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Alberta man blames VW for having to drive ‘unsafe’ vehicle

Click to play video: 'Alberta driver blames Volkswagen Canada for ‘unsafe’ ride' Alberta driver blames Volkswagen Canada for ‘unsafe’ ride
WATCH: An Alberta man whose vehicle windshield was severely damaged says he’s faced nothing but roadblocks from Volkswagen Canada when it comes to getting it fixed. As Tomasia DaSilva reports, the automaker says the fix is out of its control – Aug 15, 2022

An Alberta driver has told Global News he’s being forced to drive an “unsafe” vehicle due to Volkswagen Canada not having sufficient supplies.

Brandon Cruze bought a brand new 2022 VW Tiguan back in November 2021. A few months ago, he was driving down the highway when he was hit by some flying gravel. One rock chip on his windshield quickly turned into nine.

“There’s currently now over 52 cracks in the windshield,” he said.

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The Cochrane resident said not only is it not pretty to look at, it’s also not safe to drive.

“The glare is pretty bad. It makes it pretty difficult to see.”

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Brandon Cruze’s severely damaged windshield. Global Calgary

Cruze contacted both his dealership and the automaker to see what could be done, but said he was told “nothing.” He didn’t have much luck elsewhere either.

“I went to a number of different glass companies in Cochrane and in Calgary. Nobody had the actual windshield itself and there are none available in Canada,” he said he was told.

Cruze said he offered several solutions, but was denied each time.

“I asked VW for a loaner vehicle, which they rejected. So I asked for a rental and they denied that as well.”

“I even went so far as to ask if I could defer my payment, and have the payment money be put towards a rental and they denied that too.”

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Supply chain disruptions have stalled deliveries of vehicles and replacement parts worldwide.

VW Canada told Global News it too has been impacted.

“Owing to supply chain shortages that have affected our industry, the flow of replacement parts has been dramatically impacted, and we have been in a back-order situation on this particular part,” a statement read.

“As this particular matter is due to an outside influence, rather than any sort of manufacturing defect, there is no rental vehicle assistance available.

“This would be a matter best addressed with the customer’s insurance provider as it was a case of road hazard that caused the windshield chip.”

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Cruze said he contacted his insurer, but decided not to go that route. He added it would end up costing him more down the road, not only for the rental but also possibly in insurance claims.

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“I don’t think I should have to be out of pocket for a rental. For me to get into a rental, it’s going to be anywhere from $1,400 to $1,600 a month. And right now the windshield is on backorder so it can be anywhere from four to six months.”

Cruze said considering he is already paying $700 a month in car payments, it’s just too much.

“A rental would drive it over $2,000 a month,” he pointed out.

VW Tiguan windshield smashed by flying gravel
VW Tiguan windshield smashed by flying gravel. Courtesy: Brandon Cruze

VW said it is looking at any way to speed up the delivery of the windshield, but added unfortunately it cannot do anything more.

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Cruze, who bought two new VWs last year, added the automaker needs to step up and take care of its customers — both in terms of loyalty and safety.

“I believe it’s up to automakers to make sure those parts are available to the public to ensure that those vehicles can stay on the road.”

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