Doctor Diesel

Limping home

I have taken my ’59 plate Scirocco, which I have had from new, back to the main Volkswagen dealers, as the engine warning light came on after it went into limp mode. The car is a Scirocco GT TDI 140 with 69,000 miles on the clock. They have informed me that it needs a new EGR valve and relevant pipe work at a cost to me of some £1,468. This would be the fourth time they have had to replace the valve since I bought it from them. Am I in my rights to refuse to pay for the replacement? I have already been informed by Volkswagen UK that my car is one affected by the emissions scandal and is on notice for a recall. (I’m amazed that you’re still awaiting the call for the work to be done. Doc) I have contacted Volkswagen UK and they really don’t want to know, and say that the onus is on the dealership, although my thoughts are that it is a definite fault with Volkswagen EGR valves in general, and therefore it should be sorted out by them. As I say, it has already had the valve replaced three times and also needed a replacement turbo at 42,000 miles. 

Am I being unreasonable to expect Volkswagen to repair the car at their expense? I would appreciate any help and advice you can give. 

John Higgins

Yes John, I’m afraid that these EGR valves have been a consistent source of trouble. I obviously don’t know when your last EGR valve might have been replaced, and whether or not the previous valves were replaced under warranty. But there is generally, I think, an assumed fresh three-year warranty on any replacement part, so if this is relevant (i.e. less than 3 years since the last one replaced) you might point this out to them, and see what they say. In fairness, I think in such cases you may still have to pay for the labour involved.

As to the significant cost, I took a look at Euro Car Parts and they list two items for a 2009 Scirocco 2.0 TDI, which actually look very different from each other. But the engine number should pin down the correct one. One is a Haas part at £158, the other a VM part at £465! (Pictures of both on line at ECP) But I think that possibly the latter, more costly, part includes an EGR cooler, whereas the Haas part price may be the EGR valve only. Have they said whether it is the EGR cooler, or the EGR valve alone ñ can you look back and see on any invoices what was replaced previously? I’m obviously looking at an alternative to using the VW dealership ñ there must be a Volkswagen independent specialist not too far from you that you could talk to, to establish what they might charge for the job, sourcing the parts from Euro Car Parts or elsewhere, at far lower prices than from Volkswagen, and with lower labour charges.

But I’m afraid that in just refusing to pay for the job at the VW dealer will either involve them refusing to do the job, or keeping your car until you pay for it, if you let them do the job and then decline to pay. Volkswagen UK should not really throw it back at the dealer. They should at least consider supplying the parts free, or significantly discounted, leaving the dealer to consider about the labour charges.

Hope this is helpful, but please keep me posted. If you were to notify me of your location, I might be able to identify a good Volkswagen specialist near to you, or maybe you can dig around yourself and find one.

Doc Diesel

P.S. Use of only top quality fuel with detergent additive, or using an aftermarket additive, can help keep EGR valves in good shape. To which John later replied:

Thanks for your prompt response and for your helpful advice. 

To update you on the issue, I received a call from the local Volkswagen dealership today, who informed me they also were getting nowhere with Volkswagen UK, so they contacted Volkswagen in Germany direct. They agreed that the EGR was always going to be an issue but, due to the number of times it has been replaced already, they agreed that it was unacceptable for the customer to have to pay for another replacement, even though the car is out of warranty. The upshot being that Volkswagen Germany have authorised them to fit a new EGR valve, cooler and relevant pipe work, and they will stand all costs. I know main dealers get a lot of flack from customers, but I have to say that JCT600 Volkswagen has really come up trumps in my case. Thanks again for your response. 

Regards, a very happy John

One Response

  1. In the USA market, the EGR is classed an emissions device and would be covered by a statutory 120,000 mile warranty. VW would have to pay fir replacement!

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