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2016 Volkswagen Golf - Broken sunroof

Leaky sunroof on 2016 VW Golf. The sunroof design flaw in VW Golfs is known to the company and prompted a recall in 2017 to apply patches in spots where the sunroof frame is known to crack. The patches on mine failed, or new cracks formed in August 2018, resulting in a leak. More patches were applied under warranty. These held until November 2019 when the sunroof began to leak again. Now out of warranty, I opened an issue with VW Customer Care and brought the car back to the dealer which again patched new cracks. Nonetheless, the roof continued to leak.Dealer says it requires a replacement sunroof frame. Currently waiting for VW Customer Care to get back to me to inform me whether they plan to cover the cost of a replacement frame. Has anyone had this issue and received a satisfactory response or assistance from VW?

The second new vehicle I bought was a Civic SI. Black on Black with no AC. The moonroof never worked. I took back three times. On the third attempt, I was turned over to the dealer’s “QC manager.” he personally took me to the vehicle after it was serviced and done. We started it, I actuated the moonroof and it all fell apart. Frames came off and fasteners fell on our heads. I asked them to just make it waterproof and they did. I wish I could say that was my last Honda, but it was not, and I may still buy another. What I learned was that once you get a lemon, the dealer is not a solution to that problem. The moonroof in 2006 Accord shattered btw. Circle back and let us know how this all turns out.

Is it any wonder that Consumer Reports’ surveys consistently rank VW dealers at the bottom of the barrel in regard to responding to customers’ problems? VW has had a problem with window regulators and sunroof mechanisms for quite a few years, and their dealerships consistently deny that the manufacturer has any responsibility for the problem.

… and then we have their well-documented record of attempting to “cheat” in regard to their diesels.
At least that scam of theirs was detected, and they suffered the consequences.


An update… The Golf has been with the dealer for more than 2 weeks now and, though they can clearly see that the sunroof is leaking, they just can’t find the leak. The dealer service people say they’re consulting with VW engineers as they work to find it. So far they’ve removed trim pieces on the passenger side A pillar and we were told this morning that they intend to remove the headliner and run the car through a car wash with a technician inside who will try to see how the water is getting into the car. We’ve been getting an update call every few days from VW Customer Care but so far no idea when they’ll be able to fix the leak and return the car to us. VW owners forums are full of complaints about leaky sunroofs. I really like this Golf but never again will I buy one with a sunroof. In fact, I can’t imagine getting another VW. They’ve lost my trust.

You have problems with this sunroof but that does not mean they are all bad.
We have had 5 different vehicles with sunroofs and no leaks or problems . 1 for 8 years - 2 for 10 years .

Very true. Not all bad. But sunroofs do seem to be a particularly weak point for VW. They settled a leaky sunroof class action suit several years ago and there are law firms now trolling for clients for a new sunroof-related suit based on the large number of reported problems with the current generation. Still, I really like how VWs handle and move. I just want my car to be made watertight and returned to me.

Honestly, it’s more that quality is a weak point for VW. That’s why I don’t own any VW’s. You happened to get a bad sunroof. Others have electrical problems that turn into nightmares. “Perfect German engineering” is a myth - some of it’s good, some of it’s bad just like any other country’s engineering.

But, then again, I haven’t owned any VWs since my '70s Karmann Ghia, which didn’t have a sunroof. The sunroofs on my Honda and my 3 Subarus have been 100% problem-free, even for as long as 10 years.

Final update. (I hope!) After numerous attempts to find the leak, the dealership, in cooperation with VW engineers, finally located it after removing the headliner. They concluded that the sunroof frame could not be repaired and would need to be replaced. They completed the work, including a new headliner, and we were able to get our car back. After a few days of rain, I’m glad to say it appears to have worked. There’s no sign of leakage so far. I’m not sure who picked up the tab but was told by VW Customer Care that it was covered under “good will.” It took a while, three full weeks, but I’m happy with the outcome so far.

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