My Volkswagen Golf is a lemon. What do I do?

My Volkswagen Golf is a lemon


I bought a Volkswagen Golf that was impacted by the DSG issue. The DSG has been replaced, and then 6-9 months later, the clutches needed replacement.

I am still not convinced the transmission issues are fixed (as I get the occasion shudder when accelerating from a stop).

I want Volkswagen to fix this issue or provide some serious support in trading the car. I am also considering suing them if there is a reasonable chance that this would produce a useful outcome. Advice? - Kevin


Top-selling small cars

Year to date to October 2015

Kevin, this would never happen with an Audi. Just saying. You’re in a very difficult situation - because what you deserve, morally, and what you are able to achieve, pragmatically, are vastly different things. This transmission in your car is fundamentally flawed. Your Golf is most certainly a lemon. We have inadequate consumer protection for lemons.

See why Australian consumers need better protection against lemons >>

This means that Volkswagen will get away with doing less than the absolute minimum required in relation to your transmission. Guaranteed, the dealership will tell you that a degree of shuddering ‘falls within the normal operational parameters’ of the transmission - or some similar horse-humping bullshit. It's what they do.

As an economically rational proposition, it would cost you more to sue Volkswagen over this problem than it would simply to trade in the car and get something decent to replace it. (Something non-Volkswagen, unless you are a moron. A Mazda3 SP25 GT - excellent car. Or a Hyundai i30 SR.) Toyota Corolla? The automotive equivalent of the colour beige, and the Holden Cruze is an even worse lemon than the Golf.

Maybe these two aren't quite as sexy, but what they lack in visual appeal, they make up for in reliability. And they're good to drive. Volkswagens are generally beautiful to look at and great to drive, but they have the disposition of Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction - they make you want them, bad, and then, after you’ve taken them, they boil your bunny. You’re currently enjoying (if that’s the right word) having that bunny boiled.

The most worrying aspect of your correspondence is expecting (quote) “some serious support [from Volkswagen] trading in this car”. To be perfectly blunt, you’re not seriously considering rewarding Volkswagen for treating you in this unethical and immoral way by buying another one, are you?

My Volkswagen Golf is a lemon

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity was to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So, you’ve just played Russian roulette with a Volkswagen, the hammer fell on a loaded chamber and you decorated the wall with your brains, and you’re seriously considering going again? Doubling down on this is a bad idea.

Volkswagens are a ‘don’t buy’. I’ve been saying it for years. It’s that simple. (I get dozens of e-mails from people like you in exactly your position.) It’s not a DSG issue - it’s a Volkswagen issue. Volkswagens are unreliable, great to drive and beautiful shitboxes, and the support you get when there is a problem is almost as bad as the support you’d get from Jeep.

And then there's the issue of betrayal - of the public, by Volkswagen. See how Volkswagen betrayed the world >>