Where to begin. Upon purchasing our 2019 Volkswagen Atlas on Mother’s Day of this year, at Volkswagen Hilton Head, where we were greeted with a friendly smile and all of the right words. We decided to bite the bullet and purchase said vehicle. The buying processes was sub-par and the trade offer we received was a joke and was made worse by their comment of at least you’re getting a military discount, all of $500. Thanks. The issues began shortly thereafter with the detailing of the vehicle or lack thereof. The Atlas sat at detail for approximately two hours while me and my family sat waiting for the vehicle. We asked numerous times and got a relatively cold shoulder. The associate at Volkswagen Hilton Head finally brought our brand-new vehicle to us. To our dismay, the vehicle looked like it had not been touched. The inside was not cleaned, the windows had streaks and you could see the pollen line from where the vehicle sat. The sales manager sat there and cleaned it himself with a spray bottle and rag while I pointed out the flaws. Rather than taking the vehicle and holding someone accountable, he did it himself. The vehicle seemed fine, of so we thought, for the new 1200 or so miles.
On or around the 5th of June my wife went to leave for work in her brand-new vehicle. I just happened to be seeing her off and I noticed a slightly red fluid underneath where she had just left from. Myself, being somewhat of a mechanic, knew instantly it was transmission fluid. The transmission then began slipping, hard shifting, and all sorts of other mechanical issues and so the call was made to the dealer. The call went as expected, I got excuses everything from well that’s how it’s supposed to shift to well how do you know its transmission fluid? I asked for an earlier drop off date and explained that Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is highly flammable and that I didn’t feel safe with my wife driving her brand new vehicle. Side note, if a transmission fails or catches a vehicle on fire, at 80 mph, on a highway, with my family in it, it would have been catastrophic. I was greeted with well ill talk to my service manager. Again, Thanks. The vehicle was finally dropped off on 17 June 2020. The vehicle sat in the shop 10 to 11 days. The parts that needed to be ordered on my wife’s new car, with 2000ish miles was the following: A new transmission, a cv axle, and a cooler. When we received the call from Volkswagen of Hilton Head, we were just told a transmission. It was not until they call me back after the work had been completed that they told us the rest of the parts. I instantly began questioning them. Why just one cv axle? If the transmission was grinding the gears on one, why not replace both? And why were we not told about the rest of the parts.
So now my wife’s car has a new transmission at 2000ish miles and basically a whole new drive train. Unhappy with the lack of Quality Control from Volkswagen, we called the corporate number and had a run around with them. We were finally given to the regional manager, Sarah G. She opened up a file to try and get us into a new Atlas as the one they sold us was clearly faulty. It took them approximately weeks to call back, around the end of July. They told us the amount of damage was not enough to warrant a new vehicle. No accommodations were made just the excuse of “That’s what the manufactures warranty is for.” So, a critical component fails along with other critical items and it gets shrugged off? I guess this shoddy work is what Volkswagen is ok with putting out.
The issues just kept coming. I was washing the Atlas and noticed the bumperdillo was installed incorrectly, the driver door rattled, and the transmission shifts noticeably hard. Myself, my wife and brother in law all agreed it shouldn’t feel like this. The Tiguan and Arteon we had for loaners didn’t shift like that and they are both 8 speed automatic transmissions. So, we made yet another service call, this time to Volkswagen in Savannah. They ordered the bumperdillo and brought the car in to get looked at. These were the excuses I was given for the issues. The door rattle, which I can clearly hear by the latch, was attributed to some hair berets in the door and a light lens in the 3rd row. The shifting was diagnosed as normal even though we have now driven 2 other VW’s and none of them shifted like that. I am getting fed up with the excuses Volkswagen is giving us for their shoddy craftsmanship and the blatant knowledge of issues.
After the issue with the transmission replacement, we were told by Sara G, the region manager, to call if the car went back to the shop. The vehicle was dropped of on 24 August 2020, I attempted to call and email starting as early as 17 August 2020 and have not received any response. I called on the following dates: 19, 25 and 27 August 2020 and multiple email attempts. On the 25 August call, I was told she would call back by end close of business on the 26th. No call. I attempted to get a hold of them again today, and was told 45 mins to one hour, and it’s been two.
If we could, we would never have purchased this vehicle. We are making payment on a vehicle that clearly has issues and no one is accepting the fault at VW.