Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Volkswagen Malaysia Screws Up Again... Subaru's In The Same League Too!

Seems to me this is where Made In Malaysia Proton shines through despite Malaysians' non-stop complaining about the quality of our national automotive company. I would have to say, in comparison with the Japanese and European carmaker mentioned above, the after sales support rendered by Proton is better by leaps and bounds in every sense you can think of.

Personally, I purchased a Subaru Forester XT sometime ago, and as all new vehicle owners should be, I was over the moon with my new ride. But that great feeling didn't last long. Although the vehicle delivered what it promised in terms of drivability especially in the aspect of power and torque, mine came with an annoying problem: the vehicle shakes and vibrates in idle, at low rpm. This problem I faced was not negligible, it was extremely annoying especially when stopping at traffic lights and in traffic jams, you can feel the vehicle vibrating and shaking at 15-20 seconds intervals. It also doesn't help that the Subaru Forester came equipped with an awesome sound system by Harman Kardon, but its pretty much impossible to relax and enjoy what it's capable of putting out with this annoyance that came as a package with my brand new vehicle.

My first brush with the irresponsible attitude of Subaru Plentong, Johor Bahru, which is managed by Motor Image Malaysia was actually when I approached them right after I collected my vehicle, where I noticed one of the connecting plastic handles on the driver's side door was not sitting flush. The staff at the service centre quickly tried to shrug off responsibility as soon as I pointed out the possible defect. They then tried to rectify the problem for me, but was unsuccessful in doing so, at the same time leaving marks caused by prying a screwdriver from various possible angles trying to close the gap in between the plastic handles. As a result of their amateurish actions, my less than 3 hours old vehicle left the service centre adorned with new marks and scratches, still bearing a gap between the plastic handles.

As for the vibrating/shaking problem, I highlighted this problem to the service advisor during my first service, and while they promised to look into the problem, it was not solved by the time the car was returned to me. As the problem seemed to amplify as time went by, I returned to the service centre numerous times but never left with a smile on my face. I even gathered information from various online sources such as forums where owners in other countries who faced the same problem had their problem rectified, complete with solutions and part numbers replaced, but Subaru Plentong service centre did not even attempt to show any interest in the matter. After some probing into the matter, I was told by their service advisor that in fact, there were other owners who lodged a complaint regarding the same matter, but the owners did not follow up and decided to 'live with it'. I was even advised by the service advisor to just directly lodge a formal written complaint to their HQ office as that is the only way to get things done. Its now nearly 2 years into owning this vehicle and its sad to say, I'm still straddled with this vibrating/shaking problem, and I've been 'living with it', like what the other owners are doing. Upon enquiry, I was also told that I could not send my vehicle to other more competent and experienced workshops to put an end to this problem as I would have my warranty voided by doing so.

It's also funny that I had the honour of experiencing this problem as Subaru engines are supposed to perform smoother and quieter as compared to other manufacturers because of its boxer engine layout, which they take utmost pride in. You can even see it being advertised prominently as one of their main selling pitch, as soon as you step in to their showroom.

So, that is the case with my experience with Subaru Plentong, managed by Motor Image Malaysia. What's the story then with Volkswagen? In Malaysia, they have been hitting the news often enough with disgruntled customers taking their dissatisfaction to social media and the newspapers, but I did not give much attention to it, since I do not own or plan to own any of their vehicles just yet. However, I got a text message from a friend of mine in Kuala Lumpur in the evening, asking for help in sharing his latest status update on Facebook, hoping to make it viral so that it catches the attention of netizens, especially current Volkswagen owners or potential owners in Malaysia.

Below is his Facebook status in regards to the matter, copied verbatim:
On Friday (9/10/2015), my girlfriend sent her car in for a faulty door lock fix under her warranty at Volkswagen TTDI (Cergaz Autohaus Sdn Bhd).
Upon arrival, Mr. Mohan (Service advisor) took her keys and drove it to the service area. After waiting for more than an hour, my girlfriend was notified by Mr. Syed Hasrul (Customer Care Advisor) that her car had a small accident whilst it was driven into the service bay.
VW is responsible for the damage and full cost of the repairs. What really irked me is:
1. Why do they promise their client that the car can be fixed in 5 days when they cannot deliver?
2. Upon stating the promised date, Mr. Syed Hasrul (Customer Care Advisor) assured that all the needed parts are available and that there will be no delay.
3. On the 20/10/2015, Tuesday. I called VW three times to check on the car and all three times I was put on hold for a very long time. I also called Mr. Syed Hasrul (Customer Care Advisor) via his mobile phone but was unable to get through.
4. After several attempts, I finally got through their line and I was told by Mr. Mohan that the car is not ready for collection. Reason being, parts are yet to arrive at the service centre for installation when we were told that we could pick up the car on Thursday (15/10/2015)
5. Mr. Mohan (service advisor) was not able to give me a specific date as to when the parts will arrive and when will my girlfriend be able to collect her car (20/10/2015, Tuesday).
6. On Thursday (15/10/2015) , I filed a complaint via VW HQ hotline, and VW Facebook page. Since then, I am yet to receive any form of feedback from a representative with regards to this. authorities or higher management. This is the kind of after sales service we receive from VW after they have made our money.
7. Is it necessary for VW to take 11 days and counting to fix a dent in a car that they caused?
8. Mr. Mohan and Mr. Syed Hasrul, till today, there is still no concrete solution on how are you and VW will compensate my time and money wasted.
9. VW, I hope to get an answer regarding the resolution of this matter. We pay a lot for your cars and expect better after sales service from a brand of your caliber. My girlfriend has been inconvenienced as she has been left without her car for almost two weeks.
P/S: I generally do not like to make complaints towards the service industry as I am also from the same industry. However, the service I have gotten from VW Malaysia is repulsive.
I get better service at a Proton, a local service centre. For a Malaysian brand, they do a lot better than world renown Volkswagen and my hat is off to them.
Please do help by sharing this status on my Facebook Page. 

His post also came attached with 2 photographs, so here they are:

Credits to: Daryl Chew Roy Way

Subaru Malaysia and Volkswagen Malaysia, I seriously hope you up your game if you want to retain the support of your loyal customers. We put our trust in you, please give us the confidence that our trust did not end up at the wrong place.

No comments:

Post a Comment