Volkswagen Should be Ashamed!

Dog at the party

Well, you know that old adage, anything that can go wrong will go wrong?  Yesterday was that kind of day.  The kind of day that really makes you believe in Murphy’s law.

Waking up, everything seemed fine.  K went to the gym in the morning as usual.  We were excited because we were going to go on a short trip to get mud flaps that he ordered from the dealership where he bought his car installed on his car.

 We don’t live in the same city as the dealership, so it was going to be a little road trip for us.  First, however, we had a few errands to run.  After he got back from the gym, we both got ready for the day and headed out to the car, ready to stop by the bank, get lunch, and take the recycling to the recycling center.  We got in his car, he put the key fob in the ignition, pushed, and the lights came on, but the engine didn’t turn over. He held it there for a moment and finally it started.  That was weird, we thought.  He went to put the car in gear and nothing.  It wouldn’t budge.  It was totally stuck in park.  I told him to turn off the car and start it again.  He pushed the fob and it was stuck in the ignition.  Very weird.  I managed to wriggle it out and we started the process over.  The engine turned over eventually, but we were still stuck in park and the key fob was stuck in the ignition.  Finally, after over an hour of googling and scouring the manual, we gave up and called the dealership.  We knew we had to cancel our appointment to install the mud flaps.

After discussing the problem with a kind man at the dealership, he suggested that we call the local dealership, which was only about a mile from our home.  He was very friendly, as is everyone at our usual dealership, he gave us the number and we called.  The guy at the local Volkswagen dealership couldn’t understand what my boyfriend was saying, which pissed me off from the get go.  I took over the phone, explained the problem, and he gave us the number of a tow truck.  The toy truck finally came and since the car was stuck in park, he literally had to drag the car up onto the tow truck, scraping the front on the asphalt and burning the wheels on the way up.  K and I were both cringing, but eventually it was on the truck and on its way to the shop.  We followed it there.

The people seemed friendly and we left it there so they could figure out the problem.  We left, finished our errands with my car, and then waited patiently to hear something back from the dealership.  Nothing.  Eventually K checked his phone and there was a missed call, but no voice mail.  We thought it was weird, so we stopped by the dealership where the car was getting fixed nearby.  The guy who we talked to on the phone met us and explained that it took 2.5 hours to diagnose the problem, but they figured out it was a wire that had come unplugged in the gear box.  The person working on the car had to take out the center console to get to it.  There was supposedly nothing wrong with the car except that this came unplugged.  We thought it was ok, so we went to the cashier to check out.  They tried to charge us $294!!!  We were more than livid.  We argued and I got really aggressive and talked them down to a $100 bill, which was still annoying, but much more reasonable.

The man told us that we had to just wait about 10 minutes more before they finished “washing” the car, which is something they do for every service.

We waited and waited and finally started to get worried when nearly an hour passed.  K went back to the service department to see what the hold up was.  The guy told us that when they were driving the car out of the car wash, it wouldn’t go out of park again!  The same problem as before!  They hadn’t fixed it at all, were going to charge us a ridiculous amount for doing nothing, and then failed to be courteous and inform us of the recurring problem.  I was steaming, K was more than ticked off, and we ended up having to leave the car there until Monday, when they would “try” to get to it!  Not to mention, they didn’t even offer a loaner vehicle or anything for the meantime.

I have never been treated so poorly at any business ever!  Volkswagen, you need to investigate this place because it is totally shady and should not be carrying your name.  I have already filed a complaint with the BBB.

We got home, exhausted as hell, and then had to get ready to go to a party that evening.  We left, both thinking that we remembered where it was from a previous visit.  We ended up turning off the highway too early and got lost for nearly an hour.  Luckily, we were only fashionably late to the party, but needless to say, I had a few drinks and so did K.  Our nerves were beyond frazzled.  We went home and slept very, very well that night.  I am still kind of exhausted.

I’m sorry that this post is so long, but I just had to vent!  Thank you for listening 🙂




51 thoughts on “Volkswagen Should be Ashamed!

    1. Thank you 🙂 If Monday turns out worse than yesterday, I will most definitely be filing another complaint and will request action. If it goes really bad, legal action.

  1. Send a copy of this to the VW corporate office, too!
    My mechanic is great and I don’t even want to think about 10 years or so from now when he’ll retire. I may have to just start walking everywhere. LOL.
    I hope your car gets fixed soon. 🙂

    1. Thank you Vanessa 🙂 It’s so stressful worrying about fixing a car. If things go worse on Monday, I will definitely be writing the corporate office!

  2. How long has he had the car? I had a lemon of a Passat once back in the 90s. I leased it and had it for only a few weeks, when it started having recurring electrical problems. All the windows fell down inside the doors (in MI January, not fun), trunk motor burned out and wouldn’t lock, battery always draining, transmission stuck in “safe mode” and would stay in 3rd gear, finally, lost all interior lights, including my dash controls. I had to get a lemon lawyer to get rid of the car– I got the same run around from the VW dealership, wanting to “fix” it continually. It was a new car! I eventually won and never went back to VW!
    Call corporate in Auburn Hills. Google how to get a human on the line. If the car is a lease, I would push to get rid of it with a lemon lawyer, otherwise, push for good repairs now (hello, loaner!) and extended warranty.

    1. It is only a 2010, so that’s why we’re especially disappointed. It was by no means a cheap car, but it seems to be turning out to be not worth what we paid for it. If things are worse tomorrow, which is when we’re supposed to pick it up, I will definitely be calling corporate.

  3. Funny–not at all funny actually, but this is the idiom–that you should be having an issue with disingenuous mechanics too. I just had my alternator go out on a road trip, which cost me $500 after the tow, repairs costs, and parts fee…then I got home, and the light’s still on. I had to pay a local mechanic $104 to scan the computer only to tell me the obvious–that the new alternator “may” be faulty. Then I drove the 50 miles to Castle Rock mechanic only to have him (successfully, I’m ashamed to say) sell me on $300 of additional problems he felt were causing the problems instead of the alternator.

    Well now the car still stalls at red lights, I’m out $1000+ already, and to top it off I’m starting a new job on Monday about forty minutes from home. If I can’t get a discounted bus pass, I don’t know what I’ll do… cross my fingers every time the key goes in the ignition probably. I can’t make it to Castle Rock during the week to have the alternator switched out again now that I have a job. Oy.

    All this “me” talk is just to say, I feel your pain, and am sorry you and your guy are having to experience this too. Sucks.

  4. Very ventworthy stuff. I get frustrated, (which makes my wife frustrated) because I just want people to “do their job”. That’s all I ask, just do your job. I feel I do my job with pride and enthusiasm, and I want the same when I’m the customer. That seems fair to me. OK my little vent over. Love your blog!

  5. That’s my girl, I am so proud of you for standing your ground, you may have to stand more ground on monday, but I have no doubt you WILL make them fix it. Always remember, the customer is always right and he paid quite a bit for that car and it has an issue that was not his fault, it is their issue to deal with and fix.

  6. I am sorry to hear you had so much trouble. I am glad you did not let them charge you $294 especially when it ended up that the car wasn’t even fixed. I hope everything turns out ok. Hopefully your weekend will be better. 🙂

  7. How vexing! I am usually a very mild-mannered, easy going customer, but I have found, rather late in life, that some stern complaining about customer service can get good results. All the best for Monday.

    1. Sometimes I have to get tough to get what I want, or even what I deserve. I’ve learned it early. There are a lot of rude people working in the US service industry that’s for sure.

  8. Afternoon Megan,

    Wow! Now that sounded tedious. Imagine had you driven away, stopped the car and then tried to start it again? YIKES, one small mercy was that it least it happened again at the dealership. Sometimes you really have to watch what they are charging you for. I hope the weekend gets better. Love and hugs to you. Paula xxx

    1. Thank you Paula 🙂 You definitely do have to watch. I think they charged a lot because a lot of wealthy foreign students go there and I think they were taking advantage of that. I hope your weekend went well!

  9. Wow, i’m sure i’ve heard similar recently somewhere else with VW.
    Hope it gets sorted, VW should be good for build quality or so they say.

  10. My husband is a mechanic, and he says it needs a brake switch. He says there may be a recall depending on the year of the vehicle. He says he’s quite confident that is the problem. Hope maybe that’s of help! 🙂

  11. I’ve worked at a few shops. When a car comes in off a tow truck. I’ve also done that part too. Its always a good idea to be honest with a customer and ask if they can leave it overnight. Mechanics aren’t magicians and electrical problems do take time to troubleshoot. Its good to be agressive if you feel you didn’t deserve the charge they gave you. We all use a similar labor rate system established by our manuals called ALLDATA. Even then, if the total labor rate is ridiculous the time on your car gets “shared” between other things that make money like oil changes and tune ups. In return for your patience the shop will knock a few hours of labor off. To hope you come back, at least its common practice at smaller bays.

    The mechanics cut of the labor rate is per job. Its about 30%. So, if you’re job was about 300 at 30% he made 90. He didn’t fix it thats true and thats also the other side of the coin with electrical work. If ALLDATA says a job takes 2.5 hours and it takes all damn day a mechanic should really charge the 2.5 hours and absorb the labor into the other jobs like oil changes and explain that it did take longer.

    There’s also the customer who is important. Now, this is where things look like magic. There’s usually only one guy that’s a genius with electrical and he’s usually doing some hard labor under a motor. He swaps jobs with the car that has the electrical problems. He does more in a half hour than the previous mechanic can do problem solving all day. So, who’s rate is the most fair to go by? The half hour genius guy or the all day regular guy? Also, electrical at small auto shops goes for about 60 an hour for troubleshooting and repair. If, your car was there all day getting poked and prodded the bill would have been nearly twice what you paid. Which, no customer enjoys spending also. Mechanics, pay 12,000 for their tools out of pocket and rent their bays like hair dressers (another 1,000) and get the smallest cut off the repair bill 30%. So, I’m including my two cents mostly for your case but also so that you’re fighting the right person which is the Service Manager’s boss I think he has a fluffy title or he could be the franchise owner. BBB gets tons of complaints about dealers and they aren’t resolved properly. At least from my complaints to them about shotty work.

    1. Thank goodness they aren’t going to bill us for the day and a half of diagnostic attempts. They still haven’t figured it out. The guy in the service department that we are working with seems less than knowledgable. Perhaps we should just talk with the mechanic himself. It just worries me that he might be less than honest and is taking his sweet old time “fixing” our car. I hope they can figure out what’s wrong soon! This sharing a vehicle is no fun 😦 Thanks for all the information! I really appreciate that.

      1. There’s a serious recall on 2011 Jetta. They shared a fuse and some wiring between the anti theft, wipers, and horn. Which, if affected, it could blow the fuse and cause it to stop while driving potentially causing an accident. Anti theft systems for VW’s is, weird and thats the short answer. 🙂

        There’s another recall for the transmission control module to be reprogrammed because of intermittent shifts into neutral. Which, might be why they went through your center console.

        There are a few more recalls on Motor Trend’s website. Recall service work done by the dealer is usually free if its found to be the problem. Unfortunately, with most auto electronics once opened they bought it. So, they don’t swap parts out unless they know for sure its a module or a car computer. 1-800-822-8987 is the number to Volkswagen of America. I’d call them with your story. I think they’d love to hear it. I’m sorry for your trouble.

      2. I might just have to call them. Thanks for giving me the number 🙂 I will hear back from the dealer tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

  12. Oh my goodness! I’m sorry you had such an awful day! Bad customer service can set the tone for your entire day sometimes. Such a shame! Hopefully the next few days are much better for you.

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