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Old 07-19-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
Fordson
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Slick move by VW - don't bite...

Recently, I took my car in to my dealer - while the car was sitting in their inventory, before I bought it, mice got into the hood insulation and I had the dealer order a new one and tell me when it came in.

When I got there to have the insulation installed, they told me that there was a TSB for my car, for the KESSY - I have an Autobahn. It's for an issue with the steering column lock - there is a module that controls this lock - it's a different lock (Electronic Steering Column Lock) because there is no ignition keyhole for KESSY cars, and there have been some issues of the thing freaking out and not allowing the car to be started because the module was not playing nice with the ECU.

Here is the TSB - http://www.coffeeandrides.com/Russ/RECALLVW.pdf

Now, here is the tough part - look at the last page of the .pdf - it's a waiver to sign that states that you do or do not have the car chipped - says the reflash of the steering column module will OVERWRITE the aftermarket ECU flash and they are not responsible. Now here is the deal - it will NOT overwrite your ECU flash, because it only affects the module that controls the ESCL, not the main ECU module, and it's nothing more than an effort to get you to blow yourself in that your car is chipped.

The dealer did not ask me to sign this waiver, so I was in the clear, but I was worried because while my car was there I did some poking around and found this TSB. I asked APR if this was a known issue, and they researched it and found that it would not affect the ECU. I checked my car when I got there to pick it up, and the ECU was still locked and all 4 of my tunes were still there and OK.

My advice from going through it - get the TSB done, but first, set your car back to stock with the cruise control, lock it with your 4-digit PIN, and if asked to sign the waiver, say your car is not chipped. Your ECU will not be affected by the reflash of the column module, and you will not have ratted yourself out to your dealer.

This is pretty underhanded on the part of VW. I did a search to see if this was covered in any other thread...and I don't see that it was. I realize that some VW dealers DO reflash cars, and this is not (probably not) an issue in that case, but most of us do not care to produce a signed document stating that we have chipped our cars, and give it to the people who control our warranty coverage.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like you're overreacting a little. It's just to cover themselves so that you can't come back later and argue they owe you for the labor to re-chip your ECU if it did get erased. It's well-known that dealers may reprogram the ECUs if updates are available, and that this may "un-chip" your car.

Additionally - this waiver doesn't specifically mention "ECU Tuning" -- just "control module" tuning... there's several control modules that interact with the ECU, and since your dealer was re-flashing one of them, it seems responsible of them to ask you if you have already applied a program to it. The fact that they ask for the contact info if you wish them to contact the tuning company additionally implies they're willing to find out if damage will be done if they do this work, too.

Finally - the warranty issue is thoroughly discussed and commented on in the forums. There's nothing in this waiver that void any of your warranty or rights as a consumer beyond what's already in the law (i.e., if your tune is found to be the cause of a problem, that problem isn't covered under warranty anyway - wether you sign this or not).
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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Couple of points...

- nobody here has "applied a program" to his electronic steering lock module, so it seems unlikely that they would be making sure you have not done that, as you state.

- they describe their concern as, "tuning...especially power increasing modifications," so it's pretty clear what they're after.

- VW knows (or should know) that this TSB is not going anywhere near the ECU, so this waiver is not needed for purposes of indemnifying them. They may not have information gathering as a primary purpose of presenting this waiver, but why give them the information, as a condition of having a needed TSB performed?

- I never claimed there was anything in the waiver that would void your warranty. And since I'm not commenting on "the warranty issue," the fact that "the warranty issue" has been covered in the forums is immaterial.

So what do you chipped Autobahn owners think? Anybody interested in filling this thing out when you get your TSB done?
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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It looks like a pretty generic CYA clause for VWOA. I'm not sure that VWOA knows all the ins and out of each tuners products, so I wouldn't assume they know whether the TSB would affect a tuned ECU. I read it as "we'll perform this warranty work, but if something happens because of an undisclosed modified ECU, you are responsible"

Putting your car into stock mode is fine if your stage 1 only. Anything else and its going to be pretty obvious you're not stock. If the dealer wants to make an issue of it, take the car somewhere else.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:07 PM   #5
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The reflash is done through an SVM update.... ALL reflashes are done the exact same way. When you hook up to the car and log into the server you put in the SVM code that applies to the STB, RVU, or Recall your doing and it'll self check itself to make sure the control module has the old software level. If it applies it'll show you the current and the new software levels and then you tell it do the flash. It does the update... the end. That waiver is part of EVERY SINGLE SVM procedure whether it's a media player software update for ipod problems, a steering column lock module for the Kessy issues, or an ECU update for 02 sensors. It's not a bad deal, posting about it in general is an over reaction.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dustinouch View Post
It looks like a pretty generic CYA clause for VWOA. I'm not sure that VWOA knows all the ins and out of each tuners products, so I wouldn't assume they know whether the TSB would affect a tuned ECU. I read it as "we'll perform this warranty work, but if something happens because of an undisclosed modified ECU, you are responsible"

Putting your car into stock mode is fine if your stage 1 only. Anything else and its going to be pretty obvious you're not stock. If the dealer wants to make an issue of it, take the car somewhere else.
they are doing the CYA, basically if your software differs from VW's is can render your car undrivable, couple of local guys had this problem with their Early APR tunes, they went in for a TSB and part of the TSB was to reprogram the MFI in the cluster. this tripped the immobilizer and the car would no longer start, because the ECU was APR tuned the VW dealer couldn't get into the software to recode the ECU and cluster.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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Every form involving some sort of electrical malfunction asks u to sign if its chipped or not. Every car make does this.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:42 PM   #8
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even if it DID overwrite your aftermarket tune, why would you tell them you have one? even if they did overwrite it, I would say I don't have one, let them overwrite it, and then promptly take it back to my tune dealer to have it re-tuned for free (as a lot of dealers will do).
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:51 AM   #9
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even if it DID overwrite your aftermarket tune, why would you tell them you have one? even if they did overwrite it, I would say I don't have one, let them overwrite it, and then promptly take it back to my tune dealer to have it re-tuned for free (as a lot of dealers will do).
As much as APR wants you to think they cant read it and see if its chipped, they can.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mellow Dubmarine View Post
even if it DID overwrite your aftermarket tune, why would you tell them you have one? even if they did overwrite it, I would say I don't have one, let them overwrite it, and then promptly take it back to my tune dealer to have it re-tuned for free (as a lot of dealers will do).
This I think is my point.

I did a search - did not see this issue or waiver mentioned anywhere in any thread. Stopped and thought about whether or not I would want to be unexpectedly presented with this waiver to sign when bringing my car in, decided I would not. Decided to create a thread and tell people about it.

That's it. If bringing what seems to be new info to this forum is overreacting, then we are all overreacting about half the time we post. Or of course we can just create more "which intake is best?" or "stance - lol FTW" threads.

This info is already known on this board? The info is already out there - nothing to see here - move on? Show me. Give me a link or two.

And no, I don't consider the fact that a VW tech knows about this to be evidence that it's "out there" in the general community.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
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pointless thread
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:53 PM   #12
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As much as APR wants you to think they cant read it and see if its chipped, they can.
true, but has little to do with my point. case 1: they don't actually overwrite your tune as the op has noted. ok, then avoid telling them that you have a tune, let them do their work on the car in which they won't do anything to the tune, and then go on your happy way. case 2: they do actually overwrite your tune. ok, then avoid telling them that you have a tune, let them do their work on the car and overwrite the tune, and then take your car back to the tune dealer to have it reflashed for free and go on your happy way. yes, a mild inconvenience, but it's nothing serious. my point is that either way it is logical for you to not tell the dealer you have a tune (unless you're someone who prefers being straight up with your dealer; I know there's a lot of people out there who would rather find a mod-friendly dealer and just be honest with them about all the mods they have). as for the dealer being able to see if you are chipped, everyone knows that a dealer could find out if it really wanted to, but from what I know, very few dealers actually go through the process required to find out for a fact. that's why they do stuff like this waiver: it's easier for them to scare you into admitting you're chipped.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:40 PM   #13
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pointless thread
Agreed. Find a dealership or someone at a dealership that is mod friendly and don't worry any more.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:54 PM   #14
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I guess I am wondering why anyone would think this waiver just goes to the specific dealer you went to for the work - ?

As far as I'm concerned, if you sign this, you have now told VW of America you are chipped.

Again, you may or may not care, but it's not just a matter of you sign the waiver, give it to your mod-friendly dealer and it's between you and him.

Come on.
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