Rather than re-invent the wheel, the following is largely an extract from my letter to the Dealer Principal of Wippells Auto’s in Toowoomba dated 27 Jul 2017. The actual letter provided significantly more detail and included supporting documentation.
A recent unsuccessful attempt to repair our Yeti for a persistent intermittent loss of drive issue (ongoing for more than 2 years) included replacement of the complete gearbox and ABS module. This occurred on 06 Mar 17. This included updating the software in the DSG mechatronics unit to the latest version, part of which is designed to improve the longevity of the clutch pack.
A consequence of this upgrade is that the clutch assembly disengages the engine from the transmission without warning and so our Yeti now loses drive when attempting to travel up a slope (in both first and reverse gears) at low speed. To date this has happened 37 times (as of 18 Dec 2017) when there has been a vehicle or pedestrian behind us.
The only indication that this functionality has activated is that the Yeti rolls down the slope unchecked and can only be brought to a halt with the brake. During these events the gear that the transmission is in (D1 or R) is still displayed on the instrument panel. This is despite the transmission not being engaged or providing drive. No warning devices are activated to inform the driver of what is happening. This has resulted in a number of near misses some of which have only been avoided by vehicles taking evasive manoeuvring.
Skoda / VW Australia Customer Experience Genius (name removed) and (name removed), a technical specialist, have stated that this is “normal DSG operation” and that it affects all Volkswagen Auto Group vehicles equipped with DSG transmissions.
The vehicle now also exhibits an inconsistent “delayed throttle response” where previously there had been no delay in throttle response. The unpredictability of this has led to numerous near misses where our Yeti has failed to accelerate through gaps in oncoming traffic. This delay in throttle response (of up to several seconds) is not consistent while repeatedly driving through the same scenarios.
In Queensland this operation conflicts with the Code of Practice: Vehicle Inspection Guidelines, Transport and Main Roads, April 2016, specifically section 9.2 Transmission operation (manual and automatic) Any gear selected disengages whilst the vehicle is in motion constitutes a reason for rejection, and Engine Controls (reasons for rejection) “Engine controls as fitted by the manufacturer (including cruise control) do not operate in a smooth and efficient manner”.
In contrast to Skoda Australia, I believe that the current operation of our Yeti renders it hazardous and unfit for normal use. The fact that this operation is deliberately engineered into the design by VW doesn’t mitigate the hazard. Given the admissions by VW representatives that this software is not limited to our vehicle, this scenario could potentially affect Skoda, VW and Audi vehicles fitted with DSG transmissions.
We had been in regular contact with Skoda / VW Australia Customer Experience Genius (name removed) attempting to seek resolution however these discussions have broken down and her most recent email has advised that:
“Please be advised that we have addressed your concerns formally as requested and there will be no further correspondence from ŠKODA Australia in relation to this matter.”
Since replacement of the mechatronics unit, then gearbox and brake components our Yeti additionally exhibits:
Intermittent shuddering in 1st gear when the transmission automatically selects down from 2nd in traffic.
Brake pedal operation that is significantly spongier that prior to the ABS component change and the brakes now often “grab” when gently applied at low speed.
I have repeatedly asked Skoda / VW Australia Customer Experience Genius (name removed) (via email and phone) a number of fundamental questions relating to the operation of our Yeti however she has not answered them. Instead her typical reply is “We can confirm that your vehicle is operating as per manufacturers specifications. “. In a more recent email Skoda / VW Australia Customer Experience Genius (name removed) has cryptically stated that what we are experiencing is due to “driveability which is not compatible with the drivetrain of the vehicle”.
None of the above “normal operation” is detailed in the vehicle operating manual provided with the vehicle. Additionally this same manual provides no limitations or notes on vehicle operation specific to DSG or brake operation that could encompass the above.
I believe it reasonable to assume that when a vehicle is subjected to maintenance to correct a fault that it will operate better afterwards, yet our Yeti is consistently returned with more faults than prior to maintenance. Additionally Skoda customer care now appears to be refusing to assist further with resolving the issue of our vehicle.
The Skoda / VW Australia Customer Experience Genius eventually offered $10,000 trade-in plus $5,000 goodwill if we purchased another Yeti from Wippells Auto’s. The Dealer Principal of Wippells Auto’s in Toowoomba sided with Skoda Australia stating “there is nothing wrong with your car”. He then went on to urge us to take up the offer put forward by Skoda Australia. We don’t understand why he would recommend this if there was nothing wrong with our Yeti.