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Skoda VRS - Not fit for purpose after 2 years and 30K miles??


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Hi Folks,

 

I bought brand new (built for me to my specification) a Skoda Fabia VRS, which I ordered in November 2010 and took delivery of in May 2011.

 

Since then it has spent 13% of its life undergoing repairs for the following:

  • Replaced three wheels due to corrosion
  • Replaced front and rear skoda badges due to corrosion
  • replaced all four wheel badges due to corrosion
  • Engine oil breather modification to deal with high oil consumption (used at least 1L per 1000 miles)
  • Replaced clutches on the DSG auto gearbox due to failure
  • Gearbox software update to deal with poor gear change
  • Replaced all four wheel badges again due to corrosion
  • Replaced interior trim under steering wheel after it fell off and wouldn't fit back on
  • Replaced driver's door card as a result of untraceable rattling

 

Things still wrong with it:

  • All sorts of interior rattles and squeaks I've lost the will to fix
  • DSG gearbox still shows signs of not being quite right
  • The replaced wheels are already showing signs of corrosion (less than 15K miles on them).

 

The car has now covered 30K miles from new, has once completely lost drive on the motorway nearly resulting in a serious collision and once bogged down on a roundabout also almost resulting in a side-on impact.

 

Following several letters, Skoda UK have:

  • Claimed to have sent me £170 as a "good will" payment to cover the cost of oil I've paid for, and the cost of travel to/from my dealers 10 miles away (well over 10 visits now)
  • Offered (so far) £1500 towards a new Skoda

 

The £170 (which was now a few weeks ago) has disappeared into a black hole. I'm trying not to labour that point with them as I'm more interested in whether they'll make good on their promise of "trying to get me into another Skoda".

 

Given the dangerous nature of the gearbox faults I've experienced we've completely lost faith with the thing, and while Skoda appear to be willing to "try to get me into another Skoda", the reality is that because of my bad back and the high mileages I do, there are very few cars that suit unless I buy new and specify some options (specifically heated seats or my back seizes up in winter, and a car with very comfortable or sculpted seats).

 

So basically where I am with them is that they've offered £1500, and I'm left having to buy a new car with the above options, which requires me to put in another £3600 from my own pocket. This is after just two years of motoring.

 

My question to you good people is: Does this seem right/fair to you? Or do I have a case to just "reject" the car and ask for my money back?

 

At no point have Skoda offered to do any of the things I'd expect them to:

  • Apologise
  • Offer to thoroughly investigate the gearbox faults or replace the gearbox entirely to put my mind at ease (after I explained to them that it has twice tried to kill me, and my wife now won't drive the car at all, and certainly not with our two-year-old in the back)
  • discuss DSG gearbox issues in general, the quality of their engineering or quality control processes (after a very long letter I wrote them about the quality of their workmanship).
  • respond to my comments about the fact that Volkswagen Group (Skoda's parent company) have been forced to offer 10 year warranties in both China and the USA over almost identical DSG gearbox issues in those countries (after I've made it clear that I don't appreciate feeling forced to sell my car (and suffer depreciation of £6K) after two years just because they seem unable to produce a gearbox that works)

 

I look forward to your responses as I'm in a real muddle and don't know whether I should just bite the bullet and pay the £3500 it would take to put me into another Skoda that suits my needs, whether I should reject their offer entirely, suffer the £6K depreciation and buy something non-Skoda, or fight them for my money back (or at least a larger 'good will' payment).

 

Worth saying, I've now been in discussion with them for well over a month (approaching two months), and they've raised their initial offer of £1000 to £1500.

 

Thanks

 

Louis

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Which area do you live in ?

 

(if it's a coastal region this will have a direct impact on the amount of corrosive particles in the air)

 

From what you have posted so far the only mechanical fault is the gearbox, or the components that are connected to it.

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Which area do you live in ?

 

(if it's a coastal region this will have a direct impact on the amount of corrosive particles in the air)

 

From what you have posted so far the only mechanical fault is the gearbox, or the components that are connected to it.

 

Hi Kiki - no, far from it. I'm just north of London.

 

As for mechanical faults, I'd say the engine using 1L of oil for every 1000miles is a big one, but the DSG gearbox issue is a safety issue. If the car's not safe, it can't be driven, thus not fit for purpose. That's my logic anyway.

 

Until someone qualified tells me it's actually safe (which Skoda won't do of course), why would I assume it is?

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...should also add that the wheels are used during summer months only, so have spent half their lives in dry storage under a blanket...

...so a clear failure on Skoda's part to produce something that's fit for purpose as far as I'm concerned (though I accept this bears no relation to the overall car not being fit for purpose - just irksome that they've replaced obviously poorly-designed goods with the same poorly-designed goods).

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In general what sort of use does the car get? DSG is not really suited to some types of use. The type of corrosion, is it like white spider legs?

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Hi Heliosuk - the car does mainly motorway miles - around 100 miles to 120 miles a day. I do very little town driving.

 

The corrosion is exactly as you describe and starts after only around 7,500 miles of use.

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Problem solved - Skoda came good after I emailed their MD voicing my concerns.

 

It shouldn't have come to that, but I'm certainly relieved they've decided to take their safety responsibilities to their customers seriously.

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