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Old 19th September 2022, 14:01   #1
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Default 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

I was a long time and loyal Volkswagen customer, having owned a diesel & petrol Polo, and eventually a Passat Highline TDI in December 2017. all three cars from the same VW dealer in Allahabad.

At the time of finalizing the Passat, the dealer informed me that it was a demo vehicle less than 1 month old, which had just done 80kms and as such offered me some discount, extended warranty(EW) and Road Side Assistance(RSA) for 2 years to the standard 2 EW + RSA, i.e., 2+2=4 years of EW+RSA. In my previous 2 VW vehicles also I bought additional warranties.

8-9 months after buying the Passat, the local VW dealer closed, and I was left with no other option than to take my car to service stations outside Allahabad for servicing and repairs.

Lucknow service center (Viraj Distributors) is THE MOST pathetic, deceitful, unreliable and incapable auto service station I have come across. Once my car was delivered with a dead battery. On another occasion I had given the car repainting and they returned the car with visible scratches all over the screen (which a staff from the service station itself later told on the condition of anonymity that the scratches occurred while trying to remove paint particles from the windscreen as the paint-booth guys forgot to cover windscreen properly at the time of painting. This even lead to an accident, where I merely missed hitting a stationary truck due to poor visibility at night.

On 30th September, 2020 whilst driving from Agra to Allahabad, all of a sudden the car showed a warning sign of coolant leak and engine overheat. I parked the car immediately and contacted VW RSA upon which I was informed that my EW and RSA had expired 9 months back on 27th December 2019, and that RSA services would be chargeable and that it would take at least 3-4 hours to reach. Even when I spoke to the RSA guys who were supposed to come to tow the vehicle, they seemed very reluctant to come and kept suggesting that I find a nearby garage/mechanic, since they are over 300kms away and they aren't even sure if they could leave straightaway. VW RSA couldn't arrange an onwards transport for me, as per there standard norms and I have to arrange my own taxi which would be reimbursable, at 2am on the middle of the expressway. VW RSA was outrightly useless and at the seemed more like a gimmick that VW uses to sell its cars.

The RSA services then connected me to a service engineer at some VW dealership who advised to fill up the coolant tank with water and drive to any nearby workshop if the engine overheat sign didn't come on. I followed the advice and to my relief I was able to drive to a stop area about 10kms ahead, and luckily there was garage open there. I made the mechanic there speak to the VW service engineer who advised us to put more water and check for any signs of leakage upon starting the engine. The mechanic was able to find the coolant/water leakage at a hose pipe and as per instruction of the VW engineer, sealed it externally with a sealant. Since they didn't have any good quality coolant in stock, he advised to use water instead, since a bad coolant might just do more damage to the engine, and to carry on with the rest of the journey as it was already 4.30am in the morning, and nothing else could be done. He also advised us to drive below 80, turn off the car every hour for 10-15 minutes, keep checking water levels every 30-40kms and topping up water when needed. According to the VW engineer, this solution should be good for the next 200-300kms before the car could reach a VW workshop.

Upon reaching Allahabad, I took the car to the newly opened workshop, where the service technician seemed to have no clue about the vehicle. Still after diagnosing it for some time I was informed that there is leakage in the "water-pump" of the car and that it would take 10-20 days for the part to arrive, during which I can use the vehicle within city limits as the temporary fix on the water hose pipe is working. Once again inquiring about the extended warranty (2+2 years) that I was promised at the time of selling the vehicle, I was given contact details of the previous dealer, who initially agreed that I was promised 4 years warranty & RSA and that he'll get it corrected in a few days. After following for more than a week, he simply said that since he is no longer associated with VW, he won't be able to help in the matter and that VW isn't responding to his requests. Later after talking to the customer care I was told that if I was promised extended warranty, I should have taken it in writing. The kind of amazing experience I had with my previous Polo vehicles both with VW India and the erstwhile dealer, I decided not to insist for written warranty certificate as I was told that additional warranty certificate was issued only if you are buying additional warranty on old cars, with new cars it is by default added in your vehicle database. I went with the promise of dealership as I had no reason to believe otherwise and the overall experience had been good till then.

Then I tried contacting VW customer care toll free number, regarding warranty complaints. Every single time I was given lame promises that they will look into it or they will call back. Till date I haven't received any call back in this regard. On one particular incident I requested to speak to a company person or a personnel higher up in the hierarchy, to which I was told that my request has been registered and that I will get a call back within 48-hours. Later when I called after 2 days, saying it's been over 48 hours and I haven't received a call back, i was told that I am supposed to get a call back after "48 working hours" which according to an 8-hour work shift from Monday to Friday, meant I'll get a call back after almost 8-10 days. This clearly seemed evasive and deceitful, that you require 8-10 days just to call back to update on a customer complaint. Still I waited, and never received any call even till date.

Eventually I was forced to get the vehicle repaired out of my own pocket on 9th December 2020 at the VW Allahabad Service center, to a charge amounting to Rs.20500. After which I was assured that there is no issue with the vehicle, that the technicians have checked it thoroughly for any other faults relating to engine over-heating and coolant leakage. Upon assurance by the service center advisor and workshop manager at Allahabad, we again started using the vehicle normally and took it outstation the next day to Noida. Whilst returning from Noida to Allahabad, the vehicle again showed warning light for coolant leakage and engine overheat near Mathura. We immediately stopped the car and arranged for a flat-bed crane and sent the vehicle to Volkswagen Service center at Noida Sector-6 (Viraj Automobiles) as it was the nearest service station.

At the Noida service station the vehicle was diagnosed and I was informed that the water-hose pipe had burst, for which I was repeatedly assured by Allahabad service station that there is nothing wrong with said water-hose pipe and that the only part malfunctioning was the water-pump. This clearly means that firstly Allahabad service station technicians did not diagnose the vehicle properly, and secondly that the water pump for which I paid a hefty Rs.20500 might have not been faulty in the first place. Still, the part arrived after a week, and the vehicle was parked at the service station all this while. The vehicle was delivered to us on the 23rd December, 2020. I was once again reassured that all diagnosis had been done and the problem will not arise again. As soon as I sat down in the vehicle and opened the small compartment below the steering I find a dead rat inside it, who seemingly entered the vehicle while being parked at the service station and ate up some wire/components. Now this never happened in the nearly 3 years we had this vehicle and at Allahabad or Lucknow service stations. Speaks volumes for pest control and handling at Noida service station.

We left for Allahabad on 26th December, 2020, the vehicle was mostly parked at the Hotel through our stay in Delhi. Once again the engine overheat and coolant warning light came up as soon as we entered Agra. This was after water pump and water hose pipe had been replaced and the vehicle inspected and repaired by 2 different service stations. This time again we had to send the vehicle back to Noida service station (as Agra service station has shut down). Over there they are now claiming that there is internal damage within the engine and seemingly there is internal leakage of coolant from the engine gasket, that the engine head needs to be opened and estimated repair cost could be between Rs.200000-Rs.250000 or even more. Upon asking how is it possible that they did not check it before delivering the vehicle, I am told that "it is not possible for us to thoroughly check the vehicle and do a comprehensive test drive, as it is an internal component". So does this not imply that Volkswagen India is incapable of diagnosing problems in a car they are manufacturing and selling in the country, that the safety and wellbeing of the passengers are solely dependent on "speculation" and "guess-work" of service advisors and technicians, where no attempt is made to even find out the actual cause of the problem. Once again upon pushing the service advisor and workshop manager, they are not sure whether the problem really is leakage in engine gasket, and requires opening of engine head. If not, then I would have spent Rs.250000 all for nothing, and also have my engine head opened just because a service technician "thinks that there is internal leakage of coolant".

This time around I had had enough of the VW's workshops hit and trial method, having caused me so much money and potentially risking our safety. I mean they don't seem to have a clue about anything, they just raise you invoices based on their assumptions, whims and fancies.

This time I refused to repair the car and demanded that they look into my warranty claims, and repair the car under warranty since the car came to it's current state due to the inefficiency of both the VW workshops- first the Allahabad workshop then the Noida one. This went on for couple of months and the company refused any support, and kept saying that any claims or promises made by our former dealer as long as they are not in writing even if the dealer is accepting that he promised a 4 year EW+RSA. They even denied any liability for any damage due to the inefficiency, wrongdoings or negligence of the current VW workshops.

VW Noida workshop in the meanwhile suggested that they open the engine head and at least check what the damage was, come up to an estimate and then see what best they can do at their end, so I agreed to let them open the engine head and check. Now comes my biggest shocker, the engine valve had been damaged and the total repair estimate was to the tune of Rs6-6.5 lac. After a lot of discussion and requests I was offered discount of 90% of the labor cost (which itself was north of Rs. 2 lacs). Further, upon discussion, I was told that even after this there is slight possibility that there might be some other damage as well, which they can't promise now. So in conclusion it is an open ended pitfall of Rs. 4 lacs for me, which might go up, and still there won't be any guarantee of any other fault that might crop up other than the engine head leakage and valve damage.

After months of trying to contact VW customer care, to which I never used to get any replies or call-backs except for 2 occasions, I decided to take legal action, and filed a case in the consumer forum in July 2021. Even after this VW didn't try to reach me to offer any resolution, and a couple of times when they did contact me I was told that they'll take up my case higher-up and revert, but never received a call back. Funnily enough, they didn't even file any representation in the consumer court, which really infuriated the court, and they finally issued an ex-party order on 22nd July, 2022, under which they will issue a final order, hopefully in my favor, without listening to VW's side. Now I am just left at the mercy of the court, but feel bad for those who don't want to get into the hassle of court cases and suffer huge monetary losses and mental regress due to such arrogant self-centered corporations.

Imagine going through such a horrific ordeal on a two and half year old car, timely serviced at company dealerships, never missed an inspection, and single-handedly driven. Also, I forgot to mention that at the time of the last incident, the car had just completed 70000kms on the odo.

Now, the take-away from my episode, which I'd like to share with fellow BHPians is:

1) Avoid VW & Skoda as much as you can, specially for cars of higher segments. No doubt they build wonderful cars, but they don't have the technical know-how to diagnose and repair their own cars. They just follow a hit and trial method based on their assumptions.

2) While buying a new car, get the maximum warranty available on day 1 itself and get it in writing. Even if a dealer or Sales rep tells you that it is added in database or warranty certificate will be issued later directly from the company, take it in writing, preferably from the official email ID of the dealership for the interim.

3) Speaking of warranties another thing I unearthed, some dealers they charge you for warranties, and instead of updating it in the company, keep the entire amount to themselves, repair warranty related claims by their own pocket and/or try to squeeze them into company policy loopholes. In most cases customers don't read the fine print of the warranty policy, they refuse claims of unsuspecting customers.

4) Take RSA from your insurer along with brand RSA. Most insurers now provide RSA at nominal increase in premium, and most national insurers have a far wider network of local tie-ups than car manufacturers. In the unlikely event of a mishappening, your insurer's RSA will reach you faster than your brand RSA, specially on highways and remote locations.

5) Opt for engine protect cover in your insurance renewals, and other cover that might be available like adulterated fuel damage, water damage, key protect, etc., even if you have valid warranty. God forbid, but if a problem arises, the brand will do it's best avoid liability by citing the fine print, whereas the insurer is more likely to cover the damage, as long as they don't suspect any foul play.

6) Lastly, if you find yourself in a helpless situation like me, do not hesitate to take the legal course. Don't let these huge corporations dupe you of your hard earned money. Most people in our country are so reluctant to take legal recourse, that these companies aren't afraid of exploiting our consumer rights.

Hope this helps. If I can be of any help to anyone, please feel free to connect.
Cheers!
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Old 19th September 2022, 19:12   #2
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

The situation sucks. I recently heard of a BHPian who sold his 2-3 year old Passat because it spent 6 months in the workshop as neither VW nor its dealers could solve the problems.

On the other hand, you should have safeguarded your interests too.

- Word of mouth has zero value. If you bought an extended warranty, you should have the paperwork to back it up.

- When you knew the hosepipe had a leak in the first instance, you should have insisted on its replacement. You clearly saw it for yourself.

VW's support for its premium cars is very poor and that reflects in the sales figures. No TDs, suspect availability, zero recall in the customer's mind. Plus, there is no continuity which is important in the automotive world. Example = Toyota consistently sells the Camry, no matter how low the sales drop to (unlike Honda & the Accord's phantom presence). But shockingly, even I don't know which months the Passat has been on sale and when it hasn't. Sad, because it is truly a wonderful luxury car (like the Superb) that can give the entry level luxury Germans such as the C-Class & A4 a run for their money.

Hope your issues get settled soon. Going to send this thread url to some people at VW who I know.

Last edited by GTO : 19th September 2022 at 19:32.
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Old 19th September 2022, 19:35   #3
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

VW has always been very erratic in their product line up in India, especially in higher segments. VW Passat, Jetta, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace etc. all are examples. And I guess this is one of the reason VW couldnt enjoy success in D+ segments unlike Toyota or Skoda for that matter.
Comparatively Skoda is more consistent, ever since Octavia and Superb was launched in India they have consistently put them on sale other than those brief periods when they were expecting the newer models. And they got the new models very much on time too. Fabia is the only car I could think about they reallyin ax'ing. Not considering Karoq or Octavia VRS as those were launched in limited numbers. And this is where I am hopeful that they might still get Superb and Octavia even after the rumoured exit in 2023.
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Old 19th September 2022, 20:12   #4
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

Man, that's so disappointing. I can't imagine someone spending such huge amounts to get pathetic after sales and service. People should move away from such brands in my opinion. I don't see a point in owning something premium when you know that the service is going to be horrible. I don't recollect (apart from rare instances here and there) reading something pleasant about VW and Skoda on the forum and yet people still make a decision to own these machines.
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Old 19th September 2022, 21:24   #5
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

- Word of mouth has zero value. If you bought an extended warranty, you should have the paperwork to back it up.
You are absolutely right sir, it's a lesson learnt for me. Just that in this case, the erstwhile dealer happened to be a neighbor and family friend. Plus with the kind of amazing after sales experience we've had previously in our 2 polos, we had no reason to suspect. Matter of fact, on one incidence, he got my out of warranty petrol polo's fuel pump replaced at 1/3rd the cost, under some goodwill warranty clause of the company.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- When you knew the hosepipe had a leak in the first instance, you should have insisted on its replacement. You clearly saw it for yourself.
I did sir, trust me when I say this, I begged, and they kept saying that the hose pipe is absolutely perfect and they have tested the entire thing to "the extreme". It was later that I found out that they tried ordering the part, but some small connector won't be available for the next 50-60 days. So in all probability they either didn't want to leave the job sheet pending for this long, or maybe were just too lazy.


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Hope your issues get settled soon. Going to send this thread url to some people at VW who I know.
I just cannot thank you enough for this! Just can't wait to get done with this horrible ordeal.
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Old 20th September 2022, 02:48   #6
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

Glad to hear that you might get a resolution from the courts soon considering how long legal battles have gone for other members on the forum. Touchwood the resolution from the court does come through for you soon.

That said, I do not think this is anything particularly wrong with VW/Skoda alone. Any brand operating in India and selling CBUs or CKDs, will not have the technical know-how to resolve problems. At the end of the day, these are imports we are talking about. That too in a country lauded for its cheap labor. 95% or more of most ASC technicians, don't particularly enjoy their job. On top of that considering the average Indian's purchasing power reflecting in low sales, these as it is underpaid and uninspired technicians do not get the chance to spend much time working on these imports. My advice is to know your dealer well, maintain good relations with their service manager, and only then bother buying a CBU or CKD product from the brand they represent. Or else it will be a risk in our country due to obvious reasons as I have just explained. No matter how smooth the test drive is, how solid the build feels or how sexy the car looks, the people and the relationships you hold with them are the backbone to good ownership experience with such imported machines. Do not bother buying a car if you are not confident in your relation with the person selling it to you and servicing it for you.

Ofcourse I am not saying that this is your fault in any way or that you ought to have done something to avoid being in this circumstance. Infact I applaud you Sir for having the patience and resources to take these goons to court. Just wanted to offer a warning that the same could occur with any imported car from any brand. So be careful when buying anything that is not manufactured here.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 20th September 2022 at 03:07.
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Old 21st September 2022, 10:19   #7
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I sympathise with you and I can fully understand the pain and grief you would have possibly gone thru.

In September 2008, I bought a VW Passat 2.0 TDI. The experience at the showroom at the time of delivery was pathetic. The bonnet had a lot of swirl marks on it. The sales staff were not in the least interested to even discuss a solution. When I received the RC, I was shocked to find that it was a November 2007 model. To this day I rue the fact that I was not a follower of Team BHP.

At the time of purchase, I was evaluating a BMW 320D as well. The extra rear seat space and the fact that the car would be primarily chauffer driven on weekdays tilted the purchase in favour of the Passat.

The 1st 2 years was a dream. It was my first car in this segment. My previous drives were a Mahindra Armada, a Fiat Siena Diesel & a Lancer Petrol. My troubles started in October 2010 about a few days after the 2 year warranty expired. The car refused to start.

I spoke to the team at VW Navi Mumbai, who diagnosed it as a failure of the ignition coil. I was told a replacement would cost about 80k including the wiring harness. But the service centre organized a free replacement as a good will gesture.

All good for a few months more and then every now and then while driving you would hear a thud thud thud.

Back to VW Navi Mumbai, they could not find the problem. But the problem kept persisting. One day I was lucky enough that the sound started coming when I was near the service centre. Drove straight there picked up 2 members of the team without turning off the engine and they experienced it first hand.

My Passat was at the service centre for a few months. They first said that it was an issue with the mechatronics unit. They replaced it, the problem persisted. They put back the old one and said it was ok. A few days back I was there again as the problem came back. Flying Doctors from VW were flying all around my Passat. On one day the service team was asked to bring it to the BKC office. Half way there they were asked to come back to the service centre. Another visit by a flying doctor a few days later. Connected his laptop to the car, worked on it for a few hours and then said donít start the car till 12 Noon tomorrow. The problem will go away. No joy still.

Finally during a visit of a senior (who had been moved to India from Germany) when this issue was brought up to his notice suggested a replacement of the engine head as they had a similar experience in Germany. The engine head replacement had solved the issue.

VW Navi Mumbai ordered the engine head (again as a free replacement cost as I was informed approx. 2.5L or was it 4.5L don't remember now) but the Flying Doctors turned down the request stating that it was not an issue with the engine head.

Few weeks later the senior followed up to find out whether the engine head replacement had solved the issue. When he was informed about what happened, he intervened and got the part issued. Engine head replaced and Passat back to normal. In fact it felt like a new car now.

By this time, I had shifted residence office and residence to Thane and hence started using VW Thane for services. On one of the visits, the advisor asked me whether I had done any repairs to the gear box as oil was leaking from it.

This for me was the last straw that broke the camels back. I immediately wrote to VW listing out all the issues that I had faced during the past few years, followed up with a call to the Service Head of the region, no I received courtesy the service centre staff at VW Navi Mumbai and VW Thane who had now become good friends and close pals. I promptly received a call from the VW Navi Mumbai Service Head who asked me to bring the car over for a check and was enquiring why I didnít come to them first before involving the seniors at VW.

My car was there again for a few months. All I was told was that we are working on it every time I followed up. One day I was told that they could not rectify the issue, but there was a new gear box available at a VW service centre in Kerala which was sent as a warranty replacement but was not used. If I was willing to pay the freight charges approx. 22500 to transport my gear box there and get this one here, I would get a new gear box as replacement. Did that and drove the car straight to a second hand dealer who I used to sell my old cars to. Told him the entire story and gave him the keys.

Reason Ė I was told by the Service Manager that henceforth no more freebies everything would be chargeable. Didnít even want to think what could possibly happen next.

Some time later bumped into the advisor who was now at Honda. As per him once they opened the gearbox to rectify the leak they could not get it to work properly again. Forward gears sent the car in reverse etc. This was why I got a new gearbox.
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Old 21st September 2022, 12:23   #8
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Glad to hear that you might get a resolution from the courts soon considering how long legal battles have gone for other members on the forum. Touchwood the resolution from the court does come through for you soon.
Sir you have no idea the about the amounts of strings I had to pull to reach this.

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
My advice is to know your dealer well, maintain good relations with their service manager, and only then bother buying a CBU or CKD product from the brand they represent.
You are absolutely correct. In my case also the problem started when the erstwhile dealer shut down and I had to take my car service stations in other cities.

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Ofcourse I am not saying that this is your fault in any way or that you ought to have done something to avoid being in this circumstance. Infact I applaud you Sir for having the patience and resources to take these goons to court. Just wanted to offer a warning that the same could occur with any imported car from any brand. So be careful when buying anything that is not manufactured here.
You indeed have a very valid point.
Thanks a lot!

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Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
When I received the RC, I was shocked to find that it was a November 2007 model. To this day I rue the fact that I was not a follower of Team BHP.

At the time of purchase, I was evaluating a BMW 320D as well. The extra rear seat space and the fact that the car would be primarily chauffer driven on weekdays tilted the purchase in favour of the Passat.
Your ordeal sounds exactly like mine, just 10 years ahead in time. On 27th December, 2017, the night before I finalized the Passat on I was about to send the booking amount for an Audi A4, but couldn't due to bank transfer limits on new beneficiaries. Then chose Passat for the exact same reason as yours, plus the point that I will have a service center in my city, while for Audi I'll have to travel 200kms each time there's a breakdown. And yes, upon receiving the RC I too was shocked to see that the car was manufactured in 2016.

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Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
My troubles started in October 2010 about a few days after the 2 year warranty expired. The car refused to start.
Ditto! I also started facing issues around the 2 year 4 months mark, but was under the impression that I have another 2 years of warranty left, so wasn't in a hurry to get it rectified since it was already lockdown at the time. The horror stories started in September 2020 when I decided to go for a road trip after travel restrictions were eased a bit. During the lockdown phase, I was continuously using the car in the city with certain minor issues like suspension noise, infotainment & reverse camera errors, sunroof noise, TPMS, etc.


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Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
But the service centre organized a free replacement as a good will gesture.
This used to be a VW policy to offer replacement of parts under goodwill in the 3rd and 4th year of ownership. Probably this was the reason so many dealers were involved in warranty fraud (yes this was confirmed by a dealership manager who was a batchmate). They used to charge you for warranty, pocket the entire amount and not update it in company records. Whenever a claim would arise they used to push the company to replace/repair it under goodwill warranty clause, or couple of other loopholes the company had initially. Apparently, till about 2016/17 VW was very generous with warranty and breakdowns. Hence you see a lot of comparatively happier customers from that period. Like even in your case they did so many free replacements initially, and this somehow kept the customers happy that the company is there.

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Finally during a visit of a senior (who had been moved to India from Germany) when this issue was brought up to his notice suggested a replacement of the engine head as they had a similar experience in Germany.
And in comes the "senior" or master engineer
No VW horror story is complete without him. I think they 1 or 2 senior engineers for a state or zone, who specialize in engine head and block related work. Even in my case when the Noida service center asked me to open engine head, they assured me that it will be done by the "master technician" who only works on engine. Apparently this master technician used to be on leave more than he was available in the workshop, so I am assuming it was like a company appointed engineer in between 5-7 workshops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
Did that and drove the car straight to a second hand dealer who I used to sell my old cars to. Told him the entire story and gave him the keys.

You made the smartest decision. Sadly I was late probably by a month. I had thought I'd enjoy the car for one more month before putting the keys down

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Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
Some time later bumped into the advisor who was now at Honda. As per him once they opened the gearbox to rectify the leak they could not get it to work properly again. Forward gears sent the car in reverse etc. This was why I got a new gearbox.
Again classic VW. Start working on the effected part, do some hit & trial, if successful, raise a hefty invoice. If not, tell the customer to replace the entire unit, not just the faulty part, after all they know it in their hearts that they have done more damage to the unit while trying to repair the part. Now if this is under warranty then fine, if not raise an even heftier bill.
Now wait for the next VW "andh-bhakt" and repeat the process.
Also, I forgot to mention, during my 2 years and 9 months of ownership, the car was standing at some or other workshop for at least 4-5 months, and this even before the engine overheat incident happened.
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Old 21st September 2022, 13:59   #9
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And in comes the "senior" or master engineer
No VW horror story is complete without him.
In my case it was he who identified the fault correctly. The flying doctors were the ones who were making a mess out of everything.

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Originally Posted by actuallyankur View Post
You made the smartest decision. Sadly I was late probably by a month. I had thought I'd enjoy the car for one more month before putting the keys down
Actually by then I had just had enough. It was my first car in this segment & 2 years of joy was followed by 3 years of pain with a brief interval after the engine head was changed when I was enjoying it again.
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Car feels super tight. These Germans age so well, she doesn't feel like she's almost 9 years old.
Was so put off by the German's that was almost an exclusive Honda user for over 8 years before I bit the bug earlier this year after reading this
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Originally Posted by actuallyankur View Post
Also, I forgot to mention, during my 2 years and 9 months of ownership, the car was standing at some or other workshop for at least 4-5 months
Same with me. Almost a year was spent at different times in the workshop.
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Old 21st September 2022, 20:33   #10
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

@Bailey when I read your posts, I can so relate to every single thing. It seems exactly like my story, down to the last details. Hope you have better motoring experiences in the future!!
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Old 22nd September 2022, 09:53   #11
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

Passat was probably the most German car that VW ever brought to India!
It is a great car no doubt and was my favorite VW to be ever launched in India, it was a promising package and honestly, it is a piece of beauty!
I was even going to buy a Passat (I wasn't in urgent need of a car at that time) but ended up owning an A6 after a long search of 2-3 years, the sole reason being- I had no trust in the VW service center guys to be able to diagnose and service a proper complex German sedan without any proper knowledge about the car and also by that time, VW had already discontinued the car.

Also, I have been owning a Vento for the past 7 years and the local service center is the Noida one, yes, Viraj Automobiles Sector-6!
Touchwood, I have never had to visit the service center for any unnecessary issues or failures or anything, my car has been running problem free for the past 7 years and I hope it stays the same way. My experience with them till now has been good, but they are a lazy bunch of greedy people. My Vento's headrest adjuster button of the front passenger seat was broken and I have been telling them to place an order for another one for the past 1 year, they agreed but they never did it. And the previous month, when I visited them for a service, they said that they would have to replace the entire seat just for that frickin' 10 rupee headrest adjuster button. I rejected them then and there itself and thought, I would rather have a non-adjustable headrest than spending a ton of money just for the sake of getting a 10 rupee plastic button back.

This is the button I'm talking about (I didn't have a photo of mine, so I took this from a thread of Vento's):

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Anyways, it's sad to see what you're going through right now and I hope the problem gets solved soon. VW makes great cars, but it's of no use if they can't improve something as basic as their service centers in India!

Last edited by TechnoBloop : 22nd September 2022 at 09:54. Reason: minor typo
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Old 22nd September 2022, 10:26   #12
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

I firmly believe that the lack of timely resolution of the problems is due to incompetence of the technicians which may be due to lack of proper training or attrition or both. I mean an ICE car is a ICE car. It is not like VW have special parts in their engines that Hondas and toyota's don't have! What can go bad on one manufacturer can go bad on other manufacturer as well and troubleshooting process should be similar. It boils down then to the guy who is troubleshooting the problem. As far as the forward gears resulting in the car going reverse, I am sure the guys at VW did not read the manual on how to recalibrate the DSG after it was opened.
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Old 22nd September 2022, 10:34   #13
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

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Originally Posted by actuallyankur View Post
Imagine going through such a horrific ordeal on a two and half year old car, timely serviced at company dealerships, never missed an inspection, and single-handedly driven. Also, I forgot to mention that at the time of the last incident, the car had just completed 70000kms on the odo.
Fully agree and empathize with your feelings. I have had similar experiences with my Skoda Laura. For every service, I need to wait for 10-20 days without any back up support for parts to arrive and they are damn expensive. These cars are built to last but technical know how of the A.S.S team is is zero. All they know is that they need to replace a part and that too on a trial and error basis. Have had my pathetic experience in all the Skoda A.S.S I have tried. Any number of complaints to the customer care has no result or action

Last edited by libranof1987 : 22nd September 2022 at 11:12. Reason: Trimming quoted post. Kindly quote only relevant sections of the post.
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Old 22nd September 2022, 11:57   #14
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

Think of owning a Skoda/VW vehicle ONLY IF you have a very competent authorised/3rd party service station in your city OR if you are technically inclined and can maintain the car yourself (like me), otherwise stay away from them as far as possible.

Though I just absolutely love the experience of a properly maintained and serviced VAG car like mine, but I know it is a hit or miss for the vast majority of owners that I have come across. And though I am surprised to say this, but the ownership of my humble Maruti, in comparison, has given me a big smile even after 2 year. No AC issues (like the newest VAG twins), impeccable service, outstanding mileage and complete peace of mind. Only sacrifice being outright performance which our Indian roads hardly provides, anyways.

Sad to hear about your experience...

Last edited by dkaile : 22nd September 2022 at 11:58.
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Old 22nd September 2022, 12:58   #15
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Default Re: 2017 VW Passat | A story of love, marriage and betrayal

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
VW's support for its premium cars is very poor and that reflects in the sales figures. No TDs, suspect availability, zero recall in the customer's mind. Plus, there is no continuity which is important in the automotive world. Example = Toyota consistently sells the Camry, no matter how low the sales drop to (unlike Honda & the Accord's phantom presence). But shockingly, even I don't know which months the Passat has been on sale and when it hasn't. Sad, because it is truly a wonderful luxury car (like the Superb) that can give the entry level luxury Germans such as the C-Class & A4 a run for their money.
Wonder how is the situation with Audi? The forum doesn't have complaints of this severe nature for Audi or their dealerships as far as I have read. Most of the issues of this sort (dishonest or defrauding behavior by dealerships) reported here are from VW or Skoda.

Same parent company but yet a very different attitude towards customers?
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