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It’s my first post. Like many I have joined with a problem and I am looking for some advice.


I bought a pre-reg VW Transporter Kombi van from a VW dealer in April 2012. It was “as new” with delivery miles. The total cost was approximately £24,000. I bought it over the phone. Paid a couple of hundred quid on my personal credit card and bank transferred the rest. They delivered it for no charge. The dealer is 120 miles away. I never visited the dealer. I bought it for my business, a small LTD company i.e. just me.


After the first month and 1000 miles the van developed a steering issue. It’s a knock/jolt felt through the steering wheel while turning at low speed. Typically half to full lock. After a while the steering even feels loose. So it doesn’t feel all that safe in our opinion.


I reported it to my local dealer. They could not detect it.

It came back a few weeks later and they took it in and replaced the steering column.


That fix lasted for about 3000 miles. It came back again.

They then replaced the lower steering column. (apparently it’s a known fault)

It then came back again about 1000 miles later.


Feeling a little aggrieved I then asked for my money back. They initially said “the supplying dealer must have the opportunity to fix the issue”. All the previous work was done under VW warranty by my local VW dealer. However, the supplying dealer would not collect it (I invited them to do so) and instead they wanted me to drive down to them. I have lots of kids and lots of school runs to do, so that was never going to work.


I got the local VW dealer to take it in again. They tried some other fixes and finished by applying some lubricant to the steering column. That lasted for a couple of weeks and it came back again.


I started dealing with VW directly and they arranged for an inspection of my van. Surprisingly, the inspection report found nothing wrong. Which was a real surprise because just before they collected it:


I could feel it, my wife could feel it, I had a local mechanic drive it and he noticed the fault. Even the VW technician who collected it from my house, noticed the issue, and reported it to his boss. Yet the official report said nothing wrong. Even more surprisingly, our van came back and the steering issue was gone! It must have fixed it’s self in the van centre car park :!:


That fix lasted a couple of weeks. The fault is now back just like before.


The dealer we bought it from are citing the official report saying basically: “nothing wrong”. They also said that they invited me to bring the van in for them to look at. For these reasons they will not give a refund.


Any idea where we go from here?


It feels like a catch 22. I feel I cannot sell it with this fault and yet do not want to drive it.

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Sorry to post such a complex one first off.


The dealer is now saying I knew they were a long way away when we bought it…


“a fact known to yourself when you decided to purchase the vehicle; we delivered the van to you as part of your original purchase transaction.”


“At no time did we enter into an agreement to collect your vehicle for potential service or repair.”

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Coreect they are not obliged to collect it, unless it is a warranty issue and undriveable, which you can discuss direct VW.

the only way forward as both VW and dealer say there is no fault, is to get an independant engineer to check it out and get a report and present that to VW and the dealer.

Do you think it is a safety issue?, unsafe to drive? if so take it to a vehicle inspection site run by VOSA, should be one near you, that do MOT type checks!

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Thanks. The van is still covered under VW warranty. But they were saying “the supplying dealer must have the opportunity to fix the issue” etc.


I sent off a “vehicle safety report” earlier this week to VOSA. So I will give them a call in the next few days to follow it up. I invited them to inspect our van in that report.


The AA will do an independent inspection for about £200. If I get that done and it shows the problem (which I am sure it will), do you think there is hope with a rejection?


I have just spoken with a lady at "motorcode" who thought I might not be able to use an AA report if it goes to court. As anyone else come across this?

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I doubt it is sufficient for rejection,however the problem is they say there is nothing to fix?!

take it to a vosa site or council run for inspection, cost about £50. that would be admissable. As asked before is it unsafe?

Any report carried out by a suitably qualified motor engineer should also be admissable as an expert witness.

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Thanks for that.


The after sales manager at the local VW dealer repeatedly says things like:


“yes we know you have got a problem, we have notified the factory and we are waiting for a fix from them”.


From what I have been told, it’s a very common fault.


> As asked before is it unsafe?


I don’t know. It does not feel right to me or the wife, but I am no mechanic. I have never had a vehicle do this before. If it was an old car needing an MOT, wouldn't they say something like “excessive play in the steering” ?? I'm sure I had an old metro fail on that one once.


Again the local dealer previously have said: “yes it’s safe” and “we have never had one fail”.


What about all the previous attempted fixes, do they not help towards a rejection?

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  • 9 months later...

This is a major fault with the VW T5.1 I purchased a brand new 2013 model, and within 600 miles I could feel the knock through the steering wheel. It is now on 4500 miles and really bad. VW are fobbing us off.


take a look on T5 forum There are more that 40 T5 van owners on the list already. The response from VW is shameful. This is not how a £25k + vehicle should feel. Worth messaging their social media sites/pages facebook twitter etc

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Hi I myself have bought a new 2013 transporter costing €30.000 was really impressed with van I had older t5 shape and knew problems with van but as a VW lover I still went ahead and invested in new van . I myself am sole trader tradesman and this sort of money 2 hand out for a van in this work climate is a big commitment . I was over the moon driving my new shiny van couldn't find a fault with it until steering started to click when Turning right and right only .same outcome as you OAKTREES VW took van and said everything was fixed but couldn't tell me what was wrong with steering in first place . Long story short clicking has returned in steering wheel just interested to know if you have managed to get yours resolved and if so could you pass some sort of information on as VW are clearly keeping us in dark here

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Is your T5.1 left hand drive or Right hand drive? As vw are stating they have had no issues with LHD vehicles.


Check out the thread on the T4forum there are now over 50 T5.1 owners listed all with very low miles and the steering knock/clunk fault.

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