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VW Reliability

Any machanics or VW owners have an opinion on the newer VW 2008-2010 as far as major problems. I am interested in a new CC and I love the car, but I am being scared off by VW reliability history. Any advise would be great.

Passats have had worse or much worse than average reliability from 2000 to 2008 on Consumer reports. The CC is a slightly modified Passat.

texases, do you mean to infer that since CS said that the 2000 to 2008 Passats had problems, then the 2009 and 2010s do also?

You may be correct but if so, that would be a lucky guess.

That is like saying that your grandfather was shot at age 100 by a jealous husband and that will happen to you too.

Sorry OP, I can’t do any better. Check out VWVortex. Although a VW site, posters are free to post the truth.

Does to 2008 mean 2008 inclusive or up to 2008?

PS: Does slightly modified mean that VW fixed the problems?

I’m not familiar with the '08 and later models but I’ve worked for 2 VW dealers in the past and have never seen the shop deluged with customer complaints over owning a hunk of junk; and VWs prior to '08 were also tarnished as being unreliable.

Keep in mind that with any surveys, reports, or general whining complaints that you seldom ever hear the entire story behind a complaint.
I’ve seen people run their 2 week old car off in the ditch on icy roads and then curse the dealer and the car maker for manufacturing and selling a Lemon. Skewed thinking, but that can be the norm unfortunately.

Keep in mind that much of the VW reputation is do to small stuff. Most reports of repair rates don’t really look at what was repaired (new engine vs a coolant sensor ($10.00 plus five minutes labor). I have yet to see a study that factored in the driver. Some drivers are more likely to report a problem that another driver would consider maintenance.

Driver types will tend to differ depending on the car.

Consider looking at the accident rate or the repair rates for big muscle cars, vs. luxury cars.

Looking at the best data I can find, I would suggest that VW does have more problems, but on average a little smaller problems, than most cars, but that is mostly a guess. My degree is in economics and statistics was a big part of my professional life.

I reality only a small number of cars have those kind of problems. So even a very small difference looks bigger than it really is.

Note: I am talking about scale not the fact that there is or is not more of a problem.

My personal opinion is that there is a difference and VW’s rates have been higher, but not enough to be a material factor for me. I own a VW.

Passats have more problems than Hondas, Toyotas, Mazdas and Ford Fusion. Initially these would not be expensive, since all Volkwagens have a good warranty. Most VW owners sell them when the warranty is up.

As they age these cars cost a great deal more to repair than comperable US and most Japanese cars. They also require special oil (more expensive) and you have to make sure the car gets that oil. Stay away from fast oil change places.

If, after this, you still want one, compare it with hooking up with someone who has “special needs”. It just requires dedication.

I agree with Jos. in that the added problems we’ve seen in brother’s and friends are smaller but no less irritating. Those that had them said they liked them, but did not buy another unless it was a diesel. I also agree that the overall repair records for newer models are very good, but still lag behind other Asian makes. IF the price were right, I would not be afraid to buy one, but would want a dealer with a very good reputation.

While CR rates VWs poorly, that does not mean they will cost you a lot to repair. CR rates anything wil 3% or worse repair record as poor; averge is about 2% and excellent is better than 1%. VW also has free maintenance for up to 2 years or so. That’s several hundred off right there. I wouldn’t woory about going to the poor farm with any new car these days, unless you buy something you can’t afford to begin with.

All I’m saying is that 9 years of poorer than average performance would make me pause. Reliability is not a random event, brands tend to have pretty well established track records, and VW’s is mostly ‘black circles/half circles’ on CR. Might the CC be OK? Sure, but it would require a pretty significant change for VW.

Listen to Consumer Reports! I wish that I had done so! Our family has owned MANY MANY VW’s - old and new - and reliability is NOT their strong point - cute? yes. fun? yes. reliable? no. In fact, I was getting ready to buy ANOTHER VW the other day (yes, I’m stupid and I fall for a pretty car at the drop of a hat) but my wife IMMEDIATELY said “Weren’t you always complaining about your LAST Volkswagen always being in the shop?” - end of discussion - so, stick with Japan if you want a car that is pretty AND won’t wipe out your bank account!

This and what others have said rings true with what someone here said on Car Talk a couple of years ago about Consumer Report’s revised grading system. Cars are good enough now that the old C.R. grading system would no longer suffice to point out significant reliability differences. C.R. needs something dramatic to talk about in order to sell magazines. They need a grading system that includes bad, average and good cars, not simply very good, excellent and superior cars.

Why would you having a degree indicate superior performance? people who cite their degrees in automotive technology when answering questions on this forum are routinely told that having a degree does not equate with any guaranteed level of competance.

If we are going to accept degrees from some then accept them from all.

By ‘slightly modified’, I mean that VW removed rear headroom to make way for the swoopy ‘four-door coupe’ styling.

Looking at the graph of by-brand reliability, pg. 22 of the latest CR car issue, after 5 years VWs average about twice the number of problems as Honda or Toyota. And the number’s aren’t small. During those 5 years VW had about 64 problems per hundred vehicles, Honda or Toyota about 32 per hundred.

After 5 years, that would be the 2005 models. No help for the 2008, 2009, 2010 model years.

Lexus was the best in 2004 with 163 repairs per 100 cars per Bankrate.

What is a problem? Does it result in a repair or is it simply a complaint urged on by the C.R. survey method?

VW’s are basically solid cars. They have a few more “radio” and electronic problems than most, and the auto transmissions aren’t the most “robust”.

If you buy the CC with an auto trans don’t pay attention to the “transmission never needs service” claim. The trans does need regular fluid changes with specific VW brand trans fluid if you want it to last over 100K miles. Change the fluid every 3 years or every 30K miles whichever comes first and you’ll be OK.

Honda Accords don’t have the most robust auto transmissions either. Even Toyota’s have some transmission problems, there is no car that is perfect.

I didn’t get any sense that Joseph_Meehan was trying to “pull rank” in his reply about his degree. It looks like he was trying to give an objective assessment of how to understand the abundance of confusing data that’s out there - and reflecting that he’s trained and spent his career doing such analysis.

For all years VW’s are quite a bit worse than Honda or Toyota. I just picked 2005 as an example

Good post tex! In a nutshell, it means that VWs do not age well, and after 5 years there are twice as many problems as with Japanese cars.

In addition, each problem costs a lot more to fix than with Japanese or US cars. So, after 5 years, when the typical new VW buyer has disposed of the car with an expired warranty it could cost up to 4 times as much to keep such a car on the road compared to a Japanese car.

My humble Nissan Sentra at age 6 had a heater hose replaced and the radiator was replaced under warranty. In the 5th year it required no repairs at all.

Germans get rid of their cars early and many end up overseas where labor is cheap and Chinese parts are plentiful.

P.S. In the Consumer Reports survey the list is for actual repairs that cost money; not warranty repairs. This filters out “whining” as implied by others. Even with their very good warranty, VWs still end up with twice as many repairs paid for by the owner after 5 years, and it’s downhill all the way from there.

I understand what Mr. Meehan is saying along with being in total agreement. Show me one study, survey, periodical, telephone poll, or anything else that has the driver factored in.
The average person driving a Honda Accord sedan is likely going to be very different from the person driving a SAAB Turbo as an example.

CR is like walking out on the streets of NYC, polling 50 people about an issue, and then claiming that’s representative of the entire lot. CR’s sampling is so small as to be meaningless in my opinion.

Some years back J.D. Power got caught taking payola (from Subaru) for skewing auto statistics so can anyone state with 100% certainty that any of them are not doing something like this today?
What’s always the bottom line, no matter the product, service, government regulation. or legislation? Money. As long as money is involved anyone or anything is subject to corruption; either totally or to a lesser degree.