Two days after buying this car, I had to have the wiring system replaced. Extended warranty purchased would not cover it... about a $1500 repair.
Shortly after, it was the mass flow air sensor, a/c, new tires, several headlights, airbag light, break light switch.
Catalytic converter was replaced under warranty @ 78,000.
Coil pack replaced @ 85,000. (VW Dealership wanted $1000, and I got it done for $450) Had received a letter about the coil pack being under recall/extended warranty, but per usual, my car just didn't seem to meet eligibility.
Catalytic converter replaced a second time @ 98,000. (VW dealership wanted $1400, I got it done for $500.) Again, my car did not meet eligibility for the extended warranty.
Common problems I've just learned to live with: when using electric windows the headlights dim considerably, inside arm of driver side the plastic is peeling, seat memory works only on occassion, horrible gas mileage, MIL light will never shut off (For the mere 2 years I've owned this car, the MIL light has been on about 95% of the time.), musty smell when no air is on, CD changer won't change cds during winter months (anything under 50 degrees)...and the list goes on forever...
Best advice: if you're going to buy a VW, try to find a non dealership mechanic that will help you, you will save a massive amount of money. (@ $80/hr just for labor, its well worth the research!)
LOVED this car when I test-drove it. Still love driving it, but it's hunger for my hard earned moolah is a getting a little ridiculous!
Another thing I've noticed is that the car smells like crayons. I thought it was just mine, until I read some other reviews, seems strange that this is a common problem.
I had previously owned a 93 Grand Am and was so excited to step up to a "luxury" car. Little did I know that "luxury" meant never-ending trips to the dealership for repairs, recalls that never seemed to be available to my car, yet I was receiving mail from VWoA all the time.
This car is a great looking, and loads of fun to drive, but only buy it if you can afford the repairs you are destined to have to perform.