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Old 20th March 2021, 17:19   #1
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Default Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

The DSG saga has another chapter!

My 6 1/2 year old Skoda Octavia 1.8TSi, which has done about 65K over the ownership period began having starting problems about 4 weeks ago. When the key was turned, the instrument cluster would light up, but the ignition would not kick in and the engine would not start. After about 3-4 tries, the engine would finally start and then the drive was smooth.

Here is the video link:


There was no specific condition under which this would happen - such events were seen on cold starts, ward starts, restart after short periods of parking, in the day and in the night.
The initial evaluation from the Skoda Workshop was that this was a battery problem and this needed changing. As the battery (an Exide) was under warranty, contacted their service team. The technician came over, checked the battery several times and signed off saying it was fine.
More calls, visits to Skoda Service centre, more calls to SA and battery technicians. Finally, Exide replaced the battery with a standby and sent the original one off to their experts for checking. The starting problem persisted even with the new battery. The original battery was labelled as fine and returned to the car.
Problems continue.....similar events...turn the key, instrument cluster lights and electrics come on, but no ignition and no engine start. Occasionally, there would be a message that said "Move the selector lever to position P/N".
Another visit to the workshop. This time after working on the car for a few days, I was told that there was a problem with some sensor in the gear lever and some assorted switches and wires needed changing. Gave the go ahead and this was done, at a cost of about 8K.
Got the car back, but the issue persisted.
Finally the car went back to the workshop again couple of weeks ago. This time folks from Skoda were supposedly consulted. They sent out some kind of a rig to test the car. The car was tethered to this unit and some diagnostics run.

Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure-photo20210306140233.jpg
After a week of this, I heard the dreaded line - "the mechatronics unit is the problem" and Skoda technicians advice that this be replaced.
Another week goes by to see if Skoda would do this repair as a "goodwill" gesture as this was a known issue with this particular model of car.
I heard via the SA today that the company has refused to replace the part as a good will gesture. I have been told that the car is now nearly 7 years old and I will have to bear the costs of the replacement (expected cost is 1.5Lakhs!)

I have the following queries and I hope I will get some guidance as to how I should go forward:

1. If the problem was with the mechatronics unit, shouldn't there be a problem while driving? During my second year of ownership, the car would shudder when shifting between the lower gears. This was also labelled Mechatronics problem and the unit was replaced under warranty. Now, once the car starts, there is no problem with driving and gear shifts.

2. Is my expectation that Skoda should replace the unit without penalising me misplaced? This is a known issue with this vehicle and there is nothing that I could have done to prevent OR precipitate this fault !

3. What if the problem recurs even after I shell out 1.5L? The mechatronic unit will supposedly come with a 2 year warranty- will this cover further problems as well.

4. Is there any way to contact someone from Skoda itself to see of they will be willing help out.

Despite all my self-convincing about what a nice car the Octy 1.8TSi is, and it has been, when it works..... this episode has left a very bad taste! In fact, I was seriously considering changing to another car from the Skoda stable - with the Kodiaq or the new Superb, but now will probably look elsewhere. But first, I have to get my car in running!

Last edited by SmartCat : 23rd March 2021 at 10:26. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 20th March 2021, 17:55   #2
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Have you got a chance to see the diagnostic reports and error codes during each of these service visits? One must insist on reviewing the diagnostic report before approving any repair even if it's done FOC.

One must get a satisfactory explanation from the service tech and should match the error codes thrown by the car. It is also very easy to search internet forums (like Briskoda) using the error codes to know about cars with similar issues. Get hold of the diagnostic report of you don't have it already and share the error codes here.

Irrespective of the age of the car, if your car has been regularly serviced, you have a good reason to ask for decent amount of goodwill discount. You should not demand with a sense of entitlement but make them see the merit of your case (diligently serviced at the ASS, paid for any extended warranty/service package, bought insurance from the dealership etc. Whatever makes you come across as a loyal customer).

2 years is the standard period of warranty on replaced parts and there is no further assurance other than possible goodwill. In general, you won't get much help for cars older than 5+.

My general advice to DSG buyers is to consider the worst case of mechatronic bring a consumable that needs to be replaced maybe once during the life of the car. In recent times, repeated DSG failure after mechatronic replacement is very rare. I know, it's not such a great feeling but it's better not to buy DSG expecting it to br bullet proof.

Hopefully you will receive goodwill discount. Even otherwise also I think you should go ahead and pay for the repair (after ensuring that the repair is the right one) and enjoy the car for many more years. It's a very good car and not easy to replace. All the best.

Last edited by androdev : 20th March 2021 at 17:57.
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Old 20th March 2021, 18:20   #3
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Androdev, Thanks for your nice message. Your suggestions are both practical and pragmatic. As of now they have offered. 10% goodwill discount on the part. Will speak to the Service centre again. Will also ask for the error codes and put them here when I get them.
Thanks again.
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Old 20th March 2021, 19:01   #4
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Have you regularly serviced at the same dealership? If yes, you should make a case for 50% at least. 10% too low for a known problematic item like mechatronic. Go through the escalation channels and later on you can write to someone like Mr Zac (or tweet with your case reference number, he seems to be very helpful). Never use negative campaign. If you have been a loyal customer, I am sure they will oblige. They are a bit deaf but not tone deaf
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Old 20th March 2021, 19:06   #5
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Yes, all service at same authorised Workshop of dealer I bought the car from- Tafe Access. I will keep trying. Asked for error codes - was told that it cannot be shared.
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Old 20th March 2021, 19:31   #6
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Completely agree with Androdev's suggestion about asking for higher goodwill discount. Being nice, polite & courteous is the only recourse, which I'm sure you are.
Curious, 10% discount is offered by Skoda or the dealership? Also, 1.5L includes labour & taxes or just the cost of Mechatronix? If latter, you're easily looking at 2L+ for the replacement which is a big sum of money, considering the residual value of the vehicle may not be more than 12-13 L on most optimistic note.

Goodluck!
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Old 20th March 2021, 19:43   #7
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Thanks RJK.
The 1.5L in all inclusive - the mechatronics unit is around 1.3L. I am told that the 10% is Skoda's discount. Will try to push for a higher discount - let's see what final decision can be reached. I will keep you all updated.

On a lighter note, thanks for lending a ear.... and humouring my rant! I feel lighter after letting off some steam.
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Old 20th March 2021, 20:24   #8
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by docsr View Post
Yes, all service at same authorised Workshop of dealer I bought the car from- Tafe Access. I will keep trying. Asked for error codes - was told that it cannot be shared.
Wow. Not expecting this, maybe I need to reset my optimism about Skoda. Is your car with you or immobilised in the workshop? If you can get hold of anyone with VCDS cable, they can give you the diagnostic report.

Not sharing report, low discount like10% - not giving good vibes. Have you formally logged a customer support ticket "requesting 100% goodwill on a known problematic component like mechatronic in a car that is regularly serviced at their authorised service centre"?

Just politely persist and go though the escalation channels gradually all the way up to Mr Zac (who seems to accessible through Twitter and email).

If it's of any comfort, Octavia DSG is a car worth putting up with the hopeless customer service of Skoda. I just don't understand why the leadership ignores this aspect when they make grand visionary plans for Indian market by tweaking the product instead of fixing the customer service.
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Old 20th March 2021, 20:32   #9
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Quiet unfortunate to face this Mechatronix failure. When you are being charged, why are the error codes not being shared?

Anyway, as rightly said by androdev and RJK, it helps to push the case on cordial terms as it helps to arrive at some way forward mutually. But push them hard and ask for the failure codes. Denying to share raises doubt and will help your cause of asking for a goodwill replacement. Hope you get the necessary support from Skoda.
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Old 20th March 2021, 20:52   #10
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Wow. Not expecting this, maybe I need to reset my optimism about Skoda. Is your car with you or immobilised in the workshop? If you can get hold of anyone with VCDS cable, they can give you the diagnostic report.

Not sharing report, low discount like10% - not giving good vibes. Have you formally logged a customer support ticket "requesting 100% goodwill on a known problematic component like mechatronic in a car that is regularly serviced at their authorised service centre"?

Just politely persist and go though the escalation channels gradually all the way up to Mr Zac (who seems to accessible through Twitter and email).

If it's of any comfort, Octavia DSG is a car worth putting up with the hopeless customer service of Skoda. I just don't understand why the leadership ignores this aspect when they make grand visionary plans for Indian market by tweaking the product instead of fixing the customer service.
Thanks.
The car is in the workshop and is probably is a state of disassembly. Unfortunately, I am not very familiar with Twitter. Will ask the kids for help. Is there an email for Mr. Zac Hollis.
The skoda website listed someone called Mr. Majid who is listed as head customer relationship or some such. Have emailed him.
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Old 20th March 2021, 20:58   #11
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by docsr View Post
Thanks.
The car is in the workshop and is probably is a state of disassembly. Unfortunately, I am not very familiar with Twitter. Will ask the kids for help. Is there an email for Mr. Zac Hollis.
The skoda website listed someone called Mr. Majid who is listed as head customer relationship or some such. Have emailed him.
If it helps, I spent 50K in 2014 on my Cruze manual DMF & clutch to replace them at 40K km. If you extrapolate it for a VAG automatic car at 60K km, frankly it's not a massive amount.
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Old 20th March 2021, 21:26   #12
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by docsr View Post
Thanks.
The car is in the workshop and is probably is a state of disassembly. Unfortunately, I am not very familiar with Twitter. Will ask the kids for help. Is there an email for Mr. Zac Hollis.
The skoda website listed someone called Mr. Majid who is listed as head customer relationship or some such. Have emailed him.

Make sure you go though district court, high court, etc before going to the supreme court.


https://twitter.com/Zac_Hollis_/stat...641427457?s=19

Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure-screenshot_20210320212326.png
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Old 21st March 2021, 10:28   #13
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Sorry to know about your misery.
Quite unusual to read that the mechatronics has failed again in a replacement unit.
I presume you would have invoked / exhausted the extended warranties by now?

If it helps understand to some extent regarding the failure, please visit this post (DSG, demystified! All you need to know about VW's Direct-Shift Gearbox).

As suggested by others, reaching out and making a goodwill case to Skoda top bosses immediately is perhaps the only course of action left.
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Old 23rd March 2021, 09:51   #14
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Hi Doc, can you pls check your PM have sent you a message.
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Old 23rd March 2021, 11:05   #15
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Default re: Skoda Octavia : Dreaded mechatronics failure

Another option would be to approach the dealer with some muscle from your local consumer rights protection council. It won't be a free of cost option, but will help save those 1.5 Lakh Skoda is demanding. Don't give up, Škoda will pay up to some extent.
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