Has your Volkswagen suddenly lost power?

Volkswagen Golf V

We alert you to a troubling article regarding the Volkswagen Golf published by Fairfax Media. Most of the issues reported on relate to Mk5 Golfs and centre around the 2011 death of 32-year-old Melissa Ryan on Melbourne’s Monash Freeway:

A coroner this week investigated the death of Ms Ryan, who was killed when a prime mover with two trailers hit her Golf from behind. The truck driver and Ms Ryan’s family believe her car dramatically and inexplicably slowed before the crash. After Fairfax’s reporting of the coronial inquest, 15 owners of Volkswagens have spoken of frightening experiences when their cars, including Golf, Passat, Polo and Eos models, suddenly lost power on highways and, in one case, a train line.

“I did not feel safe driving a car like that. It was frightening,” said Jean Lim, who was driving a 2007 Golf automatic that suddenly decelerated. VW replaced the gearbox but the issue returned. Another driver, who owned a 2008 Golf automatic, said she drove “in constant terror”. “The light comes up, the car just dies and you just pray that you’re not smashed into,” said the driver, who declined to be named.

We suggest you read the article in full. If you drive a recent model Volkswagen and have experienced similar problems we’d like to hear from you in the comments section below.

For the interests of transparency we spent over six years at the wheel of a 2006 Golf GTI (6-speed manual) and never encountered anything at all like this. The car went back to Volkswagen for three voluntary recalls, although the car was not exhibiting any of the problems covered by the recalls at the time.