Design Flaw Leaks??

KatSaux

New member
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Location
California
TDI
2015 GSW
My 2015 GSW TDi has done it again: after a series of heavy rains, it flooded through the roof and into the door, shorting out the entire electrical system. This happened less than 2 weeks after I bought it (used) in November 2018. At that time the dealer repaired and replaced everything (took over a month) at no cost to me. This time they claim that I am at fault because I didn't clean out the guide rails in the sunroof adequately. Which I had no idea I was supposed to do, particularly since I have rarely used the sunroof at all! Their estimate is $20,000!!!! Almost as much as I paid for the car to begin with. I have heard rumblings that this same kind of leak has occurred to others. Design flaw? Lemon law? What options do I have to not break the bank? Any help is very appreciated. We are in Oakland, California.
 

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf GLS 5MT, '96 Passat variant
My 2015 GSW TDi has done it again: after a series of heavy rains, it flooded through the roof and into the door, shorting out the entire electrical system. This happened less than 2 weeks after I bought it (used) in November 2018. At that time the dealer repaired and replaced everything (took over a month) at no cost to me. This time they claim that I am at fault because I didn't clean out the guide rails in the sunroof adequately. Which I had no idea I was supposed to do, particularly since I have rarely used the sunroof at all! Their estimate is $20,000!!!! Almost as much as I paid for the car to begin with. I have heard rumblings that this same kind of leak has occurred to others. Design flaw? Lemon law? What options do I have to not break the bank? Any help is very appreciated. We are in Oakland, California.
Yes, there is at least one design flaw and a few potential manufacturing flaws/parts failures that can contribute to this. There is Service Campaign 60E5, that attempts to address the design flaw, but if it is narrowly interpreted by the dealer as applying to the front drain tubes only, it is an incomplete solution. A good place to start is this sunroof drain tube check valve removal article that also includes a little bit of background on the problem.

Even if all sunroof drain tubes are clear, free of check valves and there are no manufacturing flaws or part failures, there MAY still be a limit to the volume of water they will drain that monsoon rain events can exceed. That happened to my GSW before I removed the check valves (and wrote that article), and I haven't had any problems since, but I also haven't experienced any biblical rain rates again.

I assume the dealers removed the check valves and snaked the tubes, but I would confirm that they did (and the rears, too). If they did, then the next step(s) are more involved, but at least there is a factory roadmap for those procedures. Their argument about cleaning the guide rails is, as you suspected, complete nonsense.
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
If it were me....I would take photos to document that they did not complete the service according to the Service Campaign, and then check to see if there have been any other bulletins. Armed with a list of official VW documents citing the issue, the name of an attorney, and photos, you might then approach different dealers followed by VWoA.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
agreed see if you can get a dealer to quote you 15,000 for repairs, 20K is just plan crazy!!!!
 

N97420

New member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Location
Coos Bay, Oregon
TDI
2015 Golf Sportswagen TDi
My 2015 GSW TDi has done it again: after a series of heavy rains, it flooded through the roof and into the door, shorting out the entire electrical system. This happened less than 2 weeks after I bought it (used) in November 2018. At that time the dealer repaired and replaced everything (took over a month) at no cost to me. This time they claim that I am at fault because I didn't clean out the guide rails in the sunroof adequately. Which I had no idea I was supposed to do, particularly since I have rarely used the sunroof at all! Their estimate is $20,000!!!! Almost as much as I paid for the car to begin with. I have heard rumblings that this same kind of leak has occurred to others. Design flaw? Lemon law? What options do I have to not break the bank? Any help is very appreciated. We are in Oakland, California.
We just discovered this issue on our 2015 GSW.
 

N97420

New member
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Location
Coos Bay, Oregon
TDI
2015 Golf Sportswagen TDi
My wife just discovered the same issue with our 2015 GSW, that we bought new in 2017. She hopped in her car from work to head home for lunch and discovered water everywhere. We live on the rainy Oregon coast and always figured that VW, because of their long exterior corrosion warranty was the car to have in this wet environment, guess their is always a hitch.
I’d rather not use my insurance and since it is a manufacturer defect and all of our service is done at the VW dealership, they are responsible for any needed maintenance.
 

whizznbyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Location
Waxhaw, NC
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen 6 speed manual. B5 died at 302k miles.
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