I bought my '00 VW GTI 1.8T brand new a couple of years ago from Flow Motors here in Winston-Salem, NC. Despite meticulous care and conscientious maintenance, the vehicle was nothing but trouble from the start.

    Here's a brief rundown:

    I had the car in the shop SIX times to have window problems fixed. (The passenger door glass was replaced twice due to deep scratches caused by the power window mechanism, and the easily broken "retainer clip" which connects the window glass to the door motor had to be replaced several times as well). Try driving 40 miles down the interstate back to the dealership with the driver's window stuck in the "down" position, and you you may appreciate my mood at the time. I had to use vacation time to take the car in for service immediately, as any precipitation would have ruined the interior, and my belongings inside the vehicle were unprotected from the elements, not to mention theft.

    Virtually every exterior bulb -- headlamps, turn signals, and brake lamps -- burned out on this supposedly well-built "German" vehicle within two years of purchase. One headlamp burned out TWICE, despite having been replaced with a genuine VW bulb from the dealer.

    The cheap plastic hinge on the glove compartment door broke twice. The whole door has to be replaced when this happens. (Hey VW, why not use a METAL hinge if you're going to spring-load the glove box for that pleasant "dampened" feel?)

    The clutch went out after only 40,000 miles (a very costly repair). Bear in mind that I did not abuse this vehicle -- most of the miles were accumulated in fifth gear on the interstate.

    The air conditioner started malfunctioning last summer, leaving me drenched in sweat more than once, but luckily started working again. Don't ask why. I hate to think what a new condenser would have cost.

    The turbo blew an intake valve, causing a loud "fluttering" noise during acceleration. The "check engine" light came on as well. The turbo valve cost around $200 to replace, and the part was not covered by VW's touted 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (even though the VW salesman specifically told me that the turbo WAS fully covered by the extended warranty when I purchased the vehicle).

    The six-disc, trunk-mounted CD player was problematic, constantly jamming and generating a bogus "disc error" message. (I had the same problem with numerous newly-purchased CDs, so it wasn't the software.) I had to pull over, pop the hatch, remove the cartridge and "spin" all the discs to listen to any of the CDs. A nuisance to say the least, particularly while commuting or driving in bad weather.

    Disgusted with the constant breakdowns, I threw up my hands and traded in my GTI on an '03 Subaru WRX after the last repair epdisode, during which I was bluntly advised by VW maintenance personnel that my inoperative driver's side window could not be repaired because no replacement parts were available anywhere in the country. (No replacement parts nationally for a '00 model! GET REAL!) It took calls to the general manager and regional service director to finally get the parts by special order, and I drove a rental for a couple of days while they replaced the assembly.

    Now, after absorbing a loss on my trade to avoid more unforseen repairs, I get a letter from VW stating that they're generously extending the manufacturer's warranty to cover certain window problems. (The dealer advised me that VW has known about the problem for years, but refused to issue a timely recall, and will now have to spend a cool $100 million to replace thousands of defective power window assemblies in ALL models.)

    Please, learn from my mistake and CONSIDER ALL YOUR OPTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE CHOOSING ANY VOLKSWAGEN PRODUCT. There are just too many other choices, folks, to be stuck with a sub-standard product that makes for a great test drive but provides poor reliability and dealer service down the road. If you find yourself sipping cold coffee and sitting for hours in the waiting area of your local VW repair shop while the same old defective part in your "German-engineered" vehicle is replaced yet again, you have only yourself to blame. This is a true story, and I have the service records to prove it. (I'm not alone: a friend of mine had a '00 New Beetle that needed a full brake job after only 15,000 miles and started belching black smoke soon thereafter -- another hurried trade-in.)

    Look, I'm not a mechanic or race fanatic who spends a lot of time arguing about which brand is better than another. I'm just an ordinary consumer who expects a $21,000 brand new vehicle to have things like a reliable engine, working windows, a functional CD player and a useable glove box.

    Don't let VW do the same thing to you -- do yourself (and your wallet) a favor and stay away from this "German-engineered" (and Argentinian built) brand until they make quality control and customer service a priority.
  • Odd your profile indicates you own a 94 Saturn and are shopping for a Maxima - did a turbo GTI blow your Saturn's doors off and now your mad so you post a bunch of lies?

    I run into this all the time on these boards - My GTI has been perfect - no regrets whatsoever.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391 02 Golf was assembled in Brazil
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I can see someone having an experience like that with a GTI. I have had a not-so-great experience with my 02 Jetta (mostly rattles though), but not to the extent of those problems.
  • I have had my 2001.5 Passat for 18 months and I have had some minor annoying things go wrong with it and the dealer has always taken care of it with no problems. I enjoy the car and dont fret over minor issues like headlamps and glovebox doors when I bought the car for the enjoyment of the drive. Dealer was Ed Schmidt in Perrysburg, just south of Toledo, Ohio. Definately would by another VW, and would buy from them. Parents bought a Passat after me and my brother bought an A4.

    Its unfortunate that some people get that lemon and then dont get help from your dealer. Its easy to get mad, but what real good does it do.
  • I know no one really cares about us out in Hawaii but will post any way....

    I have bought two cars a tony VW on Oahu and had my car serviced at Cutter VW maui.......

    both cars were ordered models (02 got wrecked) and now have a new 03 three weeks old......the new one is much tighter than the last......

    I had the other up to about 17k and the only warrenty issues were two DRL bulbs went out and the "rear window lock" switch stopped working.....all were replaced under warrenty No questions Asked. Oil change w/o coupon 29.95 with coupon 24.95 oil filled to second bend in distick above hasmark.....on michelin blew out around 15k with a slash in the side wall....other thatn that the car was great. not rattles squeaks or other wise...
    the new one is even better......
  • Paul Miller VW [Mr Paul Miller's words] tells me that a $2500 deposit I made with Visa for a Touareg delivery in the spring will not be refunded although they cannot deliver the vehicle I need until the fall [I specified in writing "VW telematics by Onstar"]. Who is crazy here? I find it hard to imagine that Visa or VW USA would be sympathetic to a "You have a contract" position by the dealership at this early date when VW wants this launch to be happy for all and initally at least demand is supposed to far exceed supply. At this point I am soured on the whole VW idea - I have been buying new cars for 45 years and never seen this before. Any ideas?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I would talk to the dealer manager, and also contact an attorney and/or the better business bureau in your state.
  • hi, my name is paul. i have a 98 passat and it needed a brakejob, replacing the pads and rotors in the front.
    the invoice for the repair included two new original VW rotors at $92.00 each and there was a charge of $44.00 for resurfacing them also. when i questioned the shop asking why would it be necessary to resurface new factory rotors, the answer was: sometime they get deformed by sitting on the shelf and they resurface them routinely every time they put one on.
    does anybody know if this is a justified procedure or is it merely a way of charging a little extra?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    I am taking my 2003 Jetta Wolfsburg edition to its first 5000 mile service from the dealer that I purchased the car from. They did a good job on my 1987 Golf GT when they replaced the heater core (under warranty), so I expect the same good service with the Jetta. I'll keep you posted...
  • debbbbdebbbb Posts: 3
    tomorrow will be the seventh time that i have take my 2001 golf in for service because the engine light has come on. the dealership (concours motors) says it is the new emissions regulations that make the light so sensitive. that they fix one thing and another is affected. seven times? has anyone else had this excessive problem? my warranty runs out on 12 sep...
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    I like the Passat enough to think I could buy one. For the sake of discussion let's figure a new Passat right now will be as reliable as a new Camry. Ok.. Now.. Several independent mechanics I've asked have said I need to think about another problem. VW, they said, keeps its diagnostic info pretty tightly held, so only the dealers and a few rare specialists can really work on a VW (aside from oil changes, light bulbs, and other generic things). By contrast, every mechanic knows how to fix a Camry, and they can read the computer codes with a Snap-on tools.
    Now: this makes me worry. Simple economics: if someone has a monopoly on anything -- or close to a monopoly -- they have an incentive to charge more, slip in little extra fees, and give you worse service for the buck than someone who has a lot of competition. Esp. when it's something esoteric like fixing a car where the customer doesn't really know when he's getting ripped off.
    But that's theory, at least as I understand it. Anyone have any experience or data to shed light on whether this should stop me from the Passat?
    (P.S. Some personal info, since this consideration depends on personal priorities: (1) I have to drive a LOT more than I'd like, so the car will be past the warranty level of miles sooner than usual: (2) there's a dealer near where I work, but I live far away from work/dealer. If it broke down at home and no local mechanic could work on Passats, I'd be in trouble. (3) I try to approach cars like Mr. Spock. Too bad I'm attracted to the Passat! But I could live with a Camry, Accord, or Mazda6 if it were more rational. )
  • sgerlachsgerlach Posts: 17
    I have been using an independent mechanic now that my auto is off VW warranty; I have an extended warranty that lets me select my mechanic. You just need to select a mechanic that has the scanner and software that allows him/her to scan the computer. If my mechanic encounters a problem, he calls VW headquarters - the same thing the local VW dealership did (I was there and heard the phone call).
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The 5000 mile service on my Wolfsburg Jetta turned out to be a painless experience. It was done in a timely fashion (about 15-20 minutes) and set me back about $30.

    In the meantime, my fiance test drove a 2003 Passat GLS 1.8, loved it, and wound up buying it
    that day. So the overall experience at the dealer (sales/service) turned out to be very good. The salesman was extremely helpful (without being pushy), and we wound up getting
    the Passat for around $50 over invoice (It helps during the negotiations when my fiance is a purchasing manager who negotiates prices on a daily basis...:-)).
  • I just bought a certified 2001 New Beetle with 23K miles. Within a month the clutch is gone. Neither VW or the Dealer will step up. So I'm stuck with a thousand dollars in expense already. I'll get my money back through litigation. The idiots never considered that they were trying to screw a lawyer.

    My gut feeling is that buying any VW is a mistake. It seems that if anything goes wrong VW is not in your corner as a customer. I also have the feeling that they do not care as to how poorly their dealers perform. Additionally it seems they are not as reliable as they used to be in the good old days.

    I'd appreciate any feedback. Rightnow I think I should cut my losses and buy a Honda or Toyota.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    the state capital. Nothing but praise here. SMF has two VW dealers. I went to the other one first (18 years back) BIG MISTAKE!!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Please check the Smart Shopper What Did You Pay? board for VW pricing discussions.
This discussion has been closed.