On September 27th, 1981 my VW Polo suffered a major engine failure due to a sheared oil pump drive after having run only 8,500 miles. I wrote to the Customer Service Manager at VAG, Milton Keynes on October 5th detailing the facts and asking for his comments. Despite further letters from me on November 2nd and December 3rd I did not receive a reply until December 12th which was no more than an acknowledgement of my original letter together with an explanation of the delay, i.e. a clerical error. This was from a Mr. Colin Reeves who claims to be the After Sales Manager. I responded to this letter on January 18th, 1982 and to date (March 21st, 1982) I have heard nothing more.
I purchased my first VW in 1957 and the choice was made not from personal experience but on the excellent reports in the motoring press generally and in particular in MOTOR SPORT. My expectations were fully realised and since that date I have had an almost unbroken succession of VWs to keep company with a miscellaneous collection of “other makes”. I am not sure my allegiance to the marque will continue. A major engine failure after only 8,500 miles is unsatisfactory but in terms of a cheap, mass produced machinery, understandable. Even with the most rigorous inspection standards a bad one will always slip through — the rally record of the Audi Quattro has provided sufficient proof of the susceptibilty of VAG products to mechanical failure!
What is totally unacceptable is the indifference shown by VAG to a customer complaint. If the lack of response to my complaint is typical of the manner in which complaints are dealt with by Mr. Colin Reeves and his clerical staff it suggests that little confidence can be placed in VAG to deal with a major issue. Perhaps your readers should be encouraged to consider buying products from a company who cares about its customers. Even our much maligned national car industry can manage to reply to a customer’s letter in less than five months!
A. R. Belcher