Interesting VW new car warranty experience

Feb 15, 2003
Jupiter, Florida
Interesting story and by no means is it unique.

We purchased a brand new G600 Gulfstream jet, with a 6 year bumper to bumper warranty, and on it's 3rd flight, with a grand total of about 30 hours flight time, had a massive internal engine fuel leak that darn near burned the engine off the pylon. Just this morning, we received an invoice for thousands of dollars for this "repair", which was completed at a Gulfstream facility. Nonsense.

You can imagine my response....
Jul 14, 2020

I want to share a bizarre VW new car warranty experience.

My wife and I bought a brand new 2016 VW Passat SEL Premium VR6 on Dec 15 2018. Yep, a 2016 model with a July 2016 build date bought brand new in 2018. MSRP was $38,430. We bought it for $26,500, plus tax, license, and registration.

It's been a good car and has exceeded my expectations. The VR6/DSG combo is fantastic. Immediately after buying I put on a set of H&R OEM Sport springs along with Bilstein B6 struts/shocks. At the same time I put on a set of 19x8.5 BBS SX wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. A necessary upgrade, but I digress.

The garage door opener mount on the driver's side sun visor broke. I took the car in about getting it replaced under warranty. The service writer told me the warranty had expired. He said the VW warranties expire based on build date. I knew he was wrong but wasn't going to argue with him at the time (and I don't keep owners manuals in the car to prove my point). So I ordered the sun visor and made an appointment, paying for the sun visor out of pocket. I'd get my money back when I brought it back in for them to install it. I'd press my point then. Easy smeasy.

When I got back to the house I looked in the owners manual. Right there it says the warranty starts when the car is put into service (not build date). I sent the service advisor a text message with a picture from the manual describing what new car warranty coverage was. Easy. Done deal. I'd get my money back.

A day later the service advisor left a voicemail telling me my car was NOT under warranty. He apologized for telling me it started with build date, but he said the car was put into service in August 2018 (not Dec 2018). I don't know where he got that date, but I wasn't worried.

I got there for my appointment a week later. Just to avoid any potential hassle, I wanted a refund before they installed the visor. The service advisor (the same guy) told me he could not return my money because the part was special ordered. I protested and showed him the original copy of my purchase agreement - Dec 15 2018. Clearly the car was still under new car warranty. But, he held his ground and refused a refund.

I asked to see the service manager. He came out and said "Too bad, no refund". I showed him my purchase agreement with the Dec 15 2018 date. Progress! He'd refund my money but would charge me a 15% restocking fee. No way and I protested more forcefully, although not raising my voice or using profanity. He stood his ground.

I asked to see the general manager, but the parts manager came out instead. He came up to speed with the situation and agreed with his service advisor - a 15% restocking fee. No way! I put on my crazy face, but not raising my voice or cursing. But I did have some foresight and came in prepared. I'm 6'5" and 230 physically fit pounds. I arrived in my faded and stained work jeans, t-shirt, suspenders, and Red Wing boots that look like they survived a war. I look menacing in that attire. In the past I've actually scared off aggressive dogs with nothing more than the look on my face. You look 'em right in the eye. It definitely comes in handy at times.

After 10 minutes of me DEMANDING a refund and REFUSING a restocking charge, looking them square in the eye, they gave me a refund. But I wasn't done yet.

The original service advisor was there, the service manager, the parts manager, and me. It's not my nature to throw someone under the bus in public but I called out the original service writer right out in front of them, saying he told me warranty started from the build date. How could a service advisor be so ridiculously wrong?! I demanded an explanation. They chalked it up to improper "coaching" (their word). Once again I showed them the Dec 15 2018 purchase agreement. The service advisor was on the computer and ran a CARFAX on the car. It showed a Dec 15 2018 sale date.

Then he got onto the VW corporate website, which showed an August 2018 in service date. He printed it and proudly circled the August 2018 date, as if he finally won. I told me that I couldn't care less what VW said, I had the original purchase agreement, one that was confirmed by CARFAX. Dec 15 2018. Car was still under new car warranty.

While processing my refund the parts manager said this was going to cost the dealership about $20, to which I replied "Too bad, not my problem."

In summary, this dealership lied about when the new car warranty started (they can't be that stupid), refused a refund, then wanted a restocking fee, then they insisted the in service date was August - even though that was clearly wrong. They had ZERO interest in correcting their records and working with me.

Absolutely pitiful. What a bunch of dishonest scum. VW should be ashamed. I will never return to that dealership, even if they are giving away free cars.

I glued the garage remote bracket back in place using super glue.


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you actually experienced a good dealer, at least by VW standards

go over to the TDI club, there are endless threads of cars leaving the dealer with the wrong oil, no oil, body damage etc.

just one of endless examples:

Jul 9, 2008
British Columbia, Canada
I really like VW products (the Passat and the GTI in particular) but I'd be very reluctant to buy one. I hardly ever hear about a good experience dealing with VW dealers or with the national distributor.

As one example, one of my colleagues bought a new Jetta Diesel. He liked it a lot, drove it a lot, and put a lot of Kms on it very quickly. One day while it was sitting in the company parking lot, the back window shattered. VW refused to cover it, because while by it was still very new (and well within the warranty time period), the Kms exceeded the warranty period.

Anyone with even 2 neurons to rub together knows that the Kms don't affect the back window glass. But they still refused to cover it leaving him with a big bill. He fixed it and immediately sold it, vowing to never buy another VW. And he really liked that car.

Sure they were within the letter of the law, but applying good sense would have lead to a goodwill repair (or a 50% discount or something like that). And instead of having a satisfied customer who frequently talked up their product, they created a lifetime hater. With their approach to customers, I'm surprised they're still in business!

The only way I could buy a VW product is to assume it has no warranty and expect to pay any and all repair costs myself.
Oct 10, 2021
I used to fill and fill and fill till the tank was full full. I have learned to not do that. Luckily never caused a problem for me or my cars.