Car News

VW recalls – DSG gearbox woes continue

VW’s seven-speed DSG problems do not appear to be over as the company also announces separate recalls of Amarok and Tiguan models.

In June, Volkswagen Australia recalled all Polo, Golf, Golf Wagon, Golf Cabriolet, Jetta, Passat, and Caddy models made between 2008 and 2012 and equipped with automatic transmission because of problems with the 7-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG). The ACCC recall notice issued at the time said the problem could “lead to a sudden and total loss of power to the wheels, resulting in the vehicle coming to a rolling stop”.

Now, overnight, Volkswagen AG in Germany has announced three international voluntary recalls which will also affect Australian customers, relating to the Amarok ute, Tiguan, and vehicles with the 7-speed DSG gearbox. It amounts globally to approximately 11,000 Volkswagens, around 16,000 Tiguans on top of that, and some 17,000 Amaroks.

Volkswagen Group Australia confirmed today (November 15) it will begin action on the recalls immediately.

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VWs fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG could see electric malfunctions occurring in what VW says are “rare cases” in the gearbox power supply if synthetic gearbox oil is used.

The company said this applied in particular if the vehicle was subject to a hot and humid climate – just like Australia’s – coupled with a high proportion of stop and go driving.

VW says replacing the gearbox’s synthetic oil with mineral oil will solve the problem, and they are at pains to point out the recall does not affect vehicles equipped with either manual or six-speed DSG transmissions.

Customers with affected vehicles are still able to drive their cars before the oil is changed, say VW.

A second recall covers the Tiguan after the company found in what they call “isolated cases” a fuse may blow, leading to failure of one of the two vehicle light circuits, which can lead to some lights failing.

“However, the vehicle’s electric circuitry ensures that some lights remain on all around the vehicle,” says a VW spokesperson. “The driver is immediately informed of this on the instrument cluster.”

The recall is a simple one – replacement of the fuse with one with a stronger surface coating.

Tiguans built between 2008 and 2011 are affected by this global recall.

Volkswagen Australia is still carrying out its voluntary recall of the 25,928 vehicles with DSG gearboxes manufactured between June 2008 and September 2011 with repairs expected to be completed to all of them by next year. That program is about 40 per cent complete, says VW, and is on track.

“Customers who have already brought their vehicles in for the current recall are not affected by the new announcement as the oil in their gearboxes has already been replaced,” said the company in a statement.

VW’s quality assessors have also found fault with some Amarok models with the 2.0-litre TDI engine, which may see fuel pipe leaks in the engine compartment. As part of the global recall, a chafe protector is being fitted at the affected points.

Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Australia, John White, today said:

“Volkswagen Group Australia will ensure these recalls are conducted promptly and efficiently. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause our customers.

“We will notify our dealer network today and will commence planning for the rollout of these recalls immediately.

“Customer safety and satisfaction are the highest priorities for Volkswagen Group Australia and have been so since Volkswagen began operations here more than 60 years ago,” he said.


5 Comments

  1. Anon
    February 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm — Reply

    “Customer safety and satisfaction are the highest priorities for Volkswagen Group Australia and have been so since Volkswagen began operations here more than 60 years ago,” :
    Then why have I been advised to continue to drive my faulty car around for 3 months waiting on a DSG gear box replacement after my car already lost power whilst driving.

    My DSG Golf is has been to the dealer 4 times now , cutting out on highways. Its a scary experience. The latest is they suggest I purchase extended warranty. I will ensure I have life and TPD insurance in place to cover my family first. VW do not car about my safety.

    • February 19, 2015 at 10:28 pm — Reply

      Sorry to hear about your experiences with your VW. But you’re not the first. We know of one customer who had an independent mechanic correctly diagnose her Golf’s problem and then advise her to visit her local VW service centre, which she did.
      The VW service centre ignored the advice of the independent mechanic and started pulling her car apart. Eventually almost the entire car was in bits. Correction, is still in bits after 12 months. Eventually the owner took VW to court. They were found liable and ordered to fix the car. It still hasn’t been fixed…

  2. Hon Vun
    November 5, 2015 at 9:37 pm — Reply

    Hi. Does anyone know if 2015 made Polo VW 7 speed still has the DSG problem? Thanks

    • November 6, 2015 at 10:37 am — Reply

      Hi Hon, no it doesn’t. That said, if you drive a DSG like a conventional auto then you’ll end up with problems. Drive it with sensitivity and in a similar manner to a manual, meaning hold the brake when you go from drive to reverse until you feel the car has shifted gear and then release and roll slightly on the throttle between gear changes and you shouldn’t have any problems.

      • Hon Vun
        November 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm — Reply

        Thanks a lot !!

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.