Safety Issues Volkswagen

It’s the hot weather, stupid

Volkswagen Golf VI

Volkswagen UK has felt the need to clarify a few things after being asked if they would join countries like Australia, China, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and the United States in carrying out a voluntary recall relating to the 7-speed DQ200 DSG transmission.

In short, the answer is: No!

“It is a problem that relates only to temperate countries with a high incidence of stop and start driving,” explained a VW UK spokesperson. “It requires a set of circumstances—humidity, temperature, dust and congested driving conditions—that we simply don’t see in the UK.

“We have robust systems in place to monitor potential problems and, although we have around 48,000 cars on the road equipped with DQ200 gearboxes, we haven’t seen any failures that we can attribute to this problem.”

Mechanically speaking, the specification of DQ200 transmission is the same for UK delivered cars as it is for models sold in Australia. There are country-specific software differences, though.

Volkswagen UK is at pains to point out that they have not received any complaints in line with the issues encountered in Australia. “The DSG mechatronics are programmed differently according to the country in which a vehicle will be sold,” a VW UK statement reads. “The issues recently experienced by some customers in Australia have not been repeated in the UK, nor indeed in other temperate countries.”

Volkswagen UK may very well be correct in their statement regarding the differing climate between the UK and elsewhere; we’re not suggesting it isn’t. However, prior to initiating their own voluntary recall Volkswagen Australia, too, fobbed off local complaints saying there were differences between Australia and other countries that had already issued recalls.

[Source: Autocar]

Safety Issues Volkswagen

Volkswagen Australia announces voluntary recall


As expected Volkswagen has this morning announced an official recall. The announcement only covers vehicles fitted with a 7-speed DSG transmission (DQ200) built from June 2008 to September 2011. Notices will go out to affected owners from next month. There is no word yet on an official recall for diesel powered models that may be affected by injector issues. Here is Volkswagen’s statement in full:

Volkswagen Group Australia Announces Voluntary Recall

Volkswagen Group Australia today announced a voluntary recall for 25,928 vehicles fitted with 7-speed DSG gearbox (DQ200).

Vehicles affected include Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy and were produced between June 2008 and September 2011.

In isolated cases, an electronic malfunction in the control unit inside the gearbox mechatronics may result in a power interruption. Other important vehicle systems, such as steering and braking, along with other relevant systems, will continue to be fully functional. If, in rare cases, the car loses power while driving, the driver can remain in control to safely manoeuvre the car to a stop.

Volkswagen vehicles currently being produced and sold are not affected by this issue. Australian customers can have trust, peace of mind and confidence when purchasing a new Volkswagen vehicle.

Volkswagen Group Australia will replace the gearbox mechatronic unit on all potentially affected vehicles at no cost to the customer. At the same time, we will also update customers’ vehicles with the latest software version.

Starting from July, owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted directly by Volkswagen Group Australia about the voluntary recall.

The invitation letters to schedule appointments for inspection and replacement of affected parts will be sent out in batches to the owners according to car model, production date and the supply of the necessary parts. Owners can continue to drive their vehicles as usual before the replacement.

In Volkswagen owners are invited to call the Customer Service Centre hotline on 1800 504 076 for this and all other technical inquiries Customer satisfaction is Volkswagen’s highest priority.

UPDATE: The ACCC has published a notice regarding the Volkswagen recall (see below). Interestingly they state vehicles built between 2009–2012 are affected, which is different to Volkswagen’s own date range above.

UPDATE #2: The website has been corrected to indicate cars affected were built in 2008–2011. Other edits were made to the text relating to the defects and hazards. You can compare both notices below.


Volkswagen Golf VII revealed

Volkswagen Golf VII

Here’s your first official look at the new seventh generation Volkswagen Golf. It’s roomier and more technologically advanced than the 29 million Golfs to have gone before it. It’s also up to 100kg lighter than the previous model, enough to help it become 23% more efficient.

It’s no surprise to see Volkswagen has taken an evolutionary path for its most important model. We can’t say we’re completely won over by the new look. But the more you absorb the pictures you see here the more you appreciate some of the smaller details. Having said that, it’s very a much a safe step forward. Although, the image above, with larger wheels, shows the Mk7 in a good light and we hold high hopes for the look of the forthcoming GTI and R models.

The Mk7 Golf is built on the MQB platform which uses a raft of standard measures to help Volkswagen save some cash, while being versatile enough to underpin several models and classes of cars across the Volkswagen Group brand portfolio.

We’ve already gone over the basic dimensions of the Golf VII with you. But to recap, the new model is 56mm longer, 13mm wider and 28mm lower than the Golf VI. The front wheels have been moved 43mm forward, while the overall wheelbase has been extended by 59mm. Overall the new Golf is 4255mm long, 1799mm wide and 1452mm high. Its drag coefficient of 0.27 is 10% better than the previous generation.

Inside the car those new exterior dimensions allow for more rear seat legroom, more shoulder and elbow room for all passengers as well as increased cargo space in the boot.

The centre console is now slightly angled towards the driver and all models of Golf, from entry level to top of the range, feature a full colour touchscreen display. Sizes start 5.8″ and go up to a maximum of 8″. Finger gestures, as seen with smartphones, are used to control the system.

Volkswagen has followed the recent trend of removing traditional handbrake levers in place of an electronic switch. They say this gives front seat passengers a bit more room. They’ve also managed to house a universal mobile phone holder in the central storage compartment with the added benefit of an inductive aerial for improved reception.

As you’d expect VW has packed the Golf VII with a host of new safety features. As well as the now default system like ABS, EBD and ESP new braking features such as multi-collision braking, Front Assist and City Emergency Braking are available. These can complemented by things like the PreCrash system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, a camera-operated Lane Assist system, Dynamic Light Assist and Park Assist.

Preset driving modes are also available on the new Golf. Standard settings include Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. Those opting for a DSG transmission can boast a fifth setting, called Comfort.

Steering for the Mk7 is now handled by a variable ratio system, which brings greater manoeuvrability at low speeds, while being more composed and direct at higher speeds.

At launch Volkswagen has announced a modest engine range of two diesel and two petrol units. The TDI engines start with a 1.6 litre offering 77kW and a 2.0 litre with 110kW. Respectively, their combined fuel usage figures are 3.8l/100km and 4.1l/100km. The petrol powered range begins with a 1.2 litre TSI offering 63kW of power and fuel consumption of 4.9l/100km. A 1.4 litre TSI provides 103kW and with the addition of Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders, sips fuel at the rate of 4.8l/100km.

More detail on the Golf VII will be published when the cars hit the stands at the Paris Motor Show, at which point we also hope to see a GTI concept. For now there’s an additional 19 pictures and press guff for you after the break, including a 44 page PDF for you to download.

UPDATE: Three new PDFs have been added ready for download. We recommend sinking your teeth into the first two.

UPDATE #2: This just in from Volkswagen Australia: “We are planning to launch the Golf VII in the 2nd qtr 2013.”


Volkswagen confirms Golf VI Cabrio

Golf VI Cabrio rendering

The Motor Report brings word that Volkswagen has confirmed production for a Golf VI-based cabrio. They’ve even come up with this rendering to show how such a car could look. The soft-top Golf will be built in Osnabrück at the former Karmann factory, which Volkswagen picked up after the body specialists filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Production should commence in 2011 with deliveries for late that year or possibly beginning in 2012. Following a near decade-long hiatus the re-introduction of the Golf Cabrio would likely signal the end of the Eos convertible. Check out the source link below for more.

[Source: The Motor Report]

UPDATE 4 November: A press release from Volkswagen AG has been added below, which confirms a new Golf Cabrio will be built at Osnabrück.


All day I dream about Sydney

Volkswagen Golf GTI adidas

The Volkswagen Golf GTI adidas is coming to the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. Even better, perhaps, is news that you will be able to buy one as well. The list price for this special edition model is $45,990.

Using the familiar and highly successful GTI as a starting point the adidas version includes dedicated badging and interior seat trim, along with unique 18″ “Serron” alloy wheels. Also thrown in are bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering functionality, rear LED tail lights (previously only seen on the Golf R) and an RCD510 stereo system complemented with Media Device Interface and Bluetooth connectivity.

The adidas will be available in Candy White or Tornado Red only. In Australia they will also be limited to five-door and DSG specification. More details after the break.


Volkswagen Golf GTD – Australian specs & pricing


Volkswagen Australian have just announced official details for the Golf GTD. These confirm the car’s status as a “diesel GTI” with its body kit, interior and suspension all heavily influenced by the highly regarded GTI. For the GTD, this also includes 15mm lower suspension and the Extended Electronic Differential Lock (XDL).

The GTD will only be available in a five door layout in Australia and list pricing starts at $39,290 for the manual and $41,790 for DSG. Both transmissions are six speed.

With 125kW and 350Nm on offer from the common-rail 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine the GTD can accelerate to 100km/h in 8.1 seconds. Fuel consumption for the manual is rated at 5.5l/100km, while the DSG consumes 5.8l/100km.

In line with the Australian GTI range the GTD is available in the following colours: Candy White, Tornado Red, Reflex Silver metallic, Carbon Steel metallic and Deep Black pearl effect.

More info is available below, including options pricing. Full specifications for the GTD are available for download in this PDF (74kb). For a closer look at the GTD, check out the image gallery posted earlier in the week.


Volkswagen Golf GTD image gallery


Like the all-paw Golf R the Golf GTD is about to be set free in Australian showrooms (they’ve been here since early May). To help those who are waiting on the “diesel GTI” here’s some pics sourced from the Volkswagen UK press archives. Some details seen in these pics might differ from GTDs sold locally. There are currently no plans to sell a three door version of the GTD in Australia. Apart from that, this is pretty much what we’ll be getting in Australia.

Remember, with the GTD being such a new kid on the block, it is not covered by Volkswagen’s current free on roads promotion which expires at the end of this month. (Thanks to Ben for this tip.)

As for tips, here’s one for our Tasmanian readers. Expect to see a few Golf Rs and GTDs roaming the roads of your state in the next day or two.

UPDATE 9 June: Unconfirmed Australian list pricing for the GTD has surfaced this morning:

6spd manual – $39,290
6spd DSG – $41,790
(5 door only, plus delivery fees and on road costs)

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Golf GTI adidas coming to Wörthersee

Golf GTI adidas

Volkswagen will be showing two new special Golf GTI models at the annual Wörthersee Tour in Austria. The first will be known as the Golf GTI adidas and will feature a number of cosmetic tweaks, including unique alloy wheels and adidas styled interior trim.

Also included in its list of standard equipment will be bi-xenon headlights and LED rear tail lights. It’s unlikely that any right hand drive models will be made and a limited run of 4410 will go on sale in Europe later this year. At this stage that’s pretty much all we can tell you. There’s only the one image you see above. Expect more from Wörthersee soon, then.

The next model, the Golf GTI Excessive, has even less info available. There’s no pictures at all. And apart from telling you the car is likely to have a number of modifications, including an extreme body kit I can’t really say much else, except keep an eye out for details. Also expected on the Excessive is uprated suspension, brakes and exhaust.

[via World Car Fans]


Golf GTD spotted in Sydney

VW Golf GTD spotted in Sydney

Thanks to AUSmotive reader Ben for sending in these pics of a Tornado Red Golf GTD he first sighted on Sydney’s M4 last night.

Ben’s handiwork confirms first and foremost that eager buyers, and there will be a few, don’t have too long to wait until they can get their hands on what is effectively a diesel powered Golf GTI. Latest speculation from November last year suggested the GTD would be on sale in Australia before the end of 2009. That didn’t ever sound quite right to me. A mid 2010 launch always seemed more likely. It now appears that this will be the case.

The Golf GTD is powered by a 125kW 2.0 TDI engine and its chassis components are pretty much taken straight from Volkswagen’s hot selling all-rounder, the Golf GTI. The GTD’s body kit is also sourced from the GTI, with the only major difference being chrome detail on the front grille, replacing the red of the GTI.

Volkswagen’s diesel hot hatch can reach 100km/h in 8.1 seconds, but its real party trick is its in gear acceleration. Thanks to the 350nM of torque on offer the GTD will have masses of pick up once moving. The torque rating is actually 20Nm more than the soon to be released VW hot hatch hero, the Golf R.

Speaking of the Golf R, AUSmotive understands the Australian launch will take place well before the end of June. Will the GTD be launched around the same time?

UPDATE 9 May: More pics can be seen at the VWwatercooled forum.

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Geneva: Volkswagen wants to dominate hybrid market

Volkswagen Golf Hybrid due in 2013

Volkswagen have announced at the Geneva Motor Show that they want in on the hybrid vehicle market. And they want in in a big way. In 2013 Volkswagen will launch hybrid models of the volume-selling Golf and Jetta models. A move VW expects will lead them to “dominate the hybrid and electric vehicle market”.

Indeed, Volkswagen’s Chairman, Professor Martin Winterkorn, has stated, “The goal is to become the market leader in E-mobility by the year 2018.

“We will take the hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models. In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity.”

The move to mass market penetration will begin next year when Volkswagen releases an evaulation fleet of 500 Golf hybrids. Volkswagen also expects electric drive technology to filter across all of its group brands.

Of course, Volkswagen have already dipped their tow into the hybrid market with the new Touareg. Audi, too, has it’s e-tron lineup. And the Porsche 918 Spyder is the undisputed star of the Geneva Motor Show so far.

More after the break.

Motorsports Volkswagen

Geneva: Volkswagen CrossGolf

Volkswagen CrossGolf

Volkswagen claim the Golf is “the most successful vehicle concept of all times”. Presumably they have reached this conclusion based on total sales. So, is it any wonder that they are milking the platform with the CrossGolf, the sixth model line in the Golf range.

Essentially what you see is what you get. A body based on the GolfPlus, including an extra 20mm ride height, a few exterior plastic bits and some model specific interior trim. Voila, a new model.

It is unlikely we will ever see the CrossGolf in Australia. Which is a shame. A real shame. Just wait until you see the new Subaru Impreza XV, which will be here mid-year. Somebody really needs to tell Subaru’s designers to stop the madness!

I digress, more pics and details of the comparatively attractive, but probably quite pointless CrossGolf can be seen after the jump.


2010 Golf Wagon – Australian pricing

2010 VW Golf Wagon

Volkswagen Australia have just released an Estate version to their volume selling Golf range. Known in Australia as the Golf Wagon, it will be initially offered in two model lines—Trendline and Comfortline.

Entry level pricing, before those nasty delivery and government charges, starts at $26,990. That gets you a 90kW 1.4 TSI Trendline with 6 speed manual. The top of the range model, 103kW 2.0 TDI Comfortline with 6 speed DSG, is priced from $36,490. The usual range of options is also available and a list of prices is available below.

Four engines will be available for those wanting the maximum 1495 litres of cargo space the Golf Wagon provides. Two 1.4 TSI engines, with either 90kW or 118kW are complemented by a 77kW 1.6TDI and a 103kW 2.0 TDI. The full gamut of Volkswagen transmissions is on offer, including 5 and 6 speed manuals in addition to 6 and 7 speed DSG offerings. At a basic level you can choose a manual or DSG with all engine choices, the numbers of cogs you get depends on the engine choice.

This is the first time we have seen a Golf Estate/Variant/Wagon in Australia and it remains to be seen how successful this addition to the Golf line up will be. I know one thing, though, they’d sell a lot more of them if they bothered to get Volkswagen to design the rear of the car. Instead, it looks like they just picked up some 1990s Honda Accord tail lights, stuck them on the back and thought, that should do it. When the rest of the Volkswagen range is, generally, so expertly styled—and of particular note here is the Passat Wagon—one has to wonder just how on earth they came to this conclusion.