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VW California T5 ONLY Roof Corrosion - General Discussion

Where do you have the Roof Corrosion on your VW California?

  • Front panel only

    Votes: 179 36.8%
  • Main elevating roof only

    Votes: 74 15.2%
  • Both Front panel and main roof

    Votes: 234 48.0%

  • Total voters
    487
L

lfm

Messages
31
This was mine, just before the repair and it has not reoccurred since (there were 3 spots along the edge like this). The first repair included the front cap.

VW-Roof.JPG
 
Ozzy Pete

Ozzy Pete

Messages
226
Location
Carmarthen
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I know this is well documented but can someone help me clarify whether this is roof corrosion, or something else? This is on a 2015 T5.1 Beach. I thought corrosion on the T5 was really the front cap and sorted for the T6. The front cap looks fine. But I have spotted this on the pop up roof, at the back.

I got the van 2nd hand from Crawley. When I phoned SMG Tonbridge where the can was originally from, they said it was on the roof corrosion list and would phone me back with updates as the van was transferred to me. I have it going back there for an MOT and service next month, but when I asked about roof corrosion again they said it wasnt on the list.

So I don’t want to be fobbed off and lose out. Looks to me like minor roof corrosion, but want to be sure. It is hard underneath the bubble, not soft and flakey paint

And surely as it is the roof, it must be quite easy to replace the whole roof? Anyone had this done and even if outside warranty, know how much this roughly costs?

Thanks!

View attachment 79721
Yes I’m afraid so. What you need to do is lift the roof a bit and pull the rubber seal down. This will give a much better idea of what’s going on. Can’t comment on the repair bit as it has changed so much over the years. From full roof respray to rubbing the paint back under the seal and coating the alloy then sticking a new seal on.
 
L

LondonPride

VIP Member
Messages
19
Location
UK
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Awesome. Thanks @lfm I presume I can pull back the seal and see if any 3M tape has been applied? My worry is i wont get the the seal back on!!!!
 
L

lfm

Messages
31
It does come off fairly easily but can take a bit of paint. Apparently it's purely cosmetic, as it is the aluminium "bubbling" rather than rust.
 
L

LondonPride

VIP Member
Messages
19
Location
UK
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Hav
It does come off fairly easily but can take a bit of paint. Apparently it's purely cosmetic, as it is the aluminium "bubbling" rather than rust.
Having seen some of the horror stories about work, if this really is cosmetic, I’m tempted to put down 3M tape and leave it. Let’s see what garage says!
 
Paul_W

Paul_W

VIP Member
Messages
126
Location
Altrincham
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Hey London Pride... Ours had the full repair done about 4 years ago, front cap cut out, plastic cap applied, full roof respray etc. Think this was before they stated applying the tape as I see no sign of it. Subsequently the front cap came loose and leaked and the van ended up back at VW for 2 weeks whilst it was repaired again. Fingers crossed it’s been ok since. We do have a bit of bubbling again in a couple of places on the main roof just like yours, I’ve been keeping an eye on it for a while now and it doesn’t seem to be getting worse, you only really notice it when up on a ladder cleaning the roof, maybe it’s the colour of the van doesn’t show it up but I decided just to live with it and enjoy the van. As others have said it’s purely cosmetic so if it doesn’t bother you don’t worry about it :)
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
4,107
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Worst thing I did was give Volkswagen my keys to make the repair.
Lesson learned.
Find a decent local body shop, rub down, repaint and apply the tape :thumb
 
Haves1979

Haves1979

VIP Member
Messages
176
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
My T5 (2015) had this identified when it went in for service a couple of weeks ago. Nothing visible at all and need to understand what they want to do better.. sadly didn't have time to explore when collecting it.
 
Bjohnson

Bjohnson

VIP Member
Messages
420
Location
Bath
Our 2012 roof had corrosion and was done previously by VW in 2017. Needs doing again and is booked for November this year for repeat repairs.

The previously repaired front cap has failed as the mastic/sealant has peeled away in places and there is noticeable movement (up/down) in the cap around the joint - no signs of water entry (fortunately) yet, but keeping a close eye.1623148146600.png

I've also got corrosion on the corner brackets on the underside of the lifting roof (one in each corner that bolt the aluminium roof in place (note 'spots' in top right of this image are water spots, not corrosion spots!)
1623148284557.png

And I've got the ubiquitous corrosion spots just above the rubber trim around the perimeter edge of the roof.
1623148389437.png
I've had to pursue via national customer services team as no proactive approaches from local VW dealer. Went to an alternative dealer who (politely) refused to get involved saying it had to go back to the dealer who undertook original repairs. National VW customer services insist it has to be inspected and 'logged' by an a official VW dealer in order to process the repair, - when i got customer services involved even they struggled to get responses from my local dealer!!

Seems to me that VW could have saved themselves an absolute fortune by replacing the aluminium roof panels with a GRP unit, or probably even a carbon fibre version (!!) that wouldn't be prone to the continued corrosion issues.
 
Last edited:
BEETS

BEETS

Messages
21
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hi everyone, I have suffered since 2014 with corrosion to my roof. I actually had my van replaced for a new one free of charge in 2015... my replacement van is now suffering with the bubbling under the seal etc etc...
I am now at a stage with the ombudsman where he is reviewing my case and has asked for evidence from a metallurgist who can confirm that this is a manufacturing defect, ie catholic corrosion... has anybody employed or taken advice from a professional?
 
BEETS

BEETS

Messages
21
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Re: BLISTERING ROOF PAINTWORK - SURVEY

I totally agree. Corrosion can't be fully solved unless it is accessed from inside, which it appears not all dealers are doing, although I would have thought there must be a set repair procedure laid down by VW.

The warranty issue is something that we hope to clarify. There appear to be three aspects to consider:

1. Corrosion caused by "defect in manufacturing", ie aluminium roof section not satisfactorily insulated from steel bodywork, resulting in electrochemical corrosion, would presumably be covered by the General 3 Year Warranty.

2. Corrosion caused by poor paintwork will be covered by the Three year Paint Warranty.

3. 12 year protection warranty. This clearly states "bodywork sections and panels covered against rusting through from the inside" so it probably would be interpreted that however bad the bodywork is on the outside, if there is no panel perforation, it wouldn't be covered.

Therefore I feel that owners who think/hope they are covered for 12 years are being rather optimistic, unless we can shame VW into giving us a 12 year warranty to restore Cali owners' faith in the VW brand.

Glad to hear that at least they provided you with some form of alternative transport for the month(!) it took to repair.
I’m with the ombudsman and trying to get everyone an extended warranty... how far did you get?
 
B

Babymollymonster

Messages
3
Location
North Wiltshire
Vehicle
Looking to buy
Can anyone advise how long VW will warranty this work for? For example, will they honour required repairs on a 2015 California? Thanks
 
L

lfm

Messages
31
There is currently a recall to check this. My 2010 van was in for a service a couple of weeks ago and they mentioned the recall. It covers 2009-2019 allegedly.
 
Ch1pbutty

Ch1pbutty

VIP Member
Messages
1,601
Location
Burgess Hill
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Can anyone advise how long VW will warranty this work for? For example, will they honour required repairs on a 2015 California? Thanks

It was was flagged by SMG Cowfold on my 2012 beach during a service 1.5 years ago and so they put me on the waiting list but explained that it would be a long wait as only a handful of garages are authorised by VW to carry out the work; But not sure now if I want the work carried out given some of the posts on the forum. I only have a few small minor bubbles on the paint.
 
ArunAlec

ArunAlec

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,886
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
It was was flagged by SMG Cowfold on my 2012 beach during a service 1.5 years ago and so they put me on the waiting list but explained that it would be a long wait as only a handful of garages are authorised by VW to carry out the work; But not sure now if I want the work carried out given some of the posts on the forum. I only have a few small minor bubbles on the paint.
Same here, SMG did the ”tape check” over a year ago and added me to the list. I rang recently to get confirmation that I hadn’t been forgotten and they confirm that I’m still on the list.
The daft thing is that following that check I went to a different VW dealer for a new battery and they said that my van was due to have the “tape check“.
According to VW their database doesn’t get updated until the dealership invoices them for the work. So I guess I could have multiple checks and see who can get it done the quickest.
 
Crispo

Crispo

VIP Member
Messages
45
Location
Warwickshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Can anyone advise how long VW will warranty this work for? For example, will they honour required repairs on a 2015 California? Thanks
Had ours (re) done end of last year with latest fix including front cowl. Tried to get a commitment on warranty for work but told it is a good will gesture and not warranted.
 
DavidofHook

DavidofHook

VIP Member
Messages
865
Location
Hampshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Had our 2012 T5 done in about 2014. The van was away for 2 weeks and another supplied whilst away. We had corrosion on both the front cowl and also the lifting roof by the rubber edging. It went to a proper bodyshop and came back looking good and we have had no trouble since. It must be luck how iy is dealt with and I was very pleased. I think that ours was one of the earlier ones.
 
ArunAlec

ArunAlec

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,886
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Ive been told 6 years....
The 6 years was the “special” extended warranty from new, so any warranty roof repair on a 6 plus year old Cali would rely on VW offering a guarantee on the work. From previous posts it seems that VW offload the responsibility for the quality of the repair to the body shop and expect them to deal with any claim.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
19,093
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Our 2012 roof had corrosion and was done previously by VW in 2017. Needs doing again and is booked for November this year for repeat repairs.

The previously repaired front cap has failed as the mastic/sealant has peeled away in places and there is noticeable movement (up/down) in the cap around the joint - no signs of water entry (fortunately) yet, but keeping a close eye.View attachment 79725

I've also got corrosion on the corner brackets on the underside of the lifting roof (one in each corner that bolt the aluminium roof in place (note 'spots' in top right of this image are water spots, not corrosion spots!)
View attachment 79727

And I've got the ubiquitous corrosion spots just above the rubber trim around the perimeter edge of the roof.
View attachment 79728
I've had to pursue via national customer services team as no proactive approaches from local VW dealer. Went to an alternative dealer who (politely) refused to get involved saying it had to go back to the dealer who undertook original repairs. National VW customer services insist it has to be inspected and 'logged' by an a official VW dealer in order to process the repair, - when i got customer services involved even they struggled to get responses from my local dealer!!

Seems to me that VW could have saved themselves an absolute fortune by replacing the aluminium roof panels with a GRP unit, or probably even a carbon fibre version (!!) that wouldn't be prone to the continued corrosion issues.
Mercedes are replacing roofs on the Marco Polo which are GRP. Some are on their 2nd replacement roof.
 

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