Amarok, neither tough nor smart





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  1. #1
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    Default Amarok, neither tough nor smart

    There have been many discussions on this forum regarding the VW Amarok, especially around engine size, reliability, technical support etc. I am the owner of a 2.0 BiTDI D/C Highline with 58,000 km's on the clock.

    I would like to make it clear that I have no predilection when it comes to bakkie makes or models. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. I trust that there are many satisfied Amarok owners out there. In actual fact, I wish I was one of them. Whenever I am able to drive this vehicle I still believe that this is one of the better offerings on our market. Unfortunately I do not have this opportunity very often, seeing that the vehicle breaks down every so often.

    There has however been one aspect of this whole experience which has cured me from ever owning any VW/Audi product again and this is the horrific customer service or lack thereof.

    The vehicle was originally bought from VW Hatfield Pretoria and has been serviced there ever since.

    My warranty claim history follows.

    15,298km: (28/04/2011)
    ·Front door seals removed and replaced due to wind noise.
    ·Paint defects repaired.
    30,432km: (22/08/2011)
    ·ECU reprogrammed as part of the recall campaign
    34,817km: (30/09/2011)
    ·Intercooler replaced
    41,732km: (18/05/2012)
    ·ECU replaced
    At this point in time the vehicle started experiencing engine management system problems accompanied by catalytic converter problems. This would cause the vehicle to go into “limp” mode. The vehicle was sent to VW Hatfield to trace the fault on the diagnostic machine.This was also the point where the real fun started; the customer service experience. After four weeks without success, I then proceeded in contacting the dealership management team in writing. This included Nick Malec (Dealer Principle at the time), Brad Kaftell (Managing Director Hatfield Holdings), Anil Behari (Head of commercial vehicles). They choose not to answer, but instead found it fitting that the technician, Andrew Arend deal with the issue at hand. I then contacted the customer service department at VW South Africa and was helped by a Shenaaz Smith. From here on VW Hatfield would communicate via VW SA and not directly with me, the customer. To make a long story short, it took another four weeks and still no answer for me to contact the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa. A case number was registered and a written communication sent to VW SA. It was then decided that the ECU would be replaced on a good will agreement seeing that the fault could not be found in 8 weeks. During this 8 week period VW was unable to supply me with a replacement vehicle. A week later, on my request a meeting was held at the VW Hatfield offices between me, Warren Kable (Regional VW representative) and Anil Behari. Mr. Kable acknowledged that the customer service on this occasion was not up to standard and that I would now be earmarked as a “Priority Client”. Oh boy, and how this would be put to the test!
    Upon VW South Africa’s receipt of the MICOSA letter I am contacted by the Managing Director’s Office (Mr. David Powells) in which apology is made for the poor service/reliability of the vehicle.
    47,092km: (30/07/2012)
    ·Replace throttle response valve [ordered from Germany]
    ·Replace exhaust gas recirculating (EGR) valve [ordered from Germany]
    The vehicle breaks down again with the same engine management problem. This time I contact the MD’s office directly and a tow truck is sent to collect the vehicle in Steelpoort. The following morning at 07:00 a VW Touareg is sent from Johannesburg as a replacement vehicle. The vehicle is once again put on the diagnostic machine and the repairs take four weeks seeing that the parts have to be imported from Germany.
    It is at this stage that I request that the vehicle be replaced, not by a new one but like for like. This was also the finding by the MICOSA representative and a written instruction sent to VW SA. VW refuses to replace the vehicle and states that it is only their legal obligation to honor the warranty. This means that even if the vehicle breaks down every 5,000km’s for the duration of the 90,000km warranty it will only be repaired. At no stage will it be deemed not fit for use. The Ombudsman then decides that he is unable to resolve the issue between the two parties and closes the case (I don’t know what he is there for then?)
    54,104km: (28/09/2012)
    ·Water pump replaced
    ·Timing belt replaced (worn)
    ·Pressure sensor (booster valve) replaced
    ·Pressure sensor harness replaced
    The vehicle breaks down again with the same engine management problem. This time with the Ombudsman off their case VW SA instructs me to take the vehicle to Pretoria myself. I obviously refuse to drive the vehicle in “limp” mode from Limpopo to Pretoria. I also could not see the reason why I should incur any further costs. Following a conference call between VW SA, VW Hatfield and me it is decided that the vehicle will once again be towed to Pretoria. There is no replacement vehicle available. I take a day’s leave and catch a lift with a work colleague to Witbank to rent a vehicle from Budget Rent a Car (I have to pay R750 fuel deposit), VW pays for 220km a day.
    Four days later (Friday afternoon at 16:00) I am contacted and informed that the vehicle has been repaired and that I can come and collect it on the Saturday morning. VW Hatfield has no driver to deliver the vehicle. I explain to the VW SA representative, Inez Meyer that I am on Engineering Standby on that particular weekend and that I have made no arrangements for anybody else to take over this duty. Inez Meyer calls back and leaves a voice message (they train them well at VW) that they have my credit card details and should I choose not to collect the vehicle on Saturday, that the outstanding vehicle rental account will be for my account.
    58,000km: (01/11/2012)
    The vehicle breaks down again with the same engine management problem. No replacement vehicle was available. I took the vehicle to Pretoria myself and rented a vehicle from Budget Hatfield (R 1,000 fuel deposit). The vehicle is currently still in for repairs.
    VW attributes these problems to the fact that I might be driving this vehicle uphill too often. Really? I thought this was a bakkie, not a boxcart!
    I will keep you posted every time this vehicle breaks down again. I will also share the wonderful theories that the VW Technical Support team can still come up with.
    JJ van der Walt
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  2. #2
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    Looks like a Amarok from the first batch? Early 2011?
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    mmmmmmm. I am speechless. What do you buy? old generation vehicles that has been sorted out? There is so many T6 rangers and amaroks with hassles and little with the hilux, navara and isuzus.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johan View Post
    Post 1
    Name: Amawrok - wrok meaning "grudge"
    Heading: "Amarok, neither tough nor smart" - should be "My Amarok, neither tough nor smart."

    Then goes on to say - "I trust that there are many satisfied Amarok owners out there. In actual fact, I wish I was one of them. Whenever I am able to drive this vehicle I still believe that this is one of the better offerings on our market."

    This is ever more strange "The Ombudsman then decides that he is unable to resolve the issue between the two parties and closes the case"

    Please don't get me wrong here - the man has the right to complain! A hellovelot of things have gone wrong on HIS Amarok and if it was me, I would be P'd off as well. JJ, I sincerely hope you get the problems sorted - very quickly!

    It is however a bit harsh to generalise.
    Bite off more than you can chew - then chew!

  5. #5
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    VW's lack of service/competence once again. That is the problem, and not the product.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    VW's lack of service/competence once again. That is the problem, and not the product.
    First something has to break to require the lack of service. There surely are a heap of Amarok threads lately, not looking good. Hopefully it will follow the trend of the japscrap of old and we will get faultless Amaroks soon
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  7. #7
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    @Vossie......I agree with you that it is not good to generalise, except for Disco 3's, but haven't you noticed the alarming number of Amarok negative issue threads lately? Its becoming more & more frequent.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JacoE View Post
    First something has to break to require the lack of service. There surely are a heap of Amarok threads lately, not looking good. Hopefully it will follow the trend of the japscrap of old and we will get faultless Amaroks soon
    +1

  9. #9
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    I think unfortunately ALL manufacturers will have some amount of "toothing" problems with newish models and yes, you will get lemons........

    The real difference lies in how they(the dealers) manage these lemons/problem cars and their owners.

    I just really appreciate the honesty by the "non-LR" owners these days.......it used to be only the few unlucky LR owners that complained about problems in the past and the tupperware okes would "swyg".






    Must just say that there has been a few Amarok issues of late..........

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    VW's lack of service/competence once again. That is the problem, and not the product.
    mmmm.... you have to admit, the poor guy has a hell of a problem with the 'product'.
    I was going to say "its just a lemon, unlucky" but as Jaco said "There surely are a heap of Amarok threads lately, not looking good"

    All I wanted was a T6 motor in a Amarok body...............going to be a long 2 years??
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vossie View Post
    Name: Amawrok - wrok meaning "grudge"
    Heading: "Amarok, neither tough nor smart" - should be "My Amarok, neither tough nor smart."

    Then goes on to say - "I trust that there are many satisfied Amarok owners out there. In actual fact, I wish I was one of them. Whenever I am able to drive this vehicle I still believe that this is one of the better offerings on our market."

    This is ever more strange "The Ombudsman then decides that he is unable to resolve the issue between the two parties and closes the case"

    Please don't get me wrong here - the man has the right to complain! A hellovelot of things have gone wrong on HIS Amarok and if it was me, I would be P'd off as well. JJ, I sincerely hope you get the problems sorted - very quickly!

    It is however a bit harsh to generalise.
    Vossie, werk jy by VWSA?

  12. #12
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    I understand that it could be difficult to trace a recurring electronics problem like this one, but how is it possible that vwsa cannot put their most competent staff onto this issue, or fly someone in from abroad (as Landrover did for the guy with D3 in Kzn)

    4 weeks at a time, to resolve nothing, a few times, plus attitude or simple ignoring the client would have gotten me fuming as well. Every month, the customers money is good enough, but the vehicle not...

    Good luck
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    Sorry, double post.
    Last edited by Frontiersman; 2012/11/02 at 02:09 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amawrok View Post
    VW attributes these problems to the fact that I might be driving this vehicle uphill too often.
    Good grief. Talk about clutching at straws. How on earth was this vehicle designed to be used on flat roads only?

  15. #15
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    More worrying (to me anyway) is the ambivalence of the Ombudman.

    How can he close a case because he cant resolve it? Surely that's his role - to resolve it? What this really means is that the Motor Industry can tell him to go to hell on any ruling he makes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JacoE View Post
    First something has to break to require the lack of service. There surely are a heap of Amarok threads lately, not looking good. Hopefully it will follow the trend of the japscrap of old and we will get faultless Amaroks soon
    They all break at some point. New platforms will have more problems. A less technically advanced vehicle will have less compared to one with lots of features. That is all relative. The key is in the manufacturers ability to deal with matters. VW is particularly bad at this, but so are others. Does not mean one should accept it though.
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  17. #17
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    I'm with Simon on the issue of the OMBUDSMAN - shocking.

    As for VW dealer service - is'nt that what you expect form Volkswagen ?

  18. #18
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    Jis boet, maar hulle gee omtrent vir jou hoë Bloedruk.

    Ek is bly, maar ook jammer om te sien dat iemand anders ook 'n stel afgetrap het met VW. Het 'n hele paar jaar terug ook so 'n dud gekry, en hulle het ook net eenvoudig geweier om die kar te vervang. Maar laat so iets met hulle gebeur, dan sal hulle daarop le dat hulle voertuig / produk vervang moet word.

    BITTER BITTER swak dienslewering. Ek vat nou so... My broer is 'n gekwalifiseerde ambagsman, en as 'n klient van die maatskappy vir wie hy werk 'n prbleem het met 1 van hulle masjiene, moet hy maar op die vliegtuig spring en die probleem gaan uitsorteer.

    Ek dink die grootste probleem wat ons land het op die oomblik is dienslewering. En ongelukkig bly die meeste van ons maar net stil en aanvaar dit.

    Regtig jammer om te hoor van jou bakkie. STERKE!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    @Vossie......I agree with you that it is not good to generalise, except for Disco 3's, but haven't you noticed the alarming number of Amarok negative issue threads lately? Its becoming more & more frequent.
    Die hoogste bome vang mos maar altyd die meeste wind.

    The Amarok is the topic of the day and that is why it is discussed so often in public. I have good contacts in the motor industry and - believe me - you will cry when you hear some of the stories of other brands. Unfortunately these stories don't land up on this forum. The Amarok has no more problems than any other new model but because it is the talk of the town..........
    Bite off more than you can chew - then chew!

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    Amawrok, jy het die regte ding gedoen om hier jou probleme te kom openbaar, lyk my VW gee almal n koue skouer totdat die probleem op "social" media gesit word, dan reageer hulle baie vinnig, jy is nou die vierde geval in n kwessie van n maand. Vossie sal wel se dis wat VW so great maak, maar dis maar sy opinie.
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