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Sam ASKED THE GUIDE

Volkswagen Golf 2013: Selling tips

We are disappointed in the reliability of my partner’s 2013 VW Golf Trendline. We are now in for our 11th repair visit (excluding dealer servicing) in the car’s short 71,000 km life. We bought this Golf in good faith from VW under the dealer’s promise that the car’s German build quality and quality dealer networks were far superior than other vehicles we were considering at the time. We feel let down. The vehicle has constantly burned oil since new to the point where we cannot make it to the 15,000 km service intervals (dealer advised) without the dealer refilling the oil. As a rule of thumb the car is generally burning about 2.5 litres of oil every 7500 km. Initially after our first oil light warning our VW servicing dealer in Melbourne conducted a oil consumption test, but said that “this was common for all new engines" and “oil consumption was in tolerance for VW specs”. Due to a change in career location to Cairns and thus new VW dealer our concerns were realised in mid-2016 after another two oil consumption tests confirmed abnormal oil burn and the car had the engine block replaced as well as the valve timing regulator. Seems that this is a common problem around the world. Unfortunately, the car has not stopped burning oil and after another oil top-up the car is currently under another oil consumption test under the dealer’s guidance. We are praying that this will convince the dealer that further repair is needed. The latest issue that we have had is the reoccurring leak of water into the cabin through a fault with the plenum chamber. Being in the hot and humid North Queensland, a leak in a car leads to mould and smell very quickly. As the local dealership was unable to fit us into their service schedule for six days for the repair, we took it upon ourselves to try and dry out the car. As a result of our frustrations we are fed up with this car. We have asked Volkswagen what they can offer, or how they can rectify this. They have returned with repairs under good will and hire car on two instances, but this hardly compensates for our loss of time, stress and loss of faith in the brand. As we have accepted that this is a 'lemon car', we have had attempts of even selling the car, but this has been interrupted by stints in the dealership. The dealer has already quoted a below market trade-in (compared to another dealership and Redbook valuations) to the tune of $2500. What would be a fair outcome here? What do we need to do?

It’s probably best to get out of the car rather than continue to try and rectify the problems. You could try and negotiate a better deal as a trade-in, but if you did that you would be left driving another VW and that’s probably not what you want. You could seek advice on your legal options from the Queensland consumer affairs department. But the best option might be to trade the car in on something from a rival brand.

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