I purchased Golf GTI MK7 at the end of September 2014 after it been used as a dealer demonstrator for 2 months. The vehicle was in immaculate condition with only 2000 miles completed. A week after I bought the car I noticed an odd sound from the rear that many people have referred to as being similar to a load of logs rolling around in the boot. The noise was very evident at low speeds from 1-30 mph. Anything over that and you may not notice due to general road and ambient noise increases. While I appreciate it is a high performance car it also designed to be used as a normal family car and in reality we do have to drive frequently at low speeds over poor road surfaces in our towns and cities or in the countryside.
I reported the issue to my dealer and also searched the VW MK7 Forum and to my surprise I found that I was not alone with this issue. In fact there were reports from Australia, USA, South Africa and many other countries as well as the UK who appeared to have the majority of complaints. On this subject alone, the forum had received over 84,000 views so clearly there maybe an issue for many owners. The rear shock absorbers were duly replaced by the dealer in Bath UK about 2-weeks after purchase with apparently “revised shock absorbers” but after about one week I reported that the noise had returned.
Unfortunately as I had a trip planned to Europe where I would live for the next five months there was little I could now do as travelling, ferry and hotel arrangements had been made and so to cancel would have been costly. My dealer was quite happy to look at the issue again when I returned in March 2015. During that time away I kept in touch with the dealer via e-mail in case of further developments. I also scoured the internet regarding the Golf MK7 noise issue and found myself communicating with many owners who experienced the same or similar problems.
Much wasted time was spent trying to find the source of the irritating noise, including removing tailgate struts, removing spare wheel, jack, boot floor, parcel shelf. Anything I thought might contribute to this noise I removed. The sound was like a hollow popping, bobbling, rattling sound. The noise was so bad it was embarrassing, so much that when driving over a particular construction of speed humps I would have to slow to a crawl to minimize the noise. What it sounded like outside the vehicle I have no idea, but from within it was like something I have never heard from any car I have owned previously. Foolishly after reading that tyres may be the problem I invested £230 in two new Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres for the rear wheels. Well that was a complete waste of money as they made no difference.
On my return to the UK in March 2015 the car was taken to the dealer and a second set of shock absorbers fitted. I drove away from the dealer and for a while you could notice an improvement but then the noise gradually returned over the next day or two. I then reported to the dealer that there was still a problem and it was arranged for a meeting with a technical representative from VW Milton Keynes, to meet with me at the dealer and to test drive my car. I accompanied the man for the test drive on roads that I knew would highlight the fault. I then asked if we could drive a GTI fitted with DCC, the electronic damping system. I sat as a passenger while he drove and when he was asked by the service department at the dealer to give his opinion between my car and the DCC car he simply said “it is like chalk and cheese”, in other words a big difference.
So what did VWUK do? You’ve guessed it, they now change another set of shock absorbers and when I mentioned top mounts they agreed to change those also. At the meeting I had with the VW representative it was suggested by him that they swap my car for one fitted with Dynamic Chassis Control if the 3rd change of shock absorbers was unsuccessful. Now what more could I ask out of a company as that sounded ideal but in reality was not so straight forward. (see VW UK Response)
After this 3rd set of shocks was replaced I drove back home, some 12 miles, and later that day I was about to post a response on YouTube to announce that the noise was reduced by around 85% and what I could hear was not worthy of any further complaints. However, I decided to hold off and the next day I drove 12 miles there and back to a hospital where the route is very rural with a badly rutted road surface for a number of miles. By the time I had made the return drive I knew that the bobbling, crashing, rattle sound was back.
I was extremely disappointed but not surprised. At this point I have had enough of VW’s failed attempts to fix this problem and that’s when I started what I thought would be an easy process to swap the car as the VW rep had alluded to. From here on in this is where it all gets very difficult as you will read later. (see VW UK Response)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aOK-BAk_To 25k views
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMk9-DBHYxw 7.4k views
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN3-8Ib4k_g 36k views
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bvS3g2vXFI 49k views
If any engineers with suspension knowledge would like to comment on the rattle from the shock absorbers as I demonstrate in two videos then that would be appreciated Volkswagen UK - Their response, their proposals and my decision to reject.