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How many warranty fixes for your Cali ?

  • Thread starter Lost in the Forest
  • Start date

Lost in the Forest

VIP Member
New Forest, Hampshire
Hello All,

Our Cali is coming up for 3 years and 15k miles. We bought her as the 2nd owner at 18 months old and 4.5k miles. During our ownership we have needed the warranty far more than experienced with any other vehicle ever owned.

This is our list of 6 warranty items.

1) Hydraulic fluid leak from the roof mechanism. Fixed with a new pump and roof lining.
2) Rear suspension sagging. Fixed with two new rear shock absorbers.
3) Roof not locked warning. Fixed with new roof sensors and wiring due to water regression.
4) Key getting stuck in ignition lock. Fixed with a new ignition barrel.
5) Fuel sender getting stuck. Fixed with a system reboot (apparently a known VW fault)
And finally.........
6) Front panel roof paint blistering. To be Fixed after a long wait it seems.

Whilst I appreciate the Cali is a complex vehicle our warranty list does seems high ?
is this normal from your experience or have we been unlucky ? :?

As we have no intention of selling such a great fun vehicle, I think we will be investigating warranty extensions pretty soon.

Mine is six months old and it seems undergoing a complete rebuild of the leisure battery charging process.

Having said that, it is a complex vehicle, the problems have not stopped me using it and more importantly have not stopped me thinking of it as the best, by miles and miles, the best best all round leisure vehicle that I have ever owned. Warts and all I will always have a smile on my face when I get in it.
I'm left wondering that perhaps the older Cali's were more reliable??

Perhaps a better way of saying it is that the improvement in reliability you'd expect when you've been building something for almost 10 years hasn't materialised.
New Roof, replaced plastic around drivers door after it started aflling apart, Rust on roof, rust around bottom door seal, creases showing on sides of roof, arm rest fell apart, EGR valve replaced, heated seats failure, many more.....all under warranty.

Not sure how I will feel if this continues now the warranty has ran out?
On our 2011 Cali;

EGR valve
Both sliding windows replaced due to leaks
Sliding Door Central locking motor changed due to not locking properly, partially caused by leaking window.
DSG Gearstick replaced as button sticking (couldn't get key out of ignition)
Sliding Door blind (wouldn't stay down)
Sliding roof access panel runners replaced (kept opening by itself)
A couple of studs that hold the headling in place had broke at back right corner.
and of course
Front roof panel corrosion
Main roof corrosion

quite a few issues Yes, still love it YES.
The OP's experience is pretty similar to mine ....

Still under warranty, 15k miles ....

New iPod connection, which is still dodgy
New passenger electric window switch
New fresh water gauge
New camper control unit
New 310 radio unit
New main instrument binnacle
Driver's door realigned, repainted sill, repainted door
4 new alloys

And, of course
Front panel corrosion
Main roof corrosion in several spots
Sliding roof panel needed some Velcro
Dealer damage whilst attending to the various problems
Roof Corrosion x1
Roof Corrosion x2
Paggenger air bag loom replaced
Side window replaced
Side window replaced again
Drivers door dropped
Fuel gauge sender unit
Steering knock
Broken upstairs light
Broken water pump

I had never listed it like this before, I did not realise so much had gone wrong in 24 months :censor
28, 000 miles
Air bag light reset then came on again 6 months latter reset and "sensor" replaced in passanger seat.

Our daily ride and feel we have a great van.

Happy owner
I had a fairly lengthy list of things fixed under warranty - won't bother listing them now but didn't worry me too much as that's what warranties are for.
Of more concern to me is what goes wrong once it's out of warranty, ours is 5 years old now and is going in soon for a new control panel and an erratic driver's electric window not to mention the dreaded roof corrosion inspection.
If things continue to go wrong it would make me consider getting rid of it (though I'd probably only go out and buy another one)!
After 2 1/2 years from new, my list seems relatively modest:

1) 3x areas of roof paint blisters: awaiting fix like everyone else.
2) Grommet on rear parcel shelf stay: Really trivial but annoying and the result of poor design. Just been fixed by dealer
3) Upstairs light replaced: Another example of poor design by VW. Despite being ultra-cautious from the outset, this finally snapped and was un-repairable. Just been replaced by dealer
4) Air Bag stopped functioning ( warning light came on): Probably my fault for storing too much under the driver seat & then rotating the seat which damaged the connections, so beware if you use this space for storage! Dealer replaced all connections under warranty which was more than reasonable.
5) Cracked bonding on the wind-out Awning resulting in rain water coming in over the sliding door: Initially the dealer said they had seen several Calis with a gap like mine that leaked & nothing could be done about it. Whilst doing the fixes 2-4 listed above last week under warranty, the engineer saw the leak for himself during a cloudburst and identified a crack in the bonding as the fault. They have now said the awning can be re-bonded under warranty and I am now awaiting a date from their body shop.

So apart from the roof corrosion issue, my list is quite short & the dealer (Manchester Van Centre) has been quite helpful.

Mike Watkins
Purchased new 4 motion cali 2009, no warranty fixes and no problems at all with vehicle. Am I alone in owning a trouble free cali or do owners only connect the forum on this subject when faults occur on their vehicles ? Peter YP09 UMA.
Yes your lucky,if your had spent as many hours in VW van dealers as some owners, including us, you would want to post negative posts. :evil:
Almost three years old.

Roof paint booked for the second time.
New steering column.
New rear diff (4motion issue; very rare).
Water gauges fixed.
Failed attempt at fixing the terrible radio reception.
EGR valve sensor re-set.

But we still absolutely love it!
Think yourselves lucky that you get a three year warranty. In Europe it's only two, and in France the dealer network is hardly comprehensive. We had to travel nearly 100k each way (twice) to have the roof replaced as it was sold new with holes caused by demonstrating the roof at the dealers, who, incidentally were not at all interested in helping us find a local authorised repairer.
Mine is now 2 years old. List of faults so far:

Steering knock (haven't requested a fix yet)
Broken roof scissor strut
Faulty window blind replaced
Roof corrosion of course
Failed parking heater fixed

Like nearly everyone else, the niggles are far outweighed by the joy of owning it. My new company Mercedes broke down twice in the first 3 days, and has been off the road for a month. That makes the Cali look good, so you have to be sanguine about these things.

new tap
rear side blind replaced
upstairs light replaced
rusting wheel nuts replaced
new fridge top previous one just came away in my hand
new roof canvas and scissor arm (due to damage when canvas caught when closing but not put down as my fault!) also straightened out small crease in roof due to incorrect closure!
small things really BUT
and the blimmin roof front panel corrosion!
and no, not put me off either!
EFR valve x 2; Fixed!
New wiring loom; Fixed!
New ECU; Fixed!
Roof corrosion x 2, waiting for second attempt (approx 4 months time)
Steering column
Rear diff replaced
Both water gauges replaced
New control panel
Butterfly latch replaced
Machine polish after they stuffed up the paint
Airbags x 2
Airbag ECU
Roof corrosion
Steering column + bottom u.joint
Sliding door window seal
Picnic chair stitching
Top bunk reading light snapped off

Managed to get some money out of VW toward an extended warranty though :D
How many of you have had problems with dealer damage...worrying me a bit?
We'll have to take ours in for an electrical glitch on front driver door and both windows.

Its also started to handle oddly at the rear and seemingly sag a little to the nearside.

As the van is my daily drive I'm going to be struggling if it takes a week or so to repair, argue and so on with the dealership.

Any quality dealers in the north that do a proper repair job and don't ruin the paint work, wreck the roof and break plastic fittings...then leave you to find them and argue the toss later on. Oh, and actually repair the problem.

Button on control panel broken from new (had to take it back for a second go as they forgot to re-plug a connector so the parking heater didn't work). :?
Roof canvas and bent roof replaced. This took a few goes. First they said it wasn't a warranty issue. Then customer care got involved and the dealer replaced canvas but I was told the dent in roof had popped out. It hadn't - so a month later it went back for the roof panel and another canvas (the two have to be replaced together). I was given the van back with a nice lot of water in the roof space (they had washed it but not checked for water tightness :doh :crazy ) so had to give it back again for them to bond the ends of the roof bars in properly. I also seem to have two cigarette burns on the driver door interior trim after this repair (I don't smoke). :sad
Sliding door handle actuator (this is the only repair that has gone smoothly).
Tailgate brake light (this was repaired today) and they seem to have dented and scratched the tailgate where a lever has been used to pry off the interior trim. :sad

Would you guys contact customer service again? I'm pretty sure I need to find another dealer. I still love my Cali and wouldn't part with it.

Hope your experiences are better.

I would definitely be looking to get the damage repaired elsewhere. I would be very upset about any cigarette burns especially!

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
I would make a fomal complaint to VW uk I would name and shame the dealer who cocked up your van and

I would seek advise from forum for recommendations for dealers to use in future.
Finding a dealer you trust is the most important part of Cali ownership
Thanks guys. I will take photos today and email and call VW tomorrow.

Have a good weekend.

cheers - Steve
Ours is almost 2 years old, 32k miles, 80'ish nights away with 2 kids and a dog, and used as a daily driver......

Sagging roof strut replaced after 4 months
Bolt on fridge door replaced (taken in only because it was hard to get at)
Tailgate handle replaced due to dodgy paint
Loose connection causing hookup power to fail (still managed 2 weeks in France without it)

Haven't checked the roof yet - why bother feeling bad about it now when we still have a years warranty left ?

When we look at other peoples problems we feel like we have a "good one" and will probably keep it.

Can't imagine not having it and dreading the day the kids declare they'd rather stay at home with their friends :shocked
The drivers side window has come off it's mechanism so I have to add that to the list.