By on July 7, 2021

In our last installment of the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen saga, I’d received the Golf back with some issues after its second headliner replacement in less than two years.

Let’s pick up from there, shall we? Today is Part I of… we’ll see how many.

The day I picked up the Golf, I’d fully documented the headliner fitment issues and damage caused to various interior panels during its service. Emails went to both the service manager and general manager of the dealership, since I’d received a “How’d We Do?” survey-type email. Afterward, the waiting process began for the replacement trim parts to travel from wherever (probably Mexico) to the dealer.

I’d identified most of the issues I noticed while still at the dealer, and all the issues via email with picture documentation on June 4th – always better to be thorough. I made a mental note that it’d probably be a couple of weeks before the parts arrived. The service manager assured me in person they’d call as soon as the parts were in to set up an appointment for the fixes. I did not receive an email response from the service manager of any kind regarding the pictures I’d sent of the headliner issues and damaged areas. The general manager did reply and said he’d speak with the service managers about the issues.

Meantime, it did seem the roof leaking issue was fully remedied. I didn’t notice any moisture in the headliner at all after some considerable June thunderstorms here in Cincinnati. The quiet waiting game continued for two full weeks, at that point I’d not heard anything regarding the arrival of my parts. Late in the afternoon on June 18th, I sent an email to the service manager. Said manager replied fairly quickly and said they’d been out of the office and forgot to follow up but good news: My part arrived that afternoon!

Part. Singular. I reiterated immediately there were several places that needed repair, so replacement panels or parts would be required in all those places. Again I was assured the dealership would make everything right, and they in fact had seen the pictures I forwarded. Remember this fact for later. The nearest day they had loaner availability was on Monday, June 28th, so I’d have to wait another week for the car to go in. This time they’d send someone to pick up the car and drop off a loaner, to minimize my hassle. Great, appointment set for 10:00 AM on the 28th.

Think that went as planned, or was it a high blood pressure sort of day? We’ll find out next time.

[Images: Corey Lewis / The Truth About Cars]

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33 Comments on “Where Your Author Ultimately Decides to Give Up Golf (Part I)...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Why do I suddenly have this Michael Douglas “Falling Down” image in my head? At this point, when their number appears on your caller ID, I’d answer “What now???”

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So…appears the Golf is going goodbye, or Corey is just giving up on having them fix the trim issues.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    From reading your experiences at the tender mercy of a Volkswagen service (?) department, I can see that nothing has changed over the last 49 years since I purchased my first new VW, a Type 2, at Skyline VW in Pocatello, Idaho. Then a new ’75 Scirroco followed by a new ’78 Dasher on to a new ’80 Vanagon to finally a new ’89 Fox. I learned early on to purchase a Haynes repair manual for each one and do my own work after the frustrating and unsatisfactory dealings with various VW dealer service(?) departments in several different cities and states. Perhaps I am being too critical by adding the (?) to service department – they did service my wallet pretty effectively…

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      My experience with Porsche-Audi dealers (I bought a ’78 Fox new) was pretty much the same. I had the Haynes *and* Bentley (silver cover with black graphics) manuals. I think the Bentley manuals were the semi-official VW and Porsche-Audi manuals. The vast majority of the Fox’s problems were related to the Bosch K-Jet (CIS) injection.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I can’t fault you for wanting them to make it right, but to me it’s just not worth the aggravation. I find that minimizing the time I spend dealing with incompetents helps me cling to what’s left of my sanity.

  • avatar

    Sorry to hear the nightmare story. As a serial VW addict, the key to success is to have a good indy, and to do a lot yourself. They aren’t too hard to fix, generally…amazingly cheap build in places despite the good drive, but can be fixed. I know this doesn’t apply to this warranty job.

    I’ve not had any real issues with my dealer, but my Jetta S was clearly “a good one”, so zero service calls, one recall for a fuel line. My TDi was good till it wasn’t.

    I approach dealers very carefully, and once out of warranty, bye. My C class had a leaking overflow tank cap. I brought it in and the service manager accused me (?) of over filling the tank-never touched it. I had to argue and pointed out the extended factory warranty to get it replaced. My Acura dealer tried to get me to pay for a torque converter failure and recall ($3500)-I had to hand him the recall docs. There are other family stories..the wheel bolts not tightened…a cell phone left disconnected…..etc. You got a guy who may or may not be good…who is under massive time pressure….and a warranty job is the lowest priority….and at the end of the day, unlike your local indy, they DON’T CARE.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I’m sorry, but what are photos #2 and 3 supposed to depict?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Photo 2 shows a long thin scratch. Photo 3 shown a nick/burr. These came free of charge from the VW dealer shop.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        About 8 years ago we took a vehicle in for warranty work because the ‘aluminium’ strips around the gauges was flaking off.

        The car was returned with major scrapes and gouges on the steering wheel controls.

        The dealer disavowed any responsibility for the damage.

        What like I was taking a screwdriver/edge to the cruise controls and scraping them on purpose?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Which film franchise will you model the saga after this time?

  • avatar
    redapple

    Stories like these drive me far from VW. Shame. That car looks real good.
    The fun on the front side is not worth the hassles on the backend. Kinda like a hangover. NO. Exactly like a hangover.

  • avatar
    kkop

    This is going to be multiple parts? Didn’t we already read most of this saga?

    I predict these installments will go:

    Bought a VW
    Didn’t drive it much
    Selling my VW

    Choice of dealer for service can be time-consuming and expensive. Took me 4 or 5 tries to find a dealership that wouldn’t butcher my truck while trying to repair it. Especially minor items – replacing a radio in my case – are apparently given to untrained teenage monkeys that try to disassemble the dash through the ‘trial and error using a screwdriver’ method. Had a new radio, but it came with gouge marks on the upper dash. Ugh.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Trust no dealer. Trust no service advisor.

    It’s nothing personal. Dealers more often lie than speak honestly to avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes or their employee’s mistakes. Their business model gives incentives for unethical, dishonest behaviors. We shouldn’t be surprised when that’s what we get.

    Of course there are exceptions but that’s why they’re exceptions. The typical dealer is owned, run and staffed with employees incentivized this way.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Corey, I am following this with interest, with two caveats:

    a) Are you seriously taking vehicle advice from the B&B now? (Don’t think this makes me responsible in any way – lol)

    b) This better not turn into a six-part series. [Part I word count is Suspiciously Low]

  • avatar
    readallover

    I know I should feel sorry for you, but I just cannot. Because, you an (alledged) automotive expert:

    1) Bought a Volkswagen

    2) You bought it from a Volkswagen dealer

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    If Part 2 or Part 3 covers the deal that you got for it, I would have tossed that VW like a live grenade and run like hell as well. Just saw what dealers want for low miles 2019 Golf Sportwagens in the greater Cincinnati area. And hopefully a service department not under the gun to get it back to the driver will have some time to tear it apart and get to the root of the issues.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Are people used to dealing with stand alone dealers? Where I’m at we have Acme Toyota, Honda, VW, Jeep, BMW, Ford dealer group, etc. Is the claim that the service at VW is worse than Jeep or Ford when they are all run by the same company?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Corey you could either live with what is wrong with your VW or sell it while prices are high. If you have another car you should probably sell it now and take your time and find another vehicle. Might be wise to stay away from the German and European brands since they seem to have more issues.

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