February 12, 2003
More Bad News for VW's Recall

[Updates below.]

Automotive News details some of the problems

Following up on my previous post regarding the faulty Volkswagen engine ignition coils, it seems this issue is reaching deeper than I originally thought.

An $83 million voluntary recall of 530,000 Volkswagen and Audi cars threatens the launch of two key VW products, dealers say.

The biggest problem facing dealers is the lack of replacement parts for faulty engine ignition coils. They say the repair is not that big of a deal but dealers are facing backups in their already busy service departments. VW dealers also want the company to soothe affected owners by offering $1,000 off on their next VW.

That's a pretty generous offer, but considering how angry car owners get when their vehicles break down and repairs take time (especially over relatively trivial parts and repairs), I don't think it will do much to quiet their anger. I'm sure some of the owners are thinking twice about getting another VW because of this. That's unreasonable, in my opinion.
Dealers want the repairs - which affect primarily 2001 and 2002 model cars with four-cylinder, turbocharged 1.8-liter engines - completed before the launch of the Touareg in three months, followed by the Phaeton later this year. The Touareg is VW's SUV, and the Phaeton is VW's first U.S. luxury car.

Ack, now that's some crappy timing. This recall is an easy way to dissolve any sort of upper-class brandmaking.
Volkswagen of America Inc. and Audi of America Inc. last week said they are voluntarily recalling the cars because of the faulty coils. Sources say the German parts supplier had problems with the insulation material of the coils. If the plastic becomes brittle, spark plug failure can result.

It's always the small things, eh? I bet those iron-clad German labor laws are getting in the way with this.
Combined, VW and Audi have about 866 U.S. dealerships. That means the average store will have to repair 612 vehicles. Repairs will take 30 to 60 minutes each, meaning volume will keep service bays full for weeks - if not months.

It's not even that time-consuming of a repair. There's just so many of them. That only makes the situation more annoying for the drivers.

"I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. Smith. It won't take long to fix your car."

"Yeah, you shit, once it makes it's way through the two month waiting list! And that's IF you get the parts on schedule! What if it fails before then? Am I supposed to rent a car for two months?"

"Sir, the replacement parts are not very expensive -- only $22 each and I assure you our suppliers are working-"

"Not nearly fucking fast enough."

VW and Audi dealers are no strangers to complaints about how hard it is to get a service appointment. Both VW and Audi dealers have finished below the industry average the past two years in the J.D. Power and Associates customer service index study that measures how consumers are treated by dealership service departments.

I love my Golf, but this is the number one complaint I've heard from other owners, such as the ones on Fred's TDI Club messageboard. It wasn't enough to dissuade me from getting a VW, but I took the comments seriously. So far, I've been treated fine at
Not wanting to lose customers, VW's dealer council has asked Volkswagen of America for $1,000 loyalty coupons that they can give to owners affected by the recall.

The coupons would be good for $1,000 off their next purchase of a vehicle.


VW says it is reviewing the request.

Hmm, that would take my dream VW firmly "below $30,000."


I can dream, dammit. The R32 is SUCH a wicked Golf.

A tiny German firm, Bremi Auto-Elektrik, supplies the coils. Bremi is working three shifts a day, six days a week to supply replacements, Keyes said.

VW officials in Germany declined to name a second supplier that is helping make the replacement coils.

A Reuters story, citing unnamed sources and written in German, put the cost of the global recall at 85 million euros - $92.1 million at current exchange rates. The Automotive News estimate of $83 million is based on the cost of each coil plus an average hourly service rate of $65.

Bremi's annual revenue is an estimated 40 million euros, or about $43.3 million, said Auto Business, a consulting company in Stamford, England.

Ouch. Methinks Bremi is feeling some ugly heat right now from Gerd Klauss and his counterpart in Germany.

Original VW press release. More can be read here at VWVortex.

UPDATED 8/13/2005 2:51pm
I don't know why the comments are getting screwed up at the bottom. Please use this thread to post your thoughts if it looks like the comments aren't getting posted at the bottom.

Posted by Drizzten at February 12, 2003 07:18 PM

ATTENTION: Comments are closed. You are viewing my old blog, archived for search engine purposes.
To view the new blog, please go to the homepage. To find the current version of this entry, search here.


I have a 2000 beetle at 92k miles the timing belt broke which destroyed the motor. VW put in a new motor, but before I could get the car home lights on the dash started flashing. I took it back to VW and they said the secondary air deal and ABS pump are bad.. They were fine when I dropped it off. Anyway $2,418.00 that's what it's going to cost. I won't buy another new VW. Oh yea I was without a car for 2 1/2 months. Fun getting to work without a car isn't it.

Posted by: Bob on September 22, 2003 12:07 PM

I have a 1.0 2001 jetta with 6ok and ever since I bought the damn car the coil has been given me problems, Ive replaced them twin in three years. I just wondering if anyone else is having problems with the 1.9 turbo model.
I took it to the dealer but they give me the run around, they put the coils in last week and since the light comes one at times. Is the coil light suppose to stay on when you first turn in on in the morning and for how long. Does anyone have an anwser to this question...levi

Posted by: ralph on December 15, 2003 11:27 AM

Ralph, the 1.9L turbo engine is a diesel, the same one that powers my Golf. It doesn't have this problem at all; it's the other engines in VW's and Audi's lineup that are bugged with it:


"In the U.S., the majority of affected vehicles are cars equipped with 1.8-liter engines, including the Audi TT and A4 and the VW Golf/GTI, Jetta, New Beetle and Passat. In addition, coils for the Passat W8 engine, all VW's equipped with the 2.8-liter VR6 and the Audi 3.0-liter V6 engine will also be replaced.

The ignition coils provide electricity to the engine's spark plugs during operation."

Diesel engines don't have spark plugs. :)

Posted by: Drizz on December 15, 2003 11:44 PM

I bought a used vw golf tdi 1yr. ago. Since I have bought the car I have put a clutch in it and i have changed the tail lights twice and the headlights twice. The other day I was 200 miles away from home and stopped at a rest area and it decided not to crank. So I found someone to help me push it off. I took it to a local dealer with vw experiece and he hooked it up to a machine and it was a ignition relay if I am not mistaken. So I bought the part and it cranks without being pushed but the headlights still blink, and my car has a very bad odor while driving and during idle. worrried in Gainesville, fl kay

Posted by: kay storms on December 17, 2003 02:43 PM

1.8 Turbo Timing belt on 1998 Passat

My timing belt broke at 76,000 miles. I was without a car for one month and it cost me over $3 thousand. Coincidentally, two friends had the same problem. Both had the 1.8 Turbo in their Audi's. (same engine) Both occured below 70,000 miles and both got no satisfaction from Voltswagen. Since this has happened, each of us has been asking around and are finding that their are many people with the same problem. We are considering looking into a class action suit and would like to survey as many people as possible that have had the same problem. Please email me at danmag0667@aol.com if you are interested in joining this class action suit.

Posted by: Dan on January 8, 2004 10:23 AM

I have a 2001 VW Jetta VR6. With less than 14,000 mile my transmission needed to be replaced, a short time later at 23,000 miles the clutch needed replacement. Now at 38000 miles I need another clutch. VW America is not responding to me but I have just about had it with VW. Please e-mail me with any related problems. I want to know just how bad this problem is. Thanks - Martin

Posted by: Martin on January 10, 2004 08:44 AM


Posted by: LSC on January 29, 2004 11:06 PM

i own an audi tt. The timing belt went 50,000 kms before it's scheduled replacement. The car has been ruined as it ran for ten seconds without a timing belt. The dealership will make me pay for all costs, upwards of 5 thousand dollars, and make me wait several weeks to have the work done.


Posted by: bryan on February 13, 2004 03:24 PM

I bought a Touareg V8 loaded with all options except the winter pkg and park assistance and Onstar was not available in November. Anyway, I got to fricve it less than a month and it has been out of service since 12/17/03. VW still has not decided what thye will do about the problem. Thye told me they were going to have the technical people with VWAG evaluate and seee what the source of the problem is but they have not as yet.
VWOA has been unhelpful and have not returned calls. I am considering lemon law becasue I need a vehicle and they seem unconcerned about my siituation.
ANyone else have a similar problem with VW or the Touareg??

Posted by: dbluz on March 3, 2004 11:48 PM

This problem is posted on the clubtouareg.com site and I'm posting here also. Take notice VWOA. Our 2004 V6 Touareg downshifts form 5th to 4th and from 4th to 3rd with loud "thunks" after extended highway driving at speed between 60 and 70mph. Many people are experiencing this problem and VW is ignoring it. My dealership plays ignorant and I'm considering lemon law.

Posted by: hunkydory1 on April 8, 2004 11:12 AM

VWOA, won't do anything on any problem until you prove it’s their problem. I had video film proof and they refused to watch it of our problem. Our 2002 Jetta (AT START UP and only sometimes) would roll forwards or backwards while in the reverse gear of the direction we were trying to go. I.E. Parked on a hill facing uphill in drive (giving it gas) we would roll backwards anywhere between 2-10 feet. And the reverse of that facing downhill. Meaning we were hitting other vehicles around us. It took 4 months of testing, attorneys, meetings, ripping off the front bumper, wheel damage, and lemon law court (California) for us to get them to even acknowledge the problem. 6 times it went in for the same service problem 1-3 & 1-5 day test drives by their test engr’s numerous software reloads. They fixed computers up to the car then by chance and I mean by chance (in our street returning the car after a 5 day test drive) it happened to them. Oh my god the look on the engr’s face was worth a million dollars.

Now the story gets good, they repaired the car by making software changes they also fixed every dent and bump to include new paint on the new front bumper something they had always told us we had to pay for. The car has never had the problem again but I have always wondered if the problem happens elsewhere in hilly cities? We live in San Diego, CA and by chance live on a very hilly street probably top 3 steepest in town but does this happen elsewhere?

I will be checking back to hear of any similar problems.



Posted by: Kevin Mac on April 30, 2004 12:01 PM

I received delivery of my 2004 Touareg on Jan. 21st, 04 direct from Slovakia to my dealership in SC. The first CD I put in the player got stuck and they couldn't get it out either. They had to replace the entire system.

Six weeks ago my battery was dead and I had VW roadside service tow it to the dealer which is about 100 miles away. They "assumed" I didn't lock my car often and told me the Touareg had such a "sophisticated alarm system that if you don't activate it, it is sitting on go wanting to do something and cannot, therefore putting a drain on the battery". I knew I locked it >95% of the time and this sounded like BS but accepted the vehicle back after a week. They told me the only thing wrong was a dead battery and they replaced it.

Well, three days ago and another dead battery, I had Roadside assistance tow it again and they say that they will either fix it or give me a replacement Touareg. I did demand (and received) a loaner Touareg to drive while they figure it all out.

I also called VW customer service and spoke with an advocate and told them I wanted someone from VW watching over my problem. When I got to the dealership they informed me that their district service engineer (who happens to be from Germany) will be at the dealership this week looking at my car.

I also told them early on that I thought my alignment was out because it pulled to the right. I read extensive complaints on one of the internet sites (maybe ClubTouareg or vwvortex.com) that people are having to take their Touaregs to the Porshe service centers for realignment and appartently some tech. service bulletin has been issued on this. Also, there were pictures posted to the internet showing the inside tread on tires to be completely slick. The only other person I know with a Touareg told me she had to have all 4 tires replaced at 15,000 miles and sure enough, there were people on the internet saying they had the same problem.
Interestingly, when I complained about it pulling to the right, I was told by my salesman and the service guy that due to the crest in the roadways that that was normal for it to lean a little. However, I've noticed and seen comments from others that even the steering wheel is off center.

I've even heard the loud "thug" when slowing down from a speed of 60 -70 as someone mentioned.
We need to get the word out to other Touareg owners to be on the look out for these problems and let's keep each other informed.

Posted by: Yana on May 10, 2004 11:54 PM

My 2002 VR6 Getta has had a problem with the ECP switch. At 5000miles it failed so we couldn't get the car out of park. VW replaced it and said it was a common problem. The same thing occurred again around 10K miles. This time they claim VW was recalling the cars for this problem. The tow truck diver said they were seeing many similar problems with other Gettas and even the new Bettles. It is a pain when your car starts but you can't get the thing out of park. I hope this time they fixed the problem. I still have to ask about the coil. VW never sent me a notice but seems my car may have the same issue.

Posted by: AlDRaz on May 13, 2004 02:45 AM

battery going dead on your tourage? have them check out the seat moduels for the possible battery drain.

Posted by: rick on May 13, 2004 05:08 PM

down shift problems in your tourage? probley the tourque converter lock up has a problem...does it pull up a mill light on the dash?

Posted by: rick on May 13, 2004 05:11 PM

I have a 2004 VW Tourage and it has been in the shop so much I am completly frustrated. The guy at the service dept., Pete, is a genuinly nice guy so I feel bad getting angry with him but I don't have a choice. I would not buy another VW ever again. The only reason I bought this one is I was so happy with my Audi TT Quatro and Audi A4 convertable and thought a sister company would be just as good. Boy was I wrong!

Posted by: Dawn Cie on September 16, 2004 03:59 PM

As the operator of this website, I just want to interject with my own experiences with my Volkswagen. I have a 2002 Golf TDI GL with no options besides the diesel engine, purchases at Rod East VW in San Antonio and serviced at Charles Maund VW in Austin.

No major problems.
No major costs, besides the expensive scheduled maintenance.
No jackass service techs screwing things up.

My only issues:

*My temperature gauge failed a few hundred miles ago and they fixed it during my 60,000 mile service.
*Car would randomly not start. Discovered through online research that it was gunk closing off the anti-shudder valve in the intake manifold coming from emissions regulation equipment. Flicking a lever outside the manifold fixes the problem by breaking the gunk's seal.
*Replaced one headlight, one front turn signal, and one tail light.

Other than tires and things I did the car, the has run beautifully and reliably. I do not regret the choice to buy VW at all.

But your mileage may vary, as the many comments indicate.

Posted by: Drizz on September 18, 2004 10:20 AM

I bought a 2001 Volks Jetta and I have a problem with an odour coming from the vents. Smells like a musty, moldy smell. Anyone else with this problem?

Posted by: Valerie on October 18, 2004 10:44 AM

I have a 2000 VW Getta TDI that has had a very long history of problems. First, the brakes. When you were pressing down on the brake pedal to stop, at times a loud noise that sounds like a large amount of air being released would be followed by the pedal going all the way to the floor and the brakes locking up. I took it to the dealer, and of course they could find nothing wrong with it. It bums me out. Also, I've had an extreme loss of power...nope it's not the turbo, or the intake manifold needing cleaning...tried that already. The computer code says it's the manifold needing cleaned...even after the dealer cleaned it. The car will do about 20mph going up a hill. Thinking of burning it in the front yard. Any ideas?

Posted by: Dave on October 29, 2004 07:12 PM

I have a 2001 VW New Beetle and for the last 2 or 3 years I have been having a problem w/the check engine light coming on. It is a 1.8 Turbo GLX. While it was still under warranty I had to take it back several times before it stayed off for more than a few days. They'd always tell me it was some kind og electrical problem with the light, and they would get it to go out for awhile and I would take it back and on and on. In December of 2002 they found a major leak at secondary air pump, and replaced it. About a month ago my check engine light came back on and I didn't pass DEQ. So I took it back to the dealer and the first quote thay gave me in the AM was $95 then they called and told me they had to replace some hoses and the estimate was now going to be $275. After they did that they took it back to DEQ and it still did not pass and now they say the secondary air injection system is bad and they need to replace that to the tune of a grand total of $856! Isn't that part of the same problem as they had fixed before, and is that part of the emissions system?

Posted by: mea on November 17, 2004 02:23 AM

I have a 2002 Jetta 1.8T and I like the car. The one nagging issue I've had is the Coolant Warning Lamp turning on immediately after a fully cold start. I've had it in for service several times but it's difficult to reproduce and apparently even more difficult to figure out what is causing it.

Posted by: Brian on December 15, 2004 06:44 PM

My first Audi A4, and probably my last. The timing belt broke while driving with 64K miles on the vehicle. The maintenance manual recommends replacement at 90K miles. Audi refused to take any responsibility for it, and I was stuck with costs exceeding 5K. I have babied this car much more than any I've had previously, but there appears to be nothing but consistent problems and really poor service from Audi. The next car I own will be Japanese!

Posted by: Nev on December 19, 2004 10:13 PM

I have a 2000 VW Jetta GLX VR6 with 60,000 miles. The ignition switch was replaced at about 45,000 miles after I lost use of head lights,turn signals, horn, and windshield wipers, and air blower. Took it to Bill Jacobs VW in Aurora, IL where they "replaced" the ignition switch = $480.00. Less than a year later the proplem reoccurs. I call BJ and they say, well, you can bring it in, but they would not repair it for free. I decided to investigate myself having much military aviation training in electronics and mechanics. I went to another dealership, got the schematics, and a new ignition switch for $80.00. It took me a whole 20 minutes to remove and replace the old switch. It still did not work. I noticed that one wire was burning out...and then noticed that it had been taped. I then exposed the wiring and cleaned it, taped it up and rewired it, then it worked! One month later, same proplem. So, I now know that one of the above components is causing the wire to burn out. I again rewired it with a fuse inline, but am now just waiting for it to occur again, but so far so good. It is still running hot. HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS PROBLEM? I do know that there is a recall being performed Feb 2005 on the hazard light switch/turn signals. Is this related in any way? Let me know!

Posted by: zech on January 26, 2005 02:26 PM

i was wondering if anyone had any information on a class action suit against vw concerning the bumper and splash guards being too low... any info would be greatly appreciated... my direct email is christineindallas@aol.com... thanks

Posted by: Christine on February 17, 2005 12:01 PM

Need help, Serious problem on new Golf V ??
My brand-new Golf V 2.0 FSI Automatic with Tiptronic, sometime hesitation & idle for a second between gear to gear,especially on 1st to 2nd gear.
I've tested the other brand-new Golf V, also had the same symptom !!

Test your Golf V immediately !!

Best Regards

Posted by: Hung on February 17, 2005 12:18 PM

Just picked my 2001 Passat 1.8 turbo with 58k from the shop. I had the infamous sludge problem and had it cleaned for $430.00. I ran my car oil almost empty due to the owners manual allowing me to drive 10K until next oil change! Luckily my "Stop engine, low oil pressure" light came on. I had an oil leak and found that the turbo cooks the oil and a synthetic should be used or else change the oil every 3k. My total bill was $800. I am going back in a few months to replace my "worn" timing belt for another $580. Beware...you need to keep up maintenance!

Posted by: michelle on March 2, 2005 06:42 PM

2001 Audi TT coupe 225. I have had 3 check engine lights in 6 weeks. the first was a Mass Air Flow engine sensor; the second resulted from a failed purge valve. I'm taking the car in this week for number 3. Have any of you had similar problems?

Posted by: john on March 29, 2005 05:53 PM

I have a 2001 Turbo Diesel Beetle. I love my car, but it is not the piece of machine I thought it would be. I slammed the brakes on oneday and the airbag light came on, has not been off since. Also I have had to repalce many head light bulbs and tail light bulbs due to moisture. Southpiont Dealership in Baton Rouge told me I needed a complete new headlight. $450.00. Yeah right. I told them sure change it but I want the part when it comes of the car, a miracle,,,,,,,,,they were able to replace the bulb. Lyin Bastards. Also the workmanship of the carpet and seat materials is very poor, have holes in both, due to everyday wear. I never had a car do that before. This was my first VW and sadly my last. I hope I do not put out bad karma because the timing belt problem really scares me, and I think that mine is lose.

Posted by: Gigi Peck on April 4, 2005 11:50 PM

I have a Jetta 2000 1.8 Turbo. That timing belt broke @ 92k miles. Of course , since I don't have 3k dollars in my bank acct. I was without a car for 5 month. After I got the money took it to fix. And the check engine light is on ever since the car came out of the shop. They told me, that is another problem and I have to pay for it. So, the car is ruin and I'm not able to sale it, because I won't give that KARMA to another human being.

Posted by: Jesus Bracho on May 2, 2005 09:58 AM

I have a 2004 Passat TDI that does this "yanking back-hesitation thing" as you come off the throttle at highway speeds. When it happens violently it actually throws you forward enough to lock the seat belts. The TCM module has been replaced but it didn't help. The area QEM says it needs a software fix but they don't have one. He told me he told a guy six months ago it would be 2 weeks but there still isn't one. He implied it has something to do with emissions and the EPA.
He said it was only an inconvenience that might spill my coffee but I say it could kill me if I have someone too close behind me when it happens.
Anyone else having this problem?

Posted by: M-M Hunter on May 5, 2005 03:25 PM

I have a intermitent driver's side turn signal problem. Sometimes it works fine and then out of a clear blue the dash turn signal indicator will blink lile crazy and the driver's side front and rear turn signals do not light up. Any thoughts from any one relative to a fix will be appreciated.

Posted by: Giorgio on May 9, 2005 08:56 PM

I have a intermitent driver's side turn signal problem. Sometimes it works fine and then out of a clear blue the dash turn signal indicator will blink like crazy and the driver's side front and rear turn signals do not light up. Any thoughts from any one relative to a fix will be appreciated.

Posted by: Giorgio on May 9, 2005 09:02 PM

I,m working on a 2000 beetle. It won,t start and won't communicate with scantools. All power and grounds to the Ecm are O.k. It acts like the Engine computer is shut down. I've tried replacing the computer, thinking maybe it was fried, but the new one does the same thing. Does anyone else have this same problem? Can shorted Engine sensors shut VW ecms down? THe engine is a 1.8 turbo.

Posted by: clint on May 11, 2005 09:13 AM

I have a 2000 Jetta TDI, change oil every 15,000miles, mobil one. Put tires on, drive the hell out of it. I'm at 234,000 miles, I'm ready to install my 3rd timing belt and maybe replace injectors for the first time.
Still get 45 mmpg. great car.

Posted by: Mark on May 12, 2005 02:31 PM

Just purchased a 2000 Jetta 1.8 Turbo, and the check oil pressure light keeps coming on and off once the temp. of the vehicle warms up to the middle of the temp. gauge. The oil has just been changed and is full. Anyone know the problem?

Posted by: Mike on May 14, 2005 11:33 AM

I bought a 2000 Golf TDi and have changed almost every bulb! A good mechanic sorted the problem but we are now trying to discover the mystery behind an oil leak below the fan belt on the drivers side. The sump is sealed and the tappets are all tightened(aluminium junk). The oil has been changed so any new leaks should in thoery be a nice honey colour(brown at worst). The oil seems to pool in the one spot but we cannot find a solution...Does anyone have the key to this mystery? Could it be a cracked sump or faulty oil line? My oil level seems to be holding up so the mystery deepens... See, it's not only the US versions that have the share of trouble. Carl, Dublin, Ireland.

Posted by: Carl on May 17, 2005 04:20 PM

I had a 02 Jetta.. since new had lots of troubel with it.. new front wheel bearings in for that a couple times.. I was told 9it was a tdi) the timing belt must be changed every 60 thousand and that three idler pullys had to be changd along with the belt.. they were making screecing sounds in cold morning starts.. one day my wife was driving it and the heated seat caught afire and burned her ass.. of course that was replaced free of charge (by the way there is a class action suit against vw of america for that one guess it was very common) I dumped it back onto the dealer for retail sortly after the warranty ran out at 50 thou.. felt like I didnt want my neck in a noose after the warranty was gone who ever heard of ever having to change 3 wheel bearings on a new car?? perhaps after 200 or 300 thousand miles on most vehicles might lose one wheel bearing but thats crazy.. Im so glad im free of that car, and the dealer gladly gave me almost retail for it with 59 thousand miles on it.

Posted by: Ron on May 21, 2005 12:05 AM

clutch on 2001 GTI VR6 went at 30K miles. I had complained of notchy shifitning at every 5000 mile checkup (documented). VW always said "its normal". Bottom line: clutch went out before brakes, tires or windshield wipers. And the problem that I am reporting here is the subject of entire websites as well as recalls in Germany and the UK. VW America's response to me must have been computer generated. They are not going to do anything about it. I am not really interested in haggling with VW. I just wanted to see if VW would respond with some integrity. They did not so I am not going to get rid of the car (which is not fun to drive because of the tough shifting anyway) and never buy a VW, Audi or Porshe again. This is coming from someone who has an award winning 64 VW 21 WIndow Bus, learned to drive on a 66 VW and has never ever burned out a clutch on any car, including Porshes and Audis in over 30 years of driving.

Posted by: casey on May 27, 2005 07:31 PM

The timing belt on my 2000 Audi TT broke at 63,000 miles, pretty much wrecking the head and valves. As I have found to be the case with others, VW nor Audi took any responsiblity. My mechanic, who's shop is the top-notch European car mechanic in the area said he's seen this happen so much, he's suprised a recall has not already occured because he's seen this problem occur so many times with the VW/Audi timing belts going out much earlier than their life expectency.

I was a life-long VW enthusiast - I'd bought two new VWs and one new Audi in the last 7 years and all three have been horribly unreliable. VW has been equally terrible in their response to my problems.

I made the decision to cut my losses and never do business with VW/Audi for the rest of my years. I went out and bought a Nissan 350Z and could not be happier.

Posted by: Beau Hunt on June 9, 2005 07:51 AM

My daughter's 2001 Audi A-4 caugt fire and had to be totaled. She had just parked it and someone came to her desk to tell her her car was on fire!!! Audi seems to think since the warrenty expxired (60,000) they have no liability. Has anyone else had this problem with their Augi A-4?

Posted by: Donna Pelosi on June 9, 2005 05:19 PM

Ive got a good one.... "you've got to replace the instrument cluster!" I dont know how many times I have heard this, some how the instrument cluster is related to every problem I have with my 2000 TT, according to the dealership. Give me a break. I honestly can say, the amount of money that I have spent on repairs on my TT, approximately $10k. Why go through all the trouble? That 350z looks mighty good right about now, dont think Id ever go German again. Labor rates at Audi dealerships are outrageous. I caught one mechanic smoking in the back of the shop while my car was being repaired, tacking on those manhours. Audi service advisers lie through their teeth, I had to calm myself down several times, or I would have gone to jail for jumping over the counter and making those creeps swallow their teeth. Audi = not for me!!!!!

Posted by: Ron on June 23, 2005 06:54 AM

I thought I must be crazy and then I asked my mechanic to take our 2004 Turbo Beetle convertible for a drive. After driving 1500 miles in 3 days, the car wouldn't go all the way into second w/out hesitating. He said it was doing it in 3rd, too. And that the clutch was going. How can that be on a car w/only 30K miles???? What kind of car did we get???? If I get the run-around like it sounds like others got, that car is history!!! And no more VWs for us!!

Posted by: Heather on July 3, 2005 09:10 PM

I bought a brand new audiS3 on October 2004.I was not really using it because I still had my old car and i was keeping it in a close parking area.Today I have only done 2.300 khm and i washed it for the second time on Friday.Now the whole car is covered by "spots" as if the polish is burned.Also two of the middle pieces in the centre of the wheel-rim(the one which protects the bolts)are chiped off.The rubbers around the windows are burned and generally the outside condition of the car doesnot look like new.Please send me an e-mail if someone has faced similar problems and how you solved it.Thank you in advance.

Posted by: CONSTANTINA on July 18, 2005 12:29 AM

I purchased a 2002 Jetta VR6 in late 2002 that had aprox. 9900 miles on it. I have had numerous problems including having to take it in for the EPC light 5 times. The last time I took it in to be fixed, which was 5 weeks ago, my car had 60 miles left on the Manufacturers warranty. I had also complained the last few times it has been in for service about the transmission not shifting properly in lower gears. It seems to rev and then clunk into gear. They kept telling me they could not get it to do the same thing, and that it was operating under normal specs so they never fixed it. I now have 51,000 miles on the car. Last week the EPC light came on again and the transmission problem has been progressively getting worse. Of course now it is out of warranty, so they are not sure if they will be able to fix it for free. The only reason I still have the car is because I have about 12 months left on a lease. Oh yeah, ever since I bought the car my sunroof randomly opens and closes by itself while I am driving...anyone else have that problem? I will never buy another VW again, to many problems and too much hassle.

Posted by: Danielle on July 20, 2005 08:53 AM

I have a 2002 GTIVR6 and Ive had one coil pack go bad witch was warrentied, Ive also, under warrenty, had the window regulators repaired and a relay in the front bumper replaced.

Posted by: KC on August 9, 2005 03:30 PM

I have a 96 GTI 2.0, it recently was having problems with the speedometer reading intermittingly and then sometimes everything would go out. The Odometer wouldn't read but the clock was still functioning. I pulled out the instrument cluster and checked the connections back there and as far as I could tell everything was fine. I put it all back in and everything worked great for a couple days and now everything is out again. Any ideas on what my next step should be??? Any help would be good..Thanks

Posted by: David on August 24, 2005 05:12 PM

Come on guys' - in all relity you must admit that VW are great cars. All cars have problems- especially first year models- such as the 98' Beetle, the 2004 Toureg. And yes, VW's were hardier back when such as my 1978 Bus that is solid as a rock and still runs to this day, but all makes and models are now being made cheaper- America values throw away items- it is just the name of the game. Still VW makes a great car that is capable of lasting you your entire lifetime, sometimes there are kinks, and sometimes lemons can be made- but we are talking abour a macine that a human made and mistakes are always possible. I love my all my VW's, even the ones that have needed a timing belt- oh and by the way, my belt lasted me until 97,000 miles!! I would like to see someone, besides the person who owns this website to tell the world how they love their car- especially their Volkswagen!!!

Posted by: laughing tree on August 30, 2005 03:46 PM

I bought a 2001 Jetta GLS 1.8t about one year ago. The only problem that I have had is with the secondary air system; bank 1 leak. From what I hear, this is not a vw problem. This is a problem with many differnet makes and models; including bmw. It is interesting how the vehicle is build like a rock and then all of the inside accessories are made with cheap plastic. Oh well, the car is a blast. 60,000 miles and it runs like a dream. Again, NO PROBLEMS besides the common secondary air leak! Maybe I got the only good vw produced in Mexico.?? Probably not.

Posted by: Jeff on September 3, 2005 09:09 PM

Notice Concerning Audi A4 and Volkswagon 1.8 Liter turbo engines

We have a client for whom we are investigating the design defects of the Audi A4 1.8 turbo that resulted in oil sludging and related engine failure.

We are interested in hearing the details of anyone else’s experience, including any dealings with Audi in connection with its “extended warranty” offer.

Andrea L. Blanscet
Paralegal to Randal R. Kelly
Irwin & Boesen, P.C.
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80246-1327
Phone # 303-320-1911
Fax # 303-320-1915
E-Mail: ablanscet@irwin-boesen.com
Web site: www.irwin-boesen.com

Posted by: Andrea Blanscet on September 9, 2005 10:50 AM

Ha Ha where do i begin. Lets see my check engine light has never gone off since a month after i bought the car despite going to the dealership and having them turn it on then when i get out of the parking lot it comes back on. My car has no power, was like this since day 1. You literally cant hit 20mph sometimes and other times ull be going 60 and it will hit a wall and go down to 0 and stall even with the pedal to the floor. The windows have fallen down 5times and each time they replace something and it goes again. It has problems starting over 50degrees and under 50 it wont start. Despite new glow plugs,relay, harness all that stuff. The directions and headlights BURN OUT every 3months or so. The brakes go within 15k. Tires constantly get low in a weeks time due to crappy rims expanding and contracting. The mirrors get this wierd rust looking film which DOESNT come off. The best part of all we complained to VW and their response to all this " We have these complaints all the time" and one time when we took it in they said " WE HAVE 7 cars WITH THE SAME PROBLEM" and quess what there reaction to this is NOTHING. this car is not abused to the lease extent. its babied and still is the worst investment ever. VW MUST BE STOPED, AND SOMETHING MUST BE DONE>

Posted by: Eric on September 11, 2005 12:20 PM

03 gti 1.8 turbo at 20k it now has 40k warranty is running out turbo has never been smooth on power stumbles dealer said because i used a buru 3prong plug tahts why the turbo does not function correctely they charged me 125.$ to tell me this a shoved my ass out the door! i bought the car new from them! whats wrong with the turbo? help! and the car is brazilian made they make good coffee and assemble cars terriblt.

Posted by: paul on September 14, 2005 10:04 AM

Hi I just bought a 2002 VW Golf GTI 2.0 (115BHP)with 37k on the clock. I drove fine for 6 days then all of a sudden it started to loose power, failed to start 1st time. There is an sort of muffled sound coming through when the accelerator is pressed and now the EPC light has come on. This is the first VW I've owned and I'm not too impressed! The vehicle has been serviced very regularly but is just outside of warrenty. Does anyone know what this could be and/or if it will be expensive to repair?

Posted by: Chezza on September 18, 2005 02:42 PM

Two weeks ago my 2001 VW Beetle with 86,998 miles broke down 200 miles from home. Had it towed to VW dealer. The new timing belt had broken, damaged the cylinder heads, etc. Repairs were $4,100. They test drove it 25 miles, called to say it was fine. I picked it up yesterday, drove 3 miles and it broke down. Had it towed back in. While I waited in the lobby for the diagnosis I was dealing to buy a new Beetle and trade the 2001 in. They couldn't give me a trade-in price until they knew what was wrong. Diagnosis: crank shaft broke, causing the timing belt to break and cylinder heads to be damaged again. They say the 12,000 mile / 12 month warranty doesn't apply because it wasn't the parts they put on that failed, or their workmanship because they wouldn't have been able to see a hairline crack in the crank shaft. And, they still won't (can't) sell me a new car because they don't know what "VW will warranty." (I was at a VW dealer.) I have excellent credit and had been pre-approved to buy any car on the lot. But it sounds like they are going to try to make me pay for the second round of repairs and not take my car for a trade in.

Posted by: Pam on October 7, 2005 07:55 AM

I am on my second Jetta. My first was a 2002 Jetta GL. Within 2 years the rugs had gotten wet and smelled horrible due to a drain being plugged, the window clips broke, the brakes were recalled and then the transmission had to be completely replaced. The dealer agreed to let me trade it in and give me a pretty good deal if I took another Jetta. That was my mistake! Now I have a 2004 Jetta and it isn't any better. I have a chirping noise every time I hit a bump. I have been complaining about it since 11,000 miles but they tell me it can't be fixed. My sunroof broke and now is very noisy. The center console broke and yesterday I had water pouring in from the hood release handle and my driver side mat and rug are soaking wet. Oh yeah, it rolls forward when I want to go backward and backward when I want to go forward and that isn't even on a hill. They also told me that was normal. I am now car shopping to try and get rid of this car before anything else happens. I am so angry I could cry! Iam off to the dealer on Monday to see what they can do.

Posted by: Kelly on October 9, 2005 08:42 AM

I have a 2002 vw passat 1.8 turbo check engine light went on I TAKE TO auto zone diagnosis with scan have two code po321 and po322 EPC(ELECTRONIC POWER CONTROL) LIGHT WENT ON the car switch to a back up mode but lossing power anyonoe known what the problem

Posted by: robert chung on October 16, 2005 06:56 PM

I have a 2002 vw passat 1.8 turbo check engine light went on I TAKE TO auto zone diagnosis with scan have two code po321 and po322 EPC(ELECTRONIC POWER CONTROL) LIGHT WENT ON the car switch to a back up mode but lossing power anyonoe known what the problem

Posted by: robert chung on October 16, 2005 06:56 PM

i feel sorry that most of you have had bad moments with your vw's but for me they have been nothing but great cars i have 1969 karmann ghia and a 2004 jetta 1.8t and my my last car that i sold was 95" golf and i just have nothing but love for this cars
but i do thank all of you because now i can check for the same problems Thanks

Posted by: Rick on October 31, 2005 09:36 PM

I have a 96 Passat TDI wagen. One very cold Febuary morning, I cranked the starter a little longer than I should have and ever since then my gauges don't work. The odometer and clock are the only thing working. Worst yet, lately the odometer only works when check engine light is on. 196000 miles and everything else works. (except door handles need periodic fixing) I removed the cluster and the back of it doesn't look like the one in the Bentley manual. I don't seeant heat link

Posted by: Bob on November 12, 2005 09:03 PM

Brand new!! 2006 Jetta TDI, we had the car 1 month and the clutch went, the dealer had it for 3 1/2 weeks. Promised this would not happen again once fixed. I got it back and drove it for a week, same thing happened again. While driving over an hour down the highway i was going to downshift coming into construction, when i realized that the clutch was all the way stuck to the floor. I have driven quite a few 4 and 5 speeds, and was very upset to listen to the service manager tell me i need to learn how. and also tell me the warrenty will not cover this, they want to charge an arm and a leg to fix. VW customer service hasnt been 1 bit of help since this whole thing started, I have been waiting over a week for a vw rep to call. Already called BBB auto. Does anyone have any info that could help me. Would appreciate it. If i get this car back my new liscence plate will say VWLEMON!

Posted by: Jenny on November 17, 2005 05:13 AM

I had a 2001 VW GLX Beetle, many minor problems such as misfires solved by a recall of the ignition coils, battery dying early, mysterious rear spoiler activation, clunk noises from suspension when reversing, buzzing noise from rear hatch.
Then when i was selling the car the rear reverse switch broke and had to be covered by "goodwill" warranty, and now the new buyer emails me saying the rear lights do not work unless the headlights are on high. The bad thing is the dealer not being competent and in fact pretty rude! With all the problems they are having no wonder they cannot sell high end models. I am never buying a Volkswagon or Audi product again. My car only had 27000 miles when i sold it!

Posted by: steven on November 22, 2005 12:55 AM

I have a new 06 beetle conv. picked it up the first week of sept 06..drove it for 1 1/2 month. It shut down on me on the highway with a semi behind me. Roadside towed it 260 miles to the dealership. They said it was a manufacturing defect in the IP controller and that it would take a while for it to get fixed..in the mean time i had to pay for my own rental car. Then they finally gave me a loaner after i spent $500 on a rental car. 27 days later i picked up my car from the dealership which is 260 miles away. I drove it for 2 days and then it shut down on my again..when i say shut down i mean it totally stops working. I have turned them into the Kansas State Attorney General Office, Highway Safety Patrol Board, and numerous other agencies. I am now with out my new bug again...wonder how long this will take to fix.....I have only driven my new car for about 5 weeks total and i have owned it since sept 1 06. This sucks

Posted by: Samantha on November 27, 2005 01:15 PM

My timing belt on my VW Passat stripped (causing $3000) worth of damage (20,000 miles before it was suppose to be replaced). It is complete crap that VW doesn't take responsibility for their faulty timing belts (or change the replacement miles to let people know that their parts are crap!)

Posted by: Dawn on November 30, 2005 05:22 PM

Well, I'm seeing that alot of folks are having issues with bugs!!! I have a 98 bug that has had so many problems it's not even funny. Start with a "tune up" that cost me 950$ & I had my own parts!!! the the air conditioner have metal shaving in it & will not work ( I live in Nevada & need it)the heater works (for now), the headlightslow beam only have died on me, the check engine light never goes off, the windows won't roll down or do so on thir own, oh yea the starter went south & needed a new one.we won't even talk about the timing belts it eats or the brakes it eats......i had the recall fixed for the back lights but they never did mention that the front light maybe bad too. Now i'm being told that the WHOLE car needs to be rewired!!! WHAT???? geeze!! about ready to put a rag in it & light it......


Posted by: Jan on December 1, 2005 01:04 PM

I have a 2003 beattle.. head flashing lights went on for a few seconds...on my way home on thanks giving.I got scared so I pulled over on the side of the freeway for safety and turn of the engine before I knew what was the light about my car had steam coming out of my hood...everything was not covered under warranty... 4 to 5 thousand to fix it...I presented all my invoice that shows I maintained my car very well and not only that I never took it to any other place for service only @ VW Dealerships.I will never buy a VW.... NEVER...!!They are blaming me because I drove the car on the side for safety and they said that caused it to over heat....so they are saying that I rather die so that I can get covered by the manufacturers warranty.... these cars are poorly engineered...!!!

Posted by: shimara on December 6, 2005 01:46 PM

2002 Jetta GLS Wagon VR6 - Where to start...the temperature coolant light came on twice. 1st time they said the level was low. 2nd time, the dealership replaced the sensor and coolant tank. The radio has been replaced 3 times (total of 4 radios including the original). The power window switches have been replaced. The car started mis-firing and the check engine light came on (33,000 miles) after the car sat outside in the rain overnight. The dealership checked the computer and said it "reported sporadic mis-firings" - happened again 10,000 miles later. The rear hatch leaks water - dealership said the washer nozzle came loose - still leaks. A spring came out from the passnger side seat. The seat heaters and switches have been replaced due to a recall. The front muffler bracket broke and came off at 40,000 miles. At 46,000 miles the moon roof started leaking. Now the check engine light comes on and goes off intermittently - delaership said it probably the gas cap not being tight enough.

My wife has a 2004 Jetta with the 2.0 L - she has gone through 3 radios including the original and now this one is acting up. The automatic transmission in her car (at random) will shift very hard from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th gears. Dealership said they can't repeat the problem, but to try and get on the freeway and make the transmission kick down into passing gear - should take care of the problem. We will NEVER buy another VW or Audi again.

Posted by: Scott on December 28, 2005 07:57 AM

Hello, folks. This is the site administrator here, dropping by to mention my recent troubles:


Still love the car, but damn service is expensive.

Posted by: Drizz on January 11, 2006 09:02 AM


Posted by: TAMMY S. on January 15, 2006 02:47 PM

I had some repair work to be done on my 2005 Jetta and a month for the repair was pushing it but when they were all done and ran a computer check they found they needed a air bag sensor. The part was on back order coming from Germany so it took a whole nother MONTH to get my car back. 2 MONTHS in the shop for a 2-3 week job!! I can't believe how in our day and age we have to wait soooooo long for a part or that we don't manufacture some here.

Posted by: Anne Kretsch on January 29, 2006 05:30 PM

Have a 2000 Golf GLS 2.0 4cyl. Have had no major problems with my car. Had 8,600 miles on it when I bought it back in 2000. Now it has 87,187 miles and I have 2 things going on with it. Would love some feedback. It leaks inside when it rains. I had almost 2 inches of water in my floorboard on the driver's side the last big rain we had. I have some type of sludge on the inside of the oil cap. The guy who did my tune up 3 days ago said it's what happens when oil & water mix? Asked me how I got water in there and I have no clue how that could have happened.My Check Engine light is on. I have a stick shift and the car kinda hesitates when I'm putting my foot on the gas. It goes but it slips a little and there's almost a muffled sound coming from the the engine(?). Like if a muffler was muffled. When the car idles, the car shakes just a little. I replaced all the plug wires when I had the tune up done and had the catalytic converter checked out ($50) to weld it back after it was cut to look inside it. I'm wondering if it's "slipping" because the timing belt needs to be replaced and am I playing with fire waiting to have it checked out until I can pay for it in 3 weeks. It was drinking gas like water until the tuneup. Now that's fine. Also, I used Bosch Platinum Plugs with 2 metal points on the tip instead of 3 like the original plugs I pulled out. Is that a problem and could it cause the "slipping"?

Thanks for any and all help/feedback.

I would also like to add that I love my VW despite the few problems I've had. My windows slipped off track and the dealership took care of it for free on all 4 windows. They said there were plastic "clamps" holding the windows on their track and they should've been metal. I've also had to replace the headlights twice and my back passenger tail light will NOT stay lit for anything.I also had to replace the starter at 80k miles. EXPENSIVE but I did have the dealership do it.$89/hr for labor.

I still love my car and will probably buy another when this one hits 200k miles.

I recommend writing the VW headquarters, you can get the address on the web page, about the window problems. They responded promptly AND called me on top of writing to make sure I was happy. I have had success with that avenue when the dealership fell short.

I'm a driver not a passenger and here's to the rest of you drivers.

Posted by: Pam K on February 2, 2006 01:02 AM

2003 beetle has problems with power windows going up...very slow and sometimes only half way. The dealer has lubicated the tracks 3xs without taking the door panels off and this last time, the lubrication caused a film on the windows and actually left a very sticky film. They said it was the type of lube they used. Now after this 4th external lube job, I was told that VWOA suggested to also put baby powder on the tracks when I get home.
They said that they have even ordered it to keep in the shop. (VW Dealership)
Doesn't sound right to me, wet baby powder clumps-up...has anyone had this problem or used this suggested preventitive?


Posted by: Doug on February 4, 2006 10:43 AM

We just bought a new 2006 Golf 2.0 lt petrol. After 60km the engine started missing. We took it back to the dealer who upgraded the software!!!! The next day the same problem reocurred. This time the ignition coil in number 4 cylinder. After being without the car for three days its still has a miss in it at idle so the dealer is going to replace the other three to hopefully fix the problems. There seems to be no certainity if this is even the problem

What can I say...The Gold seemed like a great car when we looked at the specs but has spent more of its time broken than running!!!!!!! Just wish we could return it to the manufacturer for a full refund!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob Stephenson on February 6, 2006 08:37 PM

Maybe I am lucky but bought my Jetta used at 87,000 miles knowing I have to replaced some items; timing belt, brake rotors, water pump,and other regular maintenance items, which I did all myself--no stealership. Regular oil changes and I am at 220,000 and no major problem. Still looks good too! Only down side is that cost of maintence is unusually higher than other cars.

Posted by: Daniel on March 3, 2006 01:36 PM

Maybe I am lucky but bought my Jetta used at 87,000 miles knowing I have to replaced some items; timing belt, brake rotors, water pump,and other regular maintenance items, which I did all myself--no stealership. Regular oil changes and I am at 220,000 and no major problem. Still looks good too! Only down side is that cost of maintence is unusually higher than other cars.

Posted by: Daniel on March 3, 2006 01:37 PM
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