Replacement Arrangements

I received a call form a VWoA representative in the customer resolution and retention department to make arrangements for location and delivery of a replacement vehicle. I was pleased to hear from them so quickly after being told it might take a week or two. I was asked to provide the acceptable interior and exterior colors that would be suitable. I gave three choices as I am truly interested only in getting the replacement quickly and getting back to driving places with my family in our new car.

I asked if I would receive a 2013 or 2014 model year. I was told they’d search for a 2013 first, and then a 2014 if not available. This seems reasonable to me. I did read that there may have been steering system improvements for 2014. The rep could not confirm if this was the case, but said she’d find out and get back to me.

I told the rep that my confidence in this vehicle and in VW is extremely low at this point and asked what type of evaluation I’d be able to perform before accepting the replacement. Ideally, I’d like to drive it for a few days to a week to ensure it does not exhibit the same problem. I was told that I would have a chance to test drive it before acceptance but am unsure if that means anything more than a cursory drive. For now I’ll trust the process and worry about it once the replacement has been delivered to the dealership.

Meanwhile, we continue to take summer family trips in our loaner car, to which we have already added considerable mileage.

Replacement Decision

I received a call from my VWoA case representative informing me that he had met with the decision makers and they agreed to replace my car. He told me that I would be hearing from someone in VW Customer Resolution & Retention in one to two weeks to arrange the details of the replacement and that it usually takes another week  after that to take delivery of the replacement vehicle.

It was not made clear what model year replacement I will receive. I am hesitant to accept another 2013 as I understand the steering mechanism has been updated for 2014.

The steering rack has been replaced on the original car and still has not remedied the problem.

Problem Unresolved

I have owned my 2013 Touareg TDI Lux for 31 days. It has been in the shop with an unresolved handling problem for 17 days. It is still in the shop. VW has thus far denied my request for a replacement vehicle stating they need to exhaust all possible repair attempts before they’ll consider offering any remedies.

The steering wheel on this brand new car shakes persistently at any speed above 60mph making it unpleasant, if not dangerous, to drive. I bought this car to be our family car as we have an eight week old son and a two year old. My son asks me daily where the “new Touareg truck is”. I tell him “It’s in the shop, broken”.

To date the car has had all four wheels swapped out, three or four road force balance jobs performed, a new set of Michelin Latitude tires installed and replacement of both front drive shafts. I just learned that VWoA has now advised that the steering rack be replaced.

It is clear to me that VWoA is not certain of the cause of this problem and are now engaging in what I call “replacement therapy” rather than root cause analysis, hoping that one of these guesses turns out to be the solution.

I am not a free R&D platform for the third largest auto manufacturer in the world. Do your experimentation and analysis on your dime, in your facility, rather than putting my family and the local dealership through the wringer.

I have purchased only three new cars in my life, all of them VWs.  This one is not right and I want a replacement, not excuses and more quality time in the loaner car.