VW Jetta part unavailable; no ETA or aftermarket; stranded student

I am a college student in Seattle, WA, and my 2019 VW Jetta was in a hit and run. The impact bar was damaged, and according to University VW in Seattle, the part has been on back order since the middle of last year, and there is no ETA, and there are 1000 people waiting for it. My insurance adjuster checked for aftermarket and used parts, and this part is not available anywhere. The car cannot be driven due to safety issues caused by the damaged impact bar. My insurance provides one month of auto rental which is about to run out. I need a car to go to classes and internships. I called VW corporate and the dealership where we purchased the car to request help with a rental car, and they refused. Basically it seems VW has no stake in getting the part in a timely manner, leaving customers like myself stranded. This is a new car that my mother bought for me in 2019 and still has low mileage. I am living on student loans and cannot afford an indefinite rental or to buy another car. Do you have any advice on how to get VW to pay for a rental until the part arrives since there is no ETA? Thanks!

This is a legal problem, not a car problem.

I’d suggest speaking to a lawyer about the problem. There is usually no fee for the first consultation.

Many of us have had supply chain problems with our cars lately. Good Luck


What impact bar? Is this the channel under the bumper cover, door impact channel, or what. It most likely can be pulled out an straightened in a few hours at a body shop to make it drivable until parts are available. It doesn’t have to look new to be usable. The only other option is, if parts are not available cars are usually totaled out and the client paid out for the value.


Well maybe you can provide some more detail because it seems like there are a number of places that have an “impact bar” in stock and available to ship. Here’s one:

Thanks for the reply! I called Teddy VW of Bronx and they looked it up by VIN, and confirmed it’s back ordered. I did get the part number from him: 17A807109R

Thanks for the reply. I just got the part number: 17A807109R. I will call the insurance adjuster and see what she says. If it is totaled, I might lose a lot of money on this car?

Thanks for the reply. I will see about pro bono advice. Do you happen to know what others in my situation have done? If litigated, have they been successful in recovering what they paid for the car?

I parked my car until the part I needed was available as part of a more expensive assembly. Took 3 months. But I had another car. Anything else I’ve read hasn’t been too positive for the car owner.

Look into your state’s lemon laws, Maybe they cover “lack of parts” as a line item. But a lawyer that specializes in auto and insurance claims would know. You may not have to rely on pro bono work as some states allow the lawyer to recover their fees from the party they are suing on your behalf if they win. Lawyers will take that on contingency. I.e. You lose, their work is free.

That would probably do the job ok; but I doubt a body shop would be willing to take on the liability risk. Imagine the courtroom questioning that would go on if a driver got injured in a car accident, even if the injury actually had little to nothing to do w/the shop-straightened impact bar.

Thank you, again, those are good suggestions. I will see about a free initial consult with an auto lawyer.

That is exactly what the repair shop is telling me. They say they are VW certified, and they know that neither they nor VW will do such a repair because of the liability issue. They say I can get the car towed to a non-certified shop and even they will likely not do it. They say it’s unsafe to drive.

Do you think the state’s AG office might be effective with this? I’m in Washington state. Thanks

This is horrible. I don’t understand why people don’t look into legal options in a case like this bmw.

Sorry you are having this difficulty OP. What seems most fair is the dealership or VW loans you a car, or pays for your rental, until the part is available. The problem with this theory, I expect you already know, is that what’s fair often differs from the applicable law. Suggest to expect the lawyer consultation won’t provide a clear solution, and your best bet will be to come up with some other form of transport in the meantime, ride-share, take the bus, etc.

Beyond that, maybe do a little research on which makes/models this wouldn’t have been a problem; then on your next purchase, chose one of those.

Thanks, yes, I am preparing for the worst and looking into rideshares, bus rides, etc. But some of my internships are out of the way. My mom is helping me find a lawyer for the initial consult.

You can predict 4 years into the future on parts availability?

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Not lawyer and I don’t live in WA, no clue.

None of this will likely be quick.

lol … fair point. Nobody can predict the future of course, but a prognostication, a forecast of possible future events if you will, based on current measured data can often be helpful.

Sorry to hear you are going through this.
try calling your adjuster and also your insurance company to see if they will extend your car rental being the part is on backorder.
In the past I had my rental extended because of back ordered parts. but that was just for an extra week.
It does not hurt to ask.
best of luck.