Volkswagen offers a range of passenger vehicles for the Malaysian buyer, whether it is the family-friendly Tiguan Allspace SUV or the high-performance duo that is the iconic Golf GTI and all-wheel-drive Golf R.
The German brand’s presence in Malaysia hasn’t been completely smooth-sailing, at least in the area of reliability and customer experience, which has led to apprehension among would-be buyers of car’s from the brand. Does it deserve that doubt, though?
Here at paultan.org, our very own Harvinder Singh and Paul Tan have been owners of Volkswagen vehicles for several years, and both happily report pleasant ownership experiences. Harvinder has owned his Sharan for over seven years and clocked more than 100,000 km in that time, while Paul has covered around 60,000 km in his Golf GTI in the past five years.
Where Volkswagen reliability is concerned, the much talked-about DSG transmission has not once failed or caused issues in the Sharan, said Harvinder. Minor issues encountered were of the electrical variety, and these were rectified within the warranty period.
As for Paul’s Mk7 Golf GTI, the prolific racking up of mileage in the hatchback comes from being daily-driven, and in fact of the 60,000 km accrued, 50,000 km of that had been done in the first three years, and its current tally would likely have been more if not for the pandemic and its associated lockdowns.
Reliability of his Golf GTI has been almost perfect, says Paul, with zero issues to report from its engine, DSG transmission, suspension in the past five years. The minor remedial attention required has so far been two minor top-ups of engine oil in the past year, and while some air-conditioning work required the removal of the car’s dashboard and which Paul feared would cause rattling afterwards, there was no such problem.
Other owners of Volkswagen vehicles have also reported a satisfying ownership experience. Datuk James Selvaraj and his family members have been serial Volkswagen owners, and for James himself, the Volkswagen experience began in 2008 when he bought a Golf GTI for his son – who seems very happy with it – and has bought a Passat for himself.
Meanwhile, Austin Wong owns a Passat and a Tiguan Allspace – and who had been eyeing the Volkswagen brand for a while – is happy with his purchase. In terms of the experience of reliability, Tiguan owner Samini Balakrishnan admitted to having at first putting off her Volkswagen purchase when reliability issues were already well-documented, though eventually made the jump when she had seen improvements in customer experience through her husband’s ownership of a Volkswagen a year prior to her own.
This upturn in customer experience would have come from the renewed focus on aftersales engagement, following the arrival of brand custodian Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia in 2016. Among the first moves by VPCM in Malaysia was the setting up of a training academy for dealer staff, from frontline, back office through to the technical divisions.
Customer satisfaction has improved by 80%, and repeat repairs have been reduced by 86%, says VPCM director of aftersales Deenan Nadar. What about your own vehicle ownership, Volkswagen owners? Have you experienced improved customer service and reliability of late?
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