An official from the Group said that if there are some issues with a car before the delivery, they will not tell the customer about them so as not to ruin their delivery and mood.
BHPian Dino_juice13 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Got sold a Virtus GT with repainted panels from a VW dealership
My family bought a Carbon Steel Grey Virtus GT in Sept 2022 from a VW dealership (part of a Group that is one of the largest automobile dealers in the city) in Mumbai. We had booked it in mid-June after the price announcement and got it in Sept.
So the problem actually starts from the delivery day. The delivery of the car was supposed to be on 3rd Sept but on 2nd Sept at 6pm, I was told that the “Number plate” of the car still hasn’t reached so the delivery will be delayed by a day or two. Many of my friends and family have taken delivery of new cars and most of them have gotten the number plate on the same day or the next day.
We explained our displeasure to the sales team but they said that they could do nothing and didn’t have any answers. The plate came on 5th Sept and the delivery was the next day. We reached the dealership on 6th at the mahurat time of 4pm. We saw that the car was parked on the footpath without any cover/ribbons next to another car. The delivery was very disappointing as there wasn’t even space to stand in front of the car as they didn’t move the car parked behind it.
I had already done a PDI on 26th August at the VW service center but the car was very dirty and they didn’t even allow me to open the doors. From the outside, no scratches just a bit dirty. So on the delivery day, everything looked fine but due to the excitement, I didn’t closely inspect the paint and since the car was on the footpath under the tree shade I wasn’t able to figure out minor imperfections, plus the dim evening sun.
After the delivery within a few days, some issues started crawling up like rust on drum brakes, overnight rusting on the brake discs, radio signal never being clear and crisp, weird horn tone, sometime only 1 horn will work. Rattling of the parcel shelf, driver seat cover coming out loose, driver side auto window issue. And the biggest issue – the Darth Vader sound coming out of the A/C along with the cooling problem.
They had also scratched a line above the body lock mechanism on the B pillar during the 1st service. Left rear door not closing properly. I had also noticed some excessive orange peel near the rear right side tyre but as it was at a curved angle I couldn’t figure out what it was and thought it might be the fender shape making the paint look weird. And many more things throughout the year, of which many are still not solved to date. It’s a rattle box and I will soon write my 1 year ownership review.
So coming back to the main painted panel issue.
While sending the car for the 6-month check-up, the SA asked me why the car was coming for the 4th time, which panel I had repainted and did I had claimed insurance. I was confused by this question and I corrected him by saying that it’s only the 3rd time after the 1 month service and the 2nd time I sent the car for the seat cover and AC issue, and never has the car been painted.
He showed me his computer and there I saw that after the 26th August PDI, the car was sent for denting painting on 3rd Sept- the original delivery day of the car. I was taken aback by seeing this and it connected all the dots of the late delivery. A sense of being cheated and anger went through me and I decided to go home first and make a sense of the situation.
I tried contacting my sales advisor but she had quit her job and didn’t pick up the phone. Contacted the dealership sales office but they were just making me jump hoops. So the next day I visited the service centre and confronted the manager about this and he accepted that there were some scratches before the delivery and they performed denting and painting on a few panels.
At that time even he was not sure which panel was painted but he told me that the rear right side near the wheel arch and some doors. There was no pictures or proper description of the damage and I was not informed about this as it was on the delivery day. They tried to hide it. He told me as he was out of town during that time, no one informed me and proper details of the damages weren’t taken.
Later via mail he confirmed that the rear right quarter panel near the wheel, rear right door and rear bumper was repainted to “remove scratches” from the panel. He also confirmed that the sales team was notified but even they decided to hide it and go on with the number plate story. I was furious and demanded an explanation as to why no one thought that it was important to notify the client before or even after the delivery.
We had a lengthy discussion about the lack of professionalism and the case of fraud from a reputed German brand. I asked him to convey my displeasure to the sales team and also be compensated for being cheated and sold a car with repainted panels.
He told me he would arrange a call back with the respective teams. The whole to and fro went on for a month and no positive outcome. During the whole ordeal, the manager was the only point of contact who convened all the messages and wishes of the whole dealership team with the CR Head of the Group, also on most of the conference calls.
No one from the sales team contacted me or anyone from the dealership. The last offer was 2 free services of 15k kms/1 year & 30k kms/3 year which I received via email on March 20. Which I felt wasn’t adequate but was tired of going back and forth with VW when they didn’t even care.
In April mid-week I was contacted by someone from the VW CR team after reading my comment about the AC issue on the Facebook Virtus owners group. I also told him about the whole paint ordeal and he wasn’t aware of this and will investigate and get back to me.
And again, many conference calls talking about the same problem again and again with the manager and the CR team. After a month of to and fro during the last conference call, joins someone from the Group. During the whole conversation, he accepts the fraud happened but refuses to call it a fraud. Then comes the golden words from him that if there are some issues in the car before the delivery they will not tell the customer about it so as not to ruin their delivery and mood.
Listening to this, I totally lost it. How can this make any logic? I told him so the SOP of the dealership is to hand the car and not inform the customer even if it’s painted or mechanically repaired just so the mood on the delivery day doesn’t get ruined and keep on hiding the fact that you sold a repaired car and not a brand new one.
At this point, I understood that they would not going to budge and not cooperate with me on any fair compensation which I wanted as the car would lose its resale value with 3 panels repainted and I would have no explanation for it.
The final offer from their side was 1 exterior refinement treatment FOC. This thing dragged on for four months with not so favorable outcome. Plus a very badly built and put-together car with rattles more than a 10-year-old TATA. I have all of the voice recordings and chats with me. I wanted to post them but was also afraid about people venting out any prejudice on the car and me when I’d send the car for servicing.
Throughout the whole ordeal, the manager was cooperative and tried to diffuse and solve the issue but took his sweet long time. The guy from the VW CR team was also helpful and listened to the whole issue very carefully and down to every detail to connect all the dots. The disappointing part was the sales team of the dealership who never apologized and disclosed this even though all of them knew about this.
I decided to post about it now after reading the repainted i20 thread and thought people should know about this VW dealership’s sales practices.
It has been a roller coaster of a ride with the Virtus. The superb engine + less than mediocre build quality and this type of after-sales tarnish the already tarnished VW/Skoda ownership woes. There is a subtle fear while sending the car for servicing that they may scratch up so many panels inside as it creaks and rattles from every corner of the car. Sometimes I think it’s better to forget about the rattles rather than the service centre opening up the insides of the car and still not fixing it and just leaving the scratches on the panels.
Soon the car will go for its 1st-year service. I have driven it for 6500 km so far. Soon a detailed ownership review of 1 year will be written with all the problems in the car and how it has performed.
I am attaching some photos of the repainted quarter panel. Please ignore the small scratch. I got it in Mumbai traffic, my luck is so bad that the first scratch I got was on the disputed panel. I purposefully didn’t repaint it till this issue was solved.
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