Why won't Volkswagen cover the cost of corrosion repairs to our 2005 Polo?

My wife has a 2005 Volkswagen Polo 3-door diesel, which she bought new. It has now done only 19,600 miles and is well cared for. We noticed a small area of rust on one of the front wheel arches with the paint blistering, but not broken. As the car has a 12-year anti corrosion warranty we contacted Volkswagen about this. They have offered a 50 per cent goodwill contribution to remedy the problem (this will cost us £300). The Volkswagen dealer said this is common on cars of this age and the cause is the wheel arch liner rubbing against the inner face of the wing. As the wheel arch liner is a standard fit from new and the car has a 12-year warranty, should Volkswagen not carry out the work at no cost to us? They have also intimated that they are making this offer as the car has an incomplete Volkswagen service record. We have had it regularly serviced at a local garage (non Volkswagen) but using Volkswagen parts, and the service book is fully stamped. Could you offer any advice, please?

Asked on 30 November 2013 by MM, Darlington

Answered by Honest John
This is extraordinary. Over the past two weeks readers have told me about rusting on a 2005 Passat, a 2005 Golf and now you with a 2005 Polo. The standard Volkswagen offer has been 50 per cent 'goodwill' in each case, despite the 10-year or 12-year anti-perforation warranty. In other cases the problem was caused by a sound deadening pad absorbing water and remaining moist. It's entirely logical that the rubbing of a slightly loose wheel arch liner would have taken off the paint, but because the car was not regularly serviced and checked at a Volkswagen dealer you lost your right to the 12-year no perforation warranty.
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