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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping for a happier first post to the forum as the wife and I love the T but unfortunately we have had a major issue with it.

I have posted this under this section as ultimately I hope through action together we can make this a recall on the car to avoid other owners experiencing the same expense.

Unfortunately the Touareg dropped to the floor the other day on the front due to the aluminium pipe that connects to the top of the strut having corroded through.

In my opinion it seems a daft design as the pipe is not protected within the wheel well but is open to being bashed by road debris, water, salt etc thrown up from the tyre, unlike Range Rovers where the air pipe that feeds the strut being fed through the top of the turret in the engine bay.

As a result I am looking at an initial bill of ?1500+ per side via VW as the nearside is now on it's way as well apparently. Can't say I'm happy as the car cost a small fortune and is only just over the 5 year rule for VW goodwill (although still in discussion) and has covered a mere 67k miles. The other annoyance is that the wife was only a few miles off the motorway with the two kids onboard and had it happened before who knows what would have happened.

I have contacted VOSA via their recall database and would appreciate other owners who have experienced the same fault doing the same as I believe a major part of the suspension failing should be a) on the MOT inspection list for that car,
added to the recall database.

The link for them is http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosa/repository/vehicle safety defect report.doc

VOSA have said that most people complain to other owners via the web forums and do not complete their forms enabling them to investigate it properly and as such it would help owners in the future.

Fingers crossed one day it will be a recall item and others will have the benefit of this action. Irrespective of this issue we still love the car and are hopeful of getting it back fully sorted soon.
 

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?1500 per side sounds a little rude. What exactly has happend? Do you have any photos? I have just spoken to a good friend who repairs pipes every day of life on everything from a great big john deere to your average day car. Basically if it has a pipe he can normally replace it. If you want his number let me know
 

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Barrack Room Lawyer says "Probably not."

Corrosion is a specific exclusion as set out in the clause below:

13. Breakdown or damage to parts (whether insured
or not) caused by frost, water, freezing liquids,
carbon build up, corrosion, oxidisation, blockages,
contaminants building up, sludge or silt, or other
waste matter that has prevented the parts from

working properly.


Not only that, the part has not failed due to wear and tear nor due to mechanical or electrical failure as set out below:

Breakdown
means the sudden and unexpected failure
of a part arising from any permanent mechanical,
electrical or electronic fault, which causes the part to
stop working, and means that it needs repairing or
replacing before it will work properly.

Given that I understand VW have changed the metal, then I think this is something for VW UK to step up and take the rap - goods not fit for purpose.

 

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Well I took a look at the pictures, and sent the link to my friend who has a similar opinion to me. It do not grow there so it should be able to be repaired. His opinion is the inner bag will be bonded to the inlet, so there should be no reason why a BSP tapered 1/8th fitting cannot be inserted and then connected to a hose tail or hydraulic spec 3/16th pipe.

I personally think VW are janking your chains and would have a go at repairing it myself. Whats the worse that can happen? It is already knackered so it not like you can screw it up any more, and if you can fix it well you have probably saved yourself a considerable amount of money.

At the end of the day is a bloody bag that contains air which is supplied via a hose, I really dont think its rocket science. However I do not have air suspension so I really am unqualified to comment BUT I will have a go at anything before handing over ?1500 especially when it is already broken.
 

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A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion pounds ago was only 48 hours and 12 minutes, At the rate our government is spending it.


And a billion pounds is what we motorists give the govenment every week - but they ain't spending it on the roads!
 

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i am off the same opinion as others in that where there is a will there is a way!! this sounds very repairable to me at a relitively low cost.

my only dealings with air suspension was on my Discovery. the pipes that fed that were platic and on a couple of occassions i cut bits out of it and put new connectors on.

got to be worth a go!!
 

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On another site there was a post saying that in America VW have issued a service bulletin asking delaers to check these connectors and to put something like Waxoyl on them [they used a brand name I can't remember]. Other posters talked about some yachting stuff they use to stop corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi All,

Thanks all for the updates and emails of direction.

I went down to see the car today as VW are still digging heals in and the dealer says one thing whilst VW say another, unsurprisingly both blaming each other for delays. Service Manager has now assured me he is on the case and I have forwarded details of another Canadian owner who had the exact same problem fixed by VW via a TSB without the need for new struts for around ?1k all in for both sides, although I still feel it's for VW to pick up.

I will post pics tomorrow but the basic problem is where the pipe connects to the strut, aluminium was used which has snapped through corrosion leaving sheared pipe in the strut, the technician says it would be impossible to get out although the Canadians managed it presumably through strut removal and working/tapping the pipe out?. The apparent update to the part now supplied by VW is brass although you wouldn't know from looking at a parts microfiche, underlining it being a design fault and no doubt why they now state to waxoyl the area.

The car originated in Peterborough where it stayed for the first 5 years and has been with us since August last year and was serviced in September by VW (although again being an interval service they state they wouldn't visually check the suspension - interested as to what took 3 hours whilst I waited for the car for what appeared no more than an oil change and a courtesy clean). I know the midlands suffers worse weather than here and has more salting in the winter, but this does not give VW an excuse. I am sure given my car is 2004 there will be many other owners whose cars start to show issue/need fixing as is already happening worldwide based on my surfing of forums.

The photo tomorrow will show what to look for and yes, I would think assuming you can remove the old pipe there is no reason at all why a new connector cannot be inserted.
 

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TSB = Technical Service Bulletin [I think!]
 

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Another reason not to bother with air suspension..
 

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TSB= Technical Service Bulletin - correct.

We bought this car as it had a higher NCAP rating than any other 4x4, plus I didn't want the unreliability of a Range Rover, egg on face comes to mind....

Well after a lot of haggling they are moving forward on offers, having said that I am still angry that the wife was driving up the motorway with the kids on board only minutes before it let go, doesn't bare thinking about but obviously VW are struggling for a conscience.

Attached are the photos and what to look for. Obviously one is snapped clean off as can be seen from the connector where the remaining metal collar is, the other is showing signs of corrosion and will let go at some point soon if not dealt with. I am of a mind to advise the press etc given the seriousness of this issue and at a time when the media have a great interest in recalls and dangerous cars it would seem the best time to do it. I will wait to see what they come back with before deciding but also do not want other owners to risk anything in the interim.
 

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Looks like I'm in the same boat as you Seamus - Front Right corner has started collapsing when parked and ignition off.

Wait to see what the dealer says - will arm myself with internet info before sitting down with them. Remarkable that the problem has appeared at the same time for several people - makes one wonder about the construction of the "batch" of struts and connectors involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi All,

Just to update on my case.

The suspension has now been replaced and the car is back with us. All appears well, although we did have to stump up 40% of the bill it was getting a bit long in the tooth without the car. I have kept the original suspension just in case. The plus side being the new parts are guaranteed for 2 years although I doubt they will now have any issue. The rears as previously quoted are fine as they are not subjected to the muck thrown up by the tyres.

Reference the recall action - VOSA (the UK Vehicle & Operator Services Agency) have confirmed they will not be taking it further with VW at this time. The reason being is that VW have advised that the car is still controllable in the event of the suspension collapsing as the car then sits on the bump stops within the air suspension. When quoting clubtouareg and the issue experienced by one member of being thrown off the road as a result it was viewed with scepticism and also would not be relevant to a UK case having occurred overseas (I see their point but thought all cars were the same if built in the same factory but there you go).

VOSA also receive all accident figures relating to cars in the UK and there have so far been no fatalities or accidents attributed to suspension failure on the Touareg (good news at least).

So... the long and the short of it is provided VW have tested the cars controllability as they say then they will not be open to a case of involuntary manslaughter should a fatality occur as a result of the suspension collapsing. Lets hope this never happens.!!

Interestingly they quoted 1254 Touaregs sold in the UK but did not have the number of cars with the older style suspension. So far there are 2 of us who have come forward with a collapse which makes it a 1 in 600 chance, remove the newer cars with later suspension and it would likely be 1 in 300 and counting.

Again VOSA have requested any other Touareg owners here in the UK whose suspension collapses complete their online form for investigation.

Keep checking those connectors!!
 

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Well done for pursuing a very serious problem.

Can you provide any pix of the removed units please?
 

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Can someone please confirm what product to coat these connectors in after cleaning so the rest of us can stop it or at least slow it down on our cars? Thanks.
 

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Ideally, the connectors should be replaced before they snap off. I think someone has come up with a fix which included drilling the old ones out rather than replace the entire, and otherwise serviceable, strut.

If I was just protecting them, I'd gently clean them off, coat them in waxoyl and then I'd fix up some kind of shield to stop them being blasted with road dirt/salt/etc..
 
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