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A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India
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    A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    Dear All,

    Source http://swapnil803.blogspot.in/2014/0...olkswagen.html


    Just thought of sharing,

    MFW has got no relation to the customer except the fact that we want to see people happy,

    We hope his issue is rectified,


    .................................................. ...............................


    A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India


    Hi Volkswagen India,

    This is a serious note that I have been thinking of writing since a while now. Let me start of by saying that I really appreciate your products and the way they feel all blood German. Which is why we trusted your brand to buy our first New car, POLO.

    And it was exactly what we ordered, a sheer combination of everything a young buyer would expect from his car, quality, drive, mileage and most importantly the Feel. But one fine day it was ruined by what is called in car language as ?Low Ground Clearance?. Apparently it had hit a bump created by craters on our extremely expensive toll stung roads. Having realized the hit, we immediately pulled the car to the side of the road for inspection. Turns out the oil sump had suffered and was leaking oil.

    Good fellows that your service agents are, they immediately sent rescue and hit us with an expensive repairs bill. We seeked their advice on how to prevent such unfortunate event again, to which they said, that such accidents are quite high in frequency and the company has made a note of it and soon they would be increasing the height of the car tackle the issue.

    Rest assured we walked out of the service centre some 2 years back, no call was received from the company or service centre, but being careful ever since we tried keeping the car on the most smooth roads.

    Until now, that is, last week the car coughed to a halt without knowing any reason for the same. It was quite strange as it happened for the very first time. On inspection, we found a trace of oil spill along the road, giving us Goosebumps fearing the worst. Help did arrive and the inspection did reveal an engine seizure. The most terrible thing had happened and the cost to repair the same is around 2 lacs. The insurance firm says it?s due to negligence and it can?t be covered under any policy terms.

    And this is where my dis-comfort is, how come a supremely engineered car give us no indications before it fails down. Worst still, is that the car didn?t even seem to have hit anything. The oil had drained out and the car refused to start. While cranking it on again, no warning signs came on.

    On our second visit after the car being towed away, we discovered the problem along with the service advisor who was showing us the damage and the crack to the oil sump (second time), it was a small pebble that had got stuck between the protective casing and the oil sump. This small pebble seems to have hammered the oil sump open.

    This all has made me question, whether really the cars are engineered to be as good as they seem to be? Or are they just another brand trying to sell products on its brand value. And one wouldn?t expect an ace company to overlook apparent and historically observed problem and still be unwilling to change anything about it.

    The whole experience has drained the brand value for us and has left us in helpless situation where we don?t even know if repairing the car is a good option. After all what is the guarantee that the same thing won?t happen again?

    This letter was written with an expectation of getting some guidance from you guys? Kindly help me make a wise decision.

    Also am noting this letter to popular Car Magazines, being an ardent follower or Auto industry I somehow believe that they might help me in getting a direction.

    Thanks, you ex-loyal and ex-brand influencer,
    The ball is made to roll when the world has withdrawn the desire & above all the will - that's about the torchbearer known as me

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    To a certain extent, I wont blame VW for the issue this customer faced. I doubt whether he understood about the possible impacts of owning a low GC car. Some of these cars, certain variants of VW Polo and Ford Figo included, "have" better clearance "because" there is no engine guard, and if something hits, it screws up the car, costing a bomb. He seems to be more worried about the cost of repairs, which is a known thing with VW. Engine seizure without any warning is unbelievable.

    And VW still needs to research how to resolve the low GC issue in German technology made for India cars?

    I didn't worry much about GC when I booked the Punto, which received the most criticism for low GC, though it had a strong engine guard to protect it. And most times, it is the engine guard that hits and not the engine parts. One just needs to adjust his driving habits knowing the car's dimensions, to prevent damage to the car.

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    Dear Thulasi,

    I agree with you on this.

    When I took delivery of the Linea MJD on 2nd Dec 2010 never in my dreams I knew how a 161 mm Ground Clearance going to be my worst nightmare until I took the Car delivery from the showroom and started driving it on Mettupalayam Road towards Saibaba Colony in Coimbatore late evening to get the pooja done.

    We hit small stones too which were on the kutcha road and realized that we were in for a big problem with this extremely low GC.

    I was so used to the 175 mm GC that the Palio 1.6 GTX offered and never in my 5 years owning the Palio from March 2006 till today I haven't hit anything projecting on the road that would cause any concern.

    Within 2 weeks of buying this brand new Linea we embarked on a long distance road trip from Coimbatore to Bhutan and it was totally mountain roads. I missed a route near Sevoke and instead of going towards Bhutan I was climbing up the Sikkim Hills, my heart was in my mouth every time we saw camel back size crater on the road.

    We were scrapping at many places as both sides of the road were dipped due to the heavy truck grooves and it required all my skills of driving not to damage the oil sump. We had covered some 45 KMs and had to return back the same way and again head towards Bhutan Mountains. What saved my Linea & its bottom is undoubtedly the thick plate of engine protection guard and hats off to FIAT engineering on that.

    Having a low GC car can really be a major issue in India and on that note Palio surely scored big marks with its 175 mm GC. But the pleasure was surely there in driving a low GC Linea and it isn't the same with a raised GC.

    After all that halla bulla raised by many FIAT owners, FIAT quickly came out to help its customers by offering the GC upgrade kit to who ever wanted it, which I got it installed after almost 2 years on owning the Linea and driving 40000 KMs in December 2012 at an extra cost of close to 15K. Now the Linea is on 181 mm GC and surely looks all comfortable.

    I am also surprised that the VW Polo driver did not notice a low oil level check light which I am sure would have come ON when the oil level would have dropped to such dangerous levels to the extent of engine seizure. It is quite possible that the driver might have overlooked it and driven ON without realizing.

    Obviously a seized engine to be repaired will cost a big bomb and with no support from Insurance.

    I really feel sorry for this person who has had this experience. I always keep my eyes open for any Red light which comes up in my dashboard panel.
    Love My Passion MYFIATWORLD - Warm Regards, MN - Mahesh Natarajan

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    Dear All,

    My personal views on the same,

    Well first of all i sincerely believe that Localization is very much important based on the environmental factors : Volkswagen should ideally do the same,
    I remembers big and famous brand names Like Samsung,LG etc even do the same to suits the country specific needs,
    Now when it comes to car manufacturer how can it be ignored,

    Moreover we all know in road condition of India and I would not blame the Customer as he has trusted a brand and if his car scraps that road due to low ground clearance and now if the company says it is not covered in warranty forget extended warranty than it is something surely to worry about,

    Yes MN palio has got good ground clearance and now so does Punto and Linea - moreover even Manufacturer like Mitsubishi which i would say day by day is extinct in country no matter how good their cars are - brought product to suit indian condition with good ground clearance way back in time,

    I believe it's time Volkswagen listens to customers voice and also at the same time thank Fiat for doing Ground clearance upgrade even for 2011 models,

    Thanks & Regards
    The ball is made to roll when the world has withdrawn the desire & above all the will - that's about the torchbearer known as me

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    Quote Originally Posted by MN View Post
    After all that halla bulla raised by many FIAT owners, FIAT quickly came out to help its customers by offering the GC upgrade kit to who ever wanted it, which I got it installed after almost 2 years on owning the Linea and driving 40000 KMs in December 2012 at an extra cost of close to 15K. Now the Linea is on 181 mm GC and surely looks all comfortable.
    And I am one of those who decided against upgrading the GC. The default was 173mm and still running on that. I did get quite a few hits on the engine guard, especially in the initial days, and once even damaged the catalytic converter-to-silencer flange, which would cost around 60k for replacing. I got it repaired ad Rs.800/-

    Quote Originally Posted by MN View Post
    I always keep my eyes open for any Red light which comes up in my dashboard panel.
    I do keep an eye on anything unusual on the dashboard, even a noise or a different engine note. My wife sometimes makes fun of me for being over concerned about the car. I just tell her that it is that care that helped us drive till date without a single surprise breakdown.

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    Quote Originally Posted by thulasi View Post
    And I am one of those who decided against upgrading the GC. The default was 173mm and still running on that. I did get quite a few hits on the engine guard, especially in the initial days, and once even damaged the catalytic converter-to-silencer flange, which would cost around 60k for replacing. I got it repaired ad Rs.800/-.
    Thulasiji,

    Your GP with 173 mm GC is as close to my GTX with 175 mm GC and is slightly better, imagine a Linea with 161 mm GC. The low GC surely offered a great pleasure in driving though.
    Love My Passion MYFIATWORLD - Warm Regards, MN - Mahesh Natarajan

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    I feel this is a bit of sad thing for Indian users.

    Abroad aside form already a lower ground clearance, the fancy stuff is to reduce the ground clearance as much it is possible.

    Ofcourse in SUVs the case is opposite, but here we are talkign about hatchbacks and saloons.

    More you increase the GC, Central gravity of car also gets raised adding to unstability ratio of car.

    More the GC is reduced, the central gravity of car is more towards ground making it more planted and stable.

    However as per road conditions of India, no one can afford to have those minimalistic ground clearances. The car manufacturers infact do raise the ground clreance of almost all cars which are launched in India.

    We get a different version of suspension setups with larger coil and strut heights. I don't know how thoroughly they research the technicality of it before raising it, as its not just coils and struts, it changes the playable range of lower arms too (Probably effect the steering too to an extent).

    Its like every car is made to act like an SUV to an extent pertaining to the Indian road conditions. Some vehicles really look odd with increased GC, like the elgance of a saloon is spoiled with huge gap between fender well and the tyres, indicating that its something out of design and shape of that car.

    At times one can even see the dead axle and almost all of lower part of suspension setups of cars which are raised to have higher GC. Like we can't have that stability factor in a car which is available in its eurpoe or american variant.

    It feels a bit sad that we have to do all these thigns because we have these kind of roads. Even the national highway roads which are in all well shape, the speed breakers are with abnormal heights.


    Regards
    Harish
    Last edited by MN; 02-27-2014 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Text aligned with proper paragraphs
    2007: Adventure 1.6 Sports

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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    I find it very difficult to believe that VW does not think there needs to be any modifications done to their cars in India ( they have made some modifications for the India specific versions but nothing to protect the oil sump) when Skoda does add the rough road package for all their cars in India.

    You really don't need to bottom out your VW to rupture your oil sump a decent sized stone picked up by the tires and projected in the direction of the oil sump can also have these effects (this is what I assume has happened the second time with this customer). The easiest and cheapest thing that VW to do is add a sum guard and the problem is solved but well knowing VW I don't see them responding to the customer nor making any significant changes like redesigning the oil sump.

    I don't think we can really blame the customer here can you really be expected to be that careful with the car ? We live in a country were expressways have big bricks in the center of the road!!



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    Re: A heart-wrenching letter to Volkswagen India

    Guys, just because of this simple reason of getting sump of my punto replaced once. My punto is now running on 205/65R15 wheels. And now i drive my car free of fear of being scraped. I also didn't wanted to go for GC kit from fiat, cause I drove Linea T-Jet a couple of months back and didn't felt good about high GC. After getting this size of tires, I am not facing any issue, it's become more than 1000 kms on this size now. Though the body roll seems to be increased a little but not like the GC kit would have increased. They don't scrape anywhere in the front, though they do scrape rear fender lining a little, which is completely acceptable looking at the benefits it offer.

    For more info please have a look at my thread here
    http://www.myfiatworld.in/showthread...ade-Punto-90hp
    Regards
    Vivek



    pEOPLE dON'T fA!L , tHEY g!VE uP

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