Why was Volkswagen reluctant to repair an ESP system fault on my Jetta?

I purchased a Volkswagen Jetta from Car Giant, White City for £9,639 in March 2008. It had had one owner (Avis) and a very low mileage. Car Giant gave it a clean bill of health. I subsequently had it checked by Volkswagen Crawley. I have been the sole driver, for domestic use only. The current mileage is 18,600. It has been regularly maintained by Days Garage, Edenbridge, who are registered Unipart dealers and with whom I have dealt for very many years.

In October last year the ESP system failed and Days told me it would cost approx £900 to repair (a sum confirmed by Volkswagen Crawley). I decided not to proceed until I saw your article. I then emailed Volkswagen customer services and also Volkswagem Crawley on 5 November outlining the problem. I am irritated that they did not reply at all, even to say they did not propose to deal with the matter. I then arranged with Days to take out the pump and I had it couriered to ECU Testing Ltd in Nottingham. They were extremely efficient and courteous and returned the pump to Days within a day. It is now re-installed and working. The exercise has cost a total of £697.95 (ECU’s bill £432.40 and Days' £265.55). So, in my view, a big black mark to Volkswagen.

Asked on 24 December 2010 by JB, via email

Answered by Honest John
Many thanks. However, there is now evidence from readers that VAG's attitude has become a bit more generous, and that VAG is now repairing the fault rather than replacing the entire ABS/ESP modules. So now I am having to advise readers to try volkswagencustomercare@volkswagen.co.uk first, before having to resort to www.exutesting.co.uk or www.sinspeed.co.uk. However, I think that in the case of a car with a non-VAG service history like yours Volkswagen’s attitude will still be no different from what you experienced.
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