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Have you read the recent article by Yamin Vong about the VW dilemma? You can find it here (assuming CBT’s site is up):-

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Caught between sea and rock

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If you’re not interested in subjecting your eyes to additional stress, let me summarize for you what the Chief Editor of NST’s Cars Bikes Trucks thoughts are:-

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1) When the warranty says 2+3 years, the answer is not 5

2) Recalls are common in the automotive industry. Most are simple fixes that can be done during warranty period servicing. Some are done under the guise of service campaigns.

3) the internet empowers consumers as never before

4) Some owners came just to show support, not because their cars have much issues

5) setting aggressive sales targets for its Malaysian office without a tandem investment in after-sales operations.

6) Suggested that  VGM can try to work with some good independent service partners ie  Bosch five-star accredited service workshops

7) VGM’s new MD, Christoph Aringer, is only two months in the job (and he’s going to be transferred out)

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I had not wanted to make anymore reports about the matter but there has been a number of articles being written since the protest (article found HERE if you don’t know which protest we’re talking about), on both official press and independent blog sites that instead of providing clarity seem to be doing the opposite to the general public. Stories are being traded by angry and frustrated owners who joined the Facebook Page VW DSG Defects Community who’s original mandate of championing ONE cause of grievance:-

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“We want to unite all VW Owners affected by the defects of DSG7 transmission. With one voice, we hope VW AG can resolve the problem faced by problem on a GLOBAL basis. What assurance can VW give us to reinstate consumer confidence in their products” (page ABOUT)

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– that has somehow evolved to include protesting against insurance warranty issues, irresponsible service centres and the poor level of service and professionalism offered by them as well as dealing with the seemingly lackadaisical attitude taken by the principal itself in handling the plights of those affected by these issues. The issues related to the DSG Defects page has changed to encompass ALL complaints against VW and it wasn’t until the change of mandate did the page get as much traction as it does today so that’s your answer in case you’re wondering why the group’s name is such.

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Before I continue on, I should stress that this article is written based on my personal experience as a VW Golf 1.4 TSI owner of 2-years who experienced premature component failure and the hospitality of inept service centres. As the vehicle is now entering its third year, I will (though I hope I never will) see for myself how Allianz, the insurer for the VW Extended Warranty Program handles warranty claims. Unlike any other articles you may have read in the past, this is a first hand sharing and by NO means the absolute truth and NOT the only way to interpret the situation faced by all stakeholders of VW Malaysia. Nowadays, people tend to throw legal action threats so it’s best to be as factual as possible so don’t go “because kenso said so so it has to be true” on me.

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Now that we’ve got that little caveat out of the way, let’s get straight down to business.

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QUESTION: What is wrong with VW? Everyone is saying VW cars are problematic so I should avoid buying one at all cost

ANSWER: The most common problem is related to the Dry clutch 7-speed DSG gearbox (code name DQ200) in which the mechatronic unit (the brain that replaces your left foot in a manual car and determines which optimum gear to engage based on driving conditions) fails. When that happens, the vehicle may experience “loss of power”, among other issues. The second most common issue is related to the excessive juddering due to the clutch plate where premature wear & tear causes gears to slip before finally engaging. There are also a couple of cases of engine pistons failing.

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QUESTION: “LOSS OF POWER”? You mean like the car suddenly feels less Pow-Der-Ful than usual?

ANSWER: Sadly no; when it fails it’s not a simple “LOSS” – like you experience a tire puncture and the gradual loss of tire function as it slowly deflates. Or the car ran out of coolant and the engine temperature slowly builds. Or a turbo malfunction and you enter limp mode with the engine working like an naturally aspirated unit. Loss in this case = “NO” power, like your car suddenly ran out of petrol and the engine died or a short circuit that caused a total shutdown – all of which while you are driving. If you’re lucky, there are tell tale signs such as the gears aren’t engaging/shifting the way they used. Mine unfortunately chose to break down without displaying any symptoms. One minute I was driving like normal, not even hard accelerating; the next, the engine juddered once and RPM refuses to go up when we step on the accelerator despite the gear indicator in D. In Neutral gear, the engine revs like normal but once you shift to D, it doesn’t go beyond 1,200rpm and you have ZERO propulsion. Here’s a good video example of how a mechatronic failure looks like – Video. The engine was literally living in its own word, doing little else other than powering the air conditioning and other electrical components.

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QUESTION: Damn! How come you’re still alive and talking about it today unlike that woman in Australia who died after got rammed by a truck?

Answer:
1) I knew the signs of a mechatronic failure  (so always do more research about potential issues with your car and arm yourself with the knowledge on how to deal with it if it happens to you)
2) I had sufficient momentum to steer the car to the side without engine power
3) The highway I was on wasn’t busy at that time of the day.
4) If you’re referring to the case of Melissa Ryan in Australia (report HERE), note that she was driving a MANUAL transmission which does NOT have a mechatronic unit to begin with.
5) Keep the VW Malaysia Emergency hotline 1800-88-2389 with you at all times

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QUESTION: FML! Maybe I should avoid all VWs from now on.

ANSWER: Not all models come with the DQ200 gearbox and not all of them are problematic. DQ200 equipped models are:-

  • Polo Sport TSI 1.2litre
  • Golf TSI 1.4litre
  • Jetta 1.4litre
  • Beetle 1.2litre and 1.4litre
  • Cross Touran 1.4litre
  • Scirocco 1.4litre
  • Passat 1.8litre
  • Volkswagen CC

If you’re considering one of these units, you’d be glad to note that VW has found the cause of the mechatronic failure and has a permanent solution for it so new models should have the issue addressed. To put it into layman’s term;-

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Sulphur in fully synthetic gear oil + a certain part in the mechatronic + high heat + high humidity = electrolytic corrosion which ultimately leads to a short circuit.

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Changing the mechatronic and replacing the gear oil with mineral instead of fully synthetic is said to cure this malady. Indeed, after replacing mine, the Golf is happily chugging along without any issues. If you’re considering a 2nd hand unit and is worried about this, VW Malaysia issued a voluntary recall of almost 4,000 units mid-2013 and had all the mechatronics replaced at no cost to their owners. You may also check with service centres to ascertain the vehicle’s service and maintenance history.

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QUESTION: Well, that’s not too bad. So why the protest then?

ANSWER: The list of demands can be found in the link but to put it simply;- A faulty vehicle is traumatising enough; having to deal with insensitive service advisors and uncaring insurance adjusters who takes their own sweet time to investigate claims and finding every single possible reason to disavow their responsibilities in honouring the warranty would test the patience of any Saint. This is where I somewhat agree with Yamin’s opinion that 2-years manufacturer + 3-years Extended Warranty Program (EWP) isn’t 5-years warranty. .

If your definition of a warranty is not having to pay from your own pocket for components that has failed, then you can say Volkswagen Malaysia is right to claim that all its vehicles have a 5-year warranty. If you believe that you can ask the service centre to immediately replace a faulty component under warranty once the car enters its 3rd, 4th or 5th year, you’re in for a huge surprise (one that’s not much different from chewing an apple that’s infested with worms inside). A typical insurance claim works like this:-

  • You send your car in
  • The SC diagnoses the problem
  • The SC informs the underwriter of the Extended Warranty Program (in this case, Allianz)
  • Allianz sends their officer to investigate (which may take weeks)
  • Allianz decides to approve or disapprove depending on whether the owner has been diligent in sending his/her car in for service within the stipulated period and no alternative can be found in rectifying the problem
  • SC orders the parts (if they or VGM does not have it, it typically needs 2 weeks for it to arrive from Germany)
  • Car is fixed and owner is asked to come and collect it

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With so many red tape, you can understand why many owners are upset when their car, which was not purchased cheaply in Malaysia mind you, gets stuck in a service centre for weeks, if not months. Imagine; you still have to pay for bank monthly instalments for a vehicle you cannot use and more often than not, there is insufficient courtesy cars to go around. The picture owners find themselves in is far from what they imagined seeing Volkswagen’s advertisement of their 5-years Mobility Guaranteed program (read about that HERE).

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QUESTION: That’s so messed up! Seems to be more reason not to buy the car then!

ANSWER: Volkswagen isn’t the only company that advertises 5-year warranty with an insurance element. Peugeot offers the same arrangement (although they don’t advertise much about it so their customers aren’t too bothered about it). Not many know about this but even Kia was adopting a similar program before. First few batches of the Forte is under EWP and when the owners found out, the started an online petition (link HERE). NazaKia has about 3 years ago reverted to full 5-years manufacturer’s warranty for all of its current models. To my knowledge, any Asian-made marque who claims 5-years is factory supported. The 2nd issue that you shouldn’t write off VW is VGM’s new MD, Mr Christoph Aringer has announced a few measures that will definitely see improvement in the level of service:-

  • 20 selected service centres now open 7 days a week – mitigates the issue of not being able to get a service slot within a few days.
  • establishing a dedicated Hot Line 1800-88-8947 to handle EWP enquiries – clears confusion on who’s supposed to do what
  • extending the mileage allowance for servicing from 500km to 1,500km – allows owners to breath easier when locating an available service slot
  • central management of all EWP claims – minimizes owner inconvenience by speeding up the repair process
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My brother-in-law, who drives a Golf GTI recently got involved in an accident. Car went into SC last Thursday morning. By the afternoon, he was informed that the adjuster has been appointed and by evening the adjuster has completed his/her investigation and will commence with repair works (which, unfortunately will take about 2 weeks because the parts needed to be ordered elsewhere so that still cannot be helped). So the centralised management of repairs and claims appears to be working perfectly.

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Having said that, there still a lot of unhappy customers out there who’re still flooding any channel that talks good about VW (the most recent being from Carlist HERE). Some claims that despite changing to mineral transmission oil, the mechatronic still fails. Who knows which to believe. But one thing that’s consistent – most complainers indicate they “had” the problem but fail to state how recent that problem was. So we can’t tell for certain if the recent improvement activities highlighted above has been implemented in those complain cases.

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There is one clause that we have just uncovered though; although VGM has extended the service mileage excess to 1,500km, the periodic maintenance of 1-year is not. In other words, even if you’re just a few days late, your EWP can be rendered obsolete and this is a major issue for some owners who does not have the periodic maintenance reminders in their car and only commute a couple of kilometers a day so no way they could accumulate 15,000km in 1 year.

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QUESTION: ANY OTHER SURPRISES?

ANSWER: There is one common misconception about the DSG issue. DSG has the characteristic of being jerky at low speeds, that’s true. But if the juddering becomes severe (ie shifting from 1st to 2nd gear), then the problem may not be the DSG but the clutch plate wearing off and the gears slipping before engaging. So far, VW has specified the solution for the mechatronic but no explanation on why the clutch plates are failing prematurely nor if there is a permanent solution for this. I have had one clutch pack changed (the same time as the first mechatronic) and according to the SC, it is said to be an updated component that’s more robust compared to the factory fitted one. After a year of using it, I can feel the gears now slipping again and the juddering is increasing in frequency. We haven’t been hearing much about mechatronic replacements since the solution is announced but clutch pack problems exist and is real – only, owners cannot tell the difference between a DSG problem and a clutch issue and it’s up to the SC to tell which is which. With so much complaints about SC’s lack of transparency and lethargic attitude, small wonder the entire fiasco is causing so much anger.
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In conclusion, we at kensomuse would clearly state that we do NOT subscribe to the belief that when one buys a new car, one should take a risk if it is a continental, turbocharged or otherwise. We believe for whatever item we spend our hard earned money on, we purchase on good will; on the belief that it will serve the function we bought. In all truthfulness, we believe Volkswagen Malaysia serves to honour that purpose. The only issue is, if we give them a chance. All this beating-around-the-bush, going-round-the-merry-goround with marketing gimmicks and sales promotions does not address the credibility issues.

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UPDATE 8 July 2014: 

The earlier mentioned 20 authorised Volkswagen service centres in Peninsular Malaysia that supposedly opens on Sundays from 9.00am to 5.00pm for maintenance service starting from 16 March 2014 is no longer active. A check with the service centres on the list says the Sunday operations has ceased since May.

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There is a reason behind this; While it’s true that the extended working day has stopped, it does not compromise on the SC’s ability to service their customers. Where once you would need to wait 3-4 weeks before a slot is available, almost all service centres contacted have empty Saturday slots and this is a clear indication that the initial objective of adding Sunday operations into the rooster to accommodate the high demands has been achieved and is no longer required.

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kensomuse

Though working in a field completely unrelated to the automotive industry, kenso has always had an interest in dabbling into the automotive industry, particularly business related aspects such as sales, marketing, strategic planning, blah blah blah. You can probably find better sources of technical specifications elsewhere if you dig long enough in the internet as this blog talks about the real life ramifications of who, what, where, when and why of the automotive world and focuses on relevant information to potential buyers.

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72 Comments

  1. LIM CHONG TICK
    July 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm — Reply

    The VW Touareag year 2011 that i am driving has had a couple of issues…1)On the 26/2?2014 this vehicle was serviced and was required to change the transmission oil,old oil was drained but the mechanics were not able to put the oil back because some idiot stole the pump….what utter rubbish 2}the drivers side seat belt was frayed and requested to have the belt changed…no claim cause Allianz said no,having come from outside KL this car was not handed to me till way passed 5.00pm car checked 10.00 am…

  2. Alan K
    July 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm — Reply

    A fair commentary and technically accurate. In the 2+ years with a golf 6 tsi, I had a change of engine due to cylinder head 1 problem which resulted in a new engine at no cost, a mechatronic changed under factory recall and a clutch judder issue which was resolved with a warranty claim change. But in all my dealings with VWM and the SC at Glenmarie has been while inconvenienced but cordial and pleasant. Lynette at VWM was very supportive and responsive. Others were too junior/new to handle the situation.

    Perhaps the lack of understanding of some the leading edge technology caused some of the frustrations by the car owners. We choose these cars because they handled better, felt better and had the torque to give us the oomp. However DSG7 dry clutch which provided the direct smooth transfer of power to the wheels had the oil issue and the mechatronic under designed. MK6 had both super charge and turbo charge- maybe that was a bit too much oomph for the light small block engine. Mk7 is only turboed. A lot of people are now complaining about the features that made us choose these cars in the first place.

    The handling by Alliance was a different issue. It took them two weeks to send an adjuster to verify and approve the claim. The SC took 1 day to change the clutch. 3 days for the mechatronic and about 10 days for the engine replacement ( 7 days to import and 3 days to install) so would I still buy these cars? Yes! The alternatives are boring. Now VWM, please ensure you audit the SC to ensure your investments and our investments have a real meaning..BTW change the insurer or set up your own insurance co.

  3. Eng Michael
    July 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm — Reply

    I had a VW and it give me infinite problems since few months until 3 years.

    The EWP is a big scam!

  4. Kevin
    July 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    Dear Ken,

    What about the VW EOS? According to the specification, they are only using the 6 speed DSG Gearbox. Will they have the same mechatronic problem as the models you have listed above?

    TQ

    • July 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm — Reply

      To my knowledge, the EOS shares the same 2.0litre + 6-speed DSG as the Golf GTI which is so far proven to be reliable

  5. Ian
    July 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm — Reply

    This is my 3rd year having my Golf 1.4TSI.

    FYI, I’ve changed 3 mechatronic for a 3yr old car. Absolutely nonsense!!!!

    The 1st time it failed on me i forced for a replacement car. The next few are like, thats your own problem.

    I also had A/C problems too; only hot air coming out. Sent it in to the SC. Left it there for 1 week. They couldnt find any issue. But instead I received a bill for rm600 for changing my spark plugs…….. LoL…… what has the A/C got to do with the bloody spark plugs…..

    The last 2 service, they have asked me to change my windscreen water tank…… coz if i fill it to full, it’ll leak till dry in a few days….. can someone explain to me how a 3yr old car with no accidents at all have a leaking tank. That was when i found out about the 2+3 warranty “sh|t” coz right after the 2yrs VW warranty they dont cover it….. was quoted to pay rm250++ for the water tank.

    Recently i had to change my disc brakes and brake pads. Look changing brake pads is reasonable but disc brakes after 3yrs is absurd. They told me i couldnt “skim” my disc brakes as it would make it thinner. I have other cars too which i havent changed the disc brakes for 6yrs, just skimming.

    Well i’m not going to mention about thw minor issues.

    I guess complaining will not help.

    Unhappy VW owner!!!

    • Victor Hoh
      July 9, 2014 at 11:56 am — Reply

      I changed my 308 brake disc at 60k too, less than 3 years. The original brake pad was too abrasive. What a stupid design.

  6. Eng Michael
    July 9, 2014 at 12:58 am — Reply

    Other than aircond compressor, radiator fans x 2 x 2, wiper motor x 2, fan speed control electronic module, auto lock electronic modules x 2, bearing nose x 3, burst water pipe x 3, burst air pipe, ABS and dashboard error + lost power due to low battery, towed 4 times in past 2 years, my car was perfectly fine. No gearbox or engine problem.

  7. Chee Keat
    July 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    I have a Golf 1.4 TSI for about 2 years now. Bought it in January 2012 but it was manufactured in 2011. Honestly I dont face as much problems as some people mentioned in the forums or blogs. A bit dumbfounded over it sometimes. I’ve had minor issues like A/C which was repaired after sending back to the SC and stuffs like that. Juddering gears, yeah a little. But VW called to send my car in to inspect and they changed the mecha. After that DSG was no longer an issue.

    • tsi
      July 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm — Reply

      bought my golf 1.4tsi in Dec 2011,changed clutch & mechatronic in dec 2013 at 55,000km, while my other VW, a Cross Touran bought in March 2013 will be changing its clutch pack soon at 45,000km since its also started to judder. Why is VW cars have short span clutch life cycle?

  8. VW Cheating
    September 4, 2014 at 9:38 am — Reply

    I own a passat start from Jan 2014.
    VW keep bring me problems. I have to admit,VW is problematic,
    after sales service is extremely poor.

    1. New car 0-500km
    A) Defect on the dashboard decorative grey strip.
    There is a “Discoloring Dot” which appear/floating from the back side. Complain several time, VW said, can not be claimed.

    B) Wind noise
    Wind noise found while driving on 100-120km/h, found on the first
    day.It’s not acceptable for such D segment car.
    Request claim from VW service center. First test, wind noise found.The SC mechanic “Massage” and “Align” the rubber seal of the door rubber!!! Ridiculous!!! Ask me to go back try again.
    Of coz, it’s not work. Go back to SC 2nd time after a week. Complain to SC on another week.SC said, Manager is not in, can not promise claim!. 3rd visit SC Manager said, only can order the rubber on chassis and try. Door can not be changed, worry to break the door seal clip. They are not responsible! SC manager request to try frame seal first and the part order takes 2-3 weeks time to bring in.

    Waited for 6 weeks, SC no call to me, no update.
    I initial to call them. SC replied, “The part still not coming in.” Called back after 9 weeks, SC replied “we need to check and call back to you”. I did not receive any reply after that!.
    As a D segment owner, you have to keep pushing and follow up VW service center to confirm the part arrival!! Even arrive, they do not inform customer!!

    C) Streak wiper
    D) Poor sales man arrangement on car delivery.
    Even cost up!

    2. Mileage clocked 2000-3000km
    Finally, keep follow up and get the rubber changed after 10 weeks.
    The SC workmanship is terrible. They change the rubber without remove any panel, back seats. I was terrified, worried these part bended, scratched, and becomes improper sealed. after one piece changed on right rear door frame rubber. I gave up the left side rubber. I have to bear the wind noise , problem never solved. Now, there are some “knocking” noise while driving on uneven surface.

    3. Mileage Clocked 3000km onwards
    Dashboard rattle noise. Getting serious. Unbelievable VW dash rattle! SC said the “Greay strip” lack of a clip during factory assembly. After fixed, rattle gone. but WHOLE DASH RATTLE NOISE SERIOUSLY on 5000km onwards!!

    4. Mileage Clocked 7000km
    Found “Humming” noise, this synmtom happen occasionally at beginning. It getting serious and lounder. Went SC. SC plug in computer. “EVERYTHING IS FINE, NO ERROR”. but the car keep humming. SC is not capable, irresponsible, no choice, I have to find the answer myself. Found few passat owner shared his car experience. Fuel pump failure or Charcoal canister failure. Some passat even CHANGE THE WHOLE FUEL TANK!!! WHAT THE HELL, Germany car, such basic failure?! I realize the humming sound happen while the fuel tank is less than half. Obviously on quarter load of fuel. Went another round to VW. After few hour test, finally they no choice have to admit the problem is come from fuel pump.
    Agree to proceed the claim.

    5. Mileage 7000-10000km
    SC irresponsible service on claim happen as usual.
    Call them follow up few times. You will Very VERY VERY surprise
    on their different ppl, different time reply such Forgot order, order on way, your car never order this claim, Oh, “let me check first”, “Call back to you to let u know” many times. Keep “Pusing” and turn around!

    6.15000km Mileage
    Engine start to “shut down” some time.
    It’s dangerous especially while turn out from small road to main road.

    It’s a nightmare to spend lot money to buy problems back home.

    VW, not quality build, POOR AFTER SALES SERVICE,
    If you got free time, then you buy a VW.
    VW SC could spend your free time for free.

    All above happen on CKD passat.
    CNB VW service center.
    CNB sales center

    • September 4, 2014 at 9:41 am — Reply

      OMG, that’s just terrible. Which CNB branch you went to?

  9. DSG
    September 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    I m a passat onwer too! Rattle dash, judder DSG, windnoise problems since new car for first 15k mileage.

    Dissapointed on VW build quality and service quality.

    Post on the http://www.livelifedrive.com “Satisfy passat owner” is a big joke!

  10. Syed
    September 26, 2014 at 6:53 am — Reply

    I’m thinking to get the VW Sharan in my next purchase early next year. Appreciate if Sharan owners here to share experience.
    Thank You

  11. Pro Detailers
    October 9, 2014 at 9:36 am — Reply

    Most VW and Pug loyalists will insist that all other marques have their own respective problems as well. I fully agree.
    But if those problems, regardless of severity and frequency can be quickly diagnosed and expediently solved even by private mechanics outside (worst scenario), then its not a critical problem.
    Based solely on Internet-based rantings and complaints on VW and Pug vehicles, my general perception is, the problem is not only critical (sudden loss of power) but many unlucky owners are PISSED OFF!

    From my viewpoint, if you insist on owning these marques that’re know to have such serious partially resolved problems, you must have a SPARE CAR to use at all times.

  12. DavidLee
    March 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm — Reply

    Any issues with the Polo GTI 1.4 TSI, year 2012?

    • March 23, 2015 at 11:37 am — Reply

      So far, not heard much about it.

      • November 1, 2015 at 3:02 am — Reply

        Are you sure no issue Polo GTI 1.4 TSI, year 2012, any confirmation for this sir?

  13. EdLim
    August 8, 2015 at 4:03 am — Reply

    I m thinking to get a used Cross Touran year 2011/2012.
    Would anyone can share some experience on this car.
    Thanks in advance.;-)

  14. WC
    November 4, 2015 at 1:12 am — Reply

    Hi, I just got a 2nd hand Golf Mk6 2011, reg 2012 in Tornado Red.
    Mileage now is around 54K and the mechatronic has been changed during last service at TTDI, I’ve called and confirm with VW TTDI. Did not see any other major changes to the car during its service book history such as clutch changes or DSG oil change except for the mecha claim.

    Also this come comes with the rns 510 unit. Anything I should be aware or concern, would like your sincere advise about clutch changing by 3rd party and DSG oil changes outside VW. Could you email me directly, perhaps we can talk?

    Thanks mate!
    william.chingwo@gmail.com

    • November 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm — Reply

      As far as I am aware, VW has been making revisions of its parts so although components such as mechatronics and clutch plates remain the same, their SKU codes are different, which means it is a different component. VW Malaysia has been supportive of its customers by offering, from time to time discounts for common issues. So by visiting an authorized SC, you might be able to get the parts that are:-

      1)lower prices compared to outside (yeah, don’t be surprised if 3rd parties are more expensive because most of these places cater for Audis and Porches. VW is “just” a people’s car compared to those two brands so margins are less)
      2) revised, new parts that are more durable

      • WC
        November 10, 2015 at 1:17 am — Reply

        Ok, today I had a problem with my Golf 1.4 TSI 118kw. Out of the blue, my car loss power to the rev range. I am unable to go above 4K during drive and it will judder when the rpm hits 4K when changing gears with the feeling of your body going forward (like you punch the brakes). My friend had a OBD device, and could not find any fault codes or error.

        Suspect it could be one of the following:

        1. Turbine / Turbo boost
        2. RPM safety lock due to some error/problem (unknown)

        Hoping to find a sc that opens tomorrow to send it for a diagnostic/check.

  15. Kamal AB
    November 22, 2015 at 9:31 pm — Reply

    Hi

    I’m looking at purchasing the Jetta Limited Edition 2015, the SA assured me that the mechatronic issues have been resolved with the use of a different oil or something. Is this true?

    Mr. Kenso, somebody mentioned something about not driving like an idiot (I suppose that means not having a heavy right foot) and the DSG would last longer? Any comments on this?

    Can any experience owners share the basic service or upkeep cost of the Jetta?

    • November 23, 2015 at 9:09 pm — Reply

      Hi Kamal,

      I believe the mechatronic issue is a thing of the past and no longer pose an issue to current owners.

      I don’t know what that someone meant when he said “driving like an idiot”. My definition of driving like an idiot is not using signals when changing lanes, overtaking from emergency lanes or the ever popular these days drive-with-your-head-down-staring-at-smartphones – all of which have nothing to do with the DSG unless you mean accidents. But to quote your example, “driving with a heavy foot”, I would say that’s something you SHOULD do. Most of the people I know that has problem free VWs floor it whenever they can and issues are a lot less than those who drive it like 70-year old grandmother who forgot her glasses.

      I’m no mechanic but I do believe that preservation of DSG begins with following scheduled maintenance to the dot – or more frequent if possible. Then, make sure you do it at an authorized service centre instead of any Ah Seng workshop. When reversing, make sure the vehicle is at a complete stop before engaging. If you see a red traffic light ahead and intend to coast your way to stop, do not engage Neutral. Flicking through gears is fun but do choose the appropriate one and don’t stress it too much. Following all these does not guarantee a trouble free gearbox but done right, you would preserve not only the DSG but other related components as well.

      As for the cost, it should be very similar to the Golf. I did a chart many years ago and it is not adjusted to current prices but I think the deviance should be within RM100

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m7BGKe5xyJs/T4QOBp1JD4I/AAAAAAAAAR8/2ptQBA3uXBE/s1600/TSi+maintenance.JPGGolf TSI maintenance

      Good luck, bro

      • Kamal AB
        November 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm — Reply

        Thank you for your excellent take on the subject. It’s quite difficult to come across positive remarks about the Jetta on the WWW. But thank you again for giving a balanced opinion

  16. rez39
    January 28, 2016 at 11:55 pm — Reply

    i plan to buy golf tsi mk6 is it worth it?? any advise?

    • January 29, 2016 at 9:47 am — Reply

      New or old?

    • que69
      February 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm — Reply

      It is worth to buy. Somehow i would like to emphasise that this car is really, really like a pet. Do contact me if you want to know more. Quoted by Kensomuse, caught between sea and rock.

  17. Lee
    February 15, 2016 at 12:49 am — Reply

    Hello there, what do you mean by “caught between sea and rock” hehe, i’m scouting for a 2011/2012 MK6 as well.. Not sure whether i’ll be a good decision made.. Will be a primary car..

    • February 15, 2016 at 9:16 am — Reply

      Oh, that “Caught between sea and rock” is a link to the CBT article by Yamin Vong.

      As for the MK6, the good thing is the 2nd hand value as dropped considerably so it can be had for a fraction of its original cost. Do make sure you check its full service records and see if the warranty is still intact

  18. curios
    February 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm — Reply

    just wondering why audi is not effected like golf. i thought they are using same technology. noob here.

  19. Ahmad
    February 25, 2016 at 10:47 am — Reply

    Hello. I plan to get a pre-registered Sharan. Any disadvantage in getting a pre-registered VW? Appreciate any advice on this. Thanks.

  20. Amd
    April 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm — Reply

    Im looking forward to buy pre reg scirocco 1.4 tsi , for price 126500 otr , im so tempted to buy this car , manucfature in 2013 , registered on 2014 , with mileage 1800km only , plz give me an opinion about this car , should i take i or not sir

  21. Dixon
    April 10, 2016 at 4:01 am — Reply

    Now the Jetta 2014 TGi is selling at RM88,888. I only use my vehicle around 10 times per month. Should I consider to get one?

  22. Ayim
    April 15, 2016 at 12:25 am — Reply

    I want to know also..
    Still have the same issue ?
    I’m looking Jetta also.

  23. Mohan Kumar Nadarajah
    April 21, 2016 at 12:30 am — Reply

    kensomuse, you moderate your articles very well, refreshing, insightful and balanced. Compliments to you Sir!

    On a personal note, I own a 2011 Golf TSi, from my very own experience its one exhilarating car to drive even till this very day! (will breach its 5th year come this Aug) its responsive, nimble and a steadyhand both urban and on the freeway.

    Yes, it did have its misgivings, was rectified amicably by VGM, both clutch kit & mecha was replaced under warranty in 2013 and touchwood I have not seen a repeat.

    with Gods blessings, am eying a Golf GTi in the near horizon!

  24. curious man
    May 3, 2016 at 10:14 am — Reply

    hai kensomuse, i im considering to buying 2nd hand Sharan – expecting mfg year 2012-2014, from ur experience n knowledge, what ur opinion regarding this sharan? any sharan owner are free to giv feedback too

    • May 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm — Reply

      Sharans overall are finely built. Powered by a Golf GTI sourced 2.0litre and paired to a 6-speed wet-clutch DSG transmission, there aren’t much issues about it. But like all 2nd hand units, do be sure to check its service records, history of any accidents and other wear and tear items. Also check to see if it’s 5-years warranty are still intact.

      • curious man
        May 4, 2016 at 1:23 am — Reply

        thanks a lot kensomuse for encouraging feedback about sharans,finally, bcoz a few friends of mine straight away giving negative opinion when ask for VWs brand, from my personal observation on the net also, most of vw owner problems are on Jettas , Passats and a few of polos, not a single i found from sharan owner .. but overall VGM after sales service are definitely loaded with negative feedbacks. Hope they will going huge improvement this year

  25. Alim
    May 20, 2016 at 11:52 am — Reply

    hi kensumose, I was interested to buy VW Passat year 2013, because the price is affordable .. Used cars around 100k – 120k mileage .. what should I do or check before buying that car and whether my decision is right or not to buy a car that have 100k-120k mileage, by the way that car have full service record n still under warranty 2+3year program. What you suggestions?

  26. Wei
    May 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm — Reply

    This article is well written. I can’t agreed much to it. However, the article is a little outdated to date.

    I like to point out that, SC has been improving a lot. I claimed warranty in 5th years, things goes smooth. SC were able to meet expectation. Everything went through just like manufacturer warranty.

    History of my Jetta (CBU) registered in 2011.
    1. Light bulb malfunction (within 1st 1000KM) cost of replacement rm10 (I got it waived by SC)
    2. Battery malfunction after 4 years of using
    3. Speed sensor (one unit) mulfuction in 5th year – claimed under warranty.
    4. Mechatronic mulfuction first time in 5th year – claimed under service campaign
    5. Roof lining wearing off in 5th year – claimed under warranty.
    6. Clutch Pack replacement due to car juddering at gear 1 and 2 in 5th year – claimed under warranty.

    Note that this car has very low mileage and that why some parts are lasted so long.

    To be honest, the only trouble with this car is juddering at low speed. Other than that, it would be a perfect car if VW make it more reliable. Till date, I am still happy about this car. It was a fun car to be driven. When you need more power, push harder with you right foot. The smooth gear changing provided by DSG is irresistible (except at low speed). I will be looking forward my next car a Golf GTi.

    • May 28, 2016 at 8:56 am — Reply

      Wei,

      Glad to hear you’ve had good experience driving your car and I agree with you; it is addictive and there are few vehicles that can offer the same driving experience as a VW without costing an arm or a leg.

      And no, I disagree with you that the reason for parts lasting long is due to low mileage. Say what we want about continentals, the lifespan of their parts usually outlast Asian made vehicles. It is only when they put so much tech into a car that operates under different conditions that taxes it as a whole. I’ve known people who’ve done almost a quarter of a million kilometers and their car works fine. It also largely depends on how the vehicle is driven.

      The main issue is the people working there. Many have complained about their cars having this/that issue and perhaps that’s true but if they were treated properly (meaning have their concerns acknowledged, validated and looked after as a priority), most of these complaints may not even be made public. The lack of EQ hurts a business far more.

  27. VW Potential Buyer
    June 9, 2016 at 10:58 am — Reply

    hello.
    How about cross touran ..?
    either the issue was settled.Or just mimick from VW.
    Im planing to buy the new Cross Touran conjuctions with Hari Raya .

    My questions

    DSG 7 speed realiable for long term ownership?
    TSI Engine? electronic glitches?

    Actually im migrate from CFE Engine to world most outstanding Tsi Engine.

    • azura jalal
      June 20, 2016 at 4:13 am — Reply

      hi Potential Buyer..
      well aware of your concerns.. not yeat a long term owner but have had my cross touran for 2+yr now and very happy so far *service (ktn branch) has been a breeze & staff couldn’t be more professional and kind. during first service 15000 km they offered compulsory replacement of the dsg foc, said yes and all is fine as they explained all consequences if you decline, not that we’ve experienced anything weird with the unit since purchase. only minor issues thus far : tyre pressure sensor but justified

  28. Loh
    June 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm — Reply

    Hi kensomouse,

    I’m planning to get a brand new scirocco R manufactured in 2013. I know the gearbox is far more better than the 7 spd dry ones. But will the mechatronics failure problem occurs on R unit? Is the EA113 reliable?

    May I know the basic service or upkeep cost of the scirocco R? Anything I should be aware or concern about this unit? Thanks.

  29. Veda
    June 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm — Reply

    Hi Kensomuse,

    Really insightful info you have here, seems like vgm has improve over the years. I am actually tempted to join the ‘VW’ club and looking to purchase a second hand polo and I am torn between a 1.2 TSI (2013) or a 1.6 (2014) hatchback.

    Your advise is truly appreciated! Have a nice day!

  30. Passat Buyer
    June 28, 2016 at 10:17 am — Reply

    I am considering to buy a 2014 or 2015 demo passat. Any 2014 or 2015 passat owner here still face the same problem? Can share your experience as vw announced in 2014 that they have solved the problems?

  31. Ken
    July 18, 2016 at 6:24 pm — Reply

    hi, if i am considering on a 2011 imported Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI, the car was registered in 2012. Called the SC to ask if the previous owner has replaced the DSG transmission unit. The person says that the previous owner has did repairs on the ‘mechatronic’. What does Mechatronic mean? it is a very general term for so many parts in the car

    The previous owner has changed the transmission converter before. does that mean that the DSG has been replaced?

    When asked about the replacement of DSG units, the salesperson says that there is no such issue. Pretty confused because of this,
    Any advice would be helpful to make a decision on whether to buy the car or not

  32. July 21, 2016 at 12:34 am — Reply

    Hello guys,

    Looking forward to buy used mk6 golf 1.4 tsi 2012 se model.

    2 friend of mine using it without issue. However i still in dilemma should I proceed on buying it or not.

    Any experience or suggestions which can help me feel better?

    Appreciate it guys.

    • Aziz
      January 31, 2017 at 11:26 am — Reply

      So did u get the Mk6 TSI bro? How was it? I’m considering between that and Mk5 GTI now. Any advice could be helpful.

  33. Surend
    September 17, 2016 at 2:56 am — Reply

    Own a VW Passat 2011 model. 2nd hand mileage 50k.

    My current problems :
    – 1st gear nt smooth whn throttle softly
    – Sometimes feel like driving an manual car. 1st gear & Reverse gear. Car move frwd / backward whn about to move frm a point.

    • September 18, 2016 at 9:17 am — Reply

      Have you ask the mechanics to check the clutch plate?

      • Surend
        September 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm — Reply

        Told tis issue to a vw mechanic.
        He reply tat gt problem wit “mechatronic”.

        So which is the real problem ?
        Clutch plate or mechatronic ?

        Wanna knw it in advance before handed over in workshop

        Tq

  34. DOb168
    October 11, 2016 at 10:04 am — Reply

    My jetta is currently stuck in service center for 2 months due to piston crack. Still waiting for the part to come. It is really frustrating because few months before this happened, the gearbox problem already happened first, but the waiting was not that bad,around 1 month. But still, the fact that you need to pay the installment but not driving the car is killing my love to vw. It is fast, its the best feeling when you slammed the pedal to the floor, but you will keep being haunted of when will be the next problem. Luckily i got spare car. Anyway, besides these 2 problems, should i still be worried if the problem will arise again? I even think of selling off this car as i cant take anymore the waiting period to fix the issue. This is my 3rd year, its a 2013 car. The resale value is very very bad. Some used car dont even want to take it due to known problem. Hope someone can answer my question. Thanks.

    • It
      December 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm — Reply

      Me too, you should request for courtesy car

  35. passat
    November 20, 2016 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Hi, just want to know passat major service estimated price (for 60000km). Shedule service & price. Can someone pls help me..

  36. Amos
    December 27, 2016 at 5:16 pm — Reply

    Any known issues with 2.0 Scirocco?very tempted to get one.

  37. Zul
    January 20, 2017 at 11:14 am — Reply

    Hi there, tempted to get Golf MK7 used because the second hand prices are very attractive. Considering that the dsg issue should be solved, are there any known issues with MK7 even if it is maintained properly? tq

    • Hafiz
      April 24, 2017 at 9:32 am — Reply

      If possible try to search for pre own/demo unit/pre reg unit… very attractive price with almost new car condition 🙂

  38. Aziz
    January 31, 2017 at 11:29 am — Reply

    Hi Kenso.
    Planning to buy a used VW soon. Deciding if I should get a Golf GTI Mk5 or Golf TSI Mk6. What do u think? Any insight would be helpful.

    • February 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm — Reply

      There is a strong stigmata against the 7-speed dry clutch even though most of the issues are resolved. In my 6-year ownership of the Mk6 TSI, it encountered;-

      – 1 x mechatronic failure
      – 1 x piston failure (two piston rings)
      – numerous juddering issues which is common with DSGs

      My choice would be to go for the GTI even though it’s an older model. Hardly hear any issues with it but do be careful when buying a second hand turbocharged vehicle. You won’t know how the previous owner treated the car so pls inspect thoroughly.

  39. Khairul Anuar Bin Zainal
    February 11, 2017 at 3:17 am — Reply

    Hi Ken,

    I’m contemplating on being an owner of a used 2015 Passat Ex-Demo unit with less then 5k on the clock. My reason for this investment is to embark on the ever growing Uber / Grab fleet. Specifically the Uber Black and Grab Premium services and at the same time owning my myself one fine piece of german engineering. Would it be safe to say that the 2015 units would have the problems with the DSG Mechatronics solved before rolling out of the factory ?

    Could you or anyone help me by sharing the standard and major maintenance cost of the Passat. On the matter of the warranty coverage ? Is it still valid for secondhand users or is it just for first owners like some Nippon or K-pop cars that we have on our shores ? Thanks in advance.

    • February 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm — Reply

      Hi Khairul,

      I do believe that the DSG mechatronic issue has been resolved. Having experienced the failure and subsequent repair, there hasn’t been any issue with my 5-year + Golf TSI.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have the maintenance cost of the Passat but I do believe you can get a clearer answer from the authorised service centres.

      Pertaining to warranty coverage, I’ve not heard of warranty applying only to first hand users. Unless the first owner failed to adhere to the maintenance schedule or made some modifications that would void the warranty of the vehicle, the warranty should carry on to the next owner, Japanese/Korean or otherwise.

  40. February 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    Ken, very good and informative article written by you. Currently I am into my 6th year ownership of a Golf MK6 (mfg 2011- reg 2012). There are white smoke from my exhaust recently(only happen once). Took the car for a checkup and found loss of compression on one of the cylinders but according to the SC it is still within their spec. The car is currently out of warranty, will VW still bear the full repair of the engine block? My car has only done 65,000km, really hard to accept that the compression is low on one cylinder compared to the other 3. Advice from SC is to use the car until the symptoms gets worse before they could submit a report for goodwill repair which I have to bear some cost. I read in another blog that the engine block will cost 24k! I am in a dilemma whether to sell off the car before things get worse. Pls help.

  41. February 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    Piston rings issues are a common problems on the tsi engines which I have read from a lot of other blogs, any way to prolong the life of the engine without having it go thru this type of major repair? I am using Ron97.

  42. Rohaizad
    March 16, 2017 at 9:33 pm — Reply

    I’m using jetta just almost a month,anyone can tell me which RON should I use.?for a moment I’m using RON97.

    • 74
      April 6, 2017 at 2:11 pm — Reply

      I suggest u stick with ron 97, u may change to ron95 once they have the euro 4, current ron 95 is euro 2

  43. 74
    April 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm — Reply

    I own a MK7 1.4tsi (2013), currently the car has around 100k km mileage.

    The issue that i have endured was
    1. Mechatronic replacement, warrantied (2015 / 50k km) – i partly blame my self as do not know how to control the DSG yet by simply ramming and creeping during traffic jams

    2. Engine replacement, warrantied (2016 / 61k km) – happens almost immediately after major service due to damaged plugs (this cause scoring damage to the cylinder wall), i highly suspect this may come from the low plug quality or poor workmanship from the SC. Took about 2 months to resolved.

    3. Battery kaput (2015) – yeah simply due to old age, changed outside

  44. Hafiz
    April 24, 2017 at 9:25 am — Reply

    Salam & hi there

    I owned vw cross touran (2012) which bought pre own and vw polo gti (2012) bought 2nd hand.

    Both cars served me well. Cross touran mechatronic has replaced at no cost at all and the process very fast. Other than that no
    Issue with the cars.

    Polo gti is fun car to drive. Worth to buy, powerfull, love the induction sound when i pressed the paddle… sor far no issue with DSG..

    Just follow all the recomendation to prolong the DSG life.

    Other than that.. vw is good car.. peace ✌️

  45. Rion
    May 16, 2017 at 9:17 am — Reply

    Hi

    I would want to get a second hand volkwagen sharan. Any problems with this vehicle. Any owners care to share their thoughts and experience.

  46. Khairul Anuar Zainal
    June 1, 2017 at 10:08 am — Reply

    Heyya all,

    Could anyone recommend me which VW SC is currently giving the best service currently. I live in Shah Alam and I know that the Glenmarie SC is the nearest to where I work and live but I’ve been hearing that it’s service is poor. I don’t mind going some distance as long as it’s within Klang Valley. By the way, my car is the Passat 2015 registered and currently at 43700 KM on the trip.

  47. Dav
    June 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    Hi Ken,
    I have always like vw cars.. and owning a conti car has always been a dream. I’m now thinking of changing my cx5 to the new tiguan.
    The only thing making me consider otherwise is because of the dsg transmission. It’s a 6 speed dsg wet clutch… Not sure it’s the same dq200 but I hope it’s not.
    Any one currently considering the new tiguan and any advice on the transmission.. or should I just wait for the new cx5.. which looks not bad too to be honest

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