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Old 2nd February 2012, 16:19   #1
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Default VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

In December 2010 my Father in Law (FIL) took posession of a VW Beetle from Tornado Motors. See Bills attached.

Upon delivery it was found that the Beetle's audio system Aux-in connector (for ipods) was missing. We knew if we asked questions VW would use the boiler plate clause that states that "Specifications are subject to change without notice" so we ignored this.

One week after delivery there was a noise from the rear that was traced to the rear spolier which had come loose so a week or so later the car was taken to the service center to get this fixed. When my brother in law (FIL's son) went to pick up the car he noticed that
  1. Customised Racing stripes (red, white and green) were torn (even though it was explained to the service manager that these racing stripes need to be taken care of)
  2. 2 large brown stains were found on the tan fabric upholstery, when this was shown to them the service center tried to clean it but in the process they added 4 smaller blue stains to the seat fabric.
After some persuasion Tornado Motors fixed the racing stripes but were unable to clean the upholstery. Their efforts in cleaning it only made the stains worse.

In the month of October 2011 the steering started to wobble/shake under braking. This wobble/shake got progressively worse and when it got really bad in December 2011 my FIL reported the same to VW-Tornado's service Manager Mr. Milind Kuwalekar and their Service Advisor Mr. Prashant Dalvi.

When the car was taken to the Service center they inspected the car and told me that the brake pads were rusted and they would be cleaned and returned. At this point my BIL (brother in law) instructed all the service personnel present to take care of and not to damage the new Racing Stripes.

After this for the next 4 days they (BIL/FIL) got no reply from the service center. When they called the service center they were informed that the brake pads and the brake discs (both front and rear) need to be replaced and that the parts would be available in 3-4 days. After this call they called the service center regularly and was told that the parts would arrive in 3-4 days. 2 weeks later (the car was still with the service center) upon pressing the service center for a date of delivery they tell me that the parts would take 2 more weeks to arrive and that they can pick up the car and use it till the brake parts arrive.

When they went to pick up the car they noticed that the Racing stripes have been damaged again! It is obvious that the personnel in the service center don't listen or care about their customer's cars.

A few days ago they receive an email from Mr. Prahsant Dalvi of VW-Tornado along with a quote (See Spreadsheet attached) for new disc brakes and brake pads for the front and rear brakes. I was very surprised. They cannot believe that VW would charge a customer for a defect that should be covered under warranty. Mr. Dalvi's contention is that the wobble is due to rust on the disc brakes. This does not make sense.

While living at his current residence, my FIL and BIL have owned an Audi and a Maruti Swift in the past and neither of these cars have ever had any such issue. Even today my wife's 2nd car (an Opel Sail 1.6) is parked at their residence and although it is seldom used it does not have issues with rust on the disc brakes.

It is well known that that minor rust on a brake disc is normal and is easily resolved with light sanding of the discs. There are many other cars also parked in the same building many of which are less used than this Beetle and the other cars have never faced this problem.

Hence it is obvious the dealer is not equipped to handle this issue. They have not correctly diagnosed the problem as a wobble during braking cannot be from minor rust that could occur in 10 months of light in-city use (5000-6000 km).

When my FIL and BIL reported this to me my diagnosis was that the wobble is most probably due to any/all of the factors below:
  1. Wheel Alignment
  2. A Warp in the disc brakes (which should not happen to a lightly used car in less than 10 months)
  3. Uneven wear on the brake shoes
My FIL and BIL suspect that they have been sold the demo car as VW-Tornado had only 1 blue Beetle which conveniently is not available for test drives after they took delivery of their car.

Attempts to contact any senior management at VW (Chakkan) have gone unanswered. A docket containing all the documents was couriered to John Chacko (since his email adddress was unavailable) at VW but they have recieved no answer from VW.

VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!-beetle-estimate.jpg
VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!-beetle-1.jpg
VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!-beetle-2.jpg

Last edited by Vid6639 : 2nd February 2012 at 16:52.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 16:55   #2
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Well the car is well within warranty and kms are next to nothing. Looks like a straightforward warranty claim and I don't see how they can reject the warranty. VW also harps that their body is rust warranty for 6 years and what not.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 16:58   #3
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

So VW says that the brake discs of the beetle last 5000kms?!
This is truly shocking. a clear case of cheating. In almost all Indian companies, within 30,000kms if brake discs go bad, you get a replacement under warranty, no questions asked.
However. VW believes in shortchanging customers and denying warranty where its genuine.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 17:22   #4
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

I had a similar problem in my 2000 kms old Accord. I pointed this out to the service center and they said the wobbling is due to uneven wear of brake pads and discs and both these items are not covered under warranty.

The brake paddle used to vibrate along with the steering during high speed braking (100+). After sanding the problem is reduced to speeds of 120+. Since I hardly drive at these speeds I am waiting for around 25k to change the pads. The car is currently at 18k.

In your case verify, the discs may be under warranty but I dont think brake pads are covered under warrant! whatever may be the case in both the cases it feels like we are delivered poor quality cars at higher rates compared to other countries thanks to our legal system!
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Old 2nd February 2012, 17:36   #5
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Ah, last Saturday, at VW service centre I saw a Vento with brake pads and disk needing replacement. Looked like brakes were applied to stop at high speed and they had gone bad.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 19:06   #6
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Was a PDI done before delivery?? If it were a display/TD vehicle, wouldn't it have been noticed during PDI??
But the attitude of the dealer is what is disgusting here.Absolute disregard for the consumer's needsVW better pull up its socks or its gonna face tough times ahead.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 21:40   #7
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Why am not surprised? Some VW lovers may not like that but it is true, the quality of dealership and VW training them to fix problem in their premium offerings isn't up-to the level it needs to be. Agreed that in some pockets they are excellent but looking at the brand it need to be more uniform across the board.

Someone in office recently bought a Honda City and they went with usual options before choosing the City. On asking why Vento was not considered his response was in-spite of going there three times he was left wanting for a decent test drive.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 23:44   #8
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Sad to hear this. Hope VW does whats needed.

When I took delivery of my Vento last year there was a big brown stain on the beige fabric seats. It looks like coffee or tea had been spilt on the seats. The showroom chaps didn't take responsibility. I got the cars interiors detailed at my own costs but yet the stains wouldn't go. I had to put leather seats as I hate seat covers to cover up the problem
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Old 3rd February 2012, 02:02   #9
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Its terrible to hear this. I think the pads would have warped a bit, and they just need to be skimmed. This should take care of the problem and will cost 1k or so. I think its better you try that before just spending 20k. This service station obviously is not ready to handle the higher end VW cars.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 11:17   #10
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

This is truly shocking! With improper usage i admit brake pads can wear this early but Discs last atleast one lakh kilometres.

Quote:
When my brother in law (FIL's son) went to pick up the car he noticed that
Customised Racing stripes (red, white and green) were torn (even though it was explained to the service manager that these racing stripes need to be taken care of)
2 large brown stains were found on the tan fabric upholstery, when this was shown to them the service center tried to clean it but in the process they added 4 smaller blue stains to the seat fabric.
After some persuasion Tornado Motors fixed the racing stripes but were unable to clean the upholstery. Their efforts in cleaning it only made the stains worse.
This is not the kind of care expected for a car that belongs to niche segment.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 11:21   #11
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
This service station obviously is not ready to handle the higher end VW cars.
Akshay,
My FIL is 70 years old. He likes to have the assurance of using Authorised Service Centers and not 3rd party garages. His Swift (which he had for 6 years) were serviced every 6 months by Vitesse and he loved it.

Sadly it seems that no one at VW-Tornado even recognises that they have sold a premium hatch and premium cars come with premium expectations including service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KINI View Post
Was a PDI done before delivery??
The PDI would have been done by the dealer right? My BIL/FIL would have trusted the dealer's PDI report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Looks like a straightforward warranty claim and I don't see how they can reject the warranty.
This may well be becuase as my BIL contends, the dealer might have sold them the demo car. If this is true then Tornado might be hard pressed to explain (to VW central) warranty claims of a customer for a car whose VIN number is the same as their demo car.

What is upsetting is that all letters to everyone at VW have gone unanswered. Currently my BIL/FIL are seeking legal advice.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 11:22   #12
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

I agree that the care needed for premium cars is lacking. But a disc problem is just that. It has nothing to do with premium-ness of the car. They don't require special training to do them.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 11:49   #13
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Warpage of the disc can occur if the car goes through a puddle when the brakes are hot. High likelihood this may have happened. Also because of infrequent use the car may have developed excessive rust on account of washing/cleaning. Uneven wear can eventually get pronounced in terms of the undulations leading to a deterioration of the disc surface.

Did they ever skim the disc? if not ask them to do that and if the warpage is not severe you can correct the wobble. If the rotors have deteriorated considerably then you would need to replace them.

Sometimes low usage of cars in Coastal towns can cause more damage than a frequently used car
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Old 3rd February 2012, 12:06   #14
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Akshay,
My FIL is 70 years old. He likes to have the assurance of using Authorised Service Centers and not 3rd party garages. His Swift (which he had for 6 years) were serviced every 6 months by Vitesse and he loved it.

Sadly it seems that no one at VW-Tornado even recognises that they have sold a premium hatch and premium cars come with premium expectations including service.
Oh but I didn't mean he should go outside. Send it back to them and make them skim the discs, though against their recommendation of replacing there is a good chance it will solve the issue. I've noticed cars which are sparely used in Mumbai or left standing for a while do tend to get warped rotors. This is very noticeable on Honda cars.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 12:47   #15
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Default Re: VW Beetle requires new Brake Discs in 10 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Warpage of the disc can occur if the car goes through a puddle when the brakes are hot. High likelihood this may have happened. Also because of infrequent use the car may have developed excessive rust on account of washing/cleaning. Uneven wear can eventually get pronounced in terms of the undulations leading to a deterioration of the disc surface
The car has been used for 6000kms in one year i.e. average of 500kms a month or 15kms a day. I don't think that is infrequent use and Navin mentioned car is used only in the city for short runs.

In a car driven by a 70yr old in city, will the brakes get that hot then go into a puddle to cause warpage?

Also this car is a CBU meant to driven on autobahns at speeds which are impossible on our highways. One in a million that brakes will get warped due to city use.
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