Where Your Author Requires Another Volkswagen Quality Remedy

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
where your author requires another volkswagen quality remedy

Well hello! It’s been over a year since we’ve had an update on the 2019 VW Golf Sportwagen seen here. In our last installment, I was filled with optimistical-ness at the prospect of years of trouble-free ownership. After all, surely all the kinks were worked out on this end-of-model Golf that was in production since 2013.

Spoilers: I was wrong.

In case you missed it, I’ll catch you up to speed. After the December 2019 purchase of the rigorously CPO-tested Golf, I noticed a lot of clicking in the headliner. Literally many trips to the dealer later, the source was identified: An improperly cured factory headliner that was too thin in the area over the driver’s head. The headliner had cracked; its pieces clicked against one another in an inharmonious plastic cacophony. I got an entirely new headliner out of the affair, as appropriate.

And now a new issue has arisen! Where do you think the issue might be? Shoddy turbo? Bad window regulator? Nope, it’s in the roof once again. It started a few weeks ago when I noticed a musty smell in the car upon entry. It was sort of a “plant-based” musty smell, and would dissipate after the car was driven any distance. Bits and pieces are dropping off trees in Ohio like crazy this time of year, so I assumed some tree parts were stuck in or under the floor mats. I cleaned the mats and the carpet underneath, and figured I’d give it a day to settle back to its normal vinyl Volkswagen smell.

Alas, no. The next time I got in the car (last week), the smell was worse than ever. I figured something was wet, and checked carpets, sills, the cargo area, and around the spare wheel. No moisture to be found! What gives? Then, by chance, I caught a glimpse of the headliner as I was about to back out of the driveway. Lo and behold, a nasty sight.

Water damage. All along the width of the headliner, just before the hatch. The affected area was probably up to about five inches deep, and is contained to that area for One Simple Reason: I park on a slight incline in the driveway. I booked an appointment with the dealer immediately, but the soonest I could get in is this coming Friday, May 14th.

Either the roof is leaking itself, or I’ve got a Golf with sunroof drain pinch issues. The TSB posted there covers only through 2018. However, the 2019 is identical and some research says the TSB was updated to include 2019. Seems as though the drain hose gets pinched by foam blocks that hold up the headliner, which of course causes an H2O uh oh in the roof. I’m sort of wondering if the drain placement was fine from the factory, but then the pinch occurred at the new headliner’s installment. Then, only heavy spring rains this year brought it to attention.

The Golf has about 8,000 miles now, so it makes sense it’s due for its second headliner, right? We’ll see by the end of this week, but I hope the dealer service department doesn’t push back on the repair. I made sure to book the same service manager I had previously, too. Wish me luck.

[Images: Corey Lewis / The Truth About Cars]

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  • Nlinesk8s Nlinesk8s on May 11, 2021

    I just got done with a painful reworking of sunroof drains on a jeep, and got an education on how badly designed these are. First, they used corrugated tubing similar to split tubing that goi around wiring. Really good for catchy and holding junk. Then they put a diaphragm with small cuts at the end of the tube, presumably to pass water and keep out bugs. Even better at holding junk. The best feature though was to have a right angle grommet at the firewall, so the string trimmer trick doesn't work. I wonder which features the vw has?

  • MyerShift MyerShift on May 23, 2021

    Silly you for thinking a VW of any kind or built anywhere would be reliable and trouble free! I had a brand new, Made in Germany MKV Golf (Rabbit a la NA) and it was nothing but issues. Don't listen to the Nazi car company apologists and fanbois. VAG is garbage.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂