I bought a 2003 beetle convertible last Febuary. Within the first month of having it the plastic tab that comes up when you put the top down, snapped off. After having it fixed it was fine for about a month then I put the top down and it got stuck, I couldn't put it up or down. I got it fixed and then it happened again. Once again they fixed it and a few days later it broke again. This happened three times. I finally got the dealer ship to buy it back from me. I made the mistake of buying another one after that happened. I've had it for about 6 months now and the airbag lights are coming on and won't go off. Worst car I have ever driven!
We purchased a new 2004 GLS VW Convertible Aug. 2004. Should have known that we would have problems when we drove it off of the lot and the rear view mirror dropped down in our hands. The convertible top has stuck 3 times 3/4 of the way down. The dealer showed me how to reset the system using the windows up and down x 4, but this didn't work the last 2 times. They have adjusted it once and replaced parts the 2nd time. At the present time they are working on it again. Sure does take the "New Car" experience to a lower level.
I am of German ancestry, and am appalled at the lack of quality and reliability of Volkswagen. I think nothing of doing maintenance on my trusty 1988 Toyota 4x4 pickup (300,000KM, with only routine wear and tear on it), but trying to work on my wife's 1997 VW Golf is an exercise in patience and frustration. (what you mean there's TWO mufflers on it??) These vehicles are over-designed and needlessly complicated, in my opinion. (as well as generally just being pieces of garbage). The only saving grace is that the galvanised steel body is very resistant to rust, and the ride is quite comfortable...
Yeah, VW has certainly gone down hill. If there aren't scandals such as the of hiring Brazilian prostitutes for the union leaders, there is the fact that VW was actually close to LOSING money on every new Golf/Rabbit sold because they didn't run the numbers right. Now the 2007 models use CHEAPER fittings. This is just stupid. What company invests billions in their premier model and doesn't plan in advance to make a profit?
Oh, what am I saying? VW is the same company that thought people would pay $100K for the VW-badged Phaeton.
I look at VWs the way I look at American cars - it's going to take several years of proven quality and reliability to get me close to sinking my money in one.