Archived Q&A and Reviews
|VW Mechanics||Other Questions about VWs|
VW Mechanic in OaklandJune 2012
The warranty on my 2009 Jetta Sportwagon is up and I'd like to find an independent mechanic instead of continuing to go to the dealer for service. Any recommendations for a VW mechanic who is honest, reasonably priced, and has a quick turnaround (same day when possible)? A shop in Oakland is much preferred, but I'll travel to Berkeley or Alameda if I have to. Thanks. Squeaky Brakes
reasonably priced VW mechanicAug 2011
I'm looking for a recommendation for a reasonably priced VW mechanic in/near Oakland. A month after getting extensive service done out of state, the check engine light started going on and off intermittently, and it's since been about two years. Thanks! anonymous
VW Beetle, 1974, mechanical/body/interior serviceFeb 2011
Hi, I have just purchased a 1974 VW Super Beetle for my daughter. It needs mechanical, body, and interior work. I am looking for recommendations for reliable, expeirienced, service providers who charge fairly. I am willing to work within a 20 mile radius of Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland. Jeffry
I had a '68 beetle o so many years ago. I loved it!! That said, I am going to discourage your daughter or absolutely anyone from driving such an unsafe vehicle. If there is an accident this car and any passengers will lose. No air bags, no side impact. No front or rear protection either. I drive an old volvo now...
Volkswagen vs. VolvoFeb 2010
We have an old Volvo that needs to be replaced. While I really like the solidity of the car, it's a very expensive one to maintain, with way too many little things that go wrong and cost a fortune to repair, not to mention the big ones. So I am considering getting a Volkswagen Passat. Can anyone tell me how it is to own one? Thanks. Anne
I currently own a VW Passat Wagon and absolutely love it. It's roomy, which is great for shuttling around kids and all their stuff. My husband and I bought this car b/c our family was growing (we only have 1 kid at the moment). We purchased our car from Dirito Brothers in Walnut Creek. I would highly recommend the folks there. I should also mention that this is the 2nd VW that I've owned. My very first car was a Jetta, which still remains in my family.
VW Service in BerkeleyOct 2009
Now that my VW is out of warranty I am looking for an honest, reliable and affordable place to have it serviced. I really need to stop taking it to the expensive service department at the dealership in Oakland! When I had a Honda I went to Art's and loved them. Does anyone know of a place like that for VWs? Still love my aging Passat
Our trusty 1999 V6 PASSAT is in need of some major service. We're looking for a good and most of all affordable mechanic to do the work. Passat Driver
We have been taking our Passat and Audi to AVS on San Pablo for several years, and as far as I'm concerned, they are the best around. They only work on VW and Audi and they really know their stuff. Eddie Delgado, the owner, is always there and provides amazing customer service. They don't overcharge, don't do work that doesn't need to be done, and always try to look for options that will save money if possible. When we were less than thrilled with a recent interaction with an employee (who is no longer there), Eddie bent over backwards to make things right.
It's such a pleasure to deal with someone who really stands behind their work. I highly recommend you go to AVS. Their number is 981-1837 and they are at 2210 San Pablo, a few blocks south of University. Happy to have found AVS
I like Berkeley Auto Service on San Pablo. Good rates, very trustworthy and experienced folks. It is possible that you could get a slightly cheaper rate and slightly cheaper parts elsewhere, but not with the same peace of mind. Much better than any dealer by far. (http://berkeleyauto.ypguides.net/) Pamela
I love Precision People's Car Repair on San Pablo near Gilman. They did a great job on my VW Bug, kept it running when it was held together with duct tape and twine practically, and were good to work with personally as well. They told me when it would cost more to fix the engine than the car was worth rather than take my money and run. I highly recommend them. Talia
I know a great shop for Volkwagen repair-its on San Pablo by Omega 2 and is called AVS Specialists . I have a 2000 Passat station wagon and they always do my service. The owner, Eddie knows all about Volkswagens and can tell what's wrong in a drive around the block. He explains what I need and gets my car back to me in a day or two. Their prices are good and Eddie goes through the bill with so I know that I'm getting what I pay for. The shop is terrific! The phone number is 981-1837. Volkswagen fan
Can anyone recommend a skilled and reasonable VW mechanic? We have a 2001 Golf, and are not so far impressed with the Broadway VW dealer we've taken it to (they are expensive, don't diagnose the right problem, etc). Prefer Berkeley/Oakland area. By the way, we used to own a Honda and I must agree with the recent spate of recommendations for Berkeley Mini car for Honda service. Great place! Wish we could find something similar for VWs.
I really like Ken at Precision Peoples Car Repair (1346 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley - 524-1911). The service is great, the repairs are done right and I always feel like he's giving me an honest explanation of what I need. After he works on my car he'll show me the parts he removed and explain what was wrong with them. He has also told me about things that are weird VW quirks, but don't need to be fixed even though another mechanic might tell me different just to make the extra money. I think his prices are good too, although honestly I haven't checked around in a while because I just go to him every time these days. another Golf owner
We used to have a VW and always used Angus at Oceanworks , on 10th St just north of Ashby. Honest and reliable, and committed to green practices. Works on japanese cars too. The only down side is he is so popular, sometimes you need to wait a week or so for an appointment. Bryan
Griffin Motorwerke in Berkeley on San Pablo is very good for both VW's and Audi's. Terry Griffin is good but expensive. I had a Passat that was purchased at McNevin in Berkeley. Broadway VW seemed better until they replaced brakes and sent me back onto the street without bleeding the air completely out of the line - - Pedal went to the floor... Griffin's shop is competent and will offer affordable options when available! Motorwerke convert
Fritz & Peter's is great -- 420 25th St Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 444-3224
I just love Roger at Berkeley Auto Service (VW & Audi specialists) on San Pablo Ave. My Family has 3 VW's, all serviced with him for about 2 yrs now. He always seems to know his stuff and he'll fess up if he doesn't. He's honest about what work is necessary vs what can wait (ie, he doesn't make up work). His rates are in line with other mechanics (and certainly a much better deal than the VW Dealer). Call for an appointment cause he's a busy guy. Happy customer
I\x92ve been a Volkswagen owner since the mid 80s and spent many years trying to find a reliable and capable mechanic for my cars. I think I\x92ve really found a gem in AVS Specialists on San Pablo at Allston. I\x92ve owned a Jetta, a Golf and now a Passat and I have never had such great service. The owner, Eddie is a younger guy but he has experience beyond his years. He knows everything about Volkswagens and is great at diagnosing problems quickly and efficiently. He can work on older cars as well as new ones and does a great job. His prices are very reasonable and he always gets my car back to me the same day. I\x92d call AVS Specialists the next time you need service-510.981.1837. Finally found a great shop
For good VW service, we've been very happy with Bauer's German Auto in Berkeley or European Auto Repair in Alameda. (Not happy at all with AVS btw.)
I am looking for a reliable car mechanic in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Right now what I need is somebody who does electrical work on cars, but then I will need a permanent mechanic. Thank you Pato
Now that McNevin VW is gone, and because I don't want to take my VW Passat to Oakland or Walnut Creek, I would appreciate any comments on what other VW owners in the Berkeley area are doing to service their VWs.
McNevin VW went out of business. Can anyone recommend a good/ honest local auto repair that works on VW's thanks jk
We just moved to the Bay Area and are looking for a good and honest Volkswagen shop/mechanic. We have a VW Golf. Susana
I am searching for advice on finding a small carseat. My son has nearly outgrown the infant carseat (he's 4months old now) and now I have to get one of the next size carseats. Problem is that I have a small, older VW Jetta. It doesn't even seem like I can fit one of the required carseats into my car behind either seat. Let alone have someone ride in the front without hitting their knees or having anyone else in the back seat with the carseat, I am even worried about being able to see over the carseat (I am pretty short) when it is rear facing. We don't plan on having more kids and budget wise, a larger car isn't an option. So I am looking for suggestions for a smaller carseat that might fit our small car without sacrificing any safety for my son. Is there a brand or model that has worked well for people with smaller cars? anon
Hello. We also had the same problem. We have a 2001 GTI, which is a 2 door car. We ended up with the Britax Roundabout. It is really safe and easy to use. When the seat was rear-facing, the front passenger seat was way forward, so much that it was a little uncomfortable. But I usually sat in that seat when my husband drove and it worked out. Now we have it turned around and it fits much better. We were able to try out different models at the baby store, which helped us a lot. It's hard to buy such an important thing without knowing how it will fit! The sales people will help you fit the seat into your car. I also remember looking at some sort of car seat database. Maybe you can google and find it. Don't worry, it is only a few more months and then you'll turn it around and it'll be a lot better! GTI driver
The manufacturing company is called SAFE LINE KIDS and the sit- n-stroll is great. I bought and had to return 3 carseats because I could not see over them. I ordered this from a catalog and they said that I could return it if it didn't work out.
Seven years and 2 kids later, I am still singing it's praises! Not only does it have a small profile you can see over in your car, squeese your self between it and another car seat, it is slimmer than most, but, it is also a stroller.
This is so handy for drive, walk, take BART, get a taxi, climb stairs and return. It only weighs 6 pounds.
The stroller wheels are small. I always had a beefy stroller for home to park, but this was/is my car stroller. I have pushed it over muddy grass, gravel, down river banks....I could never sell it in good concience, metal fatigue and all....but I have to say that it has been a very good piece of equipment. I let my 4 year old ride in the seat and 7 year old climb on top of the handle....it bends and groans but keeps folding and is a very comfy car seat.
You do have to be very carefull strapping them in to it. Car seat belts first, then auto seat belt over that & check that it is tight in the grooves. A kiss and you are on your way!
It came with an infant insert and we used it facing backwards when they were babies. Still singing it's praises!
As expectant parents, we're starting to shop for necessities. If you own a VW Jetta and have had a good experience installing a particular carseat in it, please let me know. I appreciate it! Allison
Although I love my turbo Jetta, I hate how small it is for kids! We will probably be getting a station wagon within a year. The Graco Snugride just barely fits in the middle of the back seat for an infant carrier, but it is a tight squeeze for passengers back there, too. We recently changed to the convertible Britax Roundabout when our son hit 27'', and it also barely fits- do not buy the Marathon or anything larger. The bummer is that you can't easily nurse or change diapers in the back seat as it is too small for all of that with the carseat there. And there is no other way to take the beby/carrier in/out of the car except with really bad body mechanics that are rough on your back and neck. soon-to-be-former Jetta owner
I drive a 2000 Jetta and had a baby last year. When she was really little, we used a Graco Snug Ride with snap in base. I installed this on the passenger side using the Latch fasteners which really seemed to hold the seat securely. I put the seat on that side for 2 reasons (despite what seemed like a potentially safer position in the center). One, I am fairly tall and that way only the passenger seat had to be pushed a little farther forward than you would like (I think it was safest to have me driving from my usual distance from the controls). Second, I found it was really nice to be able to actually reach around occasionally (like at a stoplight) and do something for my daughter, even if it was just touching her for comfort. Oh, and you could actually drive a third adult around that way (not really possible with a seat in the center). That seat lasted about 5 months since my daughter is also tall, then we bought a Britax Marathon. That would only fit in the center position when rear facing-they are really large. We eventually moved that seat to our larger car and I bought a Britax Roundabout which was a much better fit. When rear facing, it nestled between the two front seats (obviously in the center), and now that she sits forward, it is just less bulky than the Marathon. The Jetta back seat is pretty tight but I guess a lot of cars must be worse... Jetta Mom
If your car is a station wagon, or a hatchback, you should be able to bring the tether strap over the seat into the back and find a hook in your trunk. This is how I anchor my carseat. I have never heard of anchoring it to the roof, doesn't seem too secure. If you have a regular compact car, you might want to go to a Volkswagen service station. I previously had a Jetta, and it had the anchor already installed in the car (this is when I found out about the tether strap in the first place). Good luck.
Our old VW has been around Berkeley and Oakland in search of a new mechanic. We've followed up on the recommendations here to no avail. We have brought our car with its engine light on to 3 places- one twice. One ''diagnosed'' the problem $100, ''reset the computer'' and told us to come back if it didn't work. When we came back they rediagnosed that problem for $100, told us we didn't need the repair they had recommended last time and told us to come back if it didn't work. We brought it somewhere else and they flat out said they could fix the problem -- which was generous -- and the third place also had never heard of the problem. Although we may go there, we're hesitant.
Hi, My husband had that same problem with his VW. (His ''check engine'' light went on the night of our first date 6 years ago... But that's another story.) He was told by one mechanic that only a VW dealership mechanic can turn the light off. Hmmm... Not sure if that's true or not. As for a mechanic, I take my 98 Jetta to Valley Wagonworks at 193 Mill Street in San Rafael. The owner's name is Paul Makuh, and I think he's friendly and fair. As the name implies, he specializes in VWs, especially older/vintage models, and he does all the work himself. 415.457.5628. Good luck! amy
I have a 3 year old Jetta station wagon and my husband has a 4 year old Audi sedan. Both the cars' warranties have expired and every time we takethem to the dealer for maintenance it costs a fortune. We have 2 school age children and work in San Francisco and need a local shop that provides good service. Can anyone recommend a good repair shop for VW's and for Audis-preferably one that we can take both cars to? Looking for Mechanics
Does anyone out there know if we have a warranty for a 2002 VW Jetta, do we HAVE to have all the warranty work done at the dealership? We purchased our VW from Broadway Volkswagen, and quite honestly we are not impressed with the service department there and would love to be able to go somewhere else. Thanks! Lisa
I believe you do need to do warranty work at a VW dealer, but it doesn't have to be the Broadway one! I too have been displeased by Broadway VW's service, and one time tried the VW dealer in Berkeley, and they were somewhat better, though not great. I'd deffinately suggest you try another dealer. Mike
I do not know about your warranty, but we have had work done on our 2001 vw at McNevin in Berkeley and they were great! They loaned us a car when my window broke and have been nothing but helpful. Maybe try them? If it is free, I'd stick with the dealer! GTI driver
One way to find out if you have the option of going outside the dealership would be to call another repair shop and ask them if they would honor your warrenty. I have really been happy with Roger at Berkeley Auto Service (they do VWs). He is a really nice and honest guy. They are at 2809 San Pablo Ave. The number is (510) 841-2568. anhelli
I have a 94 Jetta that needs some repairs (clutch, brakes, door lock...). I have always taken it to a place in San Rafael, but that's too far to go now. I've checked the archives, but nothing since 2002. Oakland would be best, but anywhere in the area would ok too. Thanks Jeanne
I am looking for an auto mechanic that works on newer VWs and is relatively inexpensive. i have a 99 passat which has close to 80K miles and is getting to the point where every visit to the dealership I find out something else is wrong. This time, I learned the radiator is leaking. I know the clutch will need to be replaced soon too. I've been to Germany's Best and while they'll give me a lower price than the dealer (if I tell them what the dealer is asking), they certainly never turn away work. I'd like someone who can be honest with me - only do work that is necessary and tell me the pros/cons of doing work at a certain time (e.g. you can probably get another 5K miles on the brakes if you only drive on freeways. if it goes beyond that or you start to hear squealing, you will probably have to pay more to repair the brake pads and metal) andrea
Looking for a good, affordable mechanic for my 1965 VW Beetle. there are some recommendations for VW mechanics on the web site, but not much about older VWs. Also looking for a good body shop to get it painted.
After a lifetime of driving only Japanese made cars, we have a new (2002) Passat Wagon and are rapidly approaching the need for our first service. No idea where to go, since we bought our car out of the area. We had a pretty unpleasant experience with Broadway Volkswagen during our purchase search, and would be disinclined to return there unless y'all give their mechanics rave reviews (the archives for this site, however, did not). So, where do you many fellow Passat drivers take your cars when they are still under warranty? We're hoping to find reasonable charges, excellent service, nice, honest people, a Berkeley, N. Oakland or San Ramon location, and one that provides a shuttle to public transportation. Any recommendations to consider for the post-warranty work would be appreciated, too. Thanks! Isabelle
I have been using McNevin VW in Berkeley for service for 8 years and I would have given them a good recommendation until recently. Last time I went, it took more than an hour to check in, even with an appointment. They missed some problems with my car and with other problems, they told me it needed some parts or work done but they didn't make any effort to arrange to order the parts and follow through. I brought the car in twice, complaining that it wasn't starting well and they completely missed that it was due for a 60,000 mile service, both visits. On the good side, they do keep fairly good records of your car's history and they do provide a shuttle. It may be the best game in town but I'm trying someone new, not a dealer. Barbara
I recommend McNevin Volkswagen in Berkeley. They are located on San Pablo Avenue about 5 blocks or so from University Ave. I don't know if they have a shuttle to public transportation, but there are many bus lines that run on San Pablo Avenue. Jennifer
I just traded in a wonderful Toyota (95,000 miles, never a problem) for a brand spanking new VW Passat GLX. This $30K car with 342 miles has a crack in the oil tank (crankcase) and since towing it 5 days ago to Broadway VW, I still have not received a single call about price estimate or when I can get it back. The service manager was nice and promised all kinds of things that haven't materialized. I will let you know if I find a better place. Stick with the Japanese cars if you want reliability! Lorianne
We also didn't like Broadway VW, but have had nothing but positive experiences with Dirito Bros in Walnut Creek. We live in Oakland, but feel it's worth the 20 min. drive out there. They're near BART, very accomodating, and even clean your car if you ask 'em---a big plus with a little one :) --JL
We had an unpleasant experience with Broadway as well. Our 2002 Golf suffered mechanical/electrical malfunction and our daughter got locked in the car with the car running. Broadway was very unhelpful when we took it in. We felt like they didn't really believe us, were reluctant didn't tell us what was going on, told us it would be ready when it wasn't, hung up on my husband etc. We used to have a Passat Wagon and now have a Golf. I would recommend Royal Motors in SF, which is pretty inconvenient, but worth the trip. I've also heard good things about Dirito Brothers in WC. Brightstar
I recommend that you go to McNevin in Berkeley. They are on San Pablo Ave near Gilman. They do have shuttle service available, though I have never used it. They have done all the warranty work on my VW Jetta (a 95). McNevin is prompt, courteous, and they do the work correctly. (Our theory is that since they are also a Cadillac dealership they are used to catering to some pretty fussy clients.) Rose
When I had a Volkswagen I took it to Germany's Best on College Ave and got great service. A small, friendly place and they stuck their neck out for me when another garage had charged me for a ''new'' piece that turned out not to be new at all (they called the garage themselves and got the owner to agree to refund what I had paid him.) I sold that car a few years ago and no longer go there so don't know if the same staff is around, but a few years ago I thought they were terrific. Kathleen
We're in the ''sorry, we can't really recommend either McNevin or Broadway'' category. We have a '99 Passat and stuck it out during warranty with McNevin, but VERY strongly disliked going there. Just this spring, we're now off warranty, and got a recommendation from our beloved Art's garage (on San Pablo) where we service our Toyota and our Hondas before that. They directed us 2 block north to Berkeley Auto Service, on San Pablo, where I believe his name is Roger Rodriguez, who is conscientious, friendly, and fair priced. Recently, we had a problem with the ABS sensor light that Roger couldn't diagnose. He didn't charge us anything for the time it took for the examination, but then he sent us away, empty handed, to the dealer. This time we went to Broadway, who, in the most antiseptic way, quickly diagnosed and replaced a frayed cable in exchange for a lot of cash.
The problem with the VW dealers seems to be the same in both places (McNevin and Broadway). You make an appointment well in advance for a routine tune-up, or some other specific service. They give you a time in the morning to drop your car off. And then you have to wait in line, first come first served, sometimes for 40 minutes in the morning when you're trying to get to work, to just give them the keys and ''sign in''. You can fill out the ''early-bird service'' envelope and put your keys into it and hand it to a service guy, but they are testy when you do this, and there isn't always a place for you to park the car and just leave. Then, when you pick it up, there isn't the service I've come to expect from the likes of El Cerrito Honda, Art's Automotive and Roger Rodriguez's Berekely Auto Service, where the guy who *actually worked on your car* talks to you about what he found, what his general impressions are about next services, etc. They just get your keys and hand you a large bill with chicken scratch for line items.
As for off warranty work with Berkeley Auto Service, we'll keep going, since we absolutely trust Art's recommendation, but I must say I'm a little concerned that they missed the cause of the ABS sensor light problem. I'll be reading other responses to this post carefully to see if there are any alternatives. Driver
I have a 2003 Passat wagon which intermittently loses power on acceleration. I can floor the gas pedal and get no response at all for quite a while until the engine suddenly revs and catches and I can move again. This can happen on the freeway, which clearly is a very dangerous situation. It is all the more annoying as we bought the car to drive our new baby around. I have taken it to the dealer twice now. They have managed to duplicate the problem but say their diagnostics all show nothing is wrong and that I should just drive the car until it happens again and then bring the car back and they will look at it again. I am not finding this to be an acceptable solution.
My questions are:
Has anyone had a problem like this with their Passat?
If the dealer says they can't fix it, what then?
What is involved in claiming this car is a lemon under the lemon law? Has anyone successfully done this?
I drive a 2001 Passat sedan, and received a recall notice about a problem very similar to the one you described. The notice stated that it wasn't going to happen in every car, and that I should take the car in if it happened to mine. Which dealer did you take the car to? Broadway VW's service manager seemed very knowledgeable about the recalls.
Did your mechanic check the ignitiion coil? We had a problem with our Honda Civic where the engine would stop or miss for a split second and then be OK, mostly on the freeway, but also off. I realize your problem sounds different, but just thought I'd toss this out there. The mechanics had a rough time figuring the problem out; car was in the shop for days. The coil tested fine in the shop, and due to intermittent problem, it couldn't be duplicated for them. Our car just eventually wouldn't start. There is info on the internet re: the lemon law and it differs by state.
i have a 2001 passat wagon that we received after enact! ing the lemon law on our 2000 passat sedan. make sure you document each and every time your car is at the dealer. ours didn't have the same problem as yours but after being at the dealership almost 10 times for the same problem, we threatened VW with the whole lemon law process and they quickly put us in touch with VW of America, who eventually ''bought back'' our sedan and we replaced it with the wagon (we had to pay the difference). in addition, our new wagon did have acceleration problems once. i took it in and they told me there were ''rapid misfirings'' in the computer system somewhere. they reset it and i haven't had any problems since. my neighbor also has a passat wagon and she told me the same thing has happened to her. must be a common problem. i hope this helps. good luck! anon
We had a 2002 Golf and had a loss of power after having the car for about a year and a ! half- it would keep on going, but had no power and I couldn't get it to accelerate (on hills, when merging on the freeway). We also had numerous electrical issues with it. We kept on taking it in to the dealer and they kept on ''fixing'' it. I think they will do that indefinitely even if you have the same problem over and over again. With the power issue, they told me that there was ''nothing wrong with it.'' I looked into the lemon law, but didn't end up pursuing it. We just got rid of the car (traded it in). What I did read is that you should contact a lemon law attorney, rather than pursue arbitration. With arbitration, they will generally just tell you to try to fix it again (we did this over some electrical issues that we had when we first bought the car and that was the outcome). I also read, that if your car is defective, which it sounds like yours is, that you ! should deal with the manufacturer and not the individual dealership. A lemon law attorney can help you with that.
Hi there- something in your question reminded me of a problem we had with a car of ours once... it did the same thing- it would be driving along fine and all of a sudden would lose power and we could floor it and nothing would happen and yes it happened on the freeway a couple times which was highly irritating. What it ended up being was: the fuses. Our car was a V8 and had 4 diff fuses for 4 diff. injectors (?) and when one of the fuses went out, we lost power to two (or more if more fuses blew) of the gas injectors and had no power. Yes the car was still running and yes the power inside still worked (radio etc) but couldn't drive it worth a darn.
I would check all your fuses under the hood, they should all be in one pl! ace in a fuse box and you should have a diagram in your manual about which fuse goes to what...check it out.. And if the dealership is hassling you about it- take it to another dealership and if that doesn't work and the car is under warranty- talk to whoever you need to talk to about either fixing it (and getting a rental) and/ or getting a diff. car (I''m assuming its a new car)..
If nothing is working and they are giving you hell, then yes I would take them to court or else contact the main people at the head of company (VW) with emails and letters saying what a crappy car you got and how unhappy you are that you aren't getting good service and how bad it is to be driving around a new baby in a potential death trap and if you don't get your needs met then the 6oclock local news will surely be hearing from you...
I feel for you! What a frustrating experience! We have a great attorney who deals fairly exclusively with Lemon Law cases. My husband and I are in the midst of dealing with a similar situation related to our Toyota Sequoia. My husband works in the car industry and did extensive researc! h about attorneys for these types of cases. If you end up going the legal route, try giving them a call. Their information is Kemnitzer, Anderson, Barron & Ogilvie at 415-861-2265. They also have a website at www.kabolaw.com. In the interim, if you're having a tough time getting them to acknowledge the problem with the car make sure you do a great job of documenting every interaction you have with the dealer.
Your experience sounds so frustrating. I don't know what VW dealer you're going to, but it's reminiscent of experiences we've had with McNevin--where I won't return for service. We're huge VW fans: love the cars, can't stand the local VW dealer service centers. We're on 4th VW--we also got a 2003 Passat for driving with our new baby.
One thing you might try is to call a place called Griffin Moterwerke which is on San Pablo in Berkeley, 524-7447. They are phenominal with VWs. They only do ''performance'' cars, and I think the owner even drives a 2002 Passat. We've found them to have been able to diagnose and repair issues that were stumping the dealer, as well as finding shoddy work that the dealer had done (brakes). They are really honest and trustworthy and aren't just punching the clock like you might find is the attitude at a dealer service center.
You'll have to pay for their assessment, but you might either be able to get VW to act on the repair based on their diagnosis, or see if they can do the work as a warranty repair...or if it's not to big a thing, just pay and know that it's fixed.
See the attached article about the safety recall of ignition coils on certain models of VW's. http://www.consumerreports.org/static/0recall2580.html I only found about the recall when my stereo stopped working and the mechanic mentioned it. No notice was ever sent from VW (which kinda peeves me, but that's another story). My mother- in-law needed to get her ignition coils replaced on her Jetta for the same reason, but hers actually went out first. I don't know why the dealer isn't making the connection...maybe try another dealer? NOt knowing which location you went to, I'll just tell you I take my Passat wagon to Broadway in Oakland. Maybe try telling them to replace the ignition coils per the recall? As far as lemon law goes....sorry I don't have any experience with that.
I have a '01 Passat Wagon and we are going to definitely give it up after the lease expires this July. We've had numerous issues (like the check engine light went off as soon as we were a block from the dealer)...that took over a year to fix. I kept bringing it in for the scheduled maintenance, and finally one of the service persons asked why it hadn't been fixed??? Also, because VW makes sealed transmissions, we had a terrible problem when I took the car for an oil change at the neighborhood gas station. They must have inadvertently also drained the the transmission fluid, but realized they couldn't put any back in. (You have to take to dealer to do that). So we were losing power like you are now, and realized it was that. Went to go add the fluid ourselves, and saw we couldn't. A mechanic at the auto store said that's why ! they wouldn't work on VW's...It cost us over $300 to add the fluid (which really should have been $25 if we added ourselves!). That was the last straw...Good luck - just keep calling the dealer and make them work on it! I will say that the dealer service folks were very nice...
Hi- Sorry to hear about your car troubles. It sounds really frustrating. I'm not sure if this is the same thing going on for you, but I have some good friends who have a Passat and were having similar troubles. They finally took it to a mechanic who took it on as a personal challenge. It took a lot of time, and he didn't charge them the full amount because he just wanted to figure it out. He found it was an electrical problem, some wires were crossed. It was a subtle problem that caused major headaches.