The VW Junkyard
brittle fiberglass bumper snapped
like a plastic spoon upon minor impact when the vehicle was backed
from a stopped position at a parking space into a vertical light
post (see vertical crease in rear deck), shattered bumper (glued
together by owner). VW did not provide the minimum 2.5 mph rated
bumper required on standard sedans, because it is not required
for mini-vans or sport utility vehicles. Note that the Plexiglas
window is duck-taped in place because the young family could
not afford repair work with high deductible as they had just
relocated to secure employment. Had they known that VW was shorting
customers on bumpers they would not have bought this vehicle
for use in the city where it is subject to parking uses. Note,
bumper caps popped off at ends of bumper exposing ugly electrical
wiring and VW "craftsmanship". $5,000 (+/-) to replace
bumper, rear deck and window. Fahrvernugen? Peeyew! Take the
duck-tape option. Oh yeah, that's duck-tape holding the third
brake light in place behind the Plexiglas.
VW has had an ongoing
problem with bumpers. Bumpers used to be to protect the chassis or
body of the vehicle from minor impacts. No more. VW has been
investigated for poor bumper construction on several of its models
and years since 1988. Is that why they call the Jetta a Jetta,
because its bumpers jettison spontaneously in traffic? The NHTSA
was investigating VW because its vehicle (Jetta, GTI and GOLF)
bumpers were falling off in traffic making steering difficult
and causing damages to other vehicles on the highway. Apparently
VW is still having bumper problems. Well, at least VW consumers
are having VW bumper problems, eh? The droopy bumpers on the
Jetta, and GOLF are not happy expressions.
it up, turn it over and shake it. This is a picture of the gas tank under
the vehicle beneath the front seat. The front tire is at the lower left
of the photo. Note that the fuel (gasoline) tank extends outside
the front-to-rear rectangular chassis frame, unnecessarily exposing
it to side impact on the driver's door side of the car. This
may be the only family mini-van besides the Mazda MPV which continues
to place potentially explosive fuel tanks in a position outside
the chassis frame. Other car manufacturers apparently believe
that placing the gas tank between the front and rear axles and
between the chassis frames near the sides of the vehicle might
be more protection from the majority of garden variety of 35
mph to 55 mph side impact collisions. (Or at least this placement
lessens the risks of consumer lawsuits in explosive collisions?).
Even General Motors stopped making its infamous saddlebag style
pickup truck gas tanks in 1987, in which hundreds of consumers
have been incinerated after side impact collisions. Check the
gas tank placement and assure yourself that the manufacturer
has placed it such that it is as protected as it can be from
front, rear and side collisions. Volkswagen apparently is too
big to merely retool and reconfigure this plastic gas tank, even
though it has had three or more model years to phase in this
minor change, as it continues to ship its EuroVans with gas tanks
placed as shown. Also note the rough edge of the bottom of the
door finish. This was supposed to have been a new car, or at
least it was represented as new. Is this what in Germany is called
a "Monday car"?
VW Jetta and Golf were reportedly rated by the Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety (IIHS) as "marginal" in IIHS's crashworthiness
tests. The rankings include "poor", "marginal",
"acceptable", and "good".
was featured in the "Bad" column of a recent mainstream media carried
report by JD Powers Associates regarding customer satisfaction.
Apparently, Consumer Reports' recent but earlier suggestion that
the Passat surpassed the Toyota Camry as the best family car
may be premature. Leave it to VW to assume that increased unit
sales gives it carte blanche to run down consumers. There were
rumors that VW had mended its ways in order to increase market
share after falling to fewer than 50,000 unit sales in the US
in the early seventies... false rumors perhaps (likely?).
(April / May
acquaintance recently bought the way over priced EuroVan-Winnebagoed
Camper. He went to the VW dealer with which we made our last
VW mistake. He reported that the salesperson said that it was
against the law to put the gas tank between the chassis frame...
He walked and bought his vehicle from another dealer, apparently
less inclined to think him a fool enough to believe a stupid
or liarly sales remark. Oh yeah, and its been back to the dealer
already twice for inoperative factory installed parts.
Car Is Not A VW"
Marge Schott (Former
Cincinnatti Reds Owner) meant VW, when she mentioned that, 'Hitler
had some good ideas in the beginning, you know, before he went
crazy...' [sic-k] (?) At least Ford put his name on his cars...(:-)
casts shadow on Volkwagen's Past," an Associated Press (AP) featured
newswire story about a book VW reportedly commissioned about
its Nazi past. AP was reported to have written "Volkswagen
and Its Workers During the Third Reich," by Hans Mommsen,
'has renewed discussion of VW's use of slave labor during World
War II.' 'Complete with photos of Der Fuehrer admiring a Beetle
model, it is the most comprehensive -- and potentially damaging
-- history ever written about the Nazi-era birth of the company.'
NEW VW AD?
photo of Der Fuerhrer standing on a stage behind a line of 1938 VW
Beetles (Buggies?), flanked by Trench coat draped SS (Jackbooted
Thugs?), published with the AP story, is available from World
Wide Photos, (212-621-1939), 50 Rockefeller Center, New York,
N.Y. 10020. ($100 for license to web-publish this historic image
of VW's co-founder and first salesman? ... for VW afficianados
only? Finally a car that David Duke and Pat Buchanan could support,
if not drive? Check out those fancy turbo-powered hub-caps...
has also been reported that Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and BMW or
people associated with these companies also may have either turned
a blind eye to the Nazi/SS and their insectlike ways, or actively
assisted their anti-social agenda.
reasons to pay too much for your next new or used Volkswagen,
Porsche, Benz, or Beemer?) Beware the bugs in the New Beetles.
Give them a model year or two or three before making your next
lets be fair?
The Nazis tried to take over the world. Toyko thought it would
be nice to help. This leaves us with Detroit? It bought Manhattan
Island (New York) for $25.00 wirth of zirconium and marked it
up several million percent. Choices, choices... decisions, decisions.
Such a deal?
are catching on that
the New Beetle is not the Beetle of yester-yore... as VW would
have them believe... Even the remaining Beetles apparently refused
to do the ads...
Coming up on 3/16/98: Volkswagen's new "bug" is in
showrooms now, but hardcore lovers of the quirky car aren't
fooled. Next time on Marketplace, beetle lovers pay tribute to
automotive legend that sounded like grandma's sewing machine.'