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I originally wasn't going to post this around the web, but I would like to raise awareness of my current situation and how it is being handled by Volkswagen of America. I want other consumers looking to potentially purchase one of these cars, to be aware at the level of production quality, as well as quality of customer service provided by Volkswagen of America. With this I would hope that no one else will make the mistake I did for not thoroughly inspecting a car at the time of delivery.

On Sunday, August 4th 2013 we took delivery of a 2013 Tiguan SEL 4 Motion in Candy White from University VW in Seattle, a Volkswagen dealership 180 miles from where we live. We are in need to replace the wife’s car as we now have a second child and would like something bigger and safer. It took me almost 3 months to get a Tiguan with this specification and at the price that we want due to limited selection around where we live (Vancouver, WA).

Since we have a long drive ahead of us (have both our children with us, work on Monday and my firm believe in proper engine break in - the manual did mention a break in period of 1,000 miles) we made our walk around a brief one. Odometer reading during delivery is 17 miles but the paperwork for some reason records it as 20.

A few weeks after we got the Tiguan, while detailing it (wash and wax), I noticed a piece of metal protruding from under the C pillar and pushing against the driver side tail light.
The metal has the same color paint as the body but there are places on the tip where the paint have broken off.
This triggered me to check the exterior of the Tiguan more thoroughly and by doing this I found that there is a gap between the front passenger side fender flare and the fender. It seems to me that the fender flare was not aligned properly during assembly.

Aside from those problems, we haven’t been successful in getting the memory seat programmed (other functions including lumbar support works) and occasionally hear loud booming noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. At first we thought the booming sound comes from the speakers (until we hear it without the radio on) and have blamed the failure to program the seat memory to my incompetence. Talking with a retired auto mechanic he told me that the booming sound might have been caused by cabling/grounding problem that “leak” a signal into the speakers. He told me good luck in trying to find the source of this problem. So with all these problems I finally decide to bring the car in to the local Volkswagen dealership.

On Thursday 09/27 I dropped the vehicle off at Dick Hannah Volkswagen for the body and seat problems. I am still trying to figure out the symptom/behavior for the noise problem and would rather not have anybody “helping” us with the break in period. Later that day Adam the service advisor called and told me that they have ordered a new fender flare and asked if they can just keep the Tiguan there until the repair is done. They are still trying to figure the memory seat problem at this time.
After work I came back to Dick Hannah to get a loaner car and during this visit I was told that their plan is to have a body shop shave the metal panel off and then have it repainted. They also showed me this metal have caused the driver side taillight to be assembled wrong and causing paint damage to where its V shaped end touched the quarter panel. However, the bod repair will have to be scheduled separately later.

5 days later, after multiple follow up call, I was told that I can pick the Tiguan back as the fender flare and a seat problem has been fixed. When picking the Tiguan up I asked Ryan, the service advisor that is covering for Adam, of what causing the seat problem and was told it is was disconnected cables. I found this to be odd as every other function of the seat works but at least the problem has been resolved. He also told me to call Adam to schedule a time to get the Tiguan to a body shop. This is for another story but while moving my stuff back to the Tiguan found that the dealership have accidentally dinged the rear passenger side door.

So at this point the Tiguan has displayed multiple build quality problems/defects.
Namely:
1. Bad quarter panel assembly
2. Misaligned/misassembled fender flare
3. Random booming sound
4. Misassembled driver power seat.

All of these problems made me lost confident in the safety of this Tiguan. What else was built wrong with this vehicle?
Furthermore, a record of body work will adversely affect the value of this Tiguan. I believe it’s unfair for a consumer to have a vehicle that he/she purchased as brand new to prematurely loose it value due to factory defect.

Therefore the night after I drop off the Tiguan I filled out the online form contacting Volkswagen of America Customer CARE. They are quite responsive and returned my email message within 24-36 hours during regular business day. Unfortunately, the only resolution that they can and been repeatedly offered me for about 3 weeks is to use the warranty.

I told them that due to the safety concern I would like this badly built Tiguan to be replaced. These problems, especially the body panel problem shows factory structural and build defect. When told that I’m going to seek legal help the Regional Case Manager in his email response send me the email address for their executive team and physical address for Volkswagen of America legal department.

I ended up sending an email to their executive team to see if they would help me and on 10/24 I finally talked with a Katie Fox from that department. She was really sympathetic and apologetic but at the end the only resolution that she could offer me is $300 and the advice to use the warranty.

I will post any new update as I hear from them. I’m hoping that VWoA can make this an experience I can praise them on and not just the opposite.

Here is the picture for problem 1


Another one


Compared with the one on passenger side
 

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First red flag... buying a two year old car "brand new." Second, in all my years working on these vehicles in a high volume dealer in NY you are the FIRST person to have this type of build quality issue. You might want to find out the reason WHY it's a two year old car at a dealer....might have transport damage and was repaired......i.e. it fell off the truck and was repaired. I'd call VW customer cares and ASK if this was damaged prior to delivery. Was the car stupid cheap? Another sign of previous damage. Give me your vin and ill try and find out as much as I can.

In all honesty the seat was probably a basic settings issue with the computer. If the seat doesn't know where it is the memory won't work. probably took the techs a while to figure out all the proper criteria for the memory to work, but VW will not pay the dealer for this fix so they claim something was unplugged.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry. It was a typo. The Tiguan with all this problem is a 2013 model.
There is no record disclosed about any prior damage on the vehicle.
 

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Have not heard back from VWoA.
I guess the next step would be submitting a complain to the Attorney General.
Am I overdoing this? voice of reason, anybody?
 

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Step back and enjoy the car. Life is too short to worry about a tiny gap in a tail lamp assembly......especially if you think that will cause a massive implode upon impact. Go inspect any new Toyota and tell me the build quality is amazing! The plastic parts look like they came from a model airplane kit. :)
 

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Also, "Body work" doesn't show up in a vehicle history report. Only accidents that the DMV files.

This is exactly what warranties are for. I wish every car could be hand-built with the same care that comes from a high-end auto manufacturer, but unfortunately that isn't the case. That being said, it's weird if it came out of the factory like that and, as Nitroscope suggested, I would see if it was damaged in transit. The dealer doesn't have to disclose the damage to you, they just can't lie about it. Sucks, I know.
 

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Have not heard back from VWoA.
I guess the next step would be submitting a complain to the Attorney General.
Am I overdoing this? voice of reason, anybody?
Yes you're overdoing it. As Nitro says, enjoy your car and get on with life.

Cheers
 

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I just picked up a 2013 SE,I took a quick video of the out side and did not notice any oddities.I would tend to agree it seems like a transportation issue in your case.I would be just like you if my new car have defects apparent.
 
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