(2nd) blown turbo, blown engine, no warranty - Wett caused, says VW

Jeff Strachan

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 27, 1999
Location
Morrison, CO, USA
TDI
2000 Golf GL TDI
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!)
 

hotrodtdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2000
Location
Can Am Border
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.
 

Sun Baked GL

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Location
Furnace Valley, AZ
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?
 

Jeff Strachan

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 27, 1999
Location
Morrison, CO, USA
TDI
2000 Golf GL TDI
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.
 

Rocket18k

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2000
Location
monico, wi
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.
 

Turbo Steve

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2000
Location
.
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.
 

cdiamond

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2000
Location
Destin, Florida, USA
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
 
S

SkyPup

Guest
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.
 

Sun Baked GL

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Location
Furnace Valley, AZ
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.
 

Tazzman

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 1999
Location
Great White North ( south of N. Bay )
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
 
M

mickey

Guest
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
 

Jeff Strachan

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 27, 1999
Location
Morrison, CO, USA
TDI
2000 Golf GL TDI
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.
 

truman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 18, 2000
Location
columbia,MO,usa
TDI
'05 Passat Variant, Still miss the 03JW
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.
 

valois

Banned
Joined
Jan 11, 2000
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.
 

Stealth TDI

Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 1998
Location
Newport News, VA
TDI
2017 GTI w/PP, LP, & APR Stage 2 (336 hp/404 lb-ft)
Hi,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jeff Strachan:
cdiamond, there are only 12554 miles on this car. The issue is one of warranty... they only warrant their replacement parts and service for 12 months/12000 miles, and my extended warranty becomes basically worthless too.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unless the new turbo was installed when the car had only 553-miles on it, there's no way that turbo is out of warranty. Regardless, any turbo is covered for AT LEAST the first 24,000-miles... more if you're in an "emissions" state (CA, MA, NY, others?). Your turbo ISN'T out of warranty. Even if your car had 150k, the NEW turbo would come with a 12-mo/12k warranty. Get the Wett-Whacked-the-ECU "ruling" overturned and there is NO issue with the warranty, unless the 2001 Warranty summary is different from the others.

Good Luck,



------------------
Scott's Jetta TDI Page and TDIClub.com Stuff
98 Jetta TDI w/88k, 802-mi/55-mpg (best)
 
S

SkyPup

Guest
This entire situation stinks. No way a Wett chip is responsible for blowing an entire engine. this simply is not for real. Only 12,000 miles on the car? Hell, my two Wetted TDI have run hard for 70,000 miles without one lick of hassle. This is absurd, there is absolutely NO WAY a chip caused this.

It would be nice to find out exactly what is the "Blown Engine", ie sucked something into combustion chamber, failed valve sucked in, glow plug sucked in, water in injector and then sucked in, etc.

This is one crock of BS you are getting from you dealer. The entire engine is toast due to a chip? Preposterious
 

Drivbiwire

Zehntes Jahr der Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 1998
Location
Boise, Idaho
TDI
2013 Passat TDI, Newmar Ventana 8.3L ISC 3945, 2016 E250 BT, 2000 Jetta TDI
A car with a bad turbo should still run just fine (minus the extra power) no? I think something else is a miss here.

$8500 for a turbo? the little thing is only about a grand plus a few hours of labor.

DB
 

rgoetz

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
Location
NJ
TDI
None currently
Jeff, you're having everyone's nightmare.

But you sound very determined--good! Keep fighting, and (as others have said) get a lawyer.
 

Gary Miyakawa

Admin Emeritus
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Location
Roswell, Ga
TDI
1998 NB TDI
Jeff,

Since when does it VOID a warrenty to open a box that YOU OWN and isn't marked as "will void warrenty if opened" ?!?!?

I must agree with everyone else, something is very much a miss here....

Best of luck, you have a BUNCH of people behind you!

Gary
 

jaydhall

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 2, 1999
Location
Aurora Colorado
TDI
2012 Passat SE, 1999 NB, 1999.5 Jetta GLS, 2004 Jetta
Jeff, what dealers are we talking about here? I need to know. I am in Aurora and would like to at least be forewarned. Thanks.
You can email me direct if you do not want to share them publicly for some reason.
 

dparnell

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 1999
Location
Herron Island, WA
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
Count me in for the legal fund. A friend of mine has a sun who is a real estate attorney. He has a sure fire way to get results---recently my friends car was hit by a shopping cart @ Costco---they always deny it's their fault. The son drew up the complaint, sent a copy to Costco with a cover letter saying this would be filed on such and sych a date unless settled. His phone was ringing off the hook---they paid him more that the amt of the complaint.
BTW, make sure the arbitration is not binding.

------------------
Forum's only distributor for nasty pills and suppositories
 

cars wanted

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 1999
Location
Rockville, Maryland U.S.A.
TDI
Golf GLS-TDI, 2000, white/beige
Jeff, I'm sorry to read of your TDI troubles, and VWoA's shoddy handling of this problem. I agree with Valois, and I too will kick in money to a legal defense fund, should it come to that.
If this is happening to you, it could happen to any one of us.
 

GeWilli

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 6, 1999
Location
lost to new england
TDI
none in the fleet (99.5 Golf RIP, 96 B4V sold)
It just doesn't sound right.

Maybe you can have it towed to dealer that put the turbo in. Have them take a look. It might turn out that they "botched" the installation and that their service department is liable for the Turbo blowing. And maybe it had something to do with the enigne as well.

Can't you get a whole engine for less than $8500? Has anyone checked into how much it would cost to get a TDI crate engine? Or if they even can sell just the engine?

Take out this engine, leave it with them to fix or warranty, buy a new one put it in while they are dicking you around and then when they rebuild it or replace it, hang on to it or sell to someone who needs a new engine for a TDI replacement or transplant. . .

JAT- GeWilli

PS good luck - we are all supporting you
 

GeWilli

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 6, 1999
Location
lost to new england
TDI
none in the fleet (99.5 Golf RIP, 96 B4V sold)
(A point was brought up I wanted to address)

The only problem with Expert testimony is that you have to pay for it.

I have been involved in some "expert testimony" situations. In all cases we were able to present enough info to make the other side quickly ask for a settlement, so I was never required to be called.

It involved being compensated for travel, and travel time. Court time was paid if we were to be on the stand or not - something like $200 an hour. Travel was close to $70 an hour I think, and that was all in addition to the billing we did for all the analysis. I was the subcontractor and I billed the primary contractor ~$100 an hour (includes instrument hour use), I am sure the contractor turned around and billed at $150 or $200 for my services.

Anyway, I would emphasis that unless this is a matter of principal and you are finacially capable of the undertaking see if you can go about this any other way.

By the time you get through with a lawyer consultation fees you could probably buy a TDI enigne and have it put it and come out ahead - even if you have to buy the turbo.

Good luck and - Oh yeah I hope VW hasn't checked this thread cause you might have given them enough info to deny claims.

[This message has been edited by GeWilli (edited October 02, 2000).]
 

wyseguy

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 18, 1999
Location
Aldie, VA
TDI
wyseguy100
My car was the source of many headaches this past spring. I had a transmission (5 spd) go out in 12354 miles, and then the replacement go out in 14550, then a driveshaft, then a front motor mount. Now my car had 617 miles on it when I purchased it as NEW, wrong move, The case was in arbitration for the lemon law for almost 4 months. I lost the case and VW offered me 2000$ credit towards a new car, with no mention of purchasing the old one back. I am still trying to figure out what I will do. The car was stock at the time of both failures. Hope your case goes more smoothly than mine did.
 

ertzog

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 10, 1999
Location
SW corner of Michigan
TDI
2K Golf, 05 Sprinter 118
** legal disclaimer ** nope, this is not legal advice, just a short story of my personal experience involving BBB **

I have drafted several BBB arbitration decisions, its rare that a rational consumer loses (the rust proofing companies and home improvement/roofers hate me). I expect you will win if VW lets it get that far.

Document everything that has happened, especially how VW paid the first time when you had a Wett in it, anyway. How VW did all the repairs the first time and since then there is no chip and only pipes have been added. How they have been unable to explain what happened or even verified what a "tampered ecu" has to do with a 2nd failed turbo. Search this site for Magnusson Moss Act info - it is correct they have to prove it. Given the above, they don't have any proof.

Be succinct and prepared, you will win. More often than not, the company involved sends an uninformed stroke that can not even speak for what has occured - arbitrators hate this waste of time and stick it to them.

Good luck!

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Blk/Blk Debadged 2000 Golf GL TDI
 
M

mickey

Guest
If you need any kind of sworn testimony from Wetterauer customers, let us know! I'll be more than happy to provide all the information to you that I can.

And I think the "legal defense fund" is a great idea! There are nearly 3000 forum members. Since this issue is near and dear to any of us who have modified our cars we should be lining up to offer money. Write me down for $50 U.S. right now! I'd be glad to contribute. It's time that VWoA and their shady dealer network got an eyefull of what a Forum this big can accomplish. Perhaps the Vortex could be called into action, too! They have a lot of VR6 and 1.8T guys out there who have done some "non approved" things to their cars.

-mickey
 

Turbo Steve

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2000
Location
.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C))

This federal law regulates warranties for the protection of consumers. The essence of this law concerning aftermarket auto parts is that a vehicle manufacturer may not condition a written or implied warranty on the consumers using parts or services which are identified by brand, trade, or corporate name (such as the vehicle makers brand) unless the parts or service are provided free of charge. The law means that the use of an aftermarket part alone is not cause for denying the warranty. However, the law's protection does not extend to aftermarket parts in situations where such parts actually caused the damage being claimed under the warranty. Further, consumers are advised to be aware of any specific terms or conditions stated in the warranty which may result in its being voided. The law states in relevant part:

“No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name....” (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)).

http://www.sema.org/fedleg/warranty/atta.html
 

pizzaman

Vendor
Joined
Jul 4, 2000
Location
Newfoundland, Canada
TDI
2011 GOLF TDI
"Blown engine" is not a technical term, but one used by teenagers simply because they don't know what they're talking about. VW better give you a detailed report of what they tested and how. Somehow I don't believe there is anything seriously wrong with the motor. If you didn't notice overheating or oil pressure drop prior to the break down, the only possibility left is something sucked in the intake (highly doubtful) or the timing belt slipped or broke. If they are going to blame you for it, they better tell you what exactly happened.
Jeff, I hope you don't have to pay for the repair, but if they nail you, don't go giving them 9K. You'll fix the car for about $3000 even if you need to totally rebuild the engine.
 
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