I was the second owner and the locally-supplied, low mileage car had a full VW dealer history. I had always promised myself that I would ‘trade up’ to ‘VW Quality’ when I could afford it. I was in for the biggest motoring disappointment of my life...
For months after delivery, the car was hopeless at cold starting - it needed 4 visits to the dealer to get it fixed.
The car would regularly go ‘off tune’ well before a service was due.
At 35,000 miles, the clutch went. I gave the car the ‘benefit of the doubt’ and put this premature wear down to mainly urban use by the previous female owner... sorry ladies!
At 38,000 miles, the speedo started making a constant loud buzzing, which only disappeared on very hot days. On cold days, the noise never went away - regardless of speed. I was told by the dealer that this was a common problem and was caused by the magnets in the speedo rattling. It was not repairable, and the only help they could offer me was to suggest fitting a new one - try explaining that when the time comes to sell! I complained to Customer Services at the UK head office, but they merely referred me back to the dealer.
At 40,000 miles, the front wipers developed a mind of their own - usually switching off in heavy rain. One day when cleaning the inside, the reason was discovered - and it was amazing that anything electrical worked at all! A fault in the coolant sensor had allowed coolant to flood over the main fuseboard - this meant a replacement and two days off the road. Luckily, I’d taken out an extended warranty.
At 42,000 miles the car started cutting out with no warning - at any speed and in any gear. This problem was caused by a faulty (and non-original!) ‘King lead’, which was shorting out on the body.
One day during heavy rain, some sixth sense (and it’s just as well) led me to look under the driver’s floormat - there was around a gallon of rainwater there! The VW dealer had no luck at tracing the source of the leak, and it was only after I complained (again) to Customer Services at the UK head office that VW dealer reluctantly had the car in again and discovered that the windscreen was not properly sealed, so water was flowing down the inside of the ‘A’ pillar and filling the floorpan.
At 55,000 miles, the electric window motor in the passenger door died - this would have cost me £300 had I not taken out the extended warranty!
At 60,000 miles, the cable inside the driver’s seat (which allows the seat to fold forwards when the lever on the side is pulled up) snapped - and I’m not heavy-handed with such controls. This cost nearly £100 to fit a £5 cable (!), due to the fiddly nature of the repair.
The paintwork was very poor, and I was regularly touching-up rust spots that were obviously coming from the inside and were nor caused by stone chips.