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Volkswagen New Beetle, Coupe, Hatchback
Feb 12, 2004 (11:06 pm)
I have just bought a 2003 TDI New Beetle, my first VW vehicle and so far I am very pleased with it. I have three dogs and a bike and clearly they do not all fit in the back at the same time. I don't think I can hoist my bike on top of the roof with VW's recommended bike carrier so am considering having a 1 1/4" receiver hitch installed to accommodate a two or three bike carrier such as a Swagman XP. Has anyone any experience of this? Is there enough clearance on a Beetle to avoid bumps etc.?
#604 of 760 98 NB GL & 99 NB GLX problems
Mar 02, 2004 (7:59 pm)
February 16, 2004
Volkswagen Customer Relations
3800 Hamlin Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
To Whom It May Concern:
Let me tell you that you are dealing with a very upset customer. I have officially decided not to purchase another Volkswagen or foreign vehicle of any kind for the rest of my life. I have experienced nothing positive with your NEW VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE. The best way for me to explain my unhappiness is to do it in a timeline format. Let us begin!
Date Dealer Comments/Problems Mileage
at Time of Service (from previous service)
June 2, 1998 Forest Imports Purchased my first car, a brand new ’98 VW New Beetle GL, VIN# 3VWBB61CXWM013081 with 85 miles. 85
June 11, 1998 Forest Imports First problem with the vehicle. Only 9 days old. Check ABS light came on. Cause was an electrical malfunction. 230
July 6, 1998 Forest Imports First recall on the vehicle. Four items replaced due to the recall; air bag wiring, ground wire recall, reposition oil cooler, and electrical malfunction. Also mechanics were having a hard time starting the vehicle. 255
Sept. 23, 1998 Forest Imports Rear seat head rests were hard to remove in order to enlarge trunk space. Replaced the head rest guides. 1817
Oct. 15, 1999 Forest Imports First oil change. Performed at 2,253 miles on the vehicle. Rear head rest molding was installed and 5,000 mile maintenance was performed. 2253
Nov. 2, 1999 Forest Imports Head rests are still giving difficulties. They are stuck. Replaced guides for head rest and performed owed seat repair. 2633
Feb. 4, 1999 Forest Imports Remote control sometimes wasn’t working properly. Front and rear splash guards were added. 4106
March 11, 1999 Forest Imports Driver side brake light burned out. Another recall (BV). 5843
March 30, 1999 Forest Imports No oil found in engine when using the dipstick provided. Cause? Oil leaking? Car was taken for a trip from Addison, IL to Pinckneyville, IL. One-way distance 330 miles. 3-qts. of oil were added for the ride back to Addison, IL. Dealer suggested the car go on an oil consumption test. 6377
April 14, 1999 Forest Imports Follow-up on oil consumption test. Engine was making a clicking noise. 6901
May 17, 1999 Forest Imports 10,000 mile maintenance and oil consumption test. 1.5-quarts were added after 350 miles of travel. 8617
June 7, 1999 Forest Imports Oil consumption test performed. Added .425/qt. at this time. Oil consumption considered normal. Total miles on car were 9,172 miles. Customer feel burning and loosing oil this early is a bad sign. 9172
July 6, 1999 Forest Imports Oil consumption test performed. No oil added. 9798
July 24, 1999 Forest Imports Customer unhappy and uncomfortable with vehicle. Dealer offers to purchase vehicle in exchange for the purchase of a new vehicle. Customer elected to lease because of the problems with the first vehicle. New vehicle is a ’99 VW New Beetle GLX; VIN# 3VWDD21C8XM468637 with 125 miles on it. 1998 Beetle traded-in at 10,226 miles.
1999 Beetle delivered with 125 miles.
Oct. 11, 1999 Forest Imports Right front headlight inoperable. Driver power window moody. Bulb replaced along with window regulator switch. Replaced broken passenger rear parking light lens. 2859
Dec. 20, 1999 Forest Imports 5,000 mile service. Rear hatch (trunk) will not open at times with the remote. Dealer performed TSB 5559 to correct problem. 5243
March 30, 2000 Forest Imports 10,000 mile service. 10,255
Aug. 28, 2000 Forest Imports Check engine light came on. Loose ground wire on battery. 13,581
Aug. 31, 2000 Forest Imports Replaced front license plate bracket broken by dealer. Brake light switch was replaced. 13,712
Oct. 14, 2000 Forest Imports 57 point inspection with oil change. 14,441
March 12, 2001 Forest Imports Oil change and oil leaking in front end area. Cylinder head cover and gasket were replaced. 16,825
Sept. 27, 2001 Larry Roesch Larry Roesch bought out Forest Imports. Oil change and tire rotation. 19,891
Feb. 11, 2002 Larry Roesch Oil Leak and Oil Change. Replaced gasket set AGAIN! 23,222
June 17, 2002 Larry Roesch Check engine light came on. Faulty MAF and coolant temperature sensor. 25,018
Aug. 24, 2002 Larry Roesch Brake fluid flushed and oil changed. 25,781
Dec. 30, 2002 Larry Roesch Brake light is staying on and won’t shut off. Replaced brake lamp switch. 28,403
Jan. 2, 2003 Larry Roesch Car in for oil change. Tech noticed rear brakes are 10% and recommends replacement of pads and rotors. Service for pads and rotor performed by MIDAS on 1/11/2003 with a LIFETIME WARRANTY. 28,447
March 7, 2003 Larry Roesch Oil change. 29,632
Aug. 5, 2003 Larry Roesch Oil change. 32,426
Nov. 8, 2003 Larry Roesch Passenger headlamp and climate control bulbs are burned out. Recall on brake lamp switch was already replaced once on 12/30/02. 34,388
Nov. 10, 2003 Larry Roesch Brake pedal not springing back after being pressed. Faulty brake light switch and replaced it. 34,446
Nov. 28, 2003 Larry Roesch Brake pedal is still giving problems. Internal brake booster binding slightly. Replaced booster assembly, bleed brakes, and road test. One day car rental. Bill was paid by extended warranty. 34,615
Jan. 5, 2004 Larry Roesch Headlight bulb burned out. 35,245
Feb. 16, 2004 Larry Roesch Check engine light came on. Dealer called it SES light. Car needs a secondary air pump assembly (cracked housing). Customer requested brake inspection. Fluid level in master cylinder checked. Owner declined repairs because not covered under extended warranty. Cost would be $700-$800. 36,051
As you can see, I have quite a time line of unhappiness. Only 7 smooth visits out of 35 for both vehicles. That is only 20% of TRUE SATISFACTION!!!! I will definitely never suggest a VW to anyone!
It would be wonderful if I could just turn this piece of $41+ into the dealer and say keep it per your orders! But I am sure that you would not dare to make a customer happy. I have this car until 7/24/2004 and I plan on turning it in by that time. You have definitely lost two customers; my husband and I.
I have enclosed copies of all the paperwork that I have received from the dealer every time I picked up my vehicle. “Seeing is believing.” I have only 4 more payments on this lease. I feel the car is not even worth the amount I still owe!
After mailing the above 6 page letter to VW of America, they finally called me on 3/2/04 at work just to say that, "because the vehicle is leased and out of warranty that there is nothing they can do." And again for ? time the check engine light came on again after talking to VW of America earlier in the day.
Mar 03, 2004 (5:47 am)
I am very sorry to hear about the severe issues you have experienced with your 2 New Beetles. I completely understand your frustration, but the tone of your letter did not help your cause. You have EVERY reason to be frustrated and upset, but making the comment "I have officially decided not to purchase another Volkswagen or foreign vehicle of any kind for the rest of my life" seems very emotion driven. Also, at the point you are in your lease there is not much VW can do to satisfy you. I guess they can offer for you to turn your car in early with no penalty or maybe reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses. But, they probably realize that they have lost you as a customer already, so why spend more money.
I do agree that you have every right NOT to buy another VW product and I wouldn't either if I were in your position. I guess I should feel lucky that my Jetta has been trouble free in the 28,000 miles I have had it.
Good Luck and I would suggest a Honda or Toyota for your next purchase.
#606 of 760 new beetle problems
Mar 11, 2004 (4:41 pm)
Why did you lease another Beetle after experiencing so many problems with the first one? This is something I would never do - if I bought a lemon, I would definitely not try the same car again to see if I get lucky this time.
#607 of 760 p100 - New Beetle
Mar 12, 2004 (4:45 am)
I would agree that some would be scared to lease another NB after experiencing problems with a previous Beetle. But, since ALL manufactures have lemons, maybe dmb was hoping that it would be a rare instance for another VW to have the same problems.
#608 of 760 Panic Alarm
Mar 16, 2004 (1:16 pm)
I have a 2001 VW Beetle deisal. When using the remote to lock the car sometimes the panic alarm would go off. Also, if the alarm didn't go off during locking, sometimes exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes later the panic alarm would go off. There seemed to be no reason for this. No one touch the car the wind wasn't blowing. Took to the dealer and they replaced the lock in the passenger door. Now for 3 weeks the remote seems to lock the car okay, but today after being locked for 1 hour and fifteen minutes the panic alarm went off. Anyone have a similar problem?
#609 of 760 When do the 2005 come out?
Aug 05, 2004 (8:42 am)
Does anyone know when the 2005 VW Beetles come out in the states?
#611 of 760 Re: Another letter to VW, cont
Aug 15, 2004 (11:42 am)
In the summer of 2003, you had a life-long VW customer. Now, in the summer of 2004, I wouldn't buy a VW if you sold it to me for $1. That's correct: $1 US dollar. Not now, not ever. Nor will the friends, family and many colleagues who have witnessed my ordeals first- hand. Customer loyalty, I think you may find in future, is a matter of principle.
Quite soon I should think that Volkswagen might be saying in a rather different sense: 'Drivers wanted'.
Well, President Klauss, I very much hope you enjoyed my story. For I believe that very soon you will be reading it everywhere.
Dissatisfied VW customer
#612 of 760 Re: Another letter to VW, cont [bluelemon]
Aug 17, 2004 (5:53 am)
Dear VW USA President,
As the President of Volkswagen, I thought you might like to hear of my recent experience in purchasing a product from your company. It is a story from which not only you, but many others, can learn, and one which I am anxious to share.
I spent many years admiring Volkswagen cars for both their styling and espoused reliability, before I could finally afford to purchase one after I completed graduate school in 2002. In 2003, I proudly purchased a second-hand 1999 New Beetle GL, 2.0L, with a manual transmission and 50540 on the odometer. I had the car service checked by a AAA technician prior to purchase, to make sure it was in good condition, and I drove away a relatively happy customer. I was given no warranty brochure and no information about the manufacturer's warranty at this time.
As I rarely drove the car in the first month of ownership, I made my first journey in it when I moved from ****to ****. This is the last time I drove the car happily. My ten year admiration of Volkswagen began to dissipate one month into ownership. Immediately after the 350 mile drive, the 'check engine light' came on in my vehicle, and I lost power between gears. I spent the next four months and nearly $700 trying to fix this problem, including two visits to an extremely unreliable, unfriendly and not especially knowledgeable dealership (about whom I complained to VW USA).
It was during the next couple of months (September--October 2003) that I discovered the excessive oil consumption of the car. I drove one thousand miles without checking the oil in the Beetle, and the level went so low it caused the engine to knock. VW claims in one of their technical service bulletins (1701) that this level of consumption (one quart per thousand miles) is normal. If so, may I suggest that oil gauges similar to petrol gauges be fitted into the instrument panel? Since this is a most unusual characteristic of an automobile, the ignorance of which could cause the destruction of the engine, I think the driver should have an easy way of knowing when a refill is needed (usually every 2-3 weeks), as with the petrol.
In the new year, the Beetle suffered a spate of small problems. The battery died at 58K. Door handles and the finish on the parking brake wore. A cupholder broke off. The plastic grid at the front snapped. No one could fix the power mirrors which had never worked. However, this was a time of relative peace between me and the Beetle. Although I dreaded the return of the infamous check engine light , everything seemed to be fixed for the first time. I call this period, 'The Calm Before the Storm'.
The storm blew in around June 2004, with 60000 miles on the odometer, to mark the anniversary of one year of unhappy ownership, I heard a noise upon releasing the clutch at start up. Taking the car to the shop, I was told to replace the starter motor. This cost me $500. I also had the car fully serviced, which cost me $600. The replacement of a blown tail light and a new windshield blade cost another $130.
At this point, my family and friends began to beg me to sell the car. And at this point, I was afraid to pass on my problem to someone else. And would it were, but that's not the end of my story.
Whilst on my way home from work (odometer 67000) at the end of July, I heard an awful scraping sound coming from the transmission. I feared the worst, and received it. The mechanic diagnosed an 'internal failure', very similar to the one I suffered when told my repair bill, to replace the entire transmission: $2900! One third of the purchase price of the car.
It was at this point I called the customer service representatives at VW USA, and was informed that I was not covered under the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. as I was not the car's original owner. I was however told that, due to recalls, I could have my Mass Air Flow Sensor replaced; my windows fixed if they fell into the door; and my complaint documented. And that was that. Mr Klaus, don't you think a warranty should stand behind a car, not an owner? I should very much like to know why, if VW have faith in their product, this policy is in effect.
A week ago I collected my car from the mechanic. The clutch, they found out, was also 75% worn, and also needed replacement. The bill was nearly $3500. A day or so after I collected it, the lock system was mistiming, and a $1 door switch needed replacement. VW, however, only offers a whole new latch. This repair cost me $250.
A year of VW ownership has cost me nearly $6000 (not including routine service, such as oil changes), as well as untold amounts of depression and inconvenience. It has sunk me to a level of debt I did not anticipate.
Additionally, the car has spent over a month in total in repair shops, leaving me stranded. It is now for sale, despite my qualms of conscience over selling such a sour lemon to another unknowing human being.
Mr **, the one thing you should know, if you learn nothing else from my story, is that I am not alone. You can refer to websites such as myvwlemon.com, suckercars.com, and others: a short Google search brings up many such websites entirely devoted to problems with modern VWs. On these sites, you can, and you should, read about some of the misery, expense and inconvenience these cars have caused their unfortunate owners.
To satisfy my own curiosity, and to sooth my misery with company, last night I looked through moderated discussion groups on other web sites: edmunds.com, carsurverys.org, Consumer Reports. Each and every site had a long discussion regarding problems with VWs. For the two good reviews I read, I must have read 100 very bad ones. Included in these were some very negative comments about VW Customer Service and poor quality dealerships (corroborated by my own experience).
The complaints myself and other owners have voiced are not minor problems. They are major issues, and they have a routine similarity: transmission and engine failure, fuse boxes melting, persistent check engine light, electrical fires, window collapses, and so on. These issues are not only excessively expensive to repair; they are also safety hazards.
As I am sure you know, modern companies are based on brand image. But perhaps you do not know that the current brand image of Volkwagen-- among the volks, anyhow, who actually drive the car-- is failure. We unhappy few have found to our misfortune that, due to the cost of repairs, a total lack of reliability, poor customer service, poor dealership service, and the refusal of Volkswagen to stand behind the car with their warranty (rather than use it as a buyer incentive), these cars have become one of the least attractive options on the market.
The drivers Volkswagen advertised for are out there, telling their stories. I think you should listen.
In the summer of 2003, you had a life-long VW customer. Now, in the summer of 2004, I wouldn't buy a VW if yo