I posted this on Passatworld as well...
I've been in contact with the NHTSA regarding the oil pump bolt failures. I'v received a response from the NHTSA and they will gladly accept documentation such as work orders, photos and list of fellow owners reporting failures. They've opened an escalated case for the issue and have advised they will review the documentation we provide.
Now's our chance to force VW's hand. If I show up with three documents, they're going to put it on the back burner and take future correspondence from us less seriously.
I'm asking for 3.6 owners who've experienced the oil pump bolt failure and who are willing to provide work orders or other docs to PM me. I plan to compile as many documented cases as I can and send to the NHTSA along with a write up, engine diagram and photos.
This is our chance! They've agreed to listen if we can get enough cases documented.
Thanks in Advance!!!
Just had the repair completed recently and posted details on another thread.
Cars I have Owned: 2006 VW Passat 3.6, 2006 Audi A4 2.0T, 2002 Audi A6 3.0 Quattro, 2001 Audi 1.8T Quattro, 1994 BMW 325IC, 1994 Acura Vigor GS, 1990 Nissan 240SX, 1987 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z What's next? Audi A5, Audi S4, or ?
If, not then I recommend each user go to the NHTSA site and open a case for your car. They want documented instances/complaints from owners before moving ahead. Right now there are less than half dozen complaints related to the bolt failure on the NHTSA site.
If we can get the 50+ voretx owners on the NHTSA radar (either through sending as a group), then we can VW on the NHTSA radar for this issue.
I plan to compile info gathered from folks up until the end of June. After that I'm going to package and send it off to the NHTSA by July 4th weekend.
I've already received some work orders and info from 3.6 owners who've experienced the failure, but we still need more. Keep 'em coming!
I haven't shared with VW as I don't want it to be perceived as a threat or attempt to gain leverage with my car repair. I want it to be perceived as action being taken...not just a threat. The more I look at this and read the feedback, the more I think we have a legitimate case for forcing a recall. Yeah it's a lot of labor to change a single bolt, but VW is hedging the oil pump bolt failure bets on the back of out of warranty owners.
Last edited by Incrementalg; 06-09-2011 at 05:20 PM.
OP - if you are looking for more data to substantiate your claim with the NHTSA, you should also post this in the Touareg Forums, as well as any Porsche Forums for the Cayenne; as BOTH of those vehicles shared/used the 3.6L VR6.
Demokratikally Elekted Minister of Shekels of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan
I have previously filed a complaint at NHTSA ODI ID Number : 10373182
Since I had 85K when the bolt failed, no warranty and no help from VW even after many calls, letters etc.
I have since replaced the engine at my expense with a used motor I sourced and shipped to my local VW mechanic, not dealer, I am going to open the old engine to document the bolt failure,
I had recieved two quotes from VW, one for new engine, $12K plus, and one for a used engine, $7500+ probably with old bolt and possible same issue, no guarantees, (cost me $380 for them to diagnose the bad motor, I then had it towed to my local shop to do the "heart transplant" for more reasonable hourly rates.
I was able to source a used engine from a wreck, have the new "used" motor opened up, replaced the bolt with new, and related timing components so as to not have the same issue, re- installed complete, for around $ 8,000.
After may letters, phone calls to VWoA and VW AG, with no help, I am going to pursue
re-payment through my state Attorney General consumer complaints bureau, if VW ignores that, on to Small claims court, where I can file for up to $8,000 in PA small claims,
Since I am out the cash already, anything short of full reimbursement will trigger the small claims suit, with all the failures on this forum alone, I can't imagine a judge not ruling against VW, and maybe with some legal precedence set, VW will man up and stand behind their products.
Rare compared to what?
How many cars, any make or model, do you know of to have so many of the same exact failures with such a part?
I know of 58+ on this forum alone, I am sure if VW was asked for their warranty work for this issue it would be much much higher, 58 failures of this exact type, and not recalled is probably unprecedented,
if this issue is fixed under warranty who's posting they had an issue in the first place? Only die hard owners,
VW knows full well about this issue, and their part in it. Why did they change the bolt?
I have the failed bolt, and one ordered from VW 2 months ago, Not the same. Why?
they are not replacing 12K short blocks under warranty without some flags going up, since they knew about it back to mid-late 06' and never informed owners while still under warranty, they can be held liable under implied warranty laws.
Since I already paid for their mistake, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I know you don't want to hear this, but suing VWoA in small claims is probably not going to work out for you.
1. Implied warranty normally requires that you can prove the seller knew of the defect when they sold it to you. I don't think anyone would argue that VW knew of this issue back in 2006 when they sold you the car. Also, Implied Warranty has a statute of limitations. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be up to 4 years from the date of purchase. Unless your oil pump bolt failed before then, you don't have a reasonable case.
2. Even if you somehow win a judgement in small claims (because the judge has a 3.6L Passat that has failed), the defendant (VWoA) can and will appeal the decision and move the case to superior court. That means you'd be up against a big corporation with potentially unlimited legal representation.
The best bet is to do what you can to support the efforts to complain as a large collective group. Hopefully enough pressure will be created so that VWoA offers some relief to those who have had to pay out of pocket for the repair.
Sometimes a majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.
I would be great to know how many 3.6 engines were sold in Passats during the relevant time period so a repair per hundred (RPH) can be calculated. Without knowing that number we are just arguing over the principal of it.
As far as how many do I know of that have had the exact same failure....well I approve out of warranty goodwill requests for an engine maker (not VW). I see a lot of engines that have similar failure modes. Whenever a part doesn't last very long our warranty costs go up and if it causes enough pain for our customers and us we usually spend engineering resources to improve it. Engines break, if under warranty its covered. No one can warrant an engine forever.
To your point about the bolts changing design. Yes every OEM reserves to right to improve their product. Does improving the product mean every one with the old product automatically is owed an upgrade? No, of course not. I had a customer buy a used truck with >500K(semi-truck) miles on it and didn't buy extended coverage. At 680K miles a rod went through the block. They owe 3 years of payments on it and need $32K to replace the engine. The whole truck cost $37k used!! They are asking for help from us to cover it. They did not buy the original truck, we made no money on the resale of the truck, they bought no extended coverage, and we have no idea how the previous owner took care of the truck. What should I, as an OEM, do to help this customer. Outside of feeling real bad for them and giving them advice on the least expensive repair method not a whole lot.
I just disagree with the attitude that if product fails outside of warranty, you are automatically owed compensation if a similar failure had occurred previously. Asking for help never hurts. Nothing wrong with having high expectations of the products you buy. I know when I consider helping out someone with a failure outside of warranty I look to see if they had extended coverage. If they didn't then I really do not put a lot of priority on it.
a class action lawsuit is the only way to get a recall on this. I am in the hunt for a fwd 3.6 sport 06/07 right now. Add to my fleet of vw cars, still have my 02 glx 4mo wagon with 140k goin strong.
the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front onlyMaster L1 ASE certifiedVW's don't leak oil, they just mark their territory!
Any updates on this? I just bought a 2007 4motion with 70k miles. This is my first VW and am loving it so far, but didn't know about this issue until after my purchase. How common is this issue? And should a new owner be worried? My car is a one owner and had all 10000 mile intervals done at the local VW dealer.
I don't know how common it is, but based on what I read here and other forums, failures are still happening. Not at a high rate, but I've read one or two new instances since my op.
I wasnt aware of the issue until after I bought and joined here. I'm glad the info was here for me. The info from these guys helped me diagnose the failure and to side step the bs the dealer and VW threw my way.
I've been a little crazy lately, but haven't forgotten about this. I will ask the nhtsa if they can provide an update.
I would love to see a recall or warranty extension to give fellow owners some peace of mind.
Whether or not the failure happens seems to be luck of the draw.
At least one guy paid to have the bolt replaced with the newer one. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth it to him.
I'd also be curious to see what the NHTSA thinks of this. I know on a scale of how many Passats there are vs how many cases we have documented it is insignificant to them, but I'd be curious to see how the numbers run proportionally. If we looked at how many Passat 3.6 owners there are on this forum vs how many documented cases of the failure on this forum, I bet it is a pretty high percentage. Maybe we can use those statistics to extrapolate an estimation on how many passats total have had the issue. That might have a bit more weight with the NHTSA.
If there was/is a way to quantify that in relation to owners that may help. I shared the number of self confirmed owners with failures with the nhtsa, but not an analyisis or % compared to the # of owners.
Other major recalls have been made for issues that require hours of labor for a problem less frequently occuring than the bolt failure. Audi had a recall on thousands of allroads to replace a nipple on the fuel tank. it was found that it could potentially leak in the event of a rollover and result in a fire. I'd imagine the number of fires resulting from this potential failure was far, far less than the number of catastrophic engine failures as a result of the bolt failure.
I dont know if the severity of the possible result motivates a recall more than frequency of possible result? My stance is engine failure is dangerous and a risk that is/was a reality for more than a couple of owners. (myself included)
Last edited by Incrementalg; 11-30-2011 at 01:46 PM.
My 02 Passat glx 4 mo, had that same leak that the Audi did, after I filed a nhtsa report, it took about a year and a half for someone to call me back to talk to me about it. I only filed because it very slowly dripped gas which would smell up my house, and they charged me 2,000 to fix it. Its inside the tank so is nothing an owner would do to damage it. When they finally recalled the passat's for it, there were only 10 of the complaint numbers listed on the court order, and one of them was mine. They still never sent me a notice about the recall, and I had to call them to get my money back. They gave me a couple months run around but sent me a check for 2,000. The nhtsa does look into that stuff, they just have alot of car complaints, and it may take awhile. I do think things related to gas or something that can be a hazard to bystanders gets priority. Anyone throwing a lit cigarette by my car may have been in trouble.
I sent a nice follow up email to the NHTSA this week asking about the status. I also sent an additional write up pointing them to vortex and other online forums.
In the meantime, they advised that I'll need to write them a letter via snail mail for results of my complaint. (really?????)
I haven't done this because I don't think they've even gotten to this one yet. I don't know how they sift through the thousands of poorly written complaints that drone on and on about how dealers suck and cars, suck or maybe how their cousin Raul is a mechanic and he knows the Taurus SHO is a time bomb...etc. (I've read through a bunch of complaints on their sites and many of them are like this)
Still plugging away...
Last edited by Incrementalg; 02-02-2012 at 12:43 PM.
I've counted another half dozen new reports of bolt failures since my op. imagine how many aren't reported?
No news. I sent 3 or 4 follow up emails over the last month and get nothing but an auto response. They gave me a case number when I first reached out, but I can't find it on their site search.
In the meantime the nhtsa has gone Gung Ho over the possible Chevy volt fire which happened 5 years after the first oil pump bolt failures were reported to them.
I'm starting to think they're not gonna bother.
They really jump at issues that have potential to cause fires, so maybe someone should say their passat burst into flames?
I experienced the dreaded oil bolt failure at 92k mi. I guess I was luck that the bolt cracked in 2 but did not cause total engine failure, only had the pump, chains and tensioners replaced along with rear main seal for good luck. Total cost out of my pocket? $3500... When I asked VW to help they said they would give me $1000 off on a new VW out of the kindness of their hearts... I told them to put that kindness in a different part of their bodies and reported the failure to the NHTSA. Hopefully we will get VW to pay up later on!!!