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Volkswagen New Car Defect - Still Fighting For Justice 2 Years On!

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  • Volkswagen New Car Defect - Still Fighting For Justice 2 Years On!

    Hi all!

    Long time lurker but need some genuine legal advice to compare with the legal representation I have already experienced to date in my attempts to resolve a dispute that my wife is embroiled in with VW Finance.

    I will be as brief as possible as this is a very extensive and complicated legal case that is still active.

    Essentially my wife purchased a brand new VW at a cost of £38,000.00 (RRP £44,000.00) in March 2017. Within 3 weeks of ownership she noticed a metallic grating noise at low speeds from what she assumed was the brakes bedding in. Believing that it was due to the fact that the car was new she did not report the issue to the selling dealer until 2 weeks later. The dealer duly arranged for the vehicle to be booked in for what it termed a 'complimentary new vehicle check' which is normally carried out at 1,000 miles. As she had only covered 300 miles in the first 5 weeks she did not notify them of the metallic grating noise until arranging the 1,000 mile complimentary vehicle check in May 2017 some 2 months after taking delivery.

    My wife's car was subsequently inspected with the grating noise being confirmed by the assistant service manager and master technician. However, as both dealer employees were not familiar with the noise they confirmed they would contact VW Technical. Some 2 weeks later I was duly contacted by the dealer head of business who wanted to experience the noise himself as I had now notified the finance company VW Finance. I delivered the car to the dealer and the head of business confirmed the noise was present but could not understand why his company car of the same did not exhibit the same noise in the 3 months he had owned it.

    Moving forward another 2 weeks and the dealer contacted me to declare that the grating noise as determined was emanating from the DSG gearbox and that it was a "characteristic" noise that is present on all vehicles of the same type........ less the head of businesses car of the same apparently!

    I took up my grievance with VW Finance who after a while were making it known that they agreed with the opinion of the VW dealer and VW technical that the noise was a "characteristic".

    At this time, 3 months after delivery and after taking legal advice my wife refused to drive her car. To date it has travelled 3,500 miles and has been parked on our driveway since August 2017. In the meantime my wife is still maintaining the finance payments, insurance, GAP, service costs and has had to purchase another vehicle.

    Frustrated at the obstacles we were facing I commenced my own research in to the noise issue which uncovered many owners complaining of the same noise and some not. It was also apparent that other Volkswagen Audi Group car owners including Skoda were experiencing the metallic grating noise but were up against the same dealer obstacles as myself. My wife made a sound recording on her iPhone which I uploaded to YouTube -; https://youtu.be/O96j_x9M3fk which has attracted double digit responses from other owners experiencing the same noise problem and attracted some 5,000 views.

    I subsequently obtained an independent engineers report at a cost of £200.00 from DEKRA who in their test report confirmed that the noise was not acceptable given the age and miles travelled and in his opinion the noise could get worse.

    I also contacted the Motor Ombudsman who after exchanging many e-mails and volumes of correspondence declared that my wife's VW was not of satisfactory quality, although they recommended another independent vehicle assessment as the previous DEKRA report did not identify the cause of the noise. In defence of this I advised the Motor Ombudsman that VW although accepting the noise was present declined to confirm why the noise was present, what component was responsible and the long term diagnosis or potential for future failure.

    At this time I contacted my home insurers to utilise my legal protection policy in the hope that I could obtain legal assistance in fighting this injustice. Fortunately legal assistance was agreed in December 2017 but the legal process has become a very drawn out, frustrating process with no urgency. In May 2018 it was agreed by both my legal representatives and VW that a "expert" would be appointed to conduct another vehicle inspection as VW would not accept the DEKRA report. After delay after delay VW finally agreed and a so called "independent" engineer was appointed, an engineer that VW suggested from the outset, so make your own mind up on that appointment!

    The inspection of my wife's car was carried out in January 2019 with the report being disclosed to both myself and VW in March 2019.

    The report as envisaged was to the advantage of VW as the engineer confirmed that he could not hear any grating noise although we specifically confirmed that the noise is apparent at speeds up to 30/40 mph in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears more notably when changing down or driving in slow moving traffic. The "expert" did not follow any of those instructions and neither did he select the correct drive mode which should have been "Comfort" mode. Instead he undertook the test drive in "Eco" mode which is a fuel saving cruising mode predominately used on motorway driving as this mode disengages the drive to allow "coasting".

    As expected my legal representatives are now proclaiming that VW are in the driving seat and championing every point in their favour at the same time not mentioning the extensive and detailed evidence that is in my wife's favour. One element of the "experts" report relates to the fact that the so called "expert" is the only technical person to drive my wife's car and not hear the noise which questions his ability to conduct vehicle assessments of this nature which require specific experience and knowledge of automotive NVH (Noise, vibration and harshness)

    We have all but lost faith in our legal representatives as it appears that they are siding with the joint "expert" engineers report although the comprehensive and detailed evidence provided by myself to date suggests that there is an issue with DSG gearboxes that VW are declining to confirm exists.

    I am happy to accept any legal advice or take any questions or elaborate on any of the points I have mentioned in this post, in my quest to resolve this complete and utter injustice.

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