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Michael ASKED THE GUIDE

Volkswagen Golf 2016: Warranty

 My mother bought a new Volkswagen Golf Highline with Driver Assist Pack in Feb 2016 with three-years new car warranty. Last August, the active cruise control stopped working with an error message in the dash display. She took it to the selling dealer thinking it would be repaired under warranty, but they charged $550 to align the radar sensor in the lower front grille of the car on their electronic equipment and get it operating again, saying it was incorrectly fitted. I questioned this charge with the dealership, and then with Volkswagen Group Australia, thinking this failure should be under warranty since there was clearly no damage to a very securely mounted plastic sensor, but they say this isn't covered. The best offer we got was from the dealership for a partial refund and only charge the 1.9 hours labour spent on the job at $265, which we haven't accepted yet. Another dealership told me they charge over $800 for this alignment, and something as simple as having a wheel alignment on the car or the shock of hitting a pothole will cause an ACC failure on Volkswagens, with rectification at the owner's expense. Is this really the case, and if the sensor is so unreliable isn't that a design flaw? I notice the update model of the Golf has moved the sensor out of the lower grill area. My mother doesn't remember being told prior to repair that she would be charged and this really wasn't made clear to her until the car was picked up.

 

You should never assume anything; she should have asked if there was to be a charge before she left the dealership. It’s too late to complain now. As for the radar sensor, it does seem that it is very sensitive to being knocked out of alignment, and I would have thought VW should help out with the cost or realigning it. The dealer has offered to cover part of the cost, but not all of it. If you feel inclined you could pursue VW for the total cost of repairs, but it’s by no means and open-and-shut case that you would be successful.

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