There is no TSB on what I am about to post, so please don't ask.
Many of the early (I'm not sure what the VINs are) Touaregs have been shipped from the factory with incorrect alignment specs. This has resulted in abnormal tire wear regardless of tire type.
Based on my limited discussions with other Touareg owners and posts on this site, it appears as though the most common alignment problem is "toe out" which results in abnormal inside treadwear. In my case, I had all four tires replaced at 12,000 miles due to poor tire wear. They replaced all four because I rotated mine every 5,000 miles and bad wear occurred on all four. There was no debate or discussion with the VWoA rep. who came to authorize replacement. He just signed off.
To make you feel better, Porsche had the same problem early on with their Cayennes. It was worse than the VWs because Porsche couldn't figure out what the alignment specs were supposed to be so they used the Touareg spec until they figured it out. The two specs similar but NOT the same.
Also, there are specific instructions for your service garage to do the alignment; particularly if you have air suspension.
Some of the more important instructions are:
The front and rear wheels must be measured and aligned each time. (The rear wheels have adjustments just like the front)
Vehicle must be empty; fuel tank full; windshield/headlight washer reservoir full.
Difference in tread depth on a given axle to be no more than 2mm
Tires must be inflated to specific pressure.
For air suspension vehicles: Manually measure distance between center and underside of fender.
Perform basic setting of steering angle sensor G85 with VAS 5051 (VW's VAG-COM computer).
For vehicles with air suspension: After verifying ride height and/or conducting level compensation of ride height sensors with special tool VAS 5051, select raise for 7 seconds and press lock. Then, install break pedal depressor, start engine, set vehicle to off road, then to sport, then to normal ride height. Turn engine off. Remeasure ride heights to confirm they are within specs. If ride height measurement is incorrect then adjustment with VAS 5051 is required.
Specs for air suspension are as follows:
Front: 497mm +/- 3mm or 19.57 inches +/- 0.12 inch
Rear: 502mm +/- 3mm or 19.76 inches +/- 0.12 inch
Now, here's where my story gets interesting.....
My dealer didn't have their alignment machine set up for my wheel size yet. So, he sent my vehicle off to the Chevy dealer down the street for alignment. I picked it up, took it home and got a call from my SM who said they didn't do the alignment. Well, no **** they didn't do it, because they can't. So he said to bring it back in tomorrow morning and he would take it to the Porsche dealer and have it done. Well, I thought, cool, the Porsche guys can do it right. (never thinking about the requirement of the VAS 5051 which the Porsche guys don't have). So I took my TReg to the Porsche dealer and actually watched the mechanic do the alignment. Yes, my vehicle is within specs, but he didn't follow any of the instructions listed above and I now have a vehicle that pulls right.
I should note that even though my tire wore unevenly, I had a vehicle that tracked straight as an arrow before the alignment.
So, tomorrow should be an interesting phone call to my SM and ask him to explain how the Porsche guys could have done my alignment. Plus, I had only a quarter tank of fuel in it when I took it to Porsche.
Moral of the story: Go check your tire wear (on all 4 tires) and make sure your vehicle is tracking straight. If you have uneven tire wear, make an appointment.....now. Don't wait. Rotating tires will NOT solve / resolve uneven tire wear problems. And, don't let them tell you you knocked it out of aligment when you drove over the curb last time you were at the post office. The bottom line is the factory screwed up and they need to fix it. Don't let them pass the buck on the alignment issue.
Modified by bravocharlie at 9:42 PM 4-21-2004