So now the service folks at 401 Dixie Volkswagen (the local shop that has my car) have told me that they have a high degree of confidence that the problem is fixed. The cost is $460.

I have two problems with this. Firstly, I do not share their confidence. The service manager told me that he could shake a connector to the fuse box and simulate the problem I was having (engine cutting out). That is all well and good, except he did NOT say that this causes the ESP error to come on - and I think if it did, he would have said that. Further, the fuse box was serviced by Volkswagen authorized dealers less than a year ago. Of course the other problem I have is that I still believe this is the same problem that has occurred since the car was only a few months old, and was never correctly diagnosed or fixed.

Therefore, I still maintain that VW owe me the repair cost, and a replacement vehicle for all the time I have been without. Right now, if I must, I will settle for the repair costs, and I will sue for the compensation later. Fortunately, I can go to small claims court for amounts up to 25000, so you can bet I will explore every claim I can make to make the process worthwhile for me.

I have communicated with Customer Service (VW Canada) the information given to me by the Service centre (another thing I don’t think I should need to do). I still await their decision.

So - in case you were on the fence about whether to buy a new VW - only do it if you are Okay with being stranded on the highway, and being without your vehicle for 1-2 weeks a year as it spends time in service centres - with no recourse and mostly one-way communications.

VW called me on Thursday 23rd January, agreeing to pay repair cost + one towing cost (460 + 75). I accepted (for now), I took the car back on Friday, and drove it all weekend and commuted in to work today. So far, so good. The rep who called me made reference to my CANVAP application (here one can apply to have the company take the car back and pay back a pro-rated amount based on the mileage so far. It would seem VW was not prepared to do that and would prefer to pay the repair? Anyhow, it is hard to tell which item put the pressure on them to make the decision. Perhaps my contact at the Toronto Star - Mike Kenzie was the final push.

When all is said and done, the TDI is a fine car, VW Canada is lousy to deal with.