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    Thread: State your lemon / buyback replacement experience here

    1. 07-12-2004 11:00 PM #1
      I've been keeping track mentally of all the lemon replacements and trials and tribulations that have been written about here, and it strikes me that we haven't had a poll about it. Sample size should be up there by now. In fact, notwithstanding our conclusion from a while back that there's no statistically supported prevalence of lemons with low VINs, it's obvious that a lot of people who signed up to this forum early on (a group selected for enthusiasm, not for prior problems) have had their cars replaced. I won't try to repeat the VIN correlation issue, but let's simply ask whether your buyback or replacement experience has been ok.
      If you're in the process of negotiation right now, please wait until the issue has resolved one way or another before you vote. I'll give this one a bump every so often so people see it.

    2. 07-12-2004 11:04 PM #2
      I don't have stats yet, but I'll be pursuing the lemon law soon on my vehicle. VW still can't fix the buzzing in my radio, and I don't event want to talk about tire wear, air suspension, etc.

    3. 07-14-2004 12:02 AM #3
      bump for the citrus fruit among us

    4. 07-16-2004 03:07 PM #4
      6 lemons so far ... sorry about the bumps, but polls don't stay up any more by people just voting.
      if you've voted already, or if you're about to vote, how about posting a short note?

    5. 07-16-2004 09:52 PM #5
      My experience was very positive. A new V8 engine in my 900 mile TREG is a big problem. After that everything worked with issue. At the time I was given the choice for buyback or replacement, JD Powers came out with the 03 ratings. I loved the TREG but just couldn't roll the dice on the POTENTIAL problems down the road. I was already questioning the quality factor and then being given the opportunity for a buyback was a no brainer for me. I took the money and haven't looked back. Since there was no other vehicle that I was interested in, I bought my wife a car and now I drive hers.
      I think that in a year there will be more SUV's that will have great features and possibly a hybrid engine which would definately be cool. Life is just too short to have many problems with such a large ticket item. And its not like the TREG is cheap and that you can't expect a good quality vehicle. My TREG was MSRP'd @ 54.5K. Just too expensive for not being not quality. Yes it had cool features but my time has a value to it and so does not having stress.
      VW was great with everything. My problems happened early. I think that most lemon laws are 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever is first. If you're having problems, know what your state laws and documnet everything no matter how seemingly simple it is. Because weeks/months down the road, you will need to remember what was said when.
      GOOD LUCK.
      Aircooled-aren't you well beyond the 12K/12 month cutoff. Does Magnuson-Moss not have limitations like the Colorado lemon law?
      oh, BTW, VWoA voluntarily made the offer for the buyback. No attorney and no Colorado lemon law filings. But I did clearly explain that I would procede if things were not handled to my satisfaction.
      I am a happy camper and haven't looked back, although I check in here every now and then to see what the latest issues are.

    6. 07-16-2004 10:58 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by Silver Fox »
      ... although I check in here every now and then to see what the latest issues are.

      Silver does miss his egg ... and us.
      Keep checking in, it's good for us to get the perspective. This forum is bimodal, after all: people bitching and people loving it (with an intersection of people who bitch but still love the car).

    7. 07-17-2004 12:30 AM #7
      Yeah, I'm in the 'bitching, but loving it' catagory.
      SilverFox, I have not seen a limitation of milage in the Colorado lemon law statutes, but I will look at it very closely.

    8. 07-17-2004 01:40 AM #8
      Quote, originally posted by aircooled »
      I don't have stats yet, but I'll be pursuing the lemon law soon on my vehicle. VW still can't fix the buzzing in my radio, and I don't event want to talk about tire wear, air suspension, etc.

      That's one of the main reasons I went with a stripper! [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    9. 07-17-2004 01:46 AM #9
      It is a good reason, for sure. That's how I usually think about it, too. It's just that I COULDN'T PASS ON THE AIR SUSPENSION .... aahhh. I'm hoping those things are well-built.

    10. 07-17-2004 02:11 AM #10
      Air is awesome. I don't think I can go back to steel ever again.
      Question to those who took the replacement option:
      Did you get the exact same vehicle? Did you get additional features? Did VW eat the cost of those additional features?

    11. 07-17-2004 02:15 AM #11
      Yeah we'll see after the warranty is expired and the shocking news about how much it will cost to repair/replace air suspension.

    12. Senior Member
      Join Date
      Jun 4th, 2003
      West Coast FL
      07 Z4MC, 11 328i Touring, 13 F150 STX 5.0, Versys
      07-17-2004 08:34 AM #12
      I think the air suspension has proven pretty reliable in the allroad. I had those same initial concerns and checked on Audi forums. I couldn't find many issues.

    13. 07-17-2004 11:10 AM #13
      I was not impressed with the steel suspension (too much lean in the corners) and I always had the intent to go off-road, so air was the only way to go.
      if I get another Touareg (in a buyback, or out of pocket), it will have air, otherwise I am not interested in the Touareg. I'll buy a sedan that handles well and buy a beater Jeep to do my four wheeling in.

    14. 07-17-2004 12:27 PM #14
      Air is one of the components I have *not* had problems with. Compare that to the transmission, 4Xmotion (differential), and battery drain--all things that you'd never even think would be a problem on a car built in 2003 or 2004 and you find out why things are just so counterintuitive with this whole experience
      I'm totally spoiled on air. It's the only way to ride, on or off road.

    15. 07-17-2004 01:45 PM #15
      Here's my Touareg replacement chronology. I'm willing to make the PDFs available to anyone who wants to see them.
      Touareg purchased from West Broad Volkswagen Audi in Richmond, VA on June 30, 2003.
      27 January 2004
      I notified West Broad Volkswagen Audi by facsimile and hand-delivered letter that this Touareg was in a state of warranty nonconformity due to a transmission problem. See exhibit “Letter re VW service 1.pdf”. The problem manifests as a binding in the drive train during low-speed turns, which significantly impairs the use, market value, and safety of this vehicle. West Broad Volkswagen Audi asked that I bring the Touareg in for service on February 16, 2004.
      16 February 2004
      I brought the Touareg in for service and verbally described the transmission problem to the service advisor (Danny _______) and the technician (Mitch _______) who would be working on the vehicle. Additionally, I took the technician for a ride in the vehicle and demonstrated the problem. During the test ride, the technician told me that he did observe the transmission problem.
      11 March 2004
      I picked up the Touareg from the West Broad Volkswagen Audi and observed that the vehicle was still in a state of warranty nonconformity due to the transmission problem. West Broad Volkswagen Audi indicated that they had ordered parts to repair the transmission problem and would notify me upon the parts’ arrival.
      27 March 2004
      I send another letter to West Broad Volkswagen Audi describing ongoing problems with the Touareg. See exhibit “Letter re VW service 2.pdf”
      29 March 2004
      I brought the Touareg in for service as per the request of West Broad Volkswagen Audi. The new service advisor, Carol ____, indicated that all of the parts needed to effect the repair had arrived and were ready to be installed.
      14 April 2004
      At 11:00 AM, I called Carol ____ (804.217.____). She indicated the following:
      * They cannot observe the problem with water in fog lamps and therefore cannot replace the lamps. (This after Mitch had indicated to me verbally that he would order replacement lamps.)
      * The front passenger door is “cracked” and needs to be replaced. They have ordered a replacement.
      * They are awaiting a trim piece or seal for the front passenger door.
      * They needed clarification on which switch was broken.
      I indicated the following:
      * The broken switch is the passenger seat heater switch.
      * I am considering asking VW to buy this vehicle back because of the amount of time that it has been out of commission.
      * I have a vacation scheduled from 9 May 2004 through 16 May 2004 which requires a 4WD vehicle. If the Touareg isn’t ready, other arrangements will need to be made.
      Mitch Called at 11:20 AM and indicated the following:
      * They have re-wired the radio. No more buzz.
      * Didn’t observe water in fogs.
      * Front passenger door seal keeps coming in wrong. He noticed that weld that holds the door together is cracked. They ordered a replacement door and are hoping that it will arrive today.
      * Tires have been replaced.
      * Differential control module has been replaced. Stepper motor hasn’t been replaced. He is going to drive it to see if this fixed the binding issue.
      * Cracked wood trim has been replacement.
      * The wheel lock key has been replaced. (went missing last visit)
      15 April 2004
      I called VW Customer Care at 800.822.8987 and spoke with Touareg specialist Michelle. She gave me the mailing address of Volkswagen Customer Care Center:
      3499 West Hamlin Road
      Rochester Hills, MI 48309
      In order to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia Lemon Law, I mailed a letter to Volkswagen Customer Care and my local dealer notifying them that the vehicle is in a state of warranty nonconformity. See exhibit: “Pre Buy Back letter.pdf”
      16 April 2004
      West Broad VW called to say car is ready. I went to pick up car. Transmission problem appears to be partially resolved. There is still some binding when turning at low speeds. This is most evident when car is cold. Wood trim to the left of steering wheel is still cracked. Cannot locate wheel lock key. Passenger front door is still misaligned. Carol _____ indicated that they are awaiting parts to fix the door and she will call me when they arrive.
      * Remote control range is reduced again.
      * Missing passenger side rear floor mat clip.
      * Headlight indicators no longer appear on instruments.
      * MFI does not retain “comfort” settings.
      20 April 2004
      Phone call from dealer indicating parts have arrived and are ready to be installed.
      24 April 2004
      I took the Touareg to the dealer to have the parts installed.
      29 April 2004
      My wife picked up the Touareg. The front passenger door appears to be partially fixed, but is still misaligned. I observed that some binding still occurs in the transmission during low speed turns. Remote control range is still reduced and intermittent. Missing passenger side rear floor mat clip. Headlight indicators no longer appear on instruments.
      MFI does not retain “comfort” settings.
      12 May 2004
      The Touareg’s brakes failed while on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When the brakes are applied, the pedal travels to the floor, and the vehicle slows down very gradually. I contacted the service manager at West Broad Volkswagen Audi, and after several conversations, he agreed to provide me with a loaner vehicle and pick up the Touareg. (note: this would be the last time I ever drove this car)
      18 May 2004
      I called West Broad Volkswagen Audi to inquire as to the status of the vehicle. I spoke with Carol _____, who indicated that she would check the status and call me back after lunch. She never called back, and I have since learn that she no longer works at this Volkswagen Dealer.
      19 May 2004
      Total days out of commission so far: 50
      I called VW Customer Care (800.822.8987) and spoke with Coley I stated that I would like to pursue a buy-back of the car in accordance with the Commonwealth of Virginia Lemon Law. Coley indicated that he would escalate the request, and that I should hear back from VW in no more than 7 days from today (Before 26-May-2004).
      8 June 2004
      I called customer care and eventually was transferred to Julie ____ (248.754.____). She indicated that I should receive a call back from Becky ____ within the next few days. She also indicated that they had received a request to repurchase the vehicle on 3-June-2004 and that I should receive an offer letter by the end of next week.
      11 June 2004
      Total days out of commission so far: 71
      I called Julie ____ (248.754.____) and asked for a status update. She indicated that I would receive a call today from Jason ____, who is standing in for Becky ____ to discuss a swap vs. a buy back.
      Jason ____ called. I indicated to him that I would accept a swap for a newer Touareg instead of an outright buy-back.
      I received a fax from Jason ____ with an offer to swap the Touareg pending a contribution of $1,800 on my part for mileage. See exhibit: “Replacement Offer 1.pdf”.
      I drafted and faxed a response to the offer letter indicating that I would not contribute $1,800 (see exhibit: Response to VW Offer 1.pdf)
      I received another fax from Jason ____ with a revised offer to swap the Touareg with no contribution on my part for mileage. See exhibit: “Replacement Offer 2.pdf”.
      I drafted and faxed a response to the revised offer letter indicating that I would accept the offer. See exhibit: “Response to VW Offer 2.pdf”.
      18 June 2004
      I received a call from my local VW dealer indicating that they had located a replacement Touareg. It will be shipped from a different dealer.
      26 June 2004
      I picked up the replacement Touareg and left the old one with the dealer.

      Modified by jsewell at 1:55 PM 7-17-2004

    16. 07-17-2004 03:15 PM #16
      Did you get an identical Touareg or did VW ask you if you wanted to change any options, etc.?
      I IM'd you about getting a copy of the PDFs.

    17. 07-17-2004 04:33 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by xplay »
      Did you get an identical Touareg or did VW ask you if you wanted to change any options, etc.?
      I IM'd you about getting a copy of the PDFs.

      My original Touareg had Teak leather whereas the replacement has Kristal Gray leather. Also, the replacement Touareg has hatch assist, rear sun shade, revised exhaust, different rear-seat cupholders, different side mirrors, missing engine bezel, etc. These were just a result of running production changes.
      Otherwise they were identically equipped. I would have been willing to take a V10 as well. ;-)

    18. 07-17-2004 08:06 PM #18
      I'm impressed that you were able to do this yourself. I'd probably have used a lawyer. Good job, and I'm glad you stayed with the Treg clan rather than giving up on us
      The reason I ask is that I would probably ask for a small handful of upgrades if I were to get a new one (I'd gladly pay the invoice difference). I bought my treg because it was 90% of what I wanted and available right away (pre Jan 04 $2k price increase). I wonder if, in the same situation, VWOA would custom order one for me if I was willing to wait. I'd also be worried about getting another "off the lot" lemon. I think I would insist on a brand new "built with extra care" one ;-)
      If trends continue (I hope they don't), my treg will qualify as a lemon under WA law. The law says that any combination of nonconformities that has the car out of service for 30 days in a 30 month period (so long as the first 15 days are within the manufacturer's warranty) is subject to arbitration under the law.
      Since I have had my treg for 6 months and it has been in the shop 17 calendar days (and I am waiting for a part that will need to be installed, so I'm sure to add a few days shortly), well, you get the picture. I have 2 full years to go to rack up an additional 13 days of shop time. And I'm inclined to give my treg its due time before I give up. (Heck, why not--theoretically, I might end up with a new 06 in 20 or so months... maybe they'll have a DVD nav by then ... and ideally a new transmission)
      I was pretty happy before the most recent issue--toddler in one arm at 7AM on the way to daycare, then work I came down to my garage to find my vehicle completely dead. That's unacceptable.
      Your 88 days of downtime are extreme, though. And it appears that many of the issues you stated were the result of incompetence at your dealer. The dealer that services my vehicle (not where I purchased) is excellent, so I consider myself lucky there.
      Quote, originally posted by jsewell »
      I would have been willing to take a V10 as well. ;-)

      hehehe... i'm sure you would

      Modified by xplay at 11:00 AM 7-18-2004

    19. 07-18-2004 09:04 AM #19
      So far, we have 13 buy-backs or replacements. Although I know that VWVortex isn't a statistically significant sampling, this does seem like a rather high number. I also wonder if anyone has actually had to resort to legal action.
      In all of the cases that I've heard about, VW has acted without admitting fault, thereby eliminating the need to brand the title of the Touareg as a "lemon" or to notify subsequent buyers of the "lemon" status.
      So, has anyone actually taken VW to court for their Touareg?

      Modified by jsewell at 9:09 AM 7-18-2004

    20. Banned
      Join Date
      Dec 8th, 2003
      07-18-2004 03:27 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by jsewell »
      So far, we have 13 buy-backs or replacements. Although I know that VWVortex isn't a statistically significant sampling, this does seem like a rather high number. I also wonder if anyone has actually had to resort to legal action.
      So, has anyone actually taken VW to court for their Touareg?]

      Why not do a search for words like "lawsuit" or "suit" or "buyback lawsuit." That would reveal it quickly.

    21. 07-18-2004 10:43 PM #21
      A painful experience.
      The dealer and importer did not play ball. Washed their hands of the issue. Wouldn't return phone calls, emails or letters. Middle management at VW Australian head quarters were not much better.
      Needed a face-to-face encounter with VW head honcho at a VW social function to make progress and eventual replacement.
      From a post sale, technical and PR point of view the lot of 'em failed at every level.
      Whilst I continue to enjoy my replacement Treg (aside from recent warranty work re stepper motor etc) I can assure you that this will be my first and last VW.

    22. 08-01-2004 09:49 PM #22
      Jason: I sent you an email to your touareg faq address. I'm also in Richmond,Va and have a Touareg lemon I'm trying to turn in. Any way you can send me copies of the pdf files referenced in your prior posting?

    23. 08-02-2004 03:34 PM #23
      I had a very similar story to that of jsewel, though I didn't endure that lengthy of a process. My car was an early production car as well (June 2003) and had numerous electrical bugs. After having radio issues, TPM issues, and eventually the Sudden Treg Death Syndrome (came out and it was dead - had to be towed), they traded it with no contribution from me. The second Treg is not identical to the first, but it was my choice. All in all, I was satisfied with VW's handling of the exchange.
      However ... T2 is now having some issues. The stepper motor was replaced a month or so ago, as was an air bag sensor - no big deal. When the Treg was there though, somehow the radio ceased working and they ended up taking apart the dash and the headliner. Now I have trim pieces which need to be replaced, the radio occassionally turns itself off, the NAV is acting up and the TPM no longer recognizes the rear wheels. Up until its visit to the dealer, T2 was doing great. Now I'm not so sure. I guess we'll see with this week's visit.
      I'm hopeful.

    24. 08-03-2004 07:48 AM #24
      It hasn't been a good one. For more details visit:

    25. 08-03-2004 08:09 AM #25
      After many months, I received a call from the local VWoA rep to Washington DC yesterday. I had requested a buy back/swap with customer care last Monday. He wanted to discuss a replacement. I have not gotten all the information on what the terms will be, but I will post here when I do.

      Modified by Vdubbtreg at 3:43 PM 8-3-2004

    26. 08-03-2004 09:19 AM #26
      Quote, originally posted by watson007 »

      Nice. Very nice.
      Send the link to a few VW folks. Someone posted the email addresses here a while back.
      VERY NICE. I think that consumers need to get a little bit more aggressive with this type of stuff and not let the manufacturers get by with a simple buyback of the voluntary nature.

    27. 08-07-2004 02:40 AM #27
      I guess this deserves a link:
      NEVER take an existing car as a replacement, don't ya think? This one is OLDER than the lemon he returned

    28. 08-31-2004 11:41 PM #28
      i am going thruogh a very similar experience at the moment. would you share with me copies of the letters you sent to VWoA that were mentioned in your post so I have something to start from? if you would, please use my email address thanks!!!

    29. 09-01-2004 12:35 AM #29
      wow.. I am a VW tech. I take pride in what i do and to be honest I hate Reading / hearing you guys going thought this.
      I know the early ones were buggy and even dealers could not get parts or info on how to repair sometimes. With all the TSB's and Service Circular (I.E. know issues) there is no reason for newly delivered Toureg to have these problems. This is just poor dealer workmanship. Even tho I do not know anyone on this board I am totally embarrassed.
      If a customer comes into the shop I work at and has problems (epically a repeat one) I know I do my best to get it fixed right and verify the repair. Sometime it it out of my control when it gets done, but usually we explain the situation to the customer and let them know what is going on.

    30. 09-01-2004 06:42 AM #30
      Thanks BayArea. I hope the other techs lurking here feel the same way.

    31. 09-01-2004 08:14 AM #31
      VW is replacing my low-VIN V6. It is around 2600, built in June 2003. ~67 days in the shop.
      On service day 67, I informed my dealer that I wanted to talk to a regional rep, and on the same day I called VW Customer care where I firmly but patiently informed them I'd had enough with this car. I informed them that I wanted a replacement. I had to call dealer repeatedly to get this set up, and had to call VW a few times as well.
      After about two weeks of VW not returning my calls as promised, a FedEx letter appeared, with an offer to replace my 'egg with no contribution from me. I gave the author of the letter a call, and he was apologetic, sympathetic, and all-in-all extremely helpful. I never did have to meet with the regional rep...though my dealer called me on the day I got the FedEx...they knew it was going to happen.
      I will be getting my replacement, a 2005 V8 with Premium Plus Package, in about 6-7 weeks. I will be paying an upgrade fee which I believe to be extremely fair and generously low.
      The deal is not done (papers are signed), but IMO VW has risen to the occasion and is doing what they need to do to rectify the situation. There is no other car out there that is appealing to me as the Touareg. I can only hope that the posts about better reliability from later-built 'eggs are true. I believe my chances of getting a plum are even higher with a 2005.
      I did this without an attorney. I did have some initial coaching from jsewell. If you are patient (but firm), have a really good case, have good documentation, and stick to the facts, it can be done.
      I'm sticking with the Touareg. VW/Porsche has too much invested in this vehicle to not get it right.

      Modified by VenetianGreenTouareg at 7:54 AM 9-2-2004

    32. 09-01-2004 09:28 PM #32
      I'm in the middle of negotiating a re-purchase or replacement on my V-8. Will post details once the ink is dry.

    33. 09-02-2004 12:57 AM #33
      Quote, originally posted by VenetianGreenTouareg »
      I'm sticking with the Touareg. VW/Porsche has too much invested in this vehicle to not get it right.

      Here's to an egg-devotee! I would do the same, though it's easy for me to say as I've had a basically trouble-free egg. May the reliabiility gods smile upon you with your T2.

    34. 09-02-2004 06:39 PM #34
      Quote, originally posted by desert2ride »
      i am going thruogh a very similar experience at the moment. would you share with me copies of the letters you sent to VWoA that were mentioned in your post so I have something to start from? if you would, please use my email address thanks!!!

      In my experience (which is not to guarantee that your experience will mirror my experience) VW arbitration reps pretty closely follow your state's lemon law policies when determining what they will provide you in terms of a replacement or buy back amount.
      So, look up your state's lemon law and be prepared...
      If this is in fact what VOA does I personally think it is the wrong thing to do for the customer and for VOA. If someone has a lemon it is VW's fault - not the customer's fault. As such, VW should replace the lemon vehicle with brand new vehicle or a full refund of their purchase price - NO hassles.
      You can get more information at my bad web site as well...
      Best of luck to you.

    35. 09-21-2004 01:08 PM #35
      I had a paint defect (not the white spots that some have seen, but a spotted application of the metallic paint). It took a few weeks for the VW Rep to get to the dealership, but once he did they agreed to replace the car as soon as possible. I am still waiting for the replacement but it looks like from agreeing to replace the car to receiving the new one should be about one month.
      Pretty painless.

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