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WA Getting Refund from Volkswagen for Faulty Car?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Gilly, 2 September 2016.

  1. Gilly

    Gilly Member

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    Last year, we purchased a used car from a Volkswagen dealership. The car was 6 years old 2.0 Golf GTi with TSI engine. We paid $24,000 and it came with full Volkswagen service history, 100 point Volkswagen check and an Auto Assist Warranty.

    After 14 months, my partner drove the car to work. When he came back the car failed to start. It turns out the timing belt tensioner has failed, causing catastrophic engine failure. We towed the vehicle to the Volkswagen dealership and were told the work would be covered under the warranty but we would only have to pay $990 for the engine strip down.

    We agreed to this and after it was dismantled Volkswagen told us they made a mistake and only $3000 of the work would be covered under warranty and the total cost to fix the current engine will cost $12,000. The timing chain tensioner had failed, causing catastrophic engine damage.

    They initially suggested we claim on our car insurance, not sure why? The garage have said the best they can do is fit a second hand reconditioned engine and this will cost $8000 minus $3000 warranty so $5000 to be paid from us. The engine will get a months warranty only with no guarantee it won't happen again.

    After conducting some research it appears there is a defect on this particular engine which means the engines fail prematurely causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. This is a defect on certain engines from 2008 until 2013 and not a case of if it fails but when. As the cars get older, more and more engines are failing. The issue is well documented online and apparently Volkswagen is aware of the problem and issued a Technical Service Bulletin to dealers making them aware. Unfortunately, Volkswagen will not do a recall. There are several Class Actions underway worldwide for this exact timing chain tensioner problem as numerous VW owners are experiencing the same issue.

    The service handbook makes no mention of the tensioner needing checking until at least 120,000kms and our car had only done 100,000kms. Volkswagen Australia and the dealership are not cooperating and our car is up on bricks. We have made a complaint to the WA Department of Commerce.

    Going to court is a costly business but do you feel we will have a case. We really don't want the car back in case the engine fails again and at best we will be left with a Volkswagen with a non-original engine which will devalue the vehicle. We would prefer a refund.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gilly,

    14 months post purchase is a fairly long time to be claiming breach of consumer warranty of acceptable quality under Australian Consumer Law on the part of the dealer. In terms of taking of action against Volkswagen, its difficult to determine whether the court would determine that the particular fault you are talking about would amount to a failure to guarantee a vehicle is of acceptable quality since there is limited case law available on this topic and I assume the class actions in Australia (if they exist) have not yet been decided.

    I would recommend by sending Volkswagen - the dealership and Volkswagen Australia letters of demand claiming a refund for the cost of the vehicle based on breaches of the Australian Consumer law Guarantee of Acceptable quality and fitness for purpose.

    In order to get a refund, it needs to be a major failure to guarantee quality which is where a "reasonable consumer would not have bought the car had they known about the problem, or when the car is substantially unfit for its normal purpose". You can also threaten that if they don't pay, you will involve the ACCC or sue them in court.

    See where you get and be persistent and badger them.
     
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  3. Gilly

    Gilly Member

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    Thanks Victoria,

    I have filed a complaint with the ACCC who are already aware of this fault with the engine. I've demanded a refund based on the acceptable quality and also creating a false and misleading impression. The dealership advised us the total repair cost would be $990 and the extended warranty would cover all the rest. Luckily we recorded the conversation.


    I have emailed VW Germany and VW Australia with the transcript and demanded they honour this verbal agreement. They initially denied this was ever said but after I threatened to contact the media they are negotiating on a discounted price for repair. I am nothing if not persistent. And yes the class action are in the USA and still ongoing....
     
  4. Angelo D

    Angelo D Member

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    Hello Gilly,

    Have you had any luck with the engine fault?

    I've had the dreaded TSI fault recently too and can see the same pathway opening up with VW. ie. essentially a $1000 lotto to then see how much further I need to pay and if VW will cover anything.

    Very surprised that the very common TSI issue was not recalled and the DSI gearbox was. Funny to note that when talking to VW Australia, and referring to the issue as the 'common TSI issue', they then referred to it as a 'cracked piston'!

    They are fully aware of the issue but are completely reluctant to do anything...
     
  5. elin power

    elin power Member

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    Reply:

    I am in Brisbane and my 5-year-old Golf GTi engine imploded about a month ago. I have been asked to pay $1400 for the engine strip down... and the dealer is putting a claim in to Volkswagen for the repair.

    The strip down confirmed the cause as I knew it would. My private mechanic had already diagnosed the problem with cameras, etc. I hope to hear back next week.

    A very upsetting business... I cried for a week when I learned that the car was essentially a write off...Gilly, I would love to know how you went about approaching the ACCC
     
  6. Angelo D

    Angelo D Member

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    Elin, your experience mirrors mine, as are many others. Very upsetting.

    I haven't bothered to pay the Volkswagen dealer to open it up as I can see it's just a slow expensive pathway to them avoiding admitting guilt. Also like you, a private mechanic sees this all the time and is open with costs, unlike VW.

    Let me guess, cracked piston?
     
  7. jade unhappy

    jade unhappy Member

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    I have Golf GTI 2l (New Year 2011) that has 70,000 on clock. I took it in when the engine grumbled and spent (twice) more than $1500 each time over two weeks. No mention of time chain issue, just other reasons for engine light to come on.

    They have had my car 4 times in past month sometimes for many days in succession( proper Volkswagen workshop adjacent to dealership). Only on the 3rd visit did they even mention the time chain, in passing - "a bit loose but within the recommended requirements".

    As soon as I drove car after the third visit, the engine light came on again! That's when they took the car again overnight and drove it for sometime and decided it was the time chain that was problem. I asked for the $4500 on top of the > $3000 I have just paid.

    We tried to negotiate something fairer. They have had car for more weeks than I have this past month. We were happy to pay $1500, as we had already parted with so much. They wouldn't hear of it. I asked if they had heard of time chain problems and class actions in Europe/USA.

    "Oh that is a different situation" was the response. Well I have a relative who has put a deposit on a Tiguan. So I rang the VW dealer and asked if he had ever heard of time chain problems as at 70,000. With a new Tiguan, one does not expect to pay over $8000 for routine repairs.

    Will this happen with the Tiguan?

    Well I was referred back to talk to the service people. I wanted someone higher up the VW feeding chain to find out if the 2017 Tiguan will die at 70,000 with time chain problems, just like my Golf. He didn't know who I should talk to and suggested I "Google"" VW in Sydney! I can assure you, when my relative picks up his Tiguan he will enquire about the time chain issue and ensure he gets some absolute re-assurance that it will be covered if it dies soon after warranty or with low KM.

    Well I have told my dealer guy at VW that I will park my Golf every busy Saturday/Sunday outside his dealership and have a sign advising people to talk to me first before wasting their money on a Golf or VW . I can show them all my bills and documents and tell them to explore the time chain issue on the web before purchasing.

    Since VW haven't offered a recall, let the buyer beware, and I will caution potential buyers of my issues. When I told him that he asked for my registration and said he would talk to the service guys. maybe we will do a deal yet?

    This Jade is Jaded!
     
  8. Angelo D

    Angelo D Member

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    Jade there's great info at vwwatercooled. Might be helpful. And call VW Australia.
     
  9. ads1212

    ads1212 Member

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    I too have had catastrophic engine failure from the timing chain tensioner problem. Audi wouldn't take responsibility and advised a cost of some $14,000 to fix. I finally had to spend $6,000 late lat year (this was an extraordinarily good deal with 1 year engine warranty) to have the engine replaced. I am catatonic with anger at VW Ag/Audi's stonewalling and denial at a global scandal involving so many cars.

    As mentioned here are class action suits in the US, but nothing in Australia (yet). Can I recommend that all who have had this catastrophic failure stay in contact? Also if anyone is interested I have spoken to the Sydney Morning Herald today and they are keen to talk to other victims.

    Contact me ASAP if you wish to share your frustrations and start the journey to make Audi front up to yet another global scandal. Legally it would be great for a law firm to bring a class action (per current USA proceedings) against VW AG.

    Thanks in advance
     
    Gilly likes this.
  10. ads1212

    ads1212 Member

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    FYI More info...

    http://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2016/volkswagen-timing-chain-tensioner-law
    suit.shtml

    VW, Audi Named In Another 'Catastrophic' Engine Defect Suit - Law360
    -engine-defect-suit

    VW, Audi Accused of 'Hiding' Engine Defect In Suit - Law360
    ct-in-suit

    2.0TSI (EA888) Timing chain tensioner failures [Archive] - VWGolf.net.au - Australian VW Golf Forum (esp 2016 comments?)

    Cars affected:

    2008-2010 and 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
    2009-2013 Volkswagen CC
    2008 -2012 Volkswagen EOS
    2008-2012 Volkswagen Golf
    2008-2012 Volkswagen GTI
    2008-2012 Volkswagen Jetta
    2008-2012 Volkswagen Passat
    2008-2011 Volkswagen R32
    2008-2010 Volkswagen Rabbit
    2009-2012 Volkswagen Routan
    2008-2012 Volkswagen Tiguan
    2008-2013 Volkswagen Touareg
    2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
    2008-2012 Audi A3
    2008-2012 Audi A4
    2008-2012 Audi A5
    2010-2012 Audi A6
    2012 Audi A7
    2008-2012 Audi TT
    2010-2012 Audi Q3
    2009-2012 Audi Q5
    2012 Audi Q7
     
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