Thursday, March 06, 2014

More Volkswagen Tales of Woe - Facebook community survey results and some comments


There is a Facebook group that was started by a group of Malaysian Volkswagen owners who are extremely disappointed (to say the least) by the supposedly appalling after-sales service quality over at Volkswagen Malaysia. I am not surprised as I have written a couple or so times as regards how unreliable VW cars have been in recent years. you can have a look at the group here.



As a recap, it would seem that any VW with the DSG transmission and some TSI engines (mainly the smaller turbocharged direct injected 1.2 liter engine and the 1.4liter turbocharged and supercharged engine from the previous Golf TSI are in question). have reliability issues. The DSG suffers from the part that controls gearchanges or the mechanical-electronic (mechatronic) controller and the engine suffers from excessive engine oil consumption, more than a liter every two weeks is expensive if you know what I mean. I personally only recommend Volkswagens to my enemies and it seems appropriate to do so.

And so, I am now pleased to report to you a survey conducted by the chaps running the Facebook page - VW DSG 7 Defects Community. 163 people entered it and this folks, is what came of it:


About 163 people took part in the survey. Incidently the Facebook group mentioned herein had over that 1,200 Likes, so close to 15% took part in the survey. Most of them who took part were cars 2010 or younger and a majority were the Golf 1.4TSI and Polo 1.2TSI owners. More than half suffered DSG issues and about 11% suffered engine issues. Holy Crap. 
(Actual findings will be shown at a later date, after an event stated below)

On a personal note, I know of only two reliable VW owners. Both Polo owners, one a 1.2TSI and the other an earlier, very reliable manual, non-TSI Polo GTI  1.8 (which is in and out of the workshop due to the owner's ambition of making it into an extremely fast hatchback - and failing). I know of a two year old Passat owner who has has three batteries installed in his Passat - luckily under warranty as a Varta battery costs over RM1,500 from the dealer and has a serial number that HAS TO BE KEYED IN after the change. He also suffered initial DSG software issues and is contemplating of going back to his old Mercedes C-Class. I have driven a friend's Golf 1.4TSI Mk6 with DSG issues, which makes the car seriously bad in traffic. I have a friend who is close to a VW-Audi specialist workshop and he states that every week at least two VWs go in for a mechatronic controller change, that costs thousands. So, personally, my ratio of satisfied VW customers and those that are suffering (to some extent) is at 50:50. This is actually quite bad as Proton has less issues than this. (UPDATE -The Mk7 Golf TSI is a more reliable car than the Mk6 from what I information I have gathered from asking various people)

UPDATE (April 2016)- Since writing the article, I have to add that my brother in law runs a Polo 1.6 Sedan. No issues whatsoever at all. over the last three years. Another friend runs a Passat for over three years. He's had software changes to the gearbox, a change of fuel tank caused by a faulty pump assembly, two batteries but he is happy with the car which seems to be sorted out after the first two years or so. 

Speaking about Proton, Volkswagen is actually the Proton of Germany. I have said time and time again that if you bought a Volkswagen, translated from German as 'People's Car', is actually the entry level German car. Yes, you get better material quality, the dashboard and controls are all nice but in reality the company will treat you as buying a bread and butter car. You are not buying actual designer products here. You are buying highstreet fashion here at the very most. The service experience will be like any other non-luxury car out there.

What some of the insiders have told me is that the people over in VW (aside from being filled with corporate bureaucracy that is slow to react to change) is that they actually treat the car as basic or entry level. And with entry level this would mean entry level quality of servicing, parts and so on. You must tell yourself that YOU ARE NOT BUYING AN AUDI. You are buying the Proton of Germany. 

Like Proton, some of their products are indeed performance bargains (Golf GTI, CC, Scirocco) at the price offered and are very, very, very good to drive, but.... that is all fine and dandy IF they all work as they supposed to most of the time instead of checking in and out of the service center most of the time. Oh, and to rub it in even a defective Proton Preve is more reliable than a Golf TSI these days. Volkswagen seems to be worse that owning an Alfa Romeo. It's like participating in an unlucky draw instead of a lucky draw with VW these days. (Now add to this fact if you are a GTI owner...Do you think over 200hp is easy to make? Do yo think over 100hp/liter is easy to make? With great power comes great maintenance costs along the way)

Furthermore, note that VW Malaysia do not actually give 5 years of warranty. The last few years of their warranty is covered under an insurance company. If you suffer a warranty issue after the first two or three years, you send your ailing VW to the service center and you wait till they send over an insurance adjuster to decide whether the issue is covered under your warranty. I imagine an accident claims adjuster coming in and deciding whether a faulty part is faulty or otherwise. There is inexperience and there is the fact that the claim may take longer than usual because it relies on an external party. Yes, honestly, what the heck is this? 

Do you see Mercedes Benz doing that? Do you even see Honda Malaysia doing that? Both companies give 5 years MANUFACTURER WARRANTY (as of the date of this article in 2014). I do suggest you folks out there pay attention to warranty these days as cars nowadays are incredibly complex pieces of metal. Too complicated in fact. Do you know that any car made today may have more computing power and computers than the space shuttle? 

And as a conclusion, some VW owners in Malaysia are suffering. On two faults. One, because of shitty service protocols (which usually gets better due to more workshops and the staff more experienced with the cars in the long run) and a don't really care too much attitude and secondly, buying a highly priced Proton just because its German. If you went and bought a Proton Inspira 2.0P none of this shit would happen. It is as Malaysian as sushi underneath. 

Oh, by the way, the group intends to give a memorandum of demand to the MD of VW Malaysia next Thursday 13th March 2014 at around 12.00pm-1.00pm at the VW Malaysia HQ in Bangsar. I hope things happen after this. Good things. Nothing bad okay. 





17 comments:

  1. I had my 4th Battery in 3 1/2 years on my passat c c. They asked me to leave my car in the workshop a few days in order for a warranty claim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm...seems like a common problem. Power drain somewhere in the system. And a battery change that takes days...even more hmmmm...

      Delete
  2. Daymm..and I've to top my money for an engine oil ..haillll spartanzz

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  3. Proton of Germany = Excellent way of putting it !!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pls do not insult Proton just because VW has problems. I am a user of 4 Protons over 13 years and the Waja has been with me for 9 years.

    Yes, power windows got problems in the older models and few small issues. But the engine, aircond and other more expensive parts are very reliable. VW is no match going by your report.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful and enlightening read!!

    As a paying.consumer, we should be getting our hard earned money's worth!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. hi all, i am not a die hard fan of proton but i have to agree on the comment made as based on your report i would have to agree that proton is better than vw. i have been using my satria gti for 12 years now and All, i repeat All major parts have not given me problems up to now. some might find this hard to believe as most people know one person or another that have used a proton and have had small or most probably BIG problems with their cars. for me the difference might be that i have stuck with proton for my car maintainence as compared to most which have shifted to unauthorised workshops to maintain their cars. yes, it is a bit more expensive to maintain your car with proton but it the long run i find that it is truly worth it. but mind you, you still have to be selective of the proton service centre that you frequent and i might be one of the lucky ones that managed to identify a centre which truly does what they are suppose to, which is to work on the car properly as appose to only claiming to (repair/maintain it). nevertheless, this is just my experience and others might disagree. well....... it happens. anyway, good luck to all vw owners and thanks for the insight as frankly i was also considering getting a vw but it seems i might have to reconsider. regards ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      Your case and the mr anon at 10.00am are lucky Proton owners. I personally still run a Proton Wira (my second one since 1998) and it has not let me down yet. But with mass produced budget cars, some get lemons. Take a look at the chap who posted in the article after this - on the Inspira. He seems to be suffering tons of problems with his Persona. Sometimes, you get lemons. It isn't that rosy too.

      Delete
  7. FYI, Audi is owned by Volkswagen.

    Also, take note on transmission type on your future vehicle. Dual clutch transmission seems to not work well in our climate. DSG is a dual clutch type. Other brands also used this type of transmission.

    It's better to use the regular single clutch in our climate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess not only VW DSG are affected, even honda also affected right?

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      Honda does not use double clutch gearboxes. They use the normal torque converter type and the CVT type. You may have heard problems arising from the earlier CVTs in the old ugly tadpople looking Honda City as well as some Honda Jazz. The other cars - Civic (except Hybrid), Accord and newer City (except this latest one which runs a CVT again) have normal gearboxes.

      CVTs are sensitive and may wear out sooner than cars equipped with normal automatic gearboxes. That being said, you can buy Hondas without this CVT gearboxes and you will most probably not face a gearbox issue with these cars.

      Regards

      Delete
  8. Facebook Vs Google servey, share your opinion and get your instant gift now, a lots of gift giving away. Make life better

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi everyone.my ride is polo gti but currently im falling in love with golf 1.4. So gentlemen can u guys commend about that car.tq

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      The golf 1.4 is unlike your Polo GTI. it is a quieter more refined ride. It will be slower than what you have right now if you are after outright performance. If you want a comfortable ride and as an overall car, the Golf would be what you want. Do bear in mind the technology fitted in these cars though.

      Delete
  10. Luckily i bought ford focus in 2013.. After 70000 km.. I changed gearbox clutch, TCM, power window and battery.. Very costly.. RM9000.. All free ... Under 5 years wrty.. Now my ford focus feel like new car!!!. Bravo ford...

    ReplyDelete

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