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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > TDI Power Enhancements

TDI Power Enhancements Discussions about increasing the power of your TDI engine. i.e. chips, injectors, powerboxes, clutches, etc. Handling, suspensions, wheels, type discussion should be put into the "Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)" forum. Non TDI vehicle related postings will be moved or removed. Please note the Performance Disclaimer.

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Old October 1st, 2000, 11:33   #1
Jeff Strachan
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Morrison, CO, USA
Default (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

It is with a heavy heart that I must post this. Not sure why I waited so long, perhaps I was hoping the problem would go away.

Some of you may recall I had the Wett chip installed this summer at their office in Indiana. I then drove on to Montreal and back to Colorado. Shortly after I got home, the turbo blew, with about 10K miles on my '00 Golf. The dealer where I bought the car replaced it under warranty. I did, however, tell them about the chip. The service guy said 'ok', just take it out before you leave the car with us, which I did, in their parking lot.

I tried in vain to determine the cause of the failure. The final word from the dealer was that it was a defective turbo, and he also stated that they get 1 bad one in 10. I thought this was an absurd statement and passed it off as uninformed. I still suspected in the back of my mind the Wett chip may have somehow been involved, so I didn't put it back in.

Just over a month ago I installed the TT exhaust upgrade. For those who say this does nothing without also adding a chip to change the fuel map, I beg to differ. There is more snort at the higer revs, even on a stock engine. Agreed, the chip is the single most bang for the buck, but the exhaust does do something.

Ok, I'm sidetracking. About 3 days after installing the exhaust I experienced a 2nd turbo failure. This left me stranded on the way home from driving my son to school. Fortunately a friend was driving by and drove me home.

I called VW roadside assistance and (4 hours later) had the car towed to the closest VW dealer. It is still there.

After a few days of hearing nothing from the dealer I called them. They were waiting to hear what VW had to say. The discussions I had with the tech and the service manager were all innuendo, but apparently not only was the turbo blown, but a new engine was also going to be required. When I asked if this is all covered under warranty, would I get a rental car, I continued to receive the same response: 'we have to wait to hear from VW'.

Over a week later I again called the dealer. I was informed that the VW regional technical field 'expert' had examined my vehicle and determined the ECM had been tampered with.

I went on to profess that the chip was not in the car when it blew up. Agreed that at one point a chip had been in there, but not since the turbo was replaced the first time under warranty, just 1200 miles previously! I asked for the name of the regional service 'God', did he inspect the ECM, what faults were thrown, etc.? The dealer tech that I was talking to told me that the regional guy noticed the ECM mounting bracket was bent. He pulled out the ECM but couldn't get it open. He also noted there was 'excessive' silicone sealant on the edges of the ECM. His final analysis was that it was 'tampered with' and thus the dealer was not to proceed with this work as warranty work.

I then spoke to the service manager and he told me there was nothing he could do - this regional tech guy makes the call. I asked how much all this would cost and he said ~$8500. I asked for this reginal guy's name and his phone number. He gave me his name, but I was not allowed to contact him directly. He told me he would have this guy call me. I called VW's customer service (ha!) line. They said they were aware of my situation and were waiting to hear what the regional field guy says. The next day they say my case is closed. The reginal field tech has the final word on determination of cause of failure, and what is or is not considered warranty work. And, all contact with this person must be through the dealer's service manager.

I call back the service manager, but he was out. I leave a message and tell him 'Harold' never called me back. I then started investigating Lemon Laws in CO, Magnuson-Moss, etc., etc. I called the BBB and started a case for arbitration. I continued to try to get in contact with this field rep through the service manager. No go. I recieved a package from the BBB but they want info that I don't have - work orders, etc. I want these too! I call the dealer again and ask that they fax all the stuff they have on my car. (Remember, this is NOT the dealer that I bought the car from, or the one that replaced the first turbo.) After a couple days they finally faxed me a bunch of stuff.

The hand-written scrawl on the work order reads "ECM Has been tampered with High Performance chip. Warranty Engine and Turbo repair is declined." Signed by Harold Gomez, Volkswagen of America.

I fill out the claim and send the 'package' back to the BBB. That same day VWoA calls _me_, noting that I've started making noise with the BBB. They reiterate that the field rep has the final word. I go on to tell her that the chip wasn't in the car but I realize I'm just talking to myself. Yes, I'm going to arbitration through the BBB autoline. Only today was I able to send the requisite paperwork back to them to make this official. This was all a week ago last Tuesday.

A week ago last Thursday I got a call from the service manager telling me (again) that Harold will definitely call me that day. He didn't. He called me the next day. Talk about defensive, arrogant, etc. "You wanted me to call you? What do you want?" I confirmed he never opened the ECM. "I didn't want to break it", he said. I knew for a fact that the Wett chip wasn't in there, and also have the VAG results from the dealer that ZERO faults were thrown. This guy keeps ragging on me that his word is *the* word. He didn't have to test the box because the mounting bracket was bent. "We've tested that chip and know it causes problems." What chip, I asked. "The ECM was tampered with." He mentioned something about 'our lawyers', blah, blah. I wish I had recorded the conversation to send to VW to show them how their field reps talk to their customers. This was a wasted conversation, but insightful to me just to hear what kind of... person I was dealing with. I thanked him for calling back and he then hung up on me.

I've also contacted Kelly at Wett about this. At that time (right after it happened) she was on her way to Germany and said she would bring this up with Frank. I asked if they can come up with some data that proves the chip did NOT cause this problem. She hasn't gotten back to me.

So, that's where I am. I expect to hear from the BBB and/or VW next week.

Jeff.
(Driving winter vehicle now, '87 Samurai. Ugh!)


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Old October 1st, 2000, 12:06   #2
Jeff Strachan
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Morrison, CO, USA
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

BTW, has anyone here ever gone through the arbitration thing with the BBB and an auto manufacturer?
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Old October 1st, 2000, 14:12   #3
hotrodtdi
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Can Am Border
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

we just traded in a 00 windstar on a 2001 jetta tdi, we had the windstar 6 months and 1 1/2 months were spent in the shop. we thought we were going to get another windstar without going through arbitration as the dealer told us that ford would rather take care of it in house. well 4 weeks later, after they told us it would take a week to get a decision, they wanted to look at the vehicle again, we had the van there for 4 weeks and now the service manager wanted to look at it. well after looking into lemon laws here in washington, it takes approx. 6 months from the time you start till a decision is made, we decided to eat our loss and traded it off instead of making another 6 months of payments. i will never buy another ford product. the happy ending is that we have another tdi i my wife loves the car. my 2 cents.

------------------
2000 black golf tdi auto. h&r coilovers. borbets 16 with 205 60 16 michelins. badgeless grille. hello euro tinted headlights and black tinted rear taillights. k&n filter.
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Old October 1st, 2000, 15:23   #4
Sun Baked GL
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Location: Furnace Valley, AZ
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Jeff,

Could you tell us what is wrong with the engine?

I'd think that a major engine failure would at least throw some error codes, or leave you with a part that is visibly broken.

Or can you tell us what is wrong with the turbo?

Has this dealer actually shown you physical mechanical damage?
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Old October 1st, 2000, 17:30   #5
Jeff Strachan
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Location: Morrison, CO, USA
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

I haven't seen the car since it was towed from the roadside. They said they removed "3/8th of an inch over 1 litre mark" of oil. Whatever that means. I had checked the oil just a couple days before and it was perfect.

When the turbo blew, like the last time, there was a huge smoke cloud out the back. Some have speculated that with the free flowing exhaust the oil was sucked out the tailpipe.

I pretty much know for sure the turbo is kaput. As for what happened to the engine I don't know exactly. They said 'at least 2 pistons weren't working'. Very technical description, not! I did look under the hood when I parked, and did not see any oil puddles or 'unwanted ventilation' holes.

I haven't ever even been to this dealership, so, no, I have no personal visible evidence of all this.
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Old October 1st, 2000, 17:49   #6
Rocket18k
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: monico, wi
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

i have personally had the worst time with vw dealers, service, and vws 800 number. they have all behaved poorly and i would never own a vw if it wasnt the only diesel car i can get with a manual tranny.

i had warranty work done that took a month and a half. i have had other warranty work not done, and then after it was out of warranty they wouldnt do the work even though it was reported to them and brought in during the warranty period.

and the cheap crap timing belt burns my butt, as i have lost 3 separate diesel engines in rabbits to the crap timing belt (yes i changed them)

in contrast i own a dodge diesel truck and a dodge caravan (that my wife drives) and dodge has been great to deal with in every way. things still go wrong, but they have bent over backwards making it right.

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Old October 1st, 2000, 18:45   #7
Turbo Steve
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Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Too bad we can get the service of Saturn, Mercedes, Lexus, or even Honda, with VW's excellent product. It wouldn't add much at all to the price per car if VW of America were to severily upgrade their service departments.
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Old October 1st, 2000, 19:54   #8
cdiamond
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Location: Destin, Florida, USA
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Get your car out of there!!!

There are people on this list much, much better informed about our engine control system, but I can not believe you could have a major engine failure and not have some, if not many, codes.

Hire a lawyer. And sue the **** out of them.

Johnny Diamond
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Old October 1st, 2000, 19:56   #9
SkyPup
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Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

What is it that is "blown" on the engine? This is very bizzare because the only thing that could blow the engine would be lack or oil or ingestion of something into the intake tract.

If the turbo failed, it does not fail all at once, it makes some seriously bad noises prior to failure with either of the wheels rubbing the housing or the bearing screeching. In fact if the turbine wheel fails it harms nothing since it is post engine and pieces go out the exhaust. If the compressor wheel fails most of the pieces will end up in the intercooler too. The only thing that could cause a compressor wheel failure is lack of oil or a clogged air cleaner and intercooler.

This does not sound kosher, a Wett chip does not destroy a TDI, nor does anything else except lack of oil, clogged air cleaner, clogged intercooler, or no cooling fluid.

I would sue them 100% since they have to PROVE it, not you.

The story of you having two turbo failures is very very strange. I would bet their mechanic F***ed your engine when changing out the tubo the first time and did not clean out the turbo oil feed.
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Old October 1st, 2000, 21:12   #10
Sun Baked GL
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Location: Furnace Valley, AZ
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Jeff,

Is there any proof of a mechanical failure, anywhere?

Wasn't too clear if you were getting the same turbo failure noise as last time.

Always check the simple things first, unless there is absolute proof that a specific part is bad, and you can see the damage caused by it or hold the bad part in your hand - even then with some dealers there is the risk that the part they show you is from a Camaro.
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Old October 1st, 2000, 21:23   #11
Tazzman
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Great White North ( south of N. Bay )
Fuel Economy: 78/65/55
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Ouchie wawa
I never heard any thing so ridiculous
Sky pup A nailed to the nose.
Sorry I find to little info coming back from the dealer and I d go back back as say Im getting a second opinion and a lawyer too.
this is more neg. and irresponsibilty to me.
Why did the turbo go the first time.
if they repaced it they should have results of some kind to figure what when wrong.
I dont enby you right now. but battle them


TAZZ

JS SMKN
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Old October 1st, 2000, 21:58   #12
mickey
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Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Jeff: They are trying to screw you...plain and simple. They f***ed something up when they replaced the turbo the first time. Obviously, the ECU "tampering" had nothing to do with this second failure.

I suggest you contact an attorney. This "arbitration" process sounds like a joke to me. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the law of the land, and isn't a bit ambiguous. I suspect that a couple of well-informed phone calls from an attorney will put them straight.

This really pisses me off. Doesn't VW realize the damage they could do to themselves with this kind of behavior?

-mickey
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Old October 1st, 2000, 22:12   #13
Jeff Strachan
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Morrison, CO, USA
Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

cdiamond, there are only 12554 miles on this car. The issue is one of warranty. Incidentally, if I 'loose', and have to pay out of pocket, ie, they *prove* the chip caused the failure, they only warrant their replacement parts and service for 12 months/12000 miles, and my extended warranty becomes basically worthless too.

SkyPup, I respect your comments on this forum, but I can (unfortunately) speak from experience. Turbos do go 'all at once'. With a big cloud of smoke out the tailpipe and a sudden and dramatic loss of power. Also, the oil pipe to the turbo was _replaced_, not just cleaned, when the 1st turbo was replaced. At least, one was on the parts list.

SunBaked, that seemed to be enough 'proof of mechanical failure' for me. That, and the engine dying, and then not even turning over.

I will try to find out more details from the dealer on what 'blown engine' means, but I have done that more than once on other vehicles, so I have a fairly good idea.

I am going to see where this BBB arbitration thing goes. Anyway, that is a required step in CO before I can sue their butts.

Don't worry guys (and gals), I'm in this fight to the end.
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Old October 2nd, 2000, 01:06   #14
truman
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Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

As Klintoon would say, "I can feel your pain". Ouch! This sounds as bad as dealing with an IRS agent. It would seem that you have a reasonable case, but may require legal representation to get a favorable outcome. The BBB does a good job- I hope they can help. At this point, regardless of the outcome this raises some major red flags regarding mods/warranty. If you end up having to pay for this, an independent garage could probably do a rebuild for a whole lot less. However, if someone other than a dealer does the work I would assume it raises warranty issues all over. At least with VW, it seems the warranty is about as good as an HMO health policy- they only cover what they choose to. Keep us posted. This case has far reaching ramifications.
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Old October 2nd, 2000, 06:41   #15
valois
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Default Re: (2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Jeff, if it goes down to lawyers, I am prepared to start a legal defence fund and contribute, you let us know, have your lawyer set the fund up and we will see if VW can or wishes to take the Forum on. We back em up once it makes it easier for the next guy who has problems, There is no way the Wett did this to your car, there is too much evedince of too many people using it without serious failures such as this. The main thing is to get your car out of there and inspected by an independant. You were upfront with them from the begining and they are using this against you, I could see the ECU being denied warranty for tampering but the car in total? They need to get real, real fast. Keep us apprised, I will testify in court as a witness in your defense if neccessary. DO not take this, you do not have to.
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