Danny Foster says he’ll never purchase another Volkswagen again after his high-pressure fuel pump failed on his diesel 2010 Golf TDI.
“How many other people like me are out there getting that same treatment, that initial contact and being told you are out of luck,” said Foster.
Foster said he was driving home last month when the warning light started flashing and the engine lost power. The Metro Vancouver resident was forced to have the vehicle towed to a nearby VW dealership.
That’s where Foster received some bad news from the mechanic.
“He says, ‘your high-pressure fuel pump has failed, there’s metal fragments throughout the fuel system and we are looking at a minimum of $8,000 to repair your car,’” said Foster.
When the high-pressure fuel pump failed, Foster’s vehicle had about 132,000 kilometres on it, 10,000 kilometres past the extended warranty. Making matters worse, Foster’s vehicle is impacted by the Volkswagen emissions scandal, which means if his vehicle is inoperable, he won’t be eligible to sell it back to VW.
He said he reached out to Volkswagen Canada for help, but got nowhere.
“It’s just like talking to somebody who says, ‘Sorry, it sucks to be you,’” Foster said.
Consumer Matters reached out to Volkswagen Canada on Foster’s behalf. The next day, Foster said he received a call from Volkswagen Canada informing him that the costs to his damaged high-pressure fuel pump would be covered.
“I get this call that VW Canada will cover 90 per cent of the repair and the dealership will cover the other 10 per cent.”
It was a similar experience for VW customer Peter Gill. Back in February, the high-pressure fuel pump on his diesel 2011 Jetta TDI failed. The vehicle had 123,000 kilometres on it and was 3,000 kilometres past its warranty.
Gill was told it would cost him a minimum of $8,000 for the repair. When he reached out to VW Canada for assistance, he says he was stonewalled.
“I was just being moved around and around,” he said. “Eventually there was a final decision and he said, ‘There is nothing we can do.'”
Consumer Matters reached out to Volkswagen Canada and shortly after Gill got a phone call from the company.
Gill said he was told by VW Canada, “We’ve reconsidered your application and will cover you for 100 per cent of the cost.”
Consumer Matters reached out to VW Canada and asked if it had plans to extend the warranty on the high-pressure fuel pump.
In a statement, spokesperson Thomas Tetzlaff said:
“In the case of the high-pressure fuel pump, we have not seen an unusual failure rate in Canada. In addition, we have found that the cause of failure is often attributable to outside factors. We will continue to evaluate claims for goodwill repair assistance on a case-by-case basis.”
Still, Foster said his trust in Volkswagen is shattered. His final repair bill for the high-pressure fuel pump, now covered, came to just over $6500, about $1500 less than the price he was initially quoted.
“That trust is broken between me and Volkswagen,” he said. “I’ll be giving them back their car and it will be my last Volkswagen.”