Dealer Oil Change Error Part 2, Or Vandalism?

I had my 09 TDI towed into a V.W. Dealer on 10/30 for a Major Oil Leak. The details are as follows: I parked my TDI in my driveway this morning after a local drive. No mechanical problems were observed. In the afternoon I went for another drive. I barely got out of my driveway when the cars oil light started blinking, and the MFD said STOP the vehicle-low oil. I pulled back in my driveway and noticed several liters of oil on on the ground under my car.

I had my vehicle towed to the dealer by a flatbed tow truck. The service manager called me into the shop and showed me that the oil filters housing cap had been screwed loose, and placed on-top of the housing upside down. The cap had a small piece missing just before the threads begin. Since the car had 1 1/2 quarts of oil still in the oil pan the service manager did not feel that any engine damage occurred.

I explained to the manager that I had been home all day, that my car was locked, alarmed, and parked in my driveway. The manager insisted that someone did this damage to my vehicle. He could not explain how someone was able to get in the vehicle without the key, and without causing any damage or leaving any tool marks, or setting off the car alarm.

I had my vehicles 10K service done at this dealership 800 miles ago. During that service the wrong oil was used, and the vehicle was severely overfilled with oil. These problems were caught by myself, and corrected before leaving the dealership.

Is it possible that the dealer caused a third problem during my 10k service, such as not properly tightening the oil filter’s cap, or was my vehicle vandalized by a Mission Impossible impersonator? Is it probable that engine damage occurred to the vehicle? If what the dealer said is true this vehicle has a severe security flaw!

I received a call from the owner of Platinum V.W. today. He seemed very angry with me for making a complaint to V.W.'s customer service department. He did not seem interested in discussing my complaint, and told me the oil leak was my fault. I was also told that I loosened my own oil cap because I am a tinkerer. When I told him what I believed had happened to my car, I was called a lier. I asked the owner If we could let the factory representative settle this case. The owner told me not to service my car at his dealership. I then suggested we could settle this case with The Better Business Bureau, and I was warned not to do that. I asked why not let an impartial party settle this case? The owner told me I would be committing a fraud.

Yes, I believe that the dealership screwed up when your oil was changed 800 miles ago.

I also believe that your experience is sadly typical of the horrendous customer service at many VW dealerships. There is a reason why Consumer Reports consistently reports that VW owners have the lowest level of satisfaction with their dealership service departments of any make of car.

I suggest that you kick this up to the corporate level at VW. Contact information can be found in your Owner’s Manual. You might want to consider the BBB, but their record of actually helping consumers is almost as dismal as that of VW dealerships.

I would also consider reporting this to my insurance company and let them investigate the issue as part of your comprehensive coverage. This would get a somewhat independent view of the situation. It would also cover you if, for some reason, you don’t get a favorable response from your negotiation attempts.

It appears the dealer and his employees are trying a level of CYA rather than confron the issue. I would make sure that this dealership does not touch my car inthe future.

Take your car to a different VW dealership at the direction of VW customer service, which means another call to the VW Customer Service Dept. In this call you can explain how the Platinum VW owner called you and in my opinion attempted to intimidate you into no further action. Since VW corporate rates dealer’s on the service provided to customer’s this owner was upset that VW corporate is involved.

The vandalism theory dosen’t make sense. Only a very VW knowledgeable person coulde have done it, and what is the motive? Could the VW oil filter system hold for 800 miles without securing the fastener? I don’t know the set up personally so I oculdn’t hazard a quess on that, perhaps another VW dealer can answer that question.

I don’t think your motor sustained any damage, but the Platinum dealer isn’t going to help resolve the matter. Their story is that you did this to your own car in order to damage the dealer’s reputation. This story makes no more sense than the vandalism theory. I think this is a deadlock situation. At this point concentrate on getting the car right. Let VW corporate deal with Platinum VW. You need to find another VW dealer or mechanic for future service.

Thank you all for your excellent advice. I did send a letter to the CEO of VW. I will ask that them to send me to another dealer, for an appointment with the factory representative. I posed these requests to VW’s customer service, but I was informed that my request was beyond what they can do. Depending on the CEO’s response I will consider a complaint with the BBB.

What we need is tort reform in the auto repair industry.

The only people I have seen be asked not to come back, deserved it.

The skeptical person in me feels there is much more going on here than presented.

Just bear in mind that the BBB will only intervene if the business in question is a paid-up-member of the BBB. And, that intervention merely consists of requesting that the business satisfy your complaint. Since the BBB has no punitive power whatsoever, the only “punishment” that they can mete out is to refuse to accept a company’s dues for the following year. And, because those dues comprise the cash flow for the BBB, they only take this “radical” action reluctantly and after repeated complaints against a business.

Complaints against businesses that are not members are simply placed in a database and no action is taken by the BBB, simply because the BBB is a profit-making members-only club that business owners can opt to join. While BBB membership is probably a good sign, it is no assurance that a business is totally ethical.

Last year, Smart Money magazine had a very interesting “expose” on how few consumers are actually helped by the old boy’s club known as the BBB. You would probably be more successful if you filed a complaint with the Office of Consumer Affairs, which is a governmental agency with punitive and regulatory power.

Is the oil filter serviced from under the hood or under the car?? When you noticed the red lights, did you pop the hood and look for problems or just call the tow truck?

Since no damage was done, why bother with this? find a decent independent shop to service your car and drive on…

The filter is serviced up top. I just called a tow truck. I did not look for the leak. I am unsure if the low oil pressure caused engine wear, and would like VW to inspect my vehicle to determine that no damage has occurred. With the dealer ruling this as my fault, this event could void my warranty for any future engine problems.

Ditto. It does sound like there are a few omissions in the story; and that’s not a rare thing to happen at all.

A car maker can never void your warranty only a specific claim unless there is odometer fraud or a salvage title arises.

Keep your receipts and use a local independent VW garage or shop.

The oil loss probably did cause some engine wear. However do you really plan on keeping this vehicle until the engine “wears out”? It is very rare the primary owner of a vehicle ever keeps a vehicle long enough(200k-500k) that an engine wears out.

We get this a lot “loss of potential engine life” but not yet actualy experienced. How does the law look at a loss that my be suffered but not yet actualy happened?

That’s so typical when dealing with VW. I’ve dealt with many Volkswagen dealers over the poor work they did. I’ve also reported them and only to be met with a arrogant atitude. I no longer own a Volkswagen. Never go back to that dealer.