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Old 06-18-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
havoc531
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Legal options for GTI water pump coverage

I'm the owner of a 2011 Volkswagen GTI with about 75k on the clock and no remaining warranty. Recently the vehicle tripped a check engine light for low coolant level. Dropped it off at the local Chicago burbs dealer Monday and learned the water pump main seal has failed. NOT due to the common issue of oil dripping onto the seal. It was replaced May '14 and thus one month out of warranty so I filed a claim with VW of America requesting support for the parts & labor. Quote for parts & labor for repair is ~$850.

VW agreed to cover the expense of the part bringing the total down to $550 for the labor. This is better than where I started but unsatisfactory to me for a few reasons:
-the nature of the failure indicates either improper install (performed last year by dealer) or part failure
-Google search reveals long history of part revisions and incidents of repeated failure. This seems to be a common issue for the TSI engine in the last couple generations of the GTI.

My next steps are to document the failure reason, validate I did indeed get the latest revision part installed in May '14 for the last replacement and go from there.

For the legal-minded folks or those with warranty type claims experience what are my options? Do I have my attorney draft a letter of demand and hope VW will agree to my terms?

Thanks in advance.

tl;dr
Water pump replacement out of warranty. Part design is junk. Seeking advice in dealing with VWoA.

Last edited by havoc531; 06-18-2015 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:36 AM   #2
sniper27
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I thought the WP was covered under the 5yr/60k powertrain warranty.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:48 AM   #3
plat
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A lot of folks in the forum with bad WP in their GTI's mentioned that VW covers the WP under the power train warranty (5 yrs). So, your GTI's WP should still be covered. I recommend calling up VWoA again.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:54 AM   #4
havoc531
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75k on the clock and no remaining warranty-- sorry that's an important piece of info, I've added it to my original post.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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probably something you don't want to hear, even though its been beaten like a dead horse, you are out of the warranty to be covered for any parts. yes VW know water pumps are an issue for the TSI. but in there defense, you are out of warranty.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:38 PM   #6
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Being that you are out of any warranty periods, You should be grateful Vw is offering to pay for the part (pump). You should not take legal action as VWoA and your dealer did not breach any contracts or implied warranties.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:49 PM   #7
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or save a few hundred and do it yourself? also clean your valves while the manifold is off
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:33 PM   #8
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Bottom line...there's a chance you can get them to eat more of the repair costs, but it'll require a lot of prodding and patience. Also, I'd say that if this is your first WP failure, you probably are less likely to get them to budge.

I just had mine replaced for the second time (third pump, including the original, obv) and I went through a similar experience. They were willing to "work with me," but they wouldn't tell me how much they would pay until I took it in and had it diagnosed at the dealership...which would've cost me $115 to have done. The only thing the dealership was able to tell me was that the total cost for the job was in the $900-$950 range ($115 would be applied as a credit if I had them do the work).

Basically, they wanted me to agree to have them do the work and we'd have to figure out after-the-fact how much (if any) VWoA would contribute. Considering what the dealership told me, it sounded like the best case scenario would've been they split the cost 50/50. I decided to tell them to go scratch and I took it to a very reliable and reputable aftermarket european specialist shop to have it done. Cost me about $600 which isn't much more than what I would've paid if I had the dealership do it, but I feel much more confident in their abilities.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj_law View Post
Bottom line...there's a chance you can get them to eat more of the repair costs, but it'll require a lot of prodding and patience. Also, I'd say that if this is your first WP failure, you probably are less likely to get them to budge.

I just had mine replaced for the second time (third pump, including the original, obv) and I went through a similar experience. They were willing to "work with me," but they wouldn't tell me how much they would pay until I took it in and had it diagnosed at the dealership...which would've cost me $115 to have done. The only thing the dealership was able to tell me was that the total cost for the job was in the $900-$950 range ($115 would be applied as a credit if I had them do the work).

Basically, they wanted me to agree to have them do the work and we'd have to figure out after-the-fact how much (if any) VWoA would contribute. Considering what the dealership told me, it sounded like the best case scenario would've been they split the cost 50/50. I decided to tell them to go scratch and I took it to a very reliable and reputable aftermarket european specialist shop to have it done. Cost me about $600 which isn't much more than what I would've paid if I had the dealership do it, but I feel much more confident in their abilities.
I'm in the same boat; this will be my second replacement. As I mentioned in the original post I realize the part is out of warranty but I'm not OK with getting bent over for a poorly engineered part or improperly installed part. The argument is, this part has high frequency of failure and the standard parts & labor warranty is inadequate.

What steps did you take with the case manager that led you to having some confidence you would get assistance with the labor?
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:41 PM   #10
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Isn't there a better aftermarket WP you can buy that suppose to be more reliable than the VW version? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy that and have someone do the labor for you? At least peace of mind that the part shouldn't be failing again...
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:47 PM   #11
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havoc531, you're lucky the dealership is picking up some of the tab. If you're mechanically inclined, do the replacement yourself. It's not that hard to do.
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:55 PM   #12
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Had this happen to me. out of mileage for the warranty but still under 5 years. Here is what i did to have it done for free:

open a Case with VW, which it appears you have.
Since they will cover the price of the part, find out how much this dealership is charging for labor. I found out that the 1st dealership was charging an arm and a leg for both the part and the labor. I went to another dealership which qoute was much lower, and VWoA goodwilled both parts and labor for me.

I did have another issue entirely where the 2nd dealer tried to play "while we were looking, your radiator is also damaged" game, but that is another story for another time.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc531 View Post
What steps did you take with the case manager that led you to having some confidence you would get assistance with the labor?
A lotta phone calls and a lotta persistence.

Like I said, I didn't want to run the risk of having to pay some/all of the work at the dealer, so I went with an aftermarket place I knew. Only way I would've let the dealer touch it again is if I knew it wouldn't cost me a cent out of pocket.

I was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place too because this is my daily and I couldn't afford to continue the back and forth with VWoA/dealer for days while my car sat. I needed to have it done asap.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:57 AM   #14
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I believe my pump just went too, as my car started leaking coolant. I added more coolant and water and it leaked again setting off the 'check coolant' warning twice.

I dropped my car off last night for my 54k oil change and to check on the pump which should still be covered under warranty.

I'll reply with what they find and/or say about the pump failure.

Last edited by SyDiko; 06-19-2015 at 11:33 AM.
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