another (groan) post about coils

Lines Peter Peterl at
Tue Jan 28 08:28:01 EST 2003

WARNING:  This post contains personal opinions!
I'ts interesting to me that people are so quick to heap shame upon VAG for
their handling of this issue.  Given the current parts supply situation, I
don't really see how they could be expected to do any more than they are
already doing.  Hopefully, when the supply catches up, they will seek to
replace all of the "affected" vehicles.  I haven't heard anything verifiable
from VAG that indicates that: a) they won't immediately fix any car that
fails  b) they won't eventually repair all suspect coils  c) they won't go
out of thier way to fix cars that are already out of warranty.  So what else
can they be expected to do?
I've worked as an engineer in the auto industry for several years so I feel
I have a bit of perspective on what's probably happening at the coil
supplier right now.  They are probably trying to determine how many of the
coils are affected by this particular defect (manufacture dates, lot
numbers, etc...).  In reality it's possible (opinion) that nowhere near
100,000 cars even have a problem.  But they COULD have a problem so VAG is
prepping for the worst.  In the end, public outcry (hysteria) will probably
result in hundreds of thousands of good coils getting replaced (at VAG's,
not the owners expense).
Since the true extent of the problem is probably not known at this point,
why issue a recall and get everyone upset?  There is no safety problem.  If
my new car suddenly started limping, I would be upset, yes.  But again, this
is not a safety issue.  Keep in mind that a couple of short years ago, most
cars had exactly one coil.  This would be a safety issue.  A car that limps
is annoying.  A car you have to push is a problem.

P.S.  The text above contains personal opinions.

Peter Lines
'86 4kq (never limped home)
'98 GTI 2L (never recalled, never limped home)

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