After having 3 sets of so-called revised rear shock absorbers over a 6-month period after purchasing a car that cost nearly £30,000 I decided that I was hitting my head against a brick-wall with Volkswagen UK and so I rejected the car. The whole issue was then apparently in the decision making hands of the Volkswagen Executive Office as my case has been elevated to a higher level. After some period of time I was finally presented with 3 options to consider and that included a car swap, partial refund and thirdly a few hundred pounds worth of shopping vouchers.
Option 1. The offer was to swap my car for a newer Golf GTI fitted with DCC suspension and that sounded great. VW located a couple of cars for me to test drive with one being 172 miles away from where I live. Apparently they had my post code incorrect!. Meanwhile I had located a car from a more local dealer after I had done the phone calling to find a car. The VWUK executive office made arrangements for me to test drive this car. The object being for me to establish whether DCC fitted GTI’s had a quieter suspension and whether I would be satisfied with a DCC fitted car. I reported back to the Executive Office that a DCC fitted car was fine. However, it was then assumed by VW that the car tested was the one they would offer me and that I would accept, but of course at an additional cost to me.
The car was fitted with £1500 leather seats that I did not need. It was fitted with nearly £1000 worth of 19” wheels that were unnecessary. It was fitted with a higher spec sound system complete with some huge sub-woofer speaker that sits inside the upturned spare wheel, presumably so that the noise from this can drown out all other noises. The car was carbon gray and mine was a beautiful red. The DCC model was fitted with a lower spec infotainment system than I currently had. I wanted what I had purchased originally and not what someone at Volkswagen thought I should have. Naturally I rejected this offer as my contention was and remains so, that the noise issue was an inherent fault and had been there from new.
The second option was to offer me a refund. They would effectively buy the car back at the so-called retail value. I rejected this offer out of principle as my contention is that the 4 sets of shock absorbers fitted to my car including originals, were faulty on purchase of the car and subsequent replacement became faulty very soon after being put into use. In my view the fault existed since I purchased the car and was therefore not fit for purpose. Now fit for purpose should mean that goods should last for a reasonable amount of time. Considering the fact that the shock absorbers deteriorated in their level of audible noise within just a few days or few hundred miles of use then how can this component be considered fit for purpose. If that component is not fit for purpose then as an integral component of the vehicle I believe the vehicle should be considered not fit for purpose.
This is the exact content of the 3rd offer from VWUK.
"Neither option above is viable for you but we are unable to offer any technical or mechanical solution as the noises that remain (subject to next weeks service and recheck of the suspension) are now deemed to be a characteristic of the suspension system on the Golf (albeit one you find unacceptable) and at present we are unaware of any further investigations being undertaken by Volkswagen AG to address these noises. Effectively the vehicle is not faulty (so is therefore fit for purpose) but we recognise that you have experienced considerable inconvenience over a sustained period of time since purchasing the Golf. We would offer£400.00 of vouchers as a goodwill gesture to recognise your inconvenience and these could be Love2shop, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer or indeed any other retailer of your choice".
Whoever came up with the figure of £400 should understand that I consider that as an insult. I would like to say more but at present I will not. It is partly due to this 3rd option that I rejected all proposals and pursued the matter further. So, as you have read, it was now deemed a characteristic of the suspension system. Out of all the VW Golfs that have had replacement shock absorbers, some many times over and with other vehicles waiting in the wings for shock absorber replacements, I am the one person who eventually was told that it is a "characteristic".
Well why were dealers and customers being told this throughout the UK. Why, because the VWUK Executive Office and the VW Technical Department had simply run out of ideas but still believed they could placate owners by continuing to replace these shock absorbers and I no for a fact they have been doing exactly that this year 2020. This is the biggest load of bull crap I have have heard. They consider the car to be not faulty. It may not be faulty in terms of safety and the shock absorber may well be doing its job correctly, though we have no actual proof of that, but it is the manner in which the shock absorber does its job over certain road surfaces that is the concern.
To that end it does not do the job correctly, given the high value of the car, the fact that it is also a family car as it can seat five persons and is designed for normal consumer use. This is not a car designed or intended solely for the the race track or to be driven at 150 mph down a German autobahn. It is a vehicle that should be able to transport a family over a wide variety of road surfaces without a disturbing noise from the rear of the vehicle.
The offer of £400 of vouchers was a slap in the face considering the numerous trips back and forth to the dealer, hanging around for several hours whilst waiting for parts replacements, spending £250 on new rear tyres as I thought this might help, spending £80 on sound insulation for certain areas of the boot and boot floor plus the general inconvenience and disappointment.