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Old 15th March 2016, 20:02   #1
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Default A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

It is a common sentiment among the masses that German cars are unreliable. This in general is not limited to cars made for India but a fact that has been proven widely by various surveys done internationally as well. They come second only perhaps to say Italians for reliability. Our official reviews often highlight this aspect but we tend to overlook it and go for their products that offer a solid build quality and enthusiasts performance.

My elder brother bought himself a Vento without even seeing the car or test driving it. This was the first version of the Vento that was launched some time around August 2010. The car was delivered in December 2010. Overall, the car had been reliable and offered just what he wanted. Space, comfort, performance, et al. The ownership experience however has been on a downward slide. Firstly, the car isn't used as much owing to his professional commitments which keeps him at sea for most time of the year. The car has done just about 52000 kms in 5 years of ownership.

From a reliability perspective the vehicle remained flawless for the first three years. The majority of outstation trips included drives to Bombay or our native place in Goa. An odd weekend getaway to a nearby hill station at best. Despite the low usage, the upkeep of the car was top notch and no expense incurred was left unattended whatsoever.

First couple of services:

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-1st-service_1.jpg

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-1st-service_2.jpg

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-2nd-service_1.jpg

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-2nd-service_2.jpg

The first issue was noticed in July 2014. On setting out for a weekend dinner with family, as he was about to exit the ramp from the building, the car shuddered, lost all power and came to a halt after severe jolts to the occupants. All he could see was glow plug sign on the instrument cluster. An evening was ruined and the car was pushed back into the parking luckily within the premises of his residence. Thankfully this didn't occur in the middle of the road at night on say the expressway with the entire family on board. Called up the service station the following day and they came by, started the car and drove to the workshop.

The car remained in the workshop for four full days undergoing various diagnosis and analysis. Eventually it was determined to an injector problem. The service adviser stated that the injector needed replacement. The cost per unit would be around Rs. 25,000/-. Since I wasn't in town around that time, we couldn't check this issue up on the forum which mentions advisory and the likes. In case you are looking for the advisory, take a look here for the direct link. Since he wanted the car to be back on the road, he decided to negotiate and get the car back on the road as soon as possible. Although, as per the advisory, our car is the affected one there was no free replacement for the injector. We ended up paying about Rs. 7,859/- for part cost coupled with labor and other allied child parts. See invoices below for details. Thankfully the car came back on the road and was performing reasonably as it was expected to.

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-breakdown-1_0.jpg

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-break-down1_1.jpg


In December 2014, the car went for a routine service (60k service) at 41,000 kms. This was just about 7000 kms after the injector issue had cropped up. This time around, the diagnosis stated that the entire frame that houses the AC condenser and radiator had broken. This apparently was due to the low front overhang of the car and was rectified in subsequent Vento facelifted versions. The cost of replacement came to around 3,000 bucks. This doesn't include all the labor charges that added up for removing and refitting the frame. Entire service bill came to 17,000/-. A price that seems quite high for a 41,000 km run car. The cost for the entire frame and allied parts is Rs. 4,500/- in itself. Invoices below:

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-3rd-service_1.jpg

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-3rd-service_2.jpg


Thereafter, in August 2015, at 49,342 kms there was leakage of water inside the cabin. This was about 8000 kms after the previous service. The service adviser at the workshop advised my sister in law that the cost of rectifying the leakage would be approximately 8000 rs, after a complaint to the VW customer care online which was registered by my brother as he was sailing the job was done in goodwill however at the same time the service adviser stated that the frame assembly that holds the radiator and condenser has broken and needed replacement. In the period from the last service to the current one, the car was only driven inside the city with just a single trip to Goa. I am wondering how these frames keep giving up. The added expense over this was a turbo hose that required replacement (where did that come from?). Total cost of repairs Rs. 9,000/- so looks like the service adviser had to meet his target one way or the other.

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-ac-problem.jpg

October 2015 at 50,061 kms, the car lost pickup and had to be driven to the service station again with a blinking coil light on the instrument cluster. Diagnosis stated that some pressure hose had to be replaced. Cost of the hose was Rs. 6,500/-. Total came up to Rs. 7,800/- bucks! The next day after the car was returned the Check engine light along with coil light cropped up again, the car was immediately taken to the workshop wherein the service adviser advised that the EGR had to be replaced, please note that at this stage the car was under 5 years old. On haggling with the service adviser the car was in workshop for 4-5 days and was returned wherein the light had disappeared also a thing to note is that during present haggling with VW customer care they are stating that since the car is over 5 years old the EGR cannot be replaced under warranty, which knowing the chronic problem could have been done at this stage.

A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)-break-down2.jpg

Post the issue in August 2015, the Vento became the backup car since the car was accruing huge expenses and had kind of become questionable to use. It was driven only within the city limits.


After much confirmation that the car was performing fairly ok, it was driven to Goa in early March 2016. Thankfully it performed brilliantly. Upon returning and parking the car in the basement, the following day, upon turning on ignition, the coil light came back online. There were mixed feelings, firstly due to the relief that this did not happen on our trip to Goa and annoyance at the thought of the car going back and forth to the workshop regularly. This time around, the diagnosis says that the EGR has packed up and the replacement cost is between Rs. 40,000 to 50,000/- bucks! My Swift's EGR was cleaned at 85000 kms and still performs without any hindrance. We requested the workshop to replace this in goodwill warranty but it seems like it won't be honored. Perhaps our prayers to VW customer care will be answered and the issue is addressed in the best of customer interests.

Last edited by moralfibre : 17th March 2016 at 09:25.
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Old 17th March 2016, 07:25   #2
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Default re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

To summarize the total spend on the car till date:

1st service: 9097
2nd service: 10376
Injector breakdown: 7859
3rd service: 17404
2nd breakdown: 8855
3rd breakdown: 7819

TOTAL: Rs. 61410/-


This doesn't include the upcoming bill that might come in anytime soon which we are hopeful of getting covered under goodwill warranty. But if that doesn't happen, we are looking at an overall maintenance cost of a Rs 1,20,000/- for a 5 year old car run a little over 51000 kms.

Last edited by moralfibre : 17th March 2016 at 07:44.
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Old 17th March 2016, 07:37   #3
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Default re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Now, the title of this thread says unreliable "Ventos". The reason is that there's quite an alarming number of complaints right here on the forum. To quote a few significant ones:

venom_op writes here (Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review):

Quote:
The day i get the car back, i drove it out for dinner and the engine light comes on. The car immediately became sluggish and the turbo stopped working. Fortunately the car was running so managed to get home after dinner. Called the service rep and was told to bring the car in the next day.

So i took it to VW the next day, i was told the EGR valve was shot and i had to replace it. AFAIK even a Swift that's done over a lakh kilometres just needs a good EGR valve cleaning to get it working. I was shocked to hear from the service rep that VW doesn't have a procedure to clean the EGR valve!! Only direct replacement.

So that's the story. A car that hasn't cost me a dime over basic servicing in the last 4 years suddenly has cost me over 1 lakh in the last 1.5 months. It's been disappointing and frankly i have no qualms with the car, but i fear for the life of my car with the dealership. Every time it goes in for any work, they will call me to tell me there's some altogether different issue that i need to resolve.
sidby writes subsequently:

Quote:
Sorry to heart about the unfortunate time you are facing. My 2010 VENTO HL Tdi is also giving me similar trouble. Busted EGR and fuel injectors. I was just curious, was your EGR repalcement not covered under warranty or goodwill?
Quote:
Mine is a nov 2010 and wasnt under warranty either. But using the advisory on tbhp, and some thinly veiled threats, I have managed to get them to replace 4 fuel injectors and the EGR 100% Free of Cost.

Even though you have already gotten the work done, I advise you to try and get a refund. There is no such thing as goodfaith/goodwill on their part in my experience. It is a simple case of them being at fault and not acknowledging it, so as to avoid the costs. I hope you have a satisfactory resolution if you do take it up.

So, EGR replacement has no effect? From my reading i deduce that fuel injector replacement probably impacts performance more. So i am eagerly waiting to see the results.

I am a little concerned about keeping it, after the repairs, though. If this can happen once, it can easily happen again and again. Some people also believe that once a car goes to the workshop, it keeps going back. What are your views on this point?

VW really needs to buck up.
Guess what, even sidby's car had exact same troubles like ours. Why does the turbo hose get shot so easily?

Quote:
They claim to have replaced 4 fuel injectors, EGR, and a turbo hose. I had to pay for the turbo hose as it is a rubber part and not covered under any warranty. 4 fuel injectors and EGR were covered by VW, although I wasnt corresponding with them. It was the dealer who handled all that.
bhpian motorworks has a Rapid and he writes:

Quote:
Just checking if any vento TDI owners have had the frustrating experience of getting their Turbo replaced. I own a Rapid TDI and my car's turbo and EGR are being replaced ( under warranty) at just 25k on the ODO. Since the ventos outnumber the rapids in our forum, I just thought of checking here. Do let me know if any one had a similar experience and any precautions that I need to take once I have mine replaced.
bhpian p242 writes here (Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review):

Quote:
Got the car checked today and their system showed EGR failure. The part is not in stock so they ordered it and will take a week to arrive and is covered in extended warranty. Once they new EGR is in the injectors will be re checked. Hoping everything gets resolved soon.
coolboy007's 2012 Vento:

Quote:
I faced a similar issue when 2 of my injectors were replaced under warranty, the car used to take very long to start during morning starts but used to start fine the whole day. Googled about this issue and came to know about some air entering the hpfp line or some thing like that, advice was to take the car out on a highway drive and hit higher revvs and drive spiritedly for 60-70 kms to get any air out of the system.

If you search our official review thread for the Vento, you'll find a lot more of these.
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Old 17th March 2016, 07:42   #4
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Default re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

The basic premise of VW operations seem to be:

1) To let defective motors remain in the market. There was no voluntary recall for the injector and EGR issue. If you had issues, they will take a reactive approach and replace them (read as only the defective ones). Even if the problems are serious enough to leave you stranded on the road: . (PICS : How flatbed tow trucks would run out of business without German cars!)

2) If you are out of warranty, which you most likely would be in, they'll charge you a bomb for replacing parts that have always been defective in the first place.

Doesn't that sound similar to how VW group reacts to DSG failures in the market?
Doesn't the VW group coverup on exhaust emission also take the same approach?

The sales figures for the Vento have dropped significantly YOY. Adding more features might not be the only solution to their sales woes, handling their product issues gracefully certainly might earn them some return footfalls in their showrooms.

Last edited by moralfibre : 17th March 2016 at 07:43.
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Old 17th March 2016, 09:40   #5
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Technical Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th March 2016, 10:08   #6
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

A perfect example for not jumping the gun and buying a german/european car at the very launch itself. I think its safe to say its best to buy german cars after a face lift or two or at the end of its cycle where they finally get the hang of all the problems and niggles and fixes them.This is the reason why I am skeptical of the new superb. There are number of examples in our own market.

1. VW polo 3 pot and early vento
2. b6 VW passat TDI DSG
3. Skoda superb 1.8 tsi dsg
4. BMW e65 7 series
5. Skoda fabia 1.4
6. Mercedes c class w203
7. Mercedes e class w211
8. BMW e60 5 series
9. Any land rover product

list simply goes on. The only people that seems to be satisfies with buying latest and greatest german cars are those which change them every 3-4 years. But not all of us can can take that many depreciation hits now can we?

Last edited by nakul0888 : 17th March 2016 at 10:26.
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Old 17th March 2016, 10:37   #7
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Very sad to hear, Kiran. Both the issues (fuel injector failure and EGR related) being TDI-specific, my own Vento 1.6 MFI AT, same age as your brother's, has been spared. However, my entire AC unit had to be replaced at 30,000 km (thankfully just a month or two within the 2-year warranty). The bill showed around 70,000/- (covered FOC under warranty). Pretty sure a lot of Vento owners have had AC problems as well, contributing to the unreliability perception.

60,000/- maintenance over a 5 year period seems par for the course (in fact you've missed a service or two- my car has completed 5 services in the same period). But EGR replacement is certainly not justifiable. And VW should be rights have recalled the Vento for fuel injector replacement. Absolutely agree with your assessment in the concluding post- VAG needs to own up to their product issues, otherwise the customer's trust, already fragile, is at risk of being eroded completely. They blundered through the whole DSG/mechatronics issue somehow, but customers are not as forgiving as they imagine!
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:19   #8
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Dear Kiran - hello after a very long time! This is just RIDICULOUS! A bright red Polo GT TDi was in my radar list, I was quietly waiting for them to knock off the silly beige interiors and put black interiors, no way now, thank you very much.

I really wish the "great guys out there" read this and do something (hopefully)! By "great guys" I mean the black suits with the white or light blue colored shirts, with golden colored silk ties, with golden tie pins, with black leather bags opening from the top with golden stoppers on them, and with the absolutely poker faced and unchangeable facial expression of an absolute air of total superiority, indirectly conveying that their products can never go wrong, and that others happen to be nuisance causing menials who just don't know what they are talking about!

Poor you, your brother and his hard earned 60000 rupees, go the distance, its going to be a long haul! If you are very lucky (due to TeamBHP), expect a call from a "dealership local". Chances are, he'll start by telling you to forget the whole thing! .

And by the way, I loved your comment: "the sales figures for the Vento have dropped significantly YOY. Adding more features might not be the only solution to their sales woes, handling their product issues gracefully certainly might earn them some return footfalls in their showrooms", their actions reflect their "country-specific strategy"! Poor you once again, at least I got saved! .

This reminds me to see their J.D.Power CSI trend!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:23   #9
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

honestly I'm not sure what the big deal is.
I spent around as much for my humble indica in the first 4 or 5 years.

Even now it costs about 40K a year in parts and service. for a car several segments above, and considered high maintenence, this looks very reasonable.

But the breakdowns sour the experience a bit - I have never had a breakdown as I've been proactive with most replacements.
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:24   #10
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Let me ask the question again that has gone unanswered before in other threads:
What is the claim of the great "German engineering"?
Does good engineering mean making a bleeding edge prone to fault design / product or does it mean making a reliable product designed to meet the requirements (specifications)?

In fact before answering this question, please ask yourself if you have EVER been involved in the design / engineering wing of any organization.


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post3933490 (Expat CEOs: Why are car manufacturers in India obsessed with them?)

Check their cheek in claiming "They are interested in engineering new cars, adapting them to local conditions to the extent possible and winning marketshare through engineering."

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Old 17th March 2016, 11:43   #11
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Check GTO's Thread : The 2015 Report Card - Annual Indian Car Sales & Analysis! which reflects the consistent decrease in Volume from the part of VW w.e.f. 2011 to 2015. Sharing the (Picture) Table :

Name:  YOY Car Sales Analysis.jpg
Views: 17841
Size:  88.2 KB

They have de-grown from 78000 Units to 43000 Units a year over a period of 5 years which is self explanatory

I was at a Friend's (Renowned Multi Brand) Car Workshop a few weeks ago and found that there were 5 VW Polo(s) and 4 VW Vento(s) which were there for Mechanical Repairs. On checking with him I was told that due to the high Service & Maintenance Cost of the VW(s) the owners of the same are now opting and preferring to get their cars fixed at Non OEM Workshops. Your Thread reflects why this is so
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:46   #12
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
...we are looking at an overall maintenance cost of a Rs 1,20,000/- for a 5 year old car run a little over 51000 kms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
A perfect example for not jumping the gun and buying a german/european car at the very launch itself.

...But not all of us can can take that many depreciation hits now can we?
Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
...They blundered through the whole DSG/mechatronics issue somehow, but customers are not as forgiving as they imagine!
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
...What is the claim of the great "German engineering"?
If I look at these points listed here, and if I take a moment to reflect on one of the recent 2nd hand Vento Diesel purchase that one of my acquaintance did, "I get a feeling that the market has really taken notice and is valuating the VW diesel cars with rapid depreciation"! He was able to get hold of a 2nd hand Vento Diesel (Comfortline) for a little over 7L, which is less than 2 years old with only 4 digits on the odo. The new one costs 12+L on road today, so that's a good 40+ % depreciation!

Reference: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post3917804 (Official: Volkswagen recalls 3.24 lakh cars in India over emissions fraud)

Thanks,
C_
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:06   #13
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

VAG have made fools of themselves in India with their solid feeling but unreliable cars, their snooty and haughty A$$ staff and their overpriced spares / assemblies. Rs 45k for clutch repairs, 28k for a timing belt, 150 k for a turbo etc seem reasonable for a Bentley or a luxury Merc...not a 'people's car' !
They could easily restore their image as a world leader here by undertaking recalls for parts that fail due to poor design or localisation. They could also offer a free service and discounted spares and labour.
Most parts being common, they could make Volkswagen and Skoda A$$ accept each other's cars for service.
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:19   #14
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

This is anecdotal - I don't have scanned copies of the bills like you do ->

My friend's Vento apparently used to come back from the service center with average bills of Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 owing to various replacements and breakdowns.

He disposed off the car for just Rs. 4.8 Lacs (purchase cost Rs. 11 Lacs) thanks to the hefty bills and overall unreliability of various parts.
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:52   #15
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Default Re: A case of unreliable Volkswagen Ventos (2010 - 2012)

This is a scary thread.
I was myself considering a Polo TSI later this month. Reading this thread, I don't even think there would be a second thought!!
Blowing away 10 good lacs on a car and then facing such issues is definitely not something that I would want. Rather blowing away any number of lacs on such undependable, expensive to maintain cars is a foolish thing. The sales figures probably support that!

I was looking for an automatic and the Polo TSI was the only car that got a smile on my face. Now seems like owning a WagonR or a Celerio would be absolute peace of mind.
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