• May 12, 2008
Despite what VW fanbois will tell you, the People's Car people have had some serious reliability issues over the last few years. Volkswagen execs are hoping to change the automaker's expensive to maintain image with a vehicle maintenance program that will provide owners of new, 2009 models with free scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, along with regular checkups every 6,000 miles or 90 days. Volkswagen is calling it the "Carefree Maintenance Program" and is touting it as the only program of available among its competitors. Considering that the VW Rabbit just took the top spot away from the Mazda3 in ConsumerReports' hatchback battle, this might be a good time to start specing up a new GTI.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]


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  • 50 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Worthless gimmick, IMO. If VW really wants my business, they'll put a 10 year/100K mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on the car with a $0 deductible.

      Their long-term reliability, their dealer network, service network, and customer satisfaction ratings all suck...and while they have seem to have slightly improved as of late, I'm going to have to see a lot more continued improvement before I drop a large amount on money on one of their cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To answer your question about the brake light switch, the switch on the Passat was replaced under warranty. I was reimbursed for the switch on the 2003 Jetta 1.8T (which I replaced myself).

      It helps to have the Bentley factory manual (on CD) and the VAG-COM diagnostic tool...:)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, aside from the brake light switch, nothing to report on any of the VW's I purchased new. Used is another story.
      wes
      • 6 Years Ago
      Didn't it used to be called pre-paid maintenance???
      • 6 Years Ago
      but isn't this "maintenance plan" widely available elsewhere in the world for the majority brands of cars? or is this new to the US? Because a 3year/50,000km - 5year/100,000km maintenance plan is standard for most cars on sale in, e.g. South Africa.


      Oh, the plan doesn't cover windscreen, tyres, or any other breakables. It only covers regular servicing and maintenance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW offered a similar program in for the MKIV Jetta when it first came out. I had a 2000 Jetta and I had the "free" program, but like other have noted above, the program was not free and everything that when wrong with the car was mysteriously not covered by the program. I think VW need to re examine their whole lineup (maybe aside from the Touregg). Their car have more problems and rattles than a 1993 Huyndai Excel). I'm surprised consumer report overlooked this in their final decision. I have owned (and worked for VW) and even tough I get a huge discount for being staff I would rather buy something else. Their cars are just not well put together. They need to take a Mazda3 or a Civic apart and see how a small car should be put togther.
        • 6 Years Ago
        CR doesn't overlook reliability; they factor it separately. A car can be reliable as the sunrise but sucktastic to drive (Impala, Yaris) or a blast to drive but flakey as hell (anything European).

        This is important when reading CR reviews; they have two scales and provide you the choice of what's most important. I think people miss that fact.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Touregg huh? boy you must be smart
      • 6 Years Ago
      so did they shorten the warranty?
      or do you still get 4yr warranty with 3yr maintenance?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, I am now sold. I am getting a 2009 Jetta TDI!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I found the real problems stated in year five. My Golf had 2400 in replacement parts from 58-64k, just in time to trade it in for a Honda. Airbags should not "go bad." Never buying German again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope everyone understands that the 3 year free maintenance for 2009 comes at the expense of VW chopping 1 year off the bumper to bumper warranty:

      2008 Warranty:
      4 years / 50k miles

      2009 Warranty
      3 years / 36k miles +
      3 years maintenance

      * I will take the additional b2b warranty over a couple free oil changes any day...
      • 6 Years Ago
      wow thats really good A+ will this include the R32?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I had a 2003 A4 1.8t quattro. It was a stunner lookswise but reliability was a joke! My engine burned oil really bad after 5000 miles. This was called normal by other Audi owners and the dealer. I call it unacceptable that a modern high tech car from a supposedly cutting edge company can't make an engine not burn oil. I would hesitate on owning ANY VAG product again. My mazda3 has been truly reliable and offers nearly the same equipment as my A4 did!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      spare us VAG haters..obviousely Volkswagen AG has been doin something right to be the largest producer in Europe..im on my 10th...a 2007 Golf GTI..i had an 01 golf GTI that had electrical issues,but aside from that,alle ist gut! granted,ure Corollas and Snotas are glued together quite well...but will NEVER have the cache that a VW or any other german marque has..Piech is god
        • 6 Years Ago
        Same here, no issues since purchasing the '02 mkiv tdi, or '05 b5 tdi, or '06 Jetta 2.0T, or '07 GTi, or '08 R32. Thankfully.

        Then again, my 4000s did go 325,000 miles, though around that time the driver side door refused to unlock, talk about crappy build quality.
        • 6 Years Ago
        hilarious. VW? Panache? Cache? Spare us. Only in your head, sir. I love how many German car owners dismiss reliability concerns by touting nameplates and "soul". While this may apply for performance vehicles like BMWs, you can't lean on that argument for a lowly VW. Sorry...try again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ah yes, the "cache" of driving a Wabbit, (and other femme-mobiles like the Jetta and Beetle). Why is it the letters V and W are synonymous with the word "lemon"?

        Must be that "marque" name...
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