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John Rhodes ASKED THE GUIDE

Amarok auxiliary belt, engine problem

 My 2012 Amarok shredded about 2 mm off the side of the auxiliary belt and it ended up in the timing cover causing the timing belt to jump. A piston hit the head as a result. In short they tell me it needs a new motor at a cost of $14,000. I know they have had problems with this for a while, but are not admitting it. They have been replacing bottom half of the cover where it surrounds the crank. The dealer and VW customer care say they can't help, as the car has done 102,000 km and is 10 months out of warranty. I'm 64 years of age and bought this car thinking it will see me out. The purchase price was $54,200 and I still have 12 months hire purchase to go, now I'm expected find another $14,000 to make the car drivable. Desperate; please help.

This is just another example of VW dodging a problem they know exists. Yours is not the only Amarok to suffer this problem, other owners have experienced the same thing. The auxiliary belt fails due to dirt and dust and bits of the belt find their way into the timing belt and cause tat to fail or jump teeth. The end result is often a destroyed engine, as has happened to your car. It's poor design, inadequate testing, and questionable ethics on VW's part having discovered the problem. Even though the warranty has expired on your car VW is still responsible through the statutory laws around consumer protection. The car as it was sold to you is clearly not fit for purpose, it has a design flaw that led to the failure of the engine. Do not take VW's denial of responsibility as the end of the matter; they are only trying to fob you off. Go straight to the top of VW Australia and contact the company's boss, John White directly.

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