After going through a positive experience in September of 2012 to buy a used car, the experience turned sour rather quickly when I had to bring it in for service. The service people at Neftin Volkswagen in Thousand Oaks, California are rude and appear to be people who just don't enjoy their jobs. Following is my experience.
On Wednesday, March 27th, I called Neftin Volkswagen in Thousand Oaks California to make an appointment to have my car looked at because it was shifting funny. Upon calling I was directed to Terr in service. I mentioned that I needed an appointment to have my car looked at because it was shifting weird, and I mentioned that I needed a loaner car since that was offered as a sales offer when I purchased the car from them. Terr mentioned that since I needed a loaner car that I would need to wait a week and a half for my appointment and he made the appointment for Monday April 8th.
I mentioned that I would drop the car off at around 4pm. On Monday April 8th I called at 11am
to confirm my appointment and loaner car. Once again I spoke with Terr. He apparently didn't remember me because when I said I was calling to confirm my appointment and mentioned the loaner car he proceeded to tell me that loaner cars were provided on a first come first serve basis. I mentioned to him that a week and a half ago he told me that loaner cars were only provided by appointment. After going back and forth he agreed to hold a car until 4pm
. I hung up the phone with the realization that I had been lied to. I dropped my car off at 4 and picked up my loaner car.
On Tusday April 9th I receive a call from Steve in service saying that they were able to dulpicate my issue during a test drive and that I needed my transmission valve body rebuilt. He quoted me a price of $2150. I told Steve that when I purchased this used car back September I had purchased the extended bumper to bumper drive train warranty per Jason's in finance recommendation. He checked and said that I had and that he would get back to me. We had numerous conversations over the next couple of days and Steve said that he was waiting for approval to resolve my issue.
On Friday April 12th Steve called me at 4:50 PM
to tell me that they were not going to cover my problem because my transmission pan had a dent in it. To this I responded that I hadn't run over anything and that it must have been there when I bought the car. I also mentioned that the car was used on short trips a lot and when the car is cold it doen't show any signs of a problem it's when it's been running for around 60 miles or so that you notice it. I told Steve that this problem was there shortly after we purchased the car. He responded that they used a third party vendor for their warranty programs and stated that Real Driver had declined coverage for the transmission repair on my car, and so had Volkswagen.
Steve said at this point that there was nothing he could do and told me that if I wanted to pursue this further that I needed to talk to Walt Egan,the used car manager, who would not be in until the following Monday. I told him that I thought it was ridiculous that he was making me wait over the weekend until Monday
to resolve my issue. He didn't seem to care at all about that. I then asked him if there was anyone else there in charge that I could talk to. He suggested I talk to Mark in service and after explaining to Mark what had transpired he also said that there was nothing he could do.
Over the weekend I started doing web searches for "2006 vw jetta transmission valve body" and saw many people who had the same problems that I had. VW obviously has a major problem with their transmission valve bodies on numerous cars. See some of the links below:
Examples of Problems:
Transmission Valve Body warranty extension (hard shifting) - (((link redacted)))
06 Jetta shifts hard during part throttle and downshifts rough. - (((link redacted)))
2006 Volkswagen Jetta - (((link redacted)))
Volkswagen Jetta 2006+ - (((link redacted)))
2006 Volkswagen Jetta - (((link redacted)))
So on Monday I called Walt Egan, the used car manager, at Neftin Volkswagen in Thousand Oaks California to discuss the issue with my car and received the same answer that I had been receiving which is that they were not going to cover the car because the mechanic said that there was a dent in the transmission pan. I responded by saying then the dent was there when we purchased the car because we haven't run over anything.
I let them know that I thought it was ridiculous that they sold me an extended warranty and now they won't let me use it. I think they just want to charge their customers $2150 for a bumper to bumper drive train warranty. I also told Walt to search the internet to see how bad this problem is with this car. I also told him to search how many times mechanics say that a customer has a dent in their transmission pan and then in turn deny service. The conversation ended with me saying that I thought their customer service was deeply lacking.
I also called VW America and spoke with their phone representatives and they also said that it was up to the dealer and that there was nothing that they could do.
On Monday April 15th, 2013 I denied their estimate of $2150 to fix my transmission valve body and picked up my car.
Oddly, as I was driving out a local police car cut me off as I was driving out. He took a left on TO Blvd as I did and then drove down the middle lane. I went into the left lane to go left to get onto the freeway and at the last minute the police car cut me off again. Luckily, I always keep ample distance between cars so stopping was not an issue. It appears that someone at Neftin has a family member or friend who works at the local PD or this is a huge coincidence.
I brought my car to my local transmission shop, All Pro Transmission in Simi Valley, California, and the first words out of my mechanic'smouth was how bad a problem VW had with transmission valve bodies. I did not tell him about my experience with Neftin VW. He mentioned to me that VW should own up to a poor design and implementation and fix their cars.
On Friday April 26th I brought my car to a local transmission shop, All Pro Transmission. I left the car with them and asked that they call me with a prognosis of what was wrong. On Monday April 29th they called me back and let me know that I needed a new transmission valve body. The owner stated that VW's have a notorious problem with these cars with this particular issue. He also stated that he was surprised that this wasn't covered under the initial warranty.
In the meantime I have not nor do I plan on telling them the experience that I had at Neftin VW. Below are pictures of the transmission valve body, and the transmission valve body pan. As you can see there is no damage to the pan as Neftin said there was. I'm now wondering if VW Real Driver ever went out to their shop, it's obvious that this dealership does not speak the truth.
I picked up my fixed car from All Pro Transmission on Friday May 3rd. At that time I finally told the mechanic the experience I had to go through with Neftin VW. I asked if he saw any damage to the transmission pan and he responded that he didn't. So he looked again after I told him that Real Driver and VW had informed me that the transmission had a dent in it. He looked for some time and in the corner of the pan he noticed a miniscule tiny mark less than the size of a pencil erasure.
He said that there is no way that that mark did any damage to the transmission. He showed me the transmission valve body that he took out of my car, and he stated there was no damage whatsoever to it. I took a picture of all of the parts. He again reiterated that these cars are notorious for having problems with the transmission valve body, and again he stated that VW should have fixed this under the warranty.
After all this I can't believe that Mr. Neftin would be okay with how this was handled. I am still in total disbelief with how I was treated as one of their customers!
I made one last call to VW and Real Driver / Fidelity in the hopes that they would honor the extended warranty service that I had purchased when buying the car and they declined once again. It almost seems like they are overwhelmed with this issue and they don't want to deal with it. I spoke with Juan and Kerrie at VW in regards to my case# 130 249 395
and William (employee# AML) and Brett (employee# TTS) at Real Driver in the hopes that they would realize that they made a mistake, but they said there was nothing they could do. So I can only summarize that Steve at Neftin VW lied to them by overstating what the problem was by telling them that I had a dent on my transmission pan and that is how he got everyone to agree to not cover the bumper to bumper warranty that I had purchased.
I have taken pictures and they are available if needed.