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04S Bellow review poll.

Have you discovered water leaks with your 04S A Bellows?

  • No, but I haven't used the bellows in the rain.

    Votes: 8 13.3%
  • No, but I have only used the bellows in light rain.

    Votes: 7 11.7%
  • No, and I have used the bellows in moderate rain/wind.

    Votes: 4 6.7%
  • Yes, but neither my dealer nor the VW Exec. Office are aware.

    Votes: 5 8.3%
  • Yes and my dealer is aware.

    Votes: 6 10.0%
  • Yes, and the VW Exec. Office is aware.

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • Yes, and BOTH my dealer and the VW Exec. Office are aware.

    Votes: 15 25.0%
  • Yes, and I have had one or more replacements fitted that now don't leak.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, and I have had one or more replacements fitted that still leak.

    Votes: 3 5.0%
  • Yes, but I have stopped the leaks myself using a waterproofing agent like Fabsil or Aqua Tex.

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Yes, and an application of a waterproofing agent like Fabsil or Aqua Tex did not stop the leaks.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, and I have used my bellows in heavy rain.

    Votes: 3 5.0%
  • Yes, had leaks and rejected the vehicle.

    Votes: 3 5.0%
  • Yes, had leaks and I am looking at rejecting the vehile.

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • No, but I have a small pin hole/holes so bellows are being replaced.

    Votes: 1 1.7%

  • Total voters
    60
L

lohr500

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Unfortunately I can't edit the poll title.
For clarity I am discussing 04S bellows manufactured after 9th November 2023.


On behalf of all of those affected, I'm wanting to build a picture on the performance of the latest 04S bellows fitted after 9th November 2023, based on members' real life experience since collecting their Cali's fitted with these bellows.


Please only take part in the poll if you have 04S A bellows and please pick the poll response that is the closest match to your situation.

For those of us that are affected by the situation, I think the results will help in any discussions with VW.

Thanks
 
Last edited:
Thanks for this. It’s slightly disingenuous for Adrian to have told me today that of the 40 cases he is handling of leaking bellows only mine and one other were 04S given at least four people from in here seem to have spoken to him today on the very subject.
 
Thank you for all the polling replies so far. This is really helpful.

To reassure anyone who may be hesitating in answering the poll for fear of compromising any discussion with VW :

As the poll creator, I can see no way to access the details of who has voted.
So as far as I am aware, your vote remains anonymous.
 
Thanks for the additional votes that have been placed.

If you have voted and your situation has changed, please note that you can change your vote by selecting a different answer.

Perhaps your initial test showed no leaks through your bellows but now you have discovered they do. Or perhaps since voting you have had now applied a sealer.
 
Thank you for all the polling replies so far. This is really helpful.

To reassure anyone who may be hesitating in answering the poll for fear of compromising any discussion with VW :

As the poll creator, I can see no way to access the details of who has voted.
So as far as I am aware, your vote remains anonymous.
Can you add an option.
"No and I have used the bellows in heavy rain."
 
Thank you to everyone who has voted so far.

Based on several new reported faults over the past few days I think it would be reasonable to conclude that there is a pattern emerging and that VW have a problem with the latest bellows design

The results from the poll so far would suggest that :
  • 17 have issues with leaking bellows, including 1 with a replacement set that leaks.
  • 9 have tested the bellows in light, moderate or heavy rain with no leaks.
  • 5 have not been out in the rain yet.
So for those that have been out in the rain, 17 failures vs 9 OK.


Of course the poll may not be representative of the wider world for several reasons including :
  • Not all new Cali owners will be following the discussion on the vwcaliforniaclub.com forum.
  • Of those who are following the discussion, perhaps not everyone has voted.
  • The forum probably attracts more unhappy owners than happy owners, thus slewing the vote results.
  • Forum members may have voted in error or might be voting on their experience from pre 9th Nov manufactured bellows.
But based on the poll alone, I would say that the problem is more widespread than perhaps the dealerships or VW Exec Office believed only a few days ago. That being said it is a fast changing picture as more and more new owners get the opportunity to test the bellows in rainy conditions.

I do think the time has come for VW to stop sitting on the fence and to give written approval to try Aqua Tex or Fabsil to anyone who submits photographic evidence of leaks.
It may not stop leakage in the worst cases, but the evidence from those of us who have tried it has so far been positive.

If it does work on a temporary or permanent basis, it gives VW more time to sort out this mess and to avoid them wasting their time/money and more importantly their customers' time fitting replacement bellows that may well be no better.

I see no point getting my bellows changed now for a set of the same design as I have little confidence that they can be guaranteed to work.

In my opinion VW should also be offering a topper to those affected so we have a less than ideal back up solution which would allow us to use our vans over the coming months.

I will be sending a copy of the polling results so far and the above comments to Adrian.
 
Probably a bit late now, but the other thing that may have been interesting would have been to have added two poll options "I came to the forum because of leaky bellows" and "I was already a member of the forum or came here for a different reason". I think fundamentally anyone on a forum has an above average level of interest in their vehicle, and/or a problem with it (as you've alluded already), i.e. more likely to be observant of issues.

Does make you wonder how many are out there where they are fine (and are blissfully unaware of any wider issues), and/or how many are leaking but those affected just have gone to their dealer without ever visiting this forum.

Now the really interesting group to poll would be the handful of hire companies that utilise Californias as their "fleet", of which I know there are a few on here. Their vehicles are doubtless out week on week, with their hirers using their vehicles in all weathers.
 
Probably a bit late now, but the other thing that may have been interesting would have been to have added two poll options "I came to the forum because of leaky bellows" and "I was already a member of the forum or came here for a different reason". I think fundamentally anyone on a forum has an above average level of interest in their vehicle, and/or a problem with it (as you've alluded already), i.e. more likely to be observant of issues.

Does make you wonder how many are out there where they are fine (and are blissfully unaware of any wider issues), and/or how many are leaking but those affected just have gone to their dealer without ever visiting this forum.

Now the really interesting group to poll would be the handful of hire companies that utilise Californias as their "fleet", of which I know there are a few on here. Their vehicles are doubtless out week on week, with their hirers using their vehicles in all weathers.
Yes, I agree. I can't help but think we are seeing a distorted view and perhaps the failure rate is very different to than suggested by the poll.

It would also be interesting to know how many vehicles have been manufactured with post 7th Nov. 04S belllows. And we will never know how many of those vehicles have yet to be used in rainy conditions with the pop tops raised.

But as I see it, the failure mode that is being reported is very similar across those affected, which suggests a systemic design or manufacturing defect, rather than a random event.

I've emailed the poll results and my comments to Adrian just now and await a reply.
He is on leave this week and was due to call me anyway next week for a discussion on my case.
 
Can you add another two options please @lohr500

- had leaks and rejected vehicle.
- had leaks looking to reject vehicle
 
Can you add another two options please @lohr500

- had leaks and rejected vehicle.
- had leaks looking to reject vehicle
Sorted!!! Incorrectly spelled vehicle and I can't correct it, but hopefully it is clear enough!!!!
 
Sorted!!! Incorrectly spelled vehicle and I can't correct it, but hopefully it is clear enough!!!!
great thanks - it'll give everyone an idea (and Adrian) to how many vehicles are being rejected.
 
Yes, I agree. I can't help but think we are seeing a distorted view and perhaps the failure rate is very different to than suggested by the poll.

It would also be interesting to know how many vehicles have been manufactured with post 7th Nov. 04S belllows. And we will never know how many of those vehicles have yet to be used in rainy conditions with the pop tops raised.

But as I see it, the failure mode that is being reported is very similar across those affected, which suggests a systemic design or manufacturing defect, rather than a random event.

I've emailed the poll results and my comments to Adrian just now and await a reply.
He is on leave this week and was due to call me anyway next week for a discussion on my case.
Thanks for what your doing
 
Probably a bit late now, but the other thing that may have been interesting would have been to have added two poll options "I came to the forum because of leaky bellows" and "I was already a member of the forum or came here for a different reason". I think fundamentally anyone on a forum has an above average level of interest in their vehicle, and/or a problem with it (as you've alluded already), i.e. more likely to be observant of issues.

Does make you wonder how many are out there where they are fine (and are blissfully unaware of any wider issues), and/or how many are leaking but those affected just have gone to their dealer without ever visiting this forum.

Now the really interesting group to poll would be the handful of hire companies that utilise Californias as their "fleet", of which I know there are a few on here. Their vehicles are doubtless out week on week, with their hirers using their vehicles in all weathers.
@Soton Campers have you got any Calis with the new bellows and if so, are any of yours having any issues are have you been OK?
 
Thanks again to those who have voted.

In broad terms the results so far now look like this :

Bellows (original or replacements) that leak : 20
Bellows exposed to rain that don't leak : 9
Bellows that haven't been out in the rain yet : 7

A failure rate of 69% across bellows exposed to rain, based on the votes cast.

Same comments as before apply on the validity of the poll.

The poll remains open so if you haven't voted yet, please do so.

Also, please remember you can change your vote if your situation changes.
 
Just a reminder that the poll is still open and that you can change your vote if the situation with your bellows has changed.
 
Voting has slowed down over the last couple of weeks.
Not sure if those who have reported issues over the past few days have voted though.
Perhaps unaware of the poll.

22 with leaks.
10 with no leaks.
7 not been out in the rain yet.

Still showing a failure rate of 69% for those with bellows who have used them in rainy conditions :(
 
More votes in over the last week or so.

25 with leaks.
11 with no leaks.
7 not been out in the rain yet.

Still showing a failure rate of 69%.

Please do cast your vote if you haven't done so already.
Or update your vote if your circumstances have changed.

The information gathered will help anyone in discussion with their dealer or Adrian at VW to demonstrate that this is not an isolated problem!!

Thanks
 
Unfortunately I can't edit the poll title.
For clarity I am discussing 04S bellows manufactured after 9th November 2023.


On behalf of all of those affected, I'm wanting to build a picture on the performance of the latest 04S bellows fitted after 9th November 2023, based on members' real life experience since collecting their Cali's fitted with these bellows.


Please only take part in the poll if you have 04S A bellows and please pick the poll response that is the closest match to your situation.

For those of us that are affected by the situation, I think the results will help in any discussions with VW.

Thanks
 
I’m awaiting delivery of my new cali and will make sure dealer does a proper hose pipe test before accepting delivery. Can you tell me where I can find what model bellows I may have
 
I’m awaiting delivery of my new cali and will make sure dealer does a proper hose pipe test before accepting delivery. Can you tell me where I can find what model bellows I may have
Ask dealer to retain the hang tag thats usually hanging from the front window zipper. Otherwise there is an fairly inaccessible (when bellows are installed) factory label inside the pocket that houses the strengthening slats on either side of the bellows.
 
I’m awaiting delivery of my new cali and will make sure dealer does a proper hose pipe test before accepting delivery. Can you tell me where I can find what model bellows I may have
On the white tag 17143257046201801456118421796382.jpg
 
I’m awaiting delivery of my new cali and will make sure dealer does a proper hose pipe test before accepting delivery. Can you tell me where I can find what model bellows I may have
They should be all 04S, it's more the date of manufacture your after. The magic date is on or after 9/11/23 to be the latest model.
 
Can you also add a small hole by the stitching on the off side (drivers) side window stitching. Apparently there are quite a few of these defects. Having mine replace as I type.

IMG_3416.jpeg
 
Mine has been in rain for a day with no issues. Several heavy showers with wind and a couple of hours of drizzle (and some sleet!). Bellows production date 18/12/23.
 

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