So here’s a question for all of you out there, is it ever acceptable for a man to choose red for the exterior when purchasing a new car? Whether it be a mini-van, cargo van, or roadster is red ever an acceptable color choice other than purchasing a Ferrari? But wait, before you rush to answer ponder this, are we truly free to choose ANY exterior color for our vehicle without consideration of what the public might think or your friends? Digging into this still deeper (down the rabbit hole) is there possibly some book or guide somewhere resting in a pyramid, shrine, bunker, or bookcase wherein lies all personkind’s social norms/mores in selecting a vehicle’s exterior color to maintain balance in the universe lest by some chance we disregard said mores and we endanger our car karma forever and open ourselves up to ridicule? In other words, are there generally accepted rules (mores) that are more or less inviolable, never to be broken for fear of the public’s mental shaming that would surely ensue? Are there any other colors that should be reserved for special vehicles? Now, I follow sound advice like when Steve Martin said in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, “Have a point, it’s so much more enjoyable for the listener.” And in so following that solid advice here it goes, in full disclosure I am considering purchasing a vehicle that is described on the manufacturer’s website as Tornado Red. And never before have I owned a red vehicle. My automotive exterior color selection history thus far has been: champagne/gold, blue, white, green, silver, blue, and now possibly Tornado Red. Go ahead and talk amongst yourselves…
You know you’ve had a rental car too long when the place, who is making profit from you every day, calls to ask when you plan to return their vehicle. It seems almost counter intuitive, right? You would expect they would WANT me to keep it as long as possible. In a few more months I will have paid off their note on the vehicle. Still when the lady from Enterprise pressed me for a firm estimate I wanted to give her my VW Care Advocate’s number and tell her to let me know if she finds out. No, I thought that smacked of pettiness, and no I was not able to offer the lady from Enterprise any sort of concrete answer and it was at this point I was beginning to sense she was becoming disheartened about the prospect of never getting her Chevrolet Impala back from me. So finally to put an end to this rental car return limbo she said they would extend me another week, but to let them know as soon as I heard back from VW. Maybe she had dealt with VW before and secretly knew that it won’t be anytime soon, but she didn’t have the heart to tell me. Kind of like when your parents or possibly friends expose Santa and Christmas. The only difference is with that analogy, the joy continues year after year not to mention the presents, but sometimes you get socks. Sorry, I’m starting to wander.
So you can be honest with me, really. Lately have I been sounding like a broken record lately droning on and on and on about my non-functioning car being stored currently in PA by Volkswagen? If so I apologize, and I will be waxing poetic on other topics in the near future, I promise! But I think until I’m made whole by Volkswagen that a few more posts are going to be dedicated to righting this wrong I perceive Volkswagen has perpetrated against me. I contacted my local MD dealer to get the wheels turning about getting a new NON diesel Golf. Specifically a 2016 Golf R. There is waitlist for the R, but given that it is AWD and the top performance level of the Golf model line and that only 800 or so made it to the US that would sort of make sense. The question is how long will the wait be? Dealerships are anticipating receiving 2016 models in the next 30 days, but not every dealer is allotted any R’s.
I called Volkswagen back, and the Regional Care Advocate (RCA), said that they would ship my car back to me from PA for free, and they would give me $525 ($35 * 15) towards my rental car in addition to the benefits that Roadside Assistance (RA) will provide (up to $500).
So they repaired the car for free (warranty repair), will give me $525 towards the rental car, ship the car back to me for free ($X), and will allow me to submit receipts to RA for their maximum reimbursement allowance of $500. VW’s total offer: $1,025
Since July 12th I’ve incurred the following expenses:
2 night stay in Columbus OH – $239
Out of pocket food for the stay in OH – $60
Rental Car since July 14th – $1,245 (7/14-8/13*) $51 initially and now $32/day and still accruing daily.
Differential in fuel economy between TDI and Rental to date – $75
July loan payment – $475
Sirius/XM – $10
Rental of a minivan to transport Seamus to the vet following his surgery in July – $198* Funny story connected with this item
My total expenses to date: $2,104 (not including mini-van rental)
In addition to above expenses that I’ve incurred I want VW to replace the TDI as I have no confidence in it for any trip beyond the beltway and that when it breaks down I’ll be stuck wherever it happens for another 30 days. I’ve asked VW to replace my TDI JSW with a 2015-16 petrol powered Golf GTI or R for a fair price, keep the loan at the same interest rate and terms, and make it a seamless process so I don’t have to pay additional taxes/title/tax fees.
Now, I ask you are my demands reasonable, and is Volkswagen’s offer fair?
Is Volkwagen's offer fair given my recent experience and expenses?
- No, Volkswagen's offer is not fair, keep at them to make you whole! (100%, 3 Votes)
- Volkswagen's offer is fair, take it! (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 3
The regional VW care advocate assigned to my case called yesterday while I was at work and away from my phone. When I was finally able to listen to the message this morning it filled me with a feeling you yourself may have experienced in a relationship when you know you need to talk to your partner, but you don’t want to because in your mind it’s going to be awkward or uncomfortable. No? Maybe it’s just me then. Since she didn’t leave a message that said “You know what for all the inconvenience and aggravation for the 30 days you’ve had to deal with this VW is going to step up and pick up all your expenses related to this incident and buy the car back from you” Anyway, as that was not the voice message left by my VW advocate I’ll need to call her back to see what she’s planning to do to make me whole since I haven’t had use of my vehicle since July 12th, and at the most recent VW dealer since July 14th.
Coming to terms with searching for a new car is at once both exciting and stressful. What if I pick another lemon or am just unsatisfied with the performance-function of the next choice? I thought the prudent thing would be to go back to the list I made in June 2014 of possible replacements for my last car, vehicles that I felt fell just short of the overall value of the VW Jetta Sportwagen. My alternate list included:
1. Volkswagen Golf R
2. Volkswagen Golf GTI
3. Subaru WRX STI
4. Audi A3
5. Mazda 3
6. Ford Focus RS
My reasons for choosing the Jetta Sportwagen TDI (JSW) were twofold; first the utility of a wagon to move things about and serve as Seamus’ chariot, and secondly because of the turbo diesel…sport and fuel efficiency. Argh-argh-argh!! Pardon the homage to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor character. Basically a win and win, right? Just a mere 346 days later I’ve come to regret the choice I made July of 2014, not necessarily the manufacturer (yet), but the fuel type. True the JSW is a solid car, up until this past July I enjoyed everything about the car, maybe I wished it went a little faster. I just don’t have any trust that it can make it more than 100 miles without a mechanical issue or that when it does succumb VW will take a month to fix it. My thought is that it’s because diesel engines are more susceptible to mishaps due to the very fuel that makes them appealing to a small but diehard following in the US (more on that later). The runner up on my list was the petrol powered Golf GTI with performance package. Now that I’ve had to revisit my list the Golf is a solid contender due to restyling of the Mazda, Subaru dropping the hatch option on the STI, the Audi just due to expected maintenance costs, the Highlander no longer appeals, and the Prius would cause me to mock myself for many reasons. Having settled on the Golf, I begin exploring the trim levels and options. I’m falling for the pinnacle of performance in the Golf family, the “R” model. A benchmark I use for any vehicle purchase is “How fast does it go around the Ring”? Apparently if VW is honest, the Golf R laps the Ring in the sub 9 range. That and it has a petrol power plant is all I need to know to make my decision. And it’s a hatchback so it’s “practical”. The only negative that I can see is that it’s popular with the VW performance crowd, and they only imported 800 or so into the US for the MY 2015.
Volkswagen called to tell me that they were sorry that my car broke down again, and that they’ve fixed it…again. They were sorry enough they weren’t going to charge me to replace the HPFP (fuel pump) that failed less than a year after I bought the JSW TDI. As an added bonus they’re going to ship my VW back to me from Pittsburgh where it’s been since they started working on it on July 14th. Two days earlier it was in Columbus OH waiting to be repaired by another dealer. But back to VW and their call to me, they are not planning to pay for the rental car that I had to rent to get to DC and have been renting for 24 days. Something seems off about that offer, if I’m honest. What to do?
I think that was a quote from the great 1986 movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. At the time, I thought it was just verbiage for the sake of Ferris’ monologue, little did I know how prophetic those words would become the older (ahem, more experienced) I become with the world. Let me set the mood for you, this past Thursday I had a follow up appointment with Seamus’ vet to check on his rehab progress and overall recovery from surgery. Here’s the rub, as my VW has been in PA since July 14th, I did not have a car appropriate to transport a convalescent canine. Therefore I set out to rent another vehicle, besides the GM beauty I currently have from Enterprise that got me back from PA in July.
It made sense that I would contact Enterprise Rental Car about renting a minivan, and in turn I completed said reservation with Enterprise Tuesday afternoon. The local branch office called a few hours later (5:30pm) to confirm the details. When I mentioned that I would be leaving my current rental with them in the parking lot while I used the minivan, it was at that moment when the branch manager notified me it was against Enterprise policy to rent more than one car to the same person at the same time.
No worries, there are other car hire agencies nearby, although it was quitting time the day before I actually needed the vehicle so I immediately set into action to locate another provider. That provider was AVIS who confirmed that there was a minivan available at the location closest to my residence. The only issue was that by the time the reservation was completed it was 6:05pm and I was in DC while the AVIS location was in suburban Maryland, and it closed at 7pm. When I mentioned the likelihood of traffic delays getting out of DC during a midweek rush hour commute they said the branch would stay open until I arrived to pick up the minivan. During my trip to AVIS I called the branch phone # no less than 7-8 times in hopes of reaching the branch manager personally to reconfirm all the details and that they had indeed agreed to stay open until I arrived. Eight calls, no answer. Not a confidence building.
Funny enough when I arrived (7:14pm) at the AVIS location there was a gentleman standing in front of the doors to the branch, and I began to get a sinking feeling that the branch had already closed for the evening. So I was so relieved when I approached the doors that the same gentleman asked me if I was from “911”. A rather odd ice breaker I admit, but upon following up with a “What?”, the gentleman informed me that the branch manager had called the police and they were both waiting on their arrival to settle some dispute between them. Whew! What a relief right, they’re “open” just not “open-open”. With that bit of good news, I let the dream of renting a vehicle appropriate enough to transport Seamus slip away into the evening.
Maybe I can hire a taxi for the vet visit, boy it sure would be nice if I had a minivan, hatchback, or wagon to make these types of errands easier. Oh wait, I do, but it’s in PA…like for the better part of a month.
You know, I was thinking recently (and I try to do that more than occasionally) that around this time last year I was happy, not that I’m not happy most of the time, but I was generally pleased with my car situation. 2014 was tough for me in terms of my automotive relationship as my car of 10 years had taken successive waves of dings-dents that mysteriously appeared overnight, and then came a hit-n-run incident where someone hit me on the beltway then exited before we could pull over to exchange info. Then shortly after the tires and brakes needed to be replaced. I think the final straw was the nav system deciding to display a dark screen. The combination of those developments helped move me towards beginning the search for its replacement. I’d gone through a relatively intense process of replacing my last car of 10 years. Replacing a car can be a tough process if you are not properly prepared for the events that will unfold during your search.
For me it starts with some preconceived ideas based on marketing/advertising or models that caught my eye during a weekday commute. Then comes researching specs, looking up reviews, scheduling test drives for those models, and then weighting the scores for each model, eliminating any that don’t meet most if not all the needs. The finalists are then subjected to a final condensing all that info into a single emotion about how you feel about a specific model. Maybe I’m not normal when it comes to this, but for me it’s not just transportation it’s something more.
I was genuinely pleased with the results of my search last year when I purchased a 2014 VW JSW TDI. A good compromise of utility and sport. Now with the VW laid up somewhere in PA, and for the better part of a month got me thinking (see beginning of this post). I like taking impromptu road trips (400+ miles), and this event only a year into my ownership does not bode well for me taking trips away from home. Nor does it inspire confidence in the manufacturer after it took 19 days to diagnose the problem. In some ways it also helps me get closure on the honeymoon I had with my TDI. At this point I’m in limbo until I hear what VW plans to do to help me resolve my current VW absent-rental car as a daily driver status. Based on that I have to resolve myself to the fact that I need to start fresh with a new vehicle, but what to get? I began visiting automotive websites this morning, and then visiting dealerships this afternoon. I forgot how many models I’d looked at previously and pulled from consideration. It seems I’m interested in even fewer models this time around. Some of the models that made it as finalists in my search last year it seems are no longer available this time around. So it goes. Today I came up with 7 models, then quickly eliminated 2 based on aesthetics, 1 is no longer available, 1 apparently is unicorn rare during this time of year, 1 was my original backup plan (read not excited), and 2 are outside what I really want/need. The search continues!
The saga with my car continues. It initially broke down on July 12th, just outside Columbus Ohio. The dealer in OH took it in, “repaired” it, and gave me the all clear. I was back on the road on July 14th. The Sportwagen made it to PA (2-3 hours further east) before the same problem reared it’s ugly head, and it was towed to a VW dealer outside Pittsburgh. Now, at this point two different VW dealerships have been working to resolve this “algae” issue in the diesel fuel system for about 18 days now. The dealer in PA just called to tell me they received the test results for the diesel fuel sample that VW requested be sent to a lab for analysis. The results were that the diesel fuel is clean with no contaminants. Now I have to wait to see what VW directs the dealer to do in the way of repairs.