Having Realistic Expectations When It Comes To Your Car
I know that I have mentioned before, I try and spend time reading people’s posts in forums. I want to get the unfiltered opinion of how customers feel about their car. Sadly it almost always focuses on broken cars. I am actually fine with that. I get to hear about issues that I might otherwise not hear about.
There does come a point where I get really frustrated. It generally comes from statements like
My car is broken and it is only a year out of warranty.Then VW only offered me $1000 extra for a trade in.
Now, let’s break down that statement a little bit.
- My car is broken
Yes, all cars will break at some point
- It is ONLY a year out of warranty
Fact, it is out of warranty
- VW offered me $1000 extra
The manufacturer is offering to help
Let’s take just about any other product and see what you would get a year out of warranty. A few years ago, the A/C in my house went out. It was just 4 months after the warranty went out. They told me that They would send someone out to give me a quote. They also said because I was out of warranty there was nothing that they could do. Believe me I pushed the issue as much as possible. That repair set me back about $2500. Try holding out on fixing your home A/C in the middle of July. That ain’t happening. Would you be happy about making that repair? My guess is no(I was not).
So what is the point? There is a term called Mean Time Between Repairs. That basically means that failures are very predictable. In a machine with thousands of moving parts and millions of circuits running everything from safety systems to interior lighting, is it a shock that things will fail?
Then there is also the old saying “Never buy the first year of a model”. I am sure if you asked anyone that owned a 2004 VW Touareg this would totally agree. That is actually how my wife and I got our first dog. The customer had a 2003 Beetle Convertible. She works in dog rescue and was in the shop all the time with her Beetle. She was fostering a beautiful little brown dog named Brighton. Now that little girl is my FooDog.
Fast forward to the 2012 Beetle. VW is having issues with the windows. They are hitting pinch protection and not closing properly. It is a completely frustrating thing for customers. Having to screw around with the buttons until the window closes properly.
My overall point is this. Your car will break! It is that plain and simple. It might break under warranty. It might break 2 days out of warranty. If it is a reasonably time after the warranty, the manufacturer should help you out. But at some point your warranty will end. As much as it stinks, it will happen. Even if your warranty was 150,000 miles. At some point you will have a repair to make. The only thing we can do is prepare for it, and bite the bullet when it comes.
Oh, one last thing. Don’t think that I am saying manufacturers don’t have their part to play.