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Old 29th August 2012, 09:36   #1
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Default VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job

Some of you have been familiar with my recent travails with Volkswagen Downtown Bangalore on my running report. (Less is More - VW Jetta Highline MT). This has the full details and time stamps of what happened and when.

That particular thread only attracts those with an interest in VW Jetta's. My experiences are not something that I would want any car owner to go through so this ordeal deserves its own thread so that customers are forewarned about my tale about the incompetence, indiffererence and fraud that was endured. Let me take the opportunity to shrink 58 days into a few posts. So please hold tight, make yourselves a large cup of tea and read on!

22 August 2012
Lets begin with the mishap. On my return from Goa in the forest reserve, some trucker left his breakdown stones on the road. I came over a hillock and braked late. The result -a damaged wheel, slightly damaged bottom sill and the plastic panelling under the car was torn. The spare wheel although on a steel rim was the exact size so one could continue at the same pace. Thank God it was not a BMW which comes without a spare. The ABS shut down. I carefully nursed the car back on the remaining 400 km to Bangalore
VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job-imag0283.jpg

VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job-imag0282.jpg

VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job-imag0285.jpg

As you see, the damage is the following

1 damaged wheel rim
1 slightly damaged fromnt suspension lower arm
1 damaged sill
1 deformed wing
1 damaged ABS wiring harness
Various underbody panels

Seems simple! Read on!

I registered the claim as soon as I reached home. The next day, I rang VW Downtown.

"Sorry, I cannot take your car, no room!"

"Can you take it in to assess it, and I will bring it back until you get parts"

"No sir! I cannot even give you space for that, I will make an appointment for next week"

Bajaj Allianz called me and I told them that the car will be in on the 28th and they said they will wait

28 August 2012

I arrived at the appointed time. There was barely room to park. The surveyor also came in and started his work. VW Downtown insisted that I sign the claim form stating that I am satisfied with the repairs before they even begin!

The service advisor Casi told me that the repair time depends on the parts availability since Jetta is a "rare" car for stocking parts. I offered Casi the option of taking the car back and returning when the actual repair takes place considering the difficulties they were having in coping with space vis a vis volumes

Surveyor completed his work but needed to car on ramp for inspection (getting to the ramp would be a task in itself!) so the car would need to remain with them.

Considering I used to have a rare Skoda RS which is no longer produced, any part if not available immediately would at least arrive in 10 days - this has happened for the underbody snow shield and the waterpump. For a current production model which uses the same parts distribution network, my expectations would be a realistic two weeks.

How I would be wrong!

Why did I choose to go to VW Downtown?

1: The only alternative would be the VW Palace Cross in Hessarghatta but I do not even want to think of the travel there to follow up on it

2: The owners also ran Dakshin Honda so some good methods should have transferred over

Last edited by ajmat : 29th October 2012 at 09:13.
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Old 30th August 2012, 15:11   #2
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Default The Survey!

30 August 2012

Rang to find out what happened. The surveyor wanted to check the undercarriage car on the ramp. He came and waited. The workshop was so chock a block, they could not even get it near a ramp. He was to pop in later today or tomorrow. Casi told me they have started ordering the parts and they will return car. Once the parts have arrived, the repairs will be completed in one shot. Unknown to me, the deceit had begun!

5 September 2012

Rang to find that the insurance assessment was completed after finally driving the car for challenging distance of 200 metres over one week, the car finally got on a ramp for the underbody survey. I enquired about when the repairs will start, the bodyshop manager Ramdas said the parts will take around 10 days to arrive. I offered to take the car back and park it (and he was willing!) but the insurance and the service manager will not allow it. They do not want the car to be driven. I even offered a written undertaking the car will not be driven more than 10 km! No luck

I decided to go in person and see what I could do over the weekend.

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 22:58.
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Old 12th September 2012, 17:48   #3
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Default Part and no parcel!

8 September 2012

A nice sunny saturday morning - I went to see the status of car and try and reclaim it. Walked around the yard, no sign of it. Walked into service area and found it on a service ramp lording it over the other cars with a Polo parked underneath. The boot was open - I wonder if they ran down the battery in the process. It would take a week to get it out! Ramdas was "all over the place", sorting out different issues. He told me that parts were on order but could not tell me when.

Over the following week, I was promised a call. Everytime I called, I got the following:

1: I will call you Sir!

2: Phone is not answered

3: Phone is switched off

15th September 2012

After numerous "I'll caaaall you saaarr" replies and dead phones, I make a visit to see what is happening on the next saturday.

Try to meet Ramdas or Casi only to find they have moved to their new facility in Singasandra. I ask someone to give me an update on my car. No one can tell me. I ask them to call Ramdas but he is not picking up his phone. I speak to someone else who co-ordinates with the insurance and bodyshop again it all becomes a ping pong game and all goes back to " I don't know, please call Ram Das"

I then look for my car, it is gone. I then find out that it has been moved to Singasandra. Thanks for informing me. Being a new facility, I hope that it will be spotless. However, no one has a clue on when the facility will begin operations. An informed motivated staff, no doubt! Since I am creating a racket, someone finally gets Ram Das on the phone who tells me he was not in office hence phone switched off. I am told to contact Mr Casi, the service advisor who originally checked car in but he is not in office today.

17 September 2012

I speak to Casi, he told me that the parts are still on order. Thinks it will come by this weekend. New facility will start functioning later this week. An hour later, Bajaj Allianz call, where is your car, why is it not repaired? I repeat my story - VW Downtown informed me that they got in touch with the surveyor and assured me repairs have been authorised by the surveyor. It does not seem to be the case. Things are not adding up!

Haven't they been waiting for the parts a bit too long?

I decide to escalate to Volkswagen and the local VW service manager Suveer is in touch telling me the parts are available in Aurangabad and are coming in by air. It has been nearly a month and parts are available! If this is the case, either VW Downtown sat on their hands and did not order any parts or they ordered "blanks"

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 23:06.
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Old 25th September 2012, 16:39   #4
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Default Damaging "Lie" abilities!

And the waiting game continues

22 September 2012

Mr Ramdas now never picks up the phone. Through some persistance, I get hold of the customer relations manager Kumar who promises to call me on sunday.

24 September 2012

I guess it was a false promise since I called him on Monday, I call and am told that all parts are there and work is happening. Whoopee!

25 September 2012

I go there to find nothing has happened. Correction! Something has happened, they have damaged the rear bumper. They claim it can be painted, fine but my trust level has reduced big time. I bump into Casi. Only the new alloy wheel needs to come, they refuse to repair until it comes!

They have now swapped mobile phones so you never know who you are talking to

The icing on the cake is that I reach home to find 2 parking tickets. The car has been illegally parked outside their Magrath Road. Thank God, it was not speeding tickets!
Attached Images

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Old 27th September 2012, 18:32   #5
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Default Will the real wheel roll in?

26 September 2012

I get a call from the service manager Ranjit (at last, someone of responsibility has taken interest!) stating that the car will repaired on Friday and Saturday. I should get delivery by Monday, if not Wednesday 3rd October. He commits to sending me an email so I sms my email address. I also informed him about the damaged bumper (He was taken aback when I told him about it). Like all statements from VW Downtown, I receive zilch! Suveer - the VW service manager assures me they are expediting the wheel which is being taken off a vehicle in stock.

As of noon, nothing had happened, I did get a good view of my car sitting on the rooftop from BETL while riding in a Xylo. At least, it got a good wash during the monsoons.

1 October 2012

Now been told that the wheel will only arrive on Friday 5th and the car will be delivered soon after. The other repairs will be happening before that

4 October 2012

I walk in on VW Hosur Road to find nothing has happened. They say the wheel will come today and only then repairs will start. Everything will be completed by Monday 8th. Considering the Bandh, I doubt it.

5 October 2012

Tried calling for an update but no one would pick their respective mobiles. Went to Garuda Mall for some work so walked in on the Ranjit who calls the parts manager and has Ramdas on the line. Good news, the wheel has come, bad news it is the wrong one. (I think they sent the Laura RS wheel). Looks like an issue with VW who are trying to resolve. I call Suveer who helps expedite the matter. Meanwhile, all other parts have arrived. I wish they would shift it and get started on the rest of the repairs.

9 October 2012

I am in Delhi. I call Casi but someone else called Narendra answers and am promised a call in 5 min. I call twice at 10 min intervals. I then call Ranjit, the service manager. He promises to revert. I then get a call from Narendra who says the car is undergoing tinkeing etc and I should have the car by the end of the week. (i.e. 13 October) - Why could n't he tell me earlier when I rang?

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 23:08.
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Old 12th October 2012, 08:50   #6
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Default At last some action!

12 October 2012

Eureka - They have begun paint preparation. Am grateful for fellow mod Vid6639 who popped over there on his way home to check progress. Bumper is off for painting so it will be a proper job not a botch up. The undercarriage plastic panels etc will then be fitted. As for the alloy wheel, that is still elusive!

16 October 2012

I pop in to review progress. The paintwork is complete and the job is complete. The wheel has arrived and is fitted however they are using original tyre since insurers will not replace as there is no visible damage or bubble. I am a bit shocked about the lack of safety and considering that the insurance will need to pay out again if something happens. I will certainly interchange with the spare wheel. (note - the tyre was losing air so was replaced a few days later)

The front bumper was removed. VW Downtown have decided to paint this for me free of cost. The wheel cap is missing. It was there when I handed over car. Casi put it in the glove compartment when I handed over car. He has ordered another one so the car should be with me post insurance formalities around the 20th. Note the wheel cap is VW Downtown's loss and not part of the insurance scope so I suggest they pull it off a car in stock and replace it with the new one when it arrives. I even suggest pulling it off their TSI demo car which is sitting in the repair shop after a fender bender.

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 23:10.
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Old 20th October 2012, 19:43   #7
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Default Fraud with a dollop of indifference!

19 October 2012

I get to understand that VW Downtown is claiming the missing wheelcap as part of the repair cost under my insurance claim. Hence the part needs to arrive and be invoiced. The overall invoice then needs to be passed and then the car is released. In other words, I am held hostage to Volkswagen Downtown's fraud. If this was my company - Intel, I would be sacked or penalised heavily

22 October 2012

Ring Casi, not picking up phone, ring Ranjit, not picking up phone but sms'd me since he was in a meeting and to call Ramdas. Called Ramdas who sms'd me saying that he is not at the workshop. Sms'd Ranjit again the fact that it has been 55 days for a 2 day job and it is time I got an answer when do I get the car.

10 min later, Narendra his assistant calls, the wheel cap has come and is fitted. Insurance formalities need to be completed. We will call you in the evening.

They promptly did not call me in the evening.

23 October 2012

Usual round of non answering phones leads me to get pretty stroppy so I call Ranjit who says he cannot do anything more and that he was merely trying to assist in resolving this- Ramdas is the person who can advise. As usual, no answer, I keep calling and Narendra his assistant picks up and will call me in 5 min.

True to his word, he calls me and tells me the insurance surveyor needs to complete everything and it will take 3 days. I go ballistic and tell him why could they have not got this done last week as the wheel cap in not under the insurance scope. Being a person with not much authority there is nothing he can do. All he answers is "yes sir!, I know". Poor guy is merely a pawn in the whole set up.

Ramdas later rings me and suggests, I pay and claim back from the insurance. I lay it on about this and the minor fraud happening, he is unrepentent and comments that he never committed when the car would be delivered. True to his word, he never calls back.

Later that evening I get a call from Suveer, VW. VW have been following my thread and ask him to follow up. I make it clear that I am not happy. Suveer assures me that he will call VW on thurs (as 26th was a holiday to follow up).

25 October 2012

Ok, so the ball is in Bajaj Allianz's court! I call up to see where we are on this. They respond that we have no invoice still. My blood pressure rises - It is a toss between the Incredible Hulk or the Joker in me! As mitigating step, I call Suveer who promises a call back. 10 min later, Suveer calls me and tells me to expect a call from the VW DT service manager....which never happened.

I ring Suveer again after an hour and this time he put the VW DT Ranjit manager on the line who starts talking about about paperwork, reimbursement etc. Suveer cut him short and told him to give a proper status update by 3 PM today.

3 PM passes, 4.17 PM - Ranjit calls me and says the car is in Magrath Road but delivery will only be the next day. I immediately go there to examine the car.

To be fair, they seem to have done a good job. I review the final invoice. Rs 56000 or which the wheel was Rs 26000 and tyre Rs 8700 (you know never to go to a dealer for this!). Labour came to Rs 7000. I am promised delivery before 5.30 on Friday.

In terms of time

2 weeks to complete the insurance survey ( actual time 1 day)
3 Weeks of nothing
1 week lead time for all parts except wheel
2 weeks for wheel (due to goof up on wrong wheel)
4 days to complete repair (power cuts halted things)
10 days of nothing

A rough estimate is that even for Murphy's law - 3 weeks all inclusive (as they wanted to hold car till parts come in) would have been the maximum time taken.

This is all that was replaced (wheel arch liner is missing)

VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job-imag0360.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 22:29.
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Old 27th October 2012, 21:04   #8
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Default Delivery and Management Talk

Ranjit rang me and told me the car was ready for release. I needed to pay Rs 4700 from my side. As Carlos Santana was around, I could only take delivery the next day.

27 October 2012

I arrive to collect the car. I ask for Ranjit and a lady who I have not met before states - you are Ajit Matthew! and promptly goes to the service area to fetch Ranjit

Ranjit goes to collect my file. I then am deafened by a customer shouting at another service advisor about a billing discrepency. Ranjit takes me out to look at the car. I am given an explanation about what I need to pay.

I then produce the parking tickets. It was only Rs 200 but I felt I needed to dock them for these on principal. While the paperwork was being processes. I decided to speak to the other aggrieved customer. His name was Manoj. He explained his issues:

1: Being made to take the car to Singasandra and then being made to bring it back to Magrath Road

2: Being told the car is ready and travelling over to find nothing has been done

3: Billing inaccuracies and service advisor denying there is a mistake.

Manoj had heard of Team-bhp and he was quite bemused with my story and that too as a moderator, I was not spared!

It was an interesting discussion that we had with the front line staff. We actually empathised with them and discussed the issues. I have consolidated this into 10 questions

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 23:33.
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Old 27th October 2012, 21:48   #9
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Default 10 Introspective Questions

1: How an earth will VW expect to get market share with such appalling service?

No answer

2: How is it that Elite motors can run a Honda dealership reasonably well but have failed with VW?

No answer

3: Does the senior managers or the owner of the dealership spend time sitting / observing what is going on in the frontline and experiencing what happens ?

The answer was a collective no!

4: Manoj and I always see angry customers - I pointedly asked the folks whether they see themselves working there after six months facing daily abuse?

They did not say no

5: Why are do the staff hide behind non customer oriented policies? Examples like
  • In Manoj's case - being forced to be responsible for transporting the car between service stations- that was costing him over half a day for each transfer
  • In my case, retaining the car which was drivable - while awaiting parts

6: Why are staff members so customer indifferent?

  • Not answering telephone calls or not responding
  • Lying about commitments - "car is ready", "work is going on "
  • Willing to commit fraud and delay delivery due to their own irresponsibility
  • Not taking due care of customer's property -my car got damaged and lost a wheel cap
  • No transparency about what is happening and when
  • Denial when there is an issue - first listen to the customer, then understand and then resolve or reason with the customer logically - I notice this happens in the billing process
  • Assume responsibility and see the issue through to completion - not play customer ping-pong - for me it was ping pong with Ramdas, Casi and Narendra. No one person owned the process of repairing my car. One person to check it in, another to order the parts, another to repair it etc. There were plenty of gaps, delays and misinformation between these handovers

I must call out that an exception in that Ranjit was the only person did answer and return calls and make an attempt to take responsbility. But if the eco-systems does not support this, his qualities are lost.

7: Why has VW's infrastructure not scaled up?

Look at a new dealer like Viva Toyota - they have a huge facility near Yelahanka. Compare this with Elite. The Magrath Road facility was adequate for lower volume cars like the Passat and Jetta's but with volume cars like the Vento and Polo - they knew volumes were coming but were indifferent.

If you look at Bangalore
  • VW Bangalore and VW Downtown - have a small facility for max 30 cars. The new Singasandra facility only does bodywork at present
  • VW Whitefield do not have a facility
  • VW Palace Cross workshop is just too far.

Finally questions on the big picture!

8: Is Volkswagen at the mercy of the dealers?

Why are they tolerating all the complaints that are emerging?

9: Is Volkwagen hearing the customer and interfacing adequately?

VW Facebook talk nice stuff about the birds and the bee's - do they talk about serious initiaitives and improvements? I tried contacting them on Facebook via personal messaging providing car no , VIN no etc. and I got the usual "we'll get back to you"

The customer wants answers, not to be answered

10: VW do not measure customer satisfaction or standards

I hope I am wrong here. I never filled in any formal feedback. My experience with Maruti and Honda is that they desire feedback - both on delivery and on follow up

I was told - there will always be a 10% who have bad luck. That is too high to be acceptable. This 10 percenter knows how to tell a tale and to a vast audience, which ensures this experience will be shared by all to make an informed choice.

The lady whom I met when I took delivery revealed she is the new customer relationship manager and that VW Downtown are going through retraining and realigning on processes etc. I wish them luck but they need a lot more than that.

What has it cost me?
  • Have had to resort to borrowing relatives cars
  • Rs 5000 in increased fuel costs (the cars were petrol)
  • Standing in Volvo buses
  • 3-4 man days following up in person
  • Blood pressure
  • Heartburn
  • and the saddest of all, I was supposed to go on holiday with some friends (the ones we came back from Goa with) but I have no car!
Oh VW Downtown refused to lend me a car when they could have got my car ready well in time for the holidays!

What do I want?

I want nothing but a good customer experience for all. I grew up with air cooled VW's with the happiest of memories, I had the use of a VW Scirocco during some of my best student days. I wanted to relive the good times.

All I got from VW Downtown was lies and indifference and this saddens me.


Ranjit - VW Downtown - Thanks for trying to care and do something
Suvir - VW South - Thanks for getting the parts in

Last edited by ajmat : 27th October 2012 at 23:38.
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Old 27th October 2012, 21:57   #10
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And the final parting shot. As a customer of a premium brand, you would expect them to use decent paper to print your invoice or is there an environmental message?

Attachment 1006493
Attached Images

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Old 28th October 2012, 00:09   #11
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Default Re: VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job

Moving from assembly live - going live
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Old 28th October 2012, 00:14   #12
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Default Re: VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job

Would you mind posting a pic of the car after the repair job ?

I am appalled to say the least. I am glad that it was sorted out finally !! Long way to go for VW before they can even think of gaining market share.

I see the bill was Rs 55K, how much was covered by insurance ?
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Old 28th October 2012, 01:38   #13
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Default Re: VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job

Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Moving from assembly live - going live
Hi @Ajit,
Appalled to read about your ordeal. After having two rounds of satisfactory (repair) workshop experiences at (VW) B U Bhandari, Pune, I guess we, out here at Pune, are sitting on a ticking time-bomb. Never know when the good guys (BuB) are going to turn over the tide.

However I have a very basic query - something I intended to ask other bhpians posting about their long ordeals across different (auto) organizations.

When one goes to the workshop based on certain past commitments given, and comes to know that the work hasn't been started/completed or the person is evading you, how does he/she leave the workshop without getting something done atleast?

Asking because in my 2nd experience, where I literally had to run behind a VW engineer (who was at the workshop for some other car, he has no prior context/info about my case) for over an hour, to the extent that he calls up my service advisor, informs him to (ask me to) stop pestering him (the SA takes me outside the workshop and informs me so). Of course, that didn't stop me - I did not leave him that day till he gave a clearance for the repair work to be initiated (he literally had to make a few calls to VW to do that). Do note, I did not shout out aloud even once, all I did was (politely) checking with the engineer/SA every 15-20 mins. I spent over 3-4 hours at the workshop that day.

Now I understand my warranty claim was minor, and nothing similar to yours, but I can't understand how one (like you did) makes multiple trips to the workshop and yet comes out empty-handed.

Apologies if the query is crude. I had to put it out as it is. Do share your views.

Edit: The invoicing (paper) quality was same out here. Guess that is the norm across VW workshops.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 28th October 2012 at 01:42.
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Old 28th October 2012, 02:46   #14
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Default Re: VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job

Wow, VW matching Skoda ..eh?

Let me share my VW Test Drive experience with you to show that how unprofessional VW dealers are.

1 - I was given a ride for new Vento TDI. I said, car is good but steering is not good plus car is a little costly.

Guess what they replied? :-

Sir, do not go to Skoda. They have nightmare service. Rapid will become a elephant to maintain. I really did not like such attitude towards their sister brand. When I asked them, who owns Skoda? All they could do was just grin.

When I asked for feedback form, they refused to give it to me. Excuse given to me was that they are out of feedback form.

Decided not to buy a VW product in near future. If pre sales they are behaving like a hawkey pant, I am sure post sale service will be nightmare.
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Old 28th October 2012, 08:34   #15
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Default Re: VW Downtown Bangalore take 60 days for a 2 day repair job

I have never seen a more callous attitude towards a customer that pays close to 20 big ones for a premium sedan.

Few things stand out immediately.

1. Why did the small painting work not start and was waiting on the alloys and plastic cladding to arrive. Why did they wait for the alloys to arrive to start the other work which did not depend on the alloys at all.

2. Why could the dealer not offer a spare tyre from a TD jetta or a steel rim. To get your car on the road, all that was needed was to give you a stepney, since you were already using your stepney.

3. Ok, fine, they lost the VW wheel logo but for Rs.500 logo, they kept the car for more than a week so they could claim it as part of your insurance. Why not take the logo from a TD car and put it on till a new part arrives.

These are the 3 basic things that VW could have done to get your car out in time.

They basically didn't do anything to get the car out fast. They just waited on everything before starting and blamed non availability of parts.
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