VW Golf GTI MK7 Noisy Rear Suspension
My experience of an 8 month period of a ruined driving experience, frustration, disappointment, inconvenience and additional cost of owning a VW Golf MK7
The car was purchased at the end of September 2014 after it been used as a dealer demonstrator for 2 months. The vehicle was in immaculate condition with only 2000 miles completed. A week after I bought the car I noticed an odd sound from the rear that many people have referred to as being similar to a load of logs rolling around in the boot. The noise is very evident at low speeds form 1-30 mph. Anything over that and you may not notice due to general road and ambient noise increases. While I appreciate it is a high performance car it also designed to be used as a normal family car and in reality we do have to drive frequently at low speeds over poor road surfaces in our towns and cities or in the countryside.
I reported the issue to my dealer and also searched the VW MK7 Forum and to my surprise I found that I was not alone with this issue. In fact there were reports from Australia, USA, South Africa and many other countries as well as the UK who appears to have the majority of complaints. On this subject alone, the forum has received over 84,000 views so clearly there maybe an issue for many owners. The rear shock absorbers were duly replaced about 2-weeks after purchase with apparently “revised shock absorbers” but after about one week I reported that the noise had returned.
Unfortunately as I had a trip planned to Europe where I would live for the next five months there was little I could now do as traveling, ferry and hotel arrangements had been made and so to cancel would have been costly. My dealer was quite happy to look at the issue again when I returned in March 2015. During that time away I kept in touch with the dealer via e-mail in case of further developments. I also scoured the internet regarding the Golf MK7 noise issue and found myself communicating with many owners who experienced the same or similar problems.
Much wasted time was spent trying to find the source of the irritating noise, including removing tailgate struts, removing spare wheel, jack, boot floor, parcel shelf. Anything I thought might contribute to this noise I removed. The sound was like a hollow popping, bobbling, rattling sound. The noise was so bad it was embarrassing, so much that when driving over a particular construction of speed humps I would have to slow to a crawl to minimize the noise. What it sounded like outside the vehicle I have no idea, but from within it was like something I have never heard from any car I have owned previously. Foolishly after reading that tyres may be the problem I invested £230 in two new Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres for the rear wheels. Well that was a complete waste of money as they made no difference.
On my return to the UK in March the car was taken to the dealer and a second set of shock absorbers were fitted. I drove away from the dealer and for a while you notice an improvement but then the noise gradually returns over the next day or two depending on how many miles you cover. I then reported to the dealer that there was still a problem and it was arranged for what I understand to be a technical representative from VW Milton Keynes, to meet with me at the dealer and to test drive my car.
I accompanied the man for the test drive on roads that I knew would show the suspension fault. I then asked if we could drive a GTI fitted with DCC. I sat as a passenger while he drove and when he was asked by the service department at the dealers to give his opinion he simply said “it is like chalk and cheese”, in other words a big difference. So what did VWUK do now? You’ve guessed it, they now change another set of shock absorbers and when I mentioned top mounts they agreed to change those also. At the eeeting that I had with the representative from Milton Keynes it was suggested by him that they swap my car for one fitted with DCC if the 3rd change of shock absorbers was unsuccessful. Now what more could I ask out of a company as that sounded ideal but in realisty was not so straight forward as I will explain later.
After this 3rd set of shocks was completed I drove back home some 12 miles and that day I was about to post a response on You Tube to announce that the noise was reduced by around 85% and what I could hear was not worthy of any further complaints. However, I decided to hold off and the next day I drove 12 miles there and back to a hospital where the route is very rural with a badly rutted road surface for a number of miles. By the time I had made the return drive I knew that the bobbling, crashing, rattle sound was back. I was extremely disappointed but not surprised.
At this point I have had enough of VW’s failed attempts to fix this problem and that’s when I started what I thought would be an easy process to swap the car as the VW rep had alluded to. From here on in this is where it all gets very difficult as you will read later.
Volkswagen UK – Their response, their proposals and my decision to reject