VW US Redux Redo

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
vw us redux redo

Volkswagen will soon be re-joining the list of European auto manufacturers manufacturing autos in the U.S. In fact, VW was the very first ferrin' automaker to set-up shop in The Land of the Free way back in 1978, with a Rabbit factory in New Stanton, Pennsylvania. And man, did they screw that one up. The nasty, unreliable crap [barely] constructed in the U.S. plant single-handedly destroyed VW's reputation for "German engineering," strangling sales and forcing the company to close-up shop, tuck its tail between its legs and head south of the border. This time 'round, the Detroit Free Press reports that VeeDub's building their new plant in North Carolina, aiming for a 2010 start-up date. Don't be surprised if the facility facilitates SUVs, like the Tiguan, or the next generation Touareg. Fortunately, there's no risk that VW will pollute a stellar reputation for well-built products, thanks to ongoing quality problems… everywhere. As the owner of a German-built GTI that's provided 18 months of mechanical headaches, here's hoping VW finally sorts it shit out, somewhere, soon.

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4 of 11 comments
  • Bill h. Bill h. on Jan 25, 2008

    Build quality out of the New Stanton plant may have been an issue--however I had a PA-built '84 Rabbit GTi that served me well for 11 years...just as crippling in my mind was the way in which the PA built pre-GTi Rabbits of the early 80s were so Americanized with flabby underpinnings, pastelish colors etc. The German made VWs from just before time were not great shakes either in terms of build quality, so I don't think it was so much a matter of American vs. German assembly competence as that of automotive taste--the translation just didn't work well those first number of years.

  • Chris Haak Chris Haak on Jan 25, 2008

    I've seen anecdotes around the Internet for the past few days from VW lovers saying things like, "My 2007 GTI has been great - 14,500 miles and not a lick of trouble." What do they expect? One year and 15k miles isn't exactly indicative of long-term reliability. My father in law has a 2004 Passat that he loves. I am not aware of any issues that he may have had with the car, but I may have forgotten also.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Jan 25, 2008

    While the quality of the German made rabbit's etc was better than the made in the US variety, I can attest that it was the poor reliability of VW's in the late 70s early 80s that killed VW reputation not the made in america factor.

  • Optic Optic on Jan 25, 2008

    my overall impression of VW based on anecdotes and otherwise is that some people get problem cars and some people do okay. not many of the cars seem honda/toyota-esquely flawless (my 01 GTI had the window regulator problem and some plastic doodad breakage -- a small price to pay for how much I loved that car). I like VW products.. it sucks that you have to worry about getting a crappy one. I'd be happy with one that just broke a little occasionally. but how bad does it have to get before lemon laws apply?