Thought I'd share the latest chapter in my saga with Jim Ellis VW of Marietta.
Bought my R32 there the 20th of April and in the seven weeks since it's been in for service six times.
Last weekend I noticed coolant all over the back of the engine and gooped as far forward as the shift linkage on the transmission; looked like a hose or fitting on the back of the engine was letting loose. Jim Ellis was the only dealership that could see me for at least a week and also the only shop that would be able to provide a loaner, and they have a history with the car - took it back there. This was Saturday.
I called them on Monday and was told I had two failed coolant hoses and that they were on order and would arrive Tuesday. My service advisor, Mary, didn't know what had been wrong with the hoses, only that the tech had ordered two new ones, so I asked if I could see the old hoses and take a look for myself. She told me that I could not. When asked why, she told me that she'd relay the tech's diagnosis to me and that would have to be enough as they needed to send them to VW in order to be compensated for the warranty repair. I asked if she thought it was unusual that two hoses would fail at the same time on a six week old car - she assured me there was nothing to worry about and that I shouldn't have this problem with the other hoses, despite being unable to tell me what was wrong with the originals. All this wasn't sitting very well with me - I insisted on being able to see the hoses, it is after all my right and protected by law in Georgia. She got rather upset, told me there was "no reason I should have to see them" but eventually under duress (and my mention of the state law she would be violating if she did not) agreed to "see what she could do."
When I arrived Tuesday to pick the car up, they had it pulled around and set out paperwork for me to sign - before signing anything, I went to look the car over. No outside damage, but the engine bay was still coated in goo .. could easily tell which hoses were replaced, they were the only two not covered in congealed antifreeze. Went back inside and asked to see the hoses - Mary left and walked straight into the shop manager's office (his name is Alan). Five minutes later she beckoned me into his office and left, leaving the door open and me with him as he finished a telephone call.
He tried to explain to me how despite being probabilistically miniscule, there was a chance two hoses could fail at the same time on a brand new car and shouldn't I not be so much trouble about it. Then, and here's the part that gets me, he says - "On your last survey of us you gave us all Zeros, what're you doing coming back here?"
That stopped me for a second.
He had obviously been made aware of the (anonymous) telephone survey - time to see if he was paying attention. I asked him if he remembered why I had scored them as I did, he didn't. I explained to him that the last time the car had been in, I complained to them of an oil leak - 1qt in about 1500 miles, which I thought was unusual. They had looked over the car and determined there to be no leak and the consumption due to "break in." Which would've been fine, except that the next week I went to change my oil and found the oil pan COVERED in oil and the drain pan bolt finger tight. Video-taped the whole thing too. Thought it rather unprofessional that they obviously hadn't even looked at the car, and further that they had given me the "void your warranty" speech about changing the oil early (at 3000 miles) instead of running it to 5000 and bringing it to them, as they recommended.
He didn't say much, called in the tech that had worked on my car and Mary - with the pair of hoses.
Pulled them out of their packaging and took a quick look - there wasn't a single thing wrong with them. Perfectly normal hoses. No weak walls, no kinks, no rub marks, no visible pinholes or evidence of where one might be based on stain/spray.
The tech explained to me that the hoses weren't exactly leaking but were both attached to the same metal rail by squeezy clamps and were both leaking from where they attached to that rail. I asked him if he had replaced the clamps while he was in there - he hadn't. He explained that he had pressure tested the system and it all looked fine, so despite not having an explanation for the failure, he was satisfied it had been fixed by replacing the hoses. Naturally, I wasn't; the actual source of the problem hadn't been found. That conversation didn't really go anywhere.
Alan sent the tech and Mary out, she closed the door.
I asked him if there was anything else he needed from me, there wasn't.
So I told him there was one more thing I needed from him - the engine bay was a disaster and I had expected that as part of the repair, it would be cleaned. It was all over the tin, transmission, airbox, shift linkage and several wiring clips. He told me he didn't believe in steam cleaning engines. I told him that I did, and that I wanted it done - he hadn't fixed the problem or even cleaned the mess up, how could we tell if it was still happening! I had an appointment I was, by then, late for, he told me to bring the car back in some other day and he'd have it taken care of. I asked for it in writing, he deflected and told me he would get it done.
Had already started the buyback process on the car on Monday, due to the oil leaks, coolant leaks, electrical problems, driveline shudders and persistent rattles - this just capped the situation.
Anyhow, thought I'd share.
And a picture, for the views ..