Volkswagen of America - Volkswagen of America, Certified Pre-Owned Warranty is Misrepresented

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2005 at 12:00am CST by 811cec2b

Company: Volkswagen of America

Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles

I am writing to ask your help with a problem I'm having concerning Volkswagen of America. I purchased a used VW Passat from Presige Volkswagen, located in Melbourne, FL and asked about the Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty option. The dealer provided a marketing brochure that explained the coverage it provides, which states "It's a shame our lawyers make us use the word "limited" to describe such a ridiculously comprehensive warranty. Essentially, you're covered head to toe. So if there's a defect in materials or workmanship during the warranty's span, other than the usual wear and tear, it's taken care of." The sales manager strongly pushed the program so I agreed to pay the additional cost to have the car covered under the CPO program. I've attached a link to the on-line copy of this brochure for reference.

http://vwcertified.vw.com/flash/brochure/cpobrochure.pdf

I recently contacted a lady named Amanda at VW Customer Care (1-800-411-6688) regarding a 4" long crack that's developed on my dash panel, between the glove box and radio. The young lady I spoke to said if the crack wasn't due to an outside influence, like something striking the panel, that it should be covered under the CPO warranty. She gave me a case number for our call (#50431616) and told me to schedule a service visit with my local dealership. I visited the Tully Volkswagen dealership in New Hampshire (I moved to New England shortly after buying the car) and spoke to the service manager, Mike Letizia, about the crack. He confirmed the crack wasn't due to any outside influence and that my CPO warranty was still in effect. But, Mike then explained that the CPO warranty doesn't cover that particular part. I pointed out that the CPO literature doesn't mention any exclusions and Mike agreed, so he said he would call VW Customer Care on my behalf to see if they would grant an exception. Mike called but didn't get anywhere, so he encouraged me to try and gave me the name and phone number of the person he spoke with, Robert Casa (1-248-754-3477).

I called Robert and explained what Amanda at VW Customer care told me and that I was surprised and disappointed that the dealership was giving me a completely different answer about fixing my dashboard. Robert pointed out that Amanda said my situation "should" be covered by the CPO warranty, but that this wasn't a guarantee. I expressed my frustration and disappointment at being caught in the middle between what Volkswagen of America's CPO literature and websites claim and the actual coverage a VW dealership will provide under it. What he said next was even more shocking. Robert went on to say there is a long list of items not covered under the CPO warranty. I pointed out that nothing in the CPO literature or websites mentions these excluded items and asked Robert if he could supply me with this list for future reference. He said VW Customer Care was not authorized to disclose it to customers! I asked where I could get this information since he wasn't able to provide it, and he said a VW dealership could provide it. When I contacted my dealership to request the list of excluded items under the CPO warranty they told me VW of America prohibits them from giving it to customers! When I asked the dealership why they cannot disclose the full list of excluded items the service rep intimated VW of America felt doing so would create a negative reaction to the CPO program. No kidding?!

Can you see the situation? VW of America widely promotes a warranty product that claims "head to toe" coverage and VW dealerships in turn sells it to customers, but neither will tell customers what is actually covered under it. When customers try to get assistance, each points at the other and the customer is caught in the middle.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Nick

Westford, MA 01886


5 Comments

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7fa8b80c, 2008-06-04, 07:50PM CDT

Nick,

I am having a similar situation with my girlfriends VW. When she purchased the car she drove it home and we took it for a test drive. The rear spoiler, which moves up and down at different speeds, was making a very loud noise. Shouldn't that have been addressed in the 112 point inspection? You would think so, it was the first thing I noticed when driving the car. When we took it to get fixed we dropped it off and then picked it up later that day after they called and said it was ready. It made the same noise on the way home. We took it in again, they "fixed" it again and we picked it up. It made the same noise on the way home. I finally had to drive around the block with one of their service guys to prove that it was not fixed. When he heard the noise with me in the car he had the audacity of telling me it was normal. Only after I demanded to ride around the block in one of their new models to compare the two did they admit they were wrong and fixed it. All it took to fix was simply oiling the moving parts which are supposed to be serviced from time to time.

Sorry to rant but I am very disappointed with the entire service of the dealership. This is only one of the many conflicts that we have had since she bought the car. I was wondering if you ever got a hold of the list of exclusions or maybe a list of inclusions which would probably be a much quicker read. If you have it please forward it to me.

Thank you

James Marsden

Also if in your experiences you learn any valuable information on how to deal with these people please pass it on.

223799c6, 2008-08-17, 05:22PM CDT

I've had similar problems with my 03 Jetta 1.8t (assembled in Germany, not Mexico). I purchased it from a dealer (Jim Ellis VW of Atlanta, GA, also the dealer I've taken it to for service) with the CPO 5 year 50,000 mile extended warranty (since reduced to 2 years, 24,000 miles on newer cars I believe). It has been incredibly difficult to get the dealership to do any work at all. As I'm pretty car savvy, I've been able to diagnose most of my car's problemsas they arise. Unfortunately, the dealer will often tell you that a problem is normal when it isn't or will fail to disclose the problems that they do come across while inspecting the car.

I have examples of both; after developing a persistent front end suspension creak, I checked the control arm bushings which looked really worn even though the car had only 55,000 miles on it (my warranty expires at 74,250 miles), the dealer "misdiagnosed" the problem as a faulty strut mount and I had to pay out of pocket to replace the control arm bushings (at another mechanic) just to prove that they had been the problem (furthermore, it took VoA 18 months and an untold number of phone calls to reimburse me). Later I discovered a problem with the engine cooling fans which the dealership stubbornly refused to acknowledge until roughly 8 months (and almost 10,000 miles) after I had found it and even then only when I was dealing with a service rep who was unaware that my car was covered under CPO warranty.

I've also experienced problems similar to those described above; VW's CPO warranty excludes a surprising number of things that anyone with common sense would expect to be covered under this type of warranty and which I know from personal experience are covered on CPO warranties issued by other car manufacturers (Honda, Subaru, and BMW). Also, it seems like the VoA customer service experience is designed to trap the customer between VoA and the dealer in order to discourage warranty work. My advice to anyone stuck in this situation is to keep agitating and, if necessary, pay for the repairs yourself and keep any records and used parts in order to facilitate your claim, it's generally better than waiting and waiting while your car wears faster than it would have had the problems been addressed by the dealer directly.

The essential failing inherent in VW's CPO warranty is that the dealership recieves less money (from VoA) for working on a warranty car than they would if they charged the customer directly. This disparity is, in part, passed on to the mechanics providing them with an incentive to minimize the amount of warranty work that they do. As such, it's difficult to take the information that they pass on to you at face value, something I've learned firsthand as it often contradicts my own observations as well as those of independant mechanics.

The CPO may not be a bad idea, you just have to invest more effort than you should in making sure you get what you deserve out of it.

0dc04b7a, 2010-02-25, 04:30PM CST

I purchased a 06 golf CPO and from day 1 had problems with the car. There is no way the dealer ever checked this vehicle over but sold it to me as a CPO.

First -Transmission was bad and after several weeks at the dealership it was finally re[laced with a rebuilt unit.

Second- Both back lights had hairline cracks that were replaced.

Third-Car would not pass NJ state inspection and the dealership had to work on the computer to have it read correctly in order to pass.

Fourth- I asked for my wheels to be rotated and was told a rim was no good an not covered by the warranty.

Fifth-Needed front end work because above 65 the car would shake.

This is all over 12 months..outside of washing the car and replacing the tires its clear that no inspection was done prior to me buying a car from VW. Never again.

5eb7948a, 2012-02-18, 12:12PM CST

I found a 2009 EOS online that I just loved. It was advertised as a CERTIFIED 2009 EOS - $19,995. When I got to the dealership I was told that it was a certified vehicle, had gone through the 112 point inspection and all parts were checked and passed certification. Then when I was ready to sign the papers I was told I had to purchase the certification for $550!!! WHAT?????? This is surely false advertisment and FRAUD!!!! The General Manger was the one who explained to me that if I didn't purchase it I would drive it off the lot "with no warranty." Someone needs to stop this type of sales.

576a0729, 2013-08-21, 09:07PM CDT

I have to agree. I purchased a 2008 CPO Eos in 2011- been to dealer at least 7-8 times for various things and its never an easy process to get something covered. Usualy have to call VWOA but they eventually do cover after i supply them with copies of the cpo warranty i was given. They should have thought it through before saying everything would be covered because it stinks having to jump through hoops to get anything covered. It's a process. I do see since they have changed the wording of the CPO warranty but im holding onto my copy until its through!

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