February 7, 2014
I am writing this email to ask for some help. In 2009, I purchased a Volkswagen Routan. We had various problems with it in the first year and were able to have it “Lemon Lawed”. The company offered us a new 2010 Routan, and against my better judgment, we took it.
Since then, we have had multiple(and I do mean multiple) problems with this van, including my radio and navigation not working (it was replaced twice), problems with my fog lights, the heat in the back not working right, problems with the sliding passenger door, brake trouble, and they had to replace my windshield twice. Also, on many various occasions, my van would not start. I brought the van back to the dealership multiple times for that, too. After several attempts, Harper Volkswagen finally fixed that problem. Our “newest” problem is the van stalls while we are driving approx 30-40 mph. It will also “spit and sputter” before it “dies”. This first happened in August 2012. We thought they had fixed the problem, but it stalled on me one time in February 2013 when I was leaving a parking lot. I mentioned it to the tech several days later when I brought the van in for service, but he shrugged it off as a fluke.
Then, it began doing it multiple times in September 2013.
On January 21, 2014 (I think this date is correct), I picked it up for the 4th time. (By the way, the dealership has witnessed it first hand, as it has shut off in them.) Then, on January 28, after having it back for a week, it stalled on me again. I decided to call VW of America and while I was on hold with them, it did it again! This time I was driving in the snow/ice that we had just received. I was really scared. The steering wheel loses its power steering and is difficult to control. I told the lady what had happened and that the van is unreliable and not safe. She asked exactly what I was looking for. I replied that the money that I had invested in the van was what was needed and she said that “probably” would not happen. I asked her that if she thought it would be cheaper for them to do that than when someone gets seriously hurt and we sue them for millions? (Didn’t the same thing happen to people that were driving Toyotas?) I was trying to make a point. Later that day, it stalled 3 more times, for a total of 5 times! I would love to trade it in to a different company, like Honda, but it will be paid for in a few months. We are looking forward to not having any payments on a vehicle. So I took it back for the 5th time (including Aug 2012) to the dealership.
On Wednesday, my husband received a phone call from the service manager at the dealership. He told us that Volkswagen would no longer cover the costs of repairs and we were basically on our own. Up until now, Volkswagen has not charged us for the costs of this vehicle because off ALL of the problems we have had between the 2 vans. We do have an extended warranty but we have a $100 deductible for each time we use it, considering that the problem is under warranty. If it is not, then we must pay the total cost for repairs. What a "coincidence" that after I called VW of America, that they would no longer cover these problems.
I went today to pick it up. When I left the dealership, I drove down their main road, waiting for the van to warm up so I could turn the heat on and wondering if it would stall. About 2 miles into my trip, I decided to turn the heat on. It made a funny noise and took approx 15-20 seconds for the heat to come on. I made a U-Turn and took it right back.
On my way home, I called Volkswagen of America. I explained my story to another person there and she talk to the same man that had decided they would not cover any more repairs, Ross. They said because my van was 4 years old and because it had 80,000 miles on it, that the only thing he would do is offer me $1000 voucher to use at Volkswagen towards another of their vehicles. (It is almost 70 miles round trip to the dealership. So, quite a few of those miles came from all of those trips!) I told them that is not acceptable because I do not feel safe in any of their vehicles. I also told her that I needed a van because of the transportation that I do for children that attend my daycare and other items directly related to my business. Even if I trusted their product, Volkswagen no longer makes mini-vans. So either way, this will not work.
A few hours later, Ross called me to see how my experience was. I told him everything and how upset that I was that Volkswagen isn’t standing behind their products. I also asked him how he would feel if this was his family in this vehicle and if he would be devastated if something happened to them. I asked if he had the authority to give me my money back for this vehicle and he said yes, but would not. He said that I would need to seek legal action in order to go any further.
Not only do I use this vehicle to transport my 3 children, but this is also a company vehicle that I use to transport other children because I own 2 daycares in Sevier County. This van is extremely unsafe and not reliable. Like I mentioned before, when the ignition turns off, the steering wheel loses all power steering and seems like it almost "locks" up. This happened several times while I was on a curve.
My biggest concern, next to our safety, is what is going to happen next, for example, the heater not working.
We have another friend who has the van and had had multiple problems with theirs. We have also Googled the van and many others have reported similar problems with their vans. VW told my husband that they don't make any these vans anymore. My husband asked if it was because of all of the problems and the man declined to comment.
Please help! I am so frustrate with this company and am at my wits end!
Thank you in advance for any help that you can offer and for your time.
Monetary Loss: $35000.