Motortrend asked a good question

South Coast Guy

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Interesting article and responses mostly complaining about quality and reliability. Unfortunately, there are difficult areas to improve. Cars are fantastically complicated with lots of electronics. Quality? One poster complains about the lack of technology in VWs. I think there is too much. GPS is a big waste of time for the average driver who rarely goes more than 100 miles from home. Fancy stereos? Remember you are riding in a car, not sitting in your home.

I would like to see more styling so that VW cars don't look like everyone else's sedans. I would like to see leather as an option for interiors.
 

eb2143

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I agree it's interesting to see the general perception of VW focuses on reliability problems. One generation, the MKIV (plus the brief move upmarket in mid 2000s (e.g. phaeton, V10 engine)), is driving this perception in my opinion. I don't have any data but I feel like reliability has been average or a bit above average recently. They got the BIG things right the the MKIV, but there are so many annoying little issues that cost the average owner (NOT A DIYer) a lot of money at their dealership.

I also agree that VW has a big image problem right now. They don't have much of an identity.
 
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Mike in Anchorage

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http://www.truedelta.com has reliable data for many cars. I've added my cars to the list of date they collect. Maybe we do need to update perceptions of reliability.
 

kjclow

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Thanks Mike. Yes, it's the perception of quality that is hurting VW. Most people think of VWs in two categories: original Beetles that ran for ever, where cheap, and easy to maintain, or everything built since than that is more expensive to buy and maintain. Before I owned TDI and then became a fanatic (as my wife would say), I couldn't have picked out the difference between a MK2 and a MK4.
 

IFRCFI

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One poster complains about the lack of technology in VWs. I think there is too much. GPS is a big waste of time for the average driver who rarely goes more than 100 miles from home. Fancy stereos? Remember you are riding in a car, not sitting in your home.

You are 180 degrees opposite of the average consumer. Technology sells, much more than the underlying car. WiFi hotspot in the car, auto-park, adaptive cruise, lane departure. The average consumer is laser focused on this 'stuff'.

VW has a reputation problem cultivated over many years of mis-steps that will be impossible to shake.

I enjoyed my Jetta. I love the Touareg. That said, I'll never own a VW outside of some type of factory sponsored warranty.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
A lot of it is consumer ignorance. And that is something that simply does not mix well with German cars. That said, I think the global melting pot of cars, car companies, and components, changes the game quite a bit on that front. But certain tangible things that the consumer sees and touches and uses put a mask over some underlying problems, and often the wrong party gets "blamed".

Right now, the mish-mash of components in cars is crazy. I am amazed they can make it work in any harmony at all.

BMW reinvented Mini from scratch, and used a Chrysler [gas] engine or a Toyota [diesel] engine at first, bolted to either a Getrag manual, a ZF CVT, or an Aisin (Toyota) automatic. Assembled in the UK, with Delphi shocks from Mexico, and a hodge-podge of Bosch, Siemens, and Denso bits making it all tick. Is it any wonder these cars got beat up on reliability when they first debuted?

One of the reasons the original Beetles were as good as they were from a reliability and ease of service standpoint was that essentially every part of the car was designed, built, and assembled in one place, and that one place was the single largest market at first for the product. So if something didn't work, didn't fit, or simply failed to perform as expected, you could quite literally drive over to the person or persons responsible for it and clue them in to the problem. And since the cars were so brutally simple to begin with, there was not all that much TO go wrong. Those cars were far from perfect, though.

Unfortunately, that image, good or bad, seems to hang with the company even today. They can't seem to shake it. And when they tried to embrace it, with the New Beetle in the late '90s, it may have helped or may have backfired, depending on whose opinion you side with. I have a few people here who bought a NB wanting to "relive" their youth from the '60s. Only to find out that they bought a 4th gen Golf under a cute skin, and it is an entirely different car than that second hand baby-blue '66 Beetle they drove to high school prom. And these people wouldn't have purchased a Golf anyways, they'd just as soon drive a Corolla. :cool:

The poor dealer reputation doesn't help either. At all. In this country, the brand seems to be strongest in the enthusiast community, but that crowd (myself included) isn't the demographic that buys a NEW car every couple years. We rarely buy new cars, instead, we often buy [well] used units, in dire need of some often long neglected TLC, nurse them back to life, and continue to enjoy them for pennies on the dollar compared to a new version. :D
 

jhinsc

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VWoA has to realize they're a niche brand in the US/North American market, and will need to make changes to break out of that mold. They should look at what Toyota, Honda, Nissan and yes, even some GM makes/dealers are doing to win customer loyalty, and create their own unique experience to win customers. Most or all VW dealerships have the same appearance. Now what they should do is demand dealerships create a higher level of experience for the buyers and owners. I've yet to receive anything in writing from VWoA about customer survey and satisfaction - only one call and letter from the dealer. How will they know if they're doing something right or wrong if they don't ask? VWoA should look at Toyota's experience starting from the 70's to present and note how they changed and evolved, how they marketed, and how they got the best selling mid-sized sedan for many years running now. I'm not sure I can say Toyota's quality is any better than VW, but perception is reality, and it took years to get there. VWoA needs to get with the program if they want to sell more here. Are there nagging issues they need to address in their vehicles? Yes, but they also need to create a consistent "smiley face" experience to change perception, starting with service departments, have iron clad warranties they will stand behind, be vocal about it their advertising, and only then will they see more traffic through showrooms, and therefore more sales.
 
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Roishe Cheng

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You are 180 degrees opposite of the average consumer. Technology sells, much more than the underlying car. WiFi hotspot in the car, auto-park, adaptive cruise, lane departure. The average consumer is laser focused on this 'stuff'.

VW has a reputation problem cultivated over many years of mis-steps that will be impossible to shake.

I enjoyed my Jetta. I love the Touareg. That said, I'll never own a VW outside of some type of factory sponsored warranty.
Exactly, just look at some of the numerous posts comparing other car's GPS/control systems to the current incarnation in the Passat. The majority of today's consumer are highly connected through social/mobile and expect to carry that experience over to their cars as transparently as possible.
 

redbarron55

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The poor relaibility has been reinforced by VW shortening their warranty coverage.
All car manufacturers know exactly what their warranty costs are and they work to reduce THEIR cost in this area and they have the statistics ( which they will NEVER share) to guide them.
Hyundai had a quality problem and the firat thisn they did was increase their warranty period to the longest in the industry. They also worked to fix their problems to reduce their costs.
They are now perceived to hive higher quality and I think that is borne out with industry surveys (but I don't know for sure).
If VW wants to sell more cars then instead of shortening their warranty coverage they should put their money where their mouth is and back their cars for longer than they do today.
Let VW carry more of the risk and invest in building reliable cars.
World wide they are one of the most profitable car companies, but in the US they lose money (I wonder why when every one else concentrates here and in China.)
They do well in China, but the Chinese are starved for cars and are used to poor quality.
I have a hankering for a new 2015 Golf wagon, but with my experience with the 2009 JSW I wonder if it is a good idea. Yesterday I looked at the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Nice car and electronics and nav that worked and had lots of features that VW would dream of having but have no chance of getting working.
I have looked at the Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Santa Fe, and a 2012 Touareg all about the same price.
The Touraeg was nice had great power but the cost of ownership could be catastrophic.
The Odyssey was OK, but a bit uninspiring.
The Hyundai was probably the best compromise, but the salesman was wrong about the towing capacity since I am looking for at least 3500 lb and the 2.0L turbo was rated only 2000lbs. The one I would need would be the V6 rated a good bit higher.
Does anyone have a feel for the 2012 Touareg V6 TDI and the reliability and common problems? My take is it is a $65,000 car ans will cost like that for future maintenance and if it as big a PITA as the 2.0 TDI and Golf/Jettas then I think an off lease Touareg would be a big gamble with lots of downside risk.
Of course there is the Outback as well, but as yet we haven't driven one, but My son has a 4 cylinder one he is happy with.
My wife loves driving her JSW, but I have to keep it going (220,000 ,miles so far)
Just got the dreaded P2015 code this morning and so far whatever common problem I read about on the forum eventually shows up on my car.
So far I have missed the HPFP (2 Micron filter etc. installed) and turbo failure, but EGR cooler, cracked DPF, DPF plugging, delayed A/C, leaking sunroof, steering wheel vibration, cupping rear tires, and other irritating problems make me wonder if VW should be crossed off the list altogether.
My 2002 Prius finally had a breakdown with the electric inverter cooling pump failing at 185,000 miles and a $150.00 fix. No comparison on reliability or driver satisfaction for that matter. My wife doesn't quite hate it, but close!
 

kjclow

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look at the Acura RDX, IIRC, it's the same as the CR-V but with a 6 cyl. Or at least it used to have one. Should have a higher towing rating and a little more hp.
 

thebigarniedog

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You can have the best product out there and fail to market it properly ..... thus killing your product. As previously written in other threads, another useless star wars commercial is not going to help. Good product, dumb advertising......my slogan for VW's plight
 

kjclow

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I'd rather see another Starwars commercial than talking cars with flashing headlights. Kids sell!
 

IFRCFI

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Does anyone have a feel for the 2012 Touareg V6 TDI and the reliability

VW lengthened the Touareg warranty to 10/100 on power train to overcome the miserable reputation of the V10. I added a VW/Fidelity 10/100 Extended for $1,900. Love the Touareg. Will NOT own it outside of warranty coverage. I wouldn't own any VW outside of warranty.
 

redbarron55

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VW lengthened the Touareg warranty to 10/100 on power train to overcome the miserable reputation of the V10. I added a VW/Fidelity 10/100 Extended for $1,900. Love the Touareg. Will NOT own it outside of warranty coverage. I wouldn't own any VW outside of warranty.
Unfortunately we put lot of miles on a car and usually keep one for a pretty long time.
Often the last trip I take in one is to the junk yard!.
Cars currently owned:
1990 Chevy Suburban 3/4 ton 125,000 miles (low mileage vehicle for us)
2002 Prius 189,000 miles trouble free for all but the last 500 miles - $150 fix.
2009 VW JSW TDI 220,000 miles not so trouble free.
I have seen a number of Touaregs off lease with ~ 36,000 miles 2012 year and I wonder if anyone can afford to operate one long term?
What breaks on these? Oilhammer? anyone?
I understand that some have problems with steering wheel shake and one I test drove yesterday had this problem and I don't think VW has a fix for it.
The JSW had this problem and it was caused by bad lower control arm bushings.
 

truman

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VW could solve their perceived quality issues by backing their product better.
As an example, my wife has a 2010 Forester that had a Gendex mirror that kept loosening at the base. Finally the set screw stripped out. I was going to fix it myself. She takes the car to the dealer, which is well past any warranty, and the SA takes one look at it and says they will replace the whole mirror assembly and charge it back to warranty.
Even though the Forester has deficiencies, my opinion of Subaru and this particular dealer are very high. This is how you build brand loyalty today, especially when women are 50%+ of the consumer base.
How about adding a few colors to the palette you are at it.
 

jhinsc

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VW could solve their perceived quality issues by backing their product better.
As an example, my wife has a 2010 Forester that had a Gendex mirror that kept loosening at the base. Finally the set screw stripped out. I was going to fix it myself. She takes the car to the dealer, which is well past any warranty, and the SA takes one look at it and says they will replace the whole mirror assembly and charge it back to warranty.
Even though the Forester has deficiencies, my opinion of Subaru and this particular dealer are very high. This is how you build brand loyalty today, especially when women are 50%+ of the consumer base.
How about adding a few colors to the palette you are at it.
I think if VW dealers would start demanding more from corporate that certain items be covered under warranty or 'good will' then MAYBE corporate would start listening. Turbo failures - they finally responded by extending the warranty on certain one's they think were causing problems. But on other stuff like Adblue heaters and other items that are causing problems, they should cover also. I wonder how Audi owner experiences are going since they use similar powertrains on certain models.

On my '07 Chevy Avalanche LTZ, with over 100k miles, the dealer we use for major service has gone to bat for us when needed. It has the rear load leveling and the sensor went out, was replaced at our cost at about 80k miles, then started going out again, this time causing the compressor to work overtime and finally give out. We protested about the sensor since it was already replaced before, they went to corporate, got the sensor covered, and they paid for half the cost of the compressor, including labor. That's service above and beyond. Since it doesn't need 'special' oil, we use Jiffy Lube for oil changes, with average change intervals between 10k and 12k miles based on oil monitoring system. I'm starting to have to add a quart of oil every 7k miles or so. OMG - what am I going to do!
 

ezshift5

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....my JSW was delivered with the compass 180 degrees out (Thanks JSWTDI09)........

....at odometer 19,250, a 'check engine' light dealer visit ended with a new turbo seal.

This sailor likes the factory warranty.................

Holidays best,


ez
 

nicklockard

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Dealer franchise laws are the problem. VW can certainly make design improvements and balance TCO with "fun-to-drive"; but fundamentally,

The DEALERS' STRANGLEHOLD on COMPETITION is The PROBLEM.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/eag/246374.htm

Why is it that Brazil has a free market and America does not?
 
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Doctor doctor

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Ouch

the brutal truth is painful but necessary.

I am in the market for a new car as I am sick of my 2001 accord. After talking to the vw dealer while on vacation in Utah I would have thought vw out sold Honda and was more reliable as well. I kind of drank the kool-aid. But after reading the comments section I am more inclined to look at the accord again and the fusion or Mazda 6.

I really wanted still kind of do the golf wagon. The Passat wagon would have been ideal .... Anyhow I will take my time. It's hard to ignore the info on the web about reliability and pull the trigger on a vw.
 

kjclow

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remember to take what's on the internet with a grain of salt. Even the failure posts on here get blown out of proportion. Look at multiple resources before deciding that VWs are worse that Hondas. I just heard that click and clack ( http://www.cartalk.com/content/car-info )have a website that also lists common complaints by vehicle. I've owned one Honda and three VWs. I had no issues with the Honda but also traded it at under 50K miles. One VW had electrical issues and was traded at over 140K miles. The newer two VWs have been pretty much problem free. One is approaching 80K and the other 40K miles.
 
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eb2143

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Just want to rant about VWs removal of a build configurator on their website! Tried to build the new Golf to my liking and discovered their "find a match" replacement. Terrible.

Car buying is not cooler when you try to copy dating apps, VWoa...
 

Graham Line

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Having moderated and managed readers' comment boards similar to Motor Trend's, I certainly wouldn't base a personal buying decision on those comments. Probably one in 20 commenters have any direct experience with the products. They're mostly bored wannabes.
 

jhinsc

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Not all commentary on these boards are just wannabe's, some are very qualified comments and you should include them in your research. Some people have bad luck with their cars (or is it them?) and others are very happy with the same vehicle.
 

Graham Line

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I am referring to mass-market boards like Motor Trend, Car & Driver, etc. Autoweek closed their comments because it became the Wild West.
 

kjclow

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I agree with jhinsc's comment. There are people on all of those boards that are truly trying to help and educate. Most of the boards, however, are not as tightly monitored and self controlled as this board.
 
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