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Air Flow Sensor Not Covered in Warrantee?

658 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Bartnik
Air Flow Sensor Not Covered in Warranty?


The check engine light and "Emissions Workshop" message in the display points to a flawed mass airflow sensor, replacement $625.
But, VW doesn't cover it ("it's only the engine & transmission that's covered" says the service rep -- "but isn't this gizmo required to run the engine" I ask) and he says that the normally comprehensive California Emissions law (requiring a 10 year warranty on emissions components) was revised to stop covering this part after 1999.
And mine is a 2000 Passat, 1.8T.
Anybody have to deal with this yet?


[Modified by GKah, 11:48 PM 2-12-2002]
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Re: Air Flow Sensor Not Covered in Warrantee? (GKah)

To answer my own question:
Went online to http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/obdprog/obdfaq.htm to get the following info:
"...California's emission warranty requires the vehicle manufacturer to repair under warranty any problem that the [Onboard Diagnostic System] detects if the vehicle is less than three years old and has less than 50,000 miles. Further, major emission components which exceed a defined cost limit (currently about $390) are covered for 7 years or 70,000 miles."
Looks like the dealer was blowing smoke (no pun intended). Off to make 'em squirm.
Re: Air Flow Sensor Not Covered in Warranty? (GKah)

Ok, ok, get this...
I jump on Google and get into the California Air Resources Board website and I find the rules (see my second post above) and I show up at VW with my print out of the "official California rules" which is pretty darned clear that this is an emissions warranty item, right?
And the service rep says: "Yeah, that's true for most parts, but not yours; my boss copied the VW rules and you'll see that stapled to your invoice. I'm busy with a customer -- if you want to wait I'll just be about 15 minutes or so."
So I ask to see his manager and he says, "He's not here, there's no one here except me."
So I head down to the cashier to read his "official" VW policy. And at first glance it sure does look like I'm SOL, because he's got my 1.8T engine circled and air flow sensor circled and next to that it says "NO", meaning no coverage.
However, the paragraph above his notations clearly says, "...unless failure occurs within 3 years or 50,000 miles." Just like my California stuff that he refused to read! I guess the rep and his boss forgot to read the whole thing.
So he gets paged by the cashier (I gave her the whole story and she's on my side and I think she's loving it to see one of the reps get nailed) and low and behold the general manager saunters by and says real friendly like "can I help you" and I show him the VW printout and he says, "I think you're right, sir" and then the service rep comes wheeling around the corner ready to lay into me and about 30 seconds later he's asking the cashier to redo the invoice and drop the $625 charge. In front of the Big Cheese!!

Of course his story about the rules being changed after 1999 was just so much BS and he tried to blow me off by making me wait, but I had the facts and I didn't have to pay.
Do your homework and fight the good fight, my friends. Looks like I'll be using Fred's Garage in Redwood City from now on.
[Modified by GKah, 11:44 PM 2-12-2002]

[Modified by GKah, 11:50 PM 2-12-2002]
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