Volkswagen Polo (2009–2017)

What's good

5-Star NCAP Crash Safety score
90% Adult Protection
86% Child Protection
41% Pedestrian Protection
71% Safety Assist

Very narrowly beat Toyota IQ to be voted European Car of the Year 2010 by 347 votes to 337 votes.

What to watch out for

1.6 diesel and 1.4 85PS petrol engines are still belt cam, not chain.

Switchable passenger airbag is a £45 extra cost option.

Roof channels insufficient to prevent standing rainwater on the roof from wetting the driver or front passenger seat when getting into the car.

With DSGs, protective software can delay the message from brake switch to ECU that brakes have been released, allowing car to enter a junction or roundabout on the fuel in the combustion chambers, then momentarily shut off mid-junction.

Between 2008 and 2012 Volkswagen produced the EA111 CAVD 1.4 Litre TSI twin charger engine for the Volkswagen Golf VI, VW Polo GTI, VW Eos, SEAT Ibiza FR and SEAT Alhambra. This engine suffered issues with the pistons and oil rings. These included the piston rings cracking over time when 95RON petrol was used. The CAVD engine must be run on 98-99RON Superunleadedpetrol because lower octane fuel will cause the engine to ping and result in prematurely cracked pistons.

Another issue is the timing chain tensioner. It appears that at around 60,000 miles the timing chain tensioner fails, leaving slack in the timing chain allowing the chain to become loose and jump teeth. That can result in smashed valves and cylinder head damage.

In late 2012 Volkswagen rectified this problem by upgrading the CAVD EA111 to the CTHD engine. This was released with upgraded pistons and piston rings, oil squirters, a stronger timing chain tensioner and a few other tweaks. It is much more reliable engine and does not share the same problems as the CAVD. With minimal modifications (approx 2-3 hours) the CAVD engine can be replaced with the late model CTHD.

Reports of excessive front tyre wear, lasting as little as 8,000 miles.

9-5-2011: More problems with the 1.6 diesel engine, especially used for short runs from cold starts at low revs. Reader bought a new Volkswagen Polo SEL 1.6 CR/DPF 90PS 5 speed manual in November 10, It now has 1,500 miles on the clock. It stalled at a junction soon after she bought it, then a few months later the engine cut out 3 times on a journey when driving at a slow speed appropriate to the traffic conditions On inspection at the VW garage they admitted there were faults and fitted :- 1) A new engine ECU: 2) new throttle body : 3) new exhaust pressure sensor: 4) new boost pressure sensor: 5) repair wiring to turbo and sensors. After the works were carried out , the car stalled again turning into a station car park and she returned the car to the garage. It was tested again and no faults were found, the mechanic then drove a similar model and the same thing occurred to him when driving at a low speed. She have now been told to adjust my driving technique as these models are so fuel efficient. However it stalled again yesterday when driving up to a junction. Basically she needs to use lower gears and rev the engine more.

6-6-2011: Complete engine failure of 1.2 TDI reported within a month of purchase, followed by failure of EGR system four months later.

27-1-2012. Happened again and dealer replaced power steering pump. Agasin and dealer changed the battery. Have now had car since April 4th and run variety of tests. Don't know what is causing the power steering to repeatedly fail and ordered a new circuit board. Probably a one off.

17-2-2012: Report of Polo GTI 1.4 TSI 180 Twincharger suffering from excessive oil consumption. Piston rings replaced, but this caused the consumption to drop to 400 miles per litre of oil. This resulted in a new engine being fitted at the end of October. Since then, reader had to top up with 2 litres of oil, the first litre after 1,770 miles, the second after a further 1,300.

24-2-2012: Now three separate reports of premature failure of front brake discs at 15 - 18 months old and around 15k miles.

1-3-2012: Yet more problems reported with the DPF of Polo fitted with 1.6 TDI engine that are not regularly driven far enough.

1-5-2012: Repeated loss of power reported from 1.2 model. Head replacement solved it for 6 months, then problem returned.

3-5-2012: Oddball report of repeated electric power steering pump failure. Dealership replaced a cable on

22-6-2012: Volkswagen is now admitting that 1.2 TDI is not suitable for repeated short runs from cold. "15 months ago we bought a new VW Polo 1.2 TDI. We told the dealer our driving habits were mostly short journeys with several long journeys a year, 12-15000 miles/yr. After 9,500 miles the EGR system blocked and we were told this was due to too many short journeys. Soon after that, at the first service, the dealer handed us a VW Group notice about the DPF, dated march 2010, which contained specific warnings about unsuitability for short journeys. The last paragraph said "make sure you are aware of and understand the above guidelines before ordering a vehicle fitted with DPF." We had not been given this notice prior to purchase."

10-7-2012: High mileage Polo (2 year old 1.4 SEL with 64k miles) suffering heat damage to headlight lenses from the DRL and also requiring replacement headlight bulbs.

11-1-2013: Warranty on 7-speed dry clutch DSG extended to 5 years or 150,000 kilometres in Russia and China. Followed by recalls in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Problem is with the Mechatronics unit, replaced in the Singapore/Malaysia recall.

11-4-2013: The 1.4 TDI BlueMotion does have a DPF and can oversupply fuel to regenerate. Best advice is to check the engine oil regularly and as soon as it rises above the top mark of the dipstick have it changed because it will be contaminated by fuel oil and this can severely affect both the engine and the DPF. Forget 'Longlife' servicing. It may need the oil changed as frequently as every 3,000 miles.

3-6-2013: Injector failure reported on 2010 Polo 1.6TDI Bluemotion at 30k miles and just out of 3 year warranty. Quoted 2,400 Euros for replacements.

5-6-2013: Detailed report of DSG hesitation on a two year old Polo received.

25-6-2013: Another case of warped front discs, this on a 14,750 mile 2011 Polo 1.6 TDI. The discs appeared to have been replaced by the dealer by discs with more vents in them. VW denied any responsibility and blamed 'driving style', But the replacements were discounted to £100.

21-7-2013: Seems that parking brakes of Match models suffer a build up of brake dust that makes them difficult to release via the lever. The solution is to blow out the dust using an airline. Reader quoted £69 for this job on an 18 month old 1.2 Polo Match. Warranty claim refused.

2-8-2013: On 1.4 16v 80PS engines a fault with the cranskshaft position sensor causes poor starting in hot weather.

14-8-2013: Report of intermittently failing electric windows on 14,500 mile 2009/57 Polo 1.2S. Eventually fixed with a new control unit for £329 after 'contributions' from Volkswagen and from the dealer.

8-9-2013: Repeated injector problems on 2012 ex-demo Polo TDI bought with 7k miles, car in garage with faults unresolved for 4 months by September 2013.

18-9-2013: Yet another report of warped discs, this time on a 12,500 mile 2010/51 1.4 85PS SEL. Bill £239.

22-9-2013: Problem of cruise control failing to reliably 'set' on a Polo DSG.

21-10-2013: Complaint of instrument lighting intermittently going off on 9k mile South African built 2012 Polo. Suspect poor earth to instrument cluster.

7-11-2013: Severe oil consumption problem reported on 2011 Polo 1.4 TSI GTI despite a replacement engine, same as widely reported on Fabia vRS.

12-12-2013: Report of Polo 1.4 TSI GTI now on its third engine and still consuming a litre of oil every 300 miles. VWG may eventually be forced to buy these cars back at 'reasonable' market value. Additional complaint about 7-speed dry clutch DSG: "It either acts like an on/off switch, judders like driving over a cattle grid or bogs down at T-junctions leaving me stranded halfway in the road for a few hair raising moments."

3-3-2014: New Polo delivered 9-8-2013 leaked from day one and dealer was unable to repair it.

28-4-2014: Repeated failure of power steering of 27k mile 2011 Polo 1.2 TSI. Replacement PAS motor and earth did not cure it.

31-5-2014: Complaint of November 2013 Polo 1.4 BlueGT DSG continually pulling to the left, probably due to its 17" wheels and tyres.

22-7-2014: Complaint of new 1000 mile March 2014 Polo GTI 1.4TSI 180 DSG7 engine running shakily and unsettled, with a louder exhaust note after starting from cold

24-7-2014: Reader reported that his Polo GTI 180 Twincharger ran problem-free and used 10% less fuel on Shell V-Power.

25-10-2014: Reader suffered repeated battery failures with a 2010 Polo. Advised her of the VWG ECU software update that cured this in a SEAT Ibiza, so should also cure it in a Polo.

21-11-2014: 2013 Polo 1.4 DSG had transmission fluid oil change as part of recall, but software was not upgraded causing severe flat spots and very erratic running and a couple of times it accelerated after foot was removed from pedal. Software upgrade cured this, but 4 months later problem returned especially in slow moving 5mph traffic. Accelerated with foot completely off the brake and needs to be held back with pedal. Might be engine idle speed when cold.

12-12-2014: Another DSG problem, this time with a 7k mile 2013 Polo 1.4 Match DSG.

19-12-2014: Clutch pack of 2010 Polo 1.4 DSG-7 failed at 16,700 miles. Transmission flud had already been changed. Not clear if this was a straight failure or due to an oil leak as has been the case with Fiesta dry clutch Powershifts.

9-2-2015: Two problems with a pre-reg March 2014 Polo Match Edition 1.2 70PS bought in April 2014. PAS failed in October 2014 and was replaced under warranty. Bluetooth making a noise when car was put in reverse. Fixed by local Volkswagen dealer at cost. Cost refunded by Volkswagen Customer Care.

13-4-2015: Report of rattling timing chain on start-up of 22k mile Polo 1.2 TSI. Two separate Volkswagen dealers checked it and said nothing to worry about.

9-5-2015: Another report of timing chain rattle on start-up of 17k mile 3.5 year old Polo 1.2 TSI. Rattle getting more pronounced. Happily this was eventually resolved by a full engine strip down and either a new timing chain or a complete new engine with all parts and labour costs met by Volkswagen and the dealer.

28-5-2015: Switch on heater/aircon fan of 2010 Polo failed. New fan motor prescribed at £340.

17-6-2015: Reliability issues with 2012 Polo bought 2nd-hand (that might have been inherited from the previous use of the car): Needed brake pads, had faulty lights (although they all work), engine management system keeps going faulty and the catalytic converter is about to go.

5-7-2015: Complaint of noisy wiper motor on new Polo 1.2. Three others in the showroom also noisy. Could be a bad batch of wiper motors.

8-7-2015: Failure reported of 1.4 16v engine of 2009 VW Polo at 26,000 miles. Dealer said cost £1943 to fix, involving 12 hours labour work, replacing the engines valves, stripping the engine for proper clean, then rebuilding the engine.

27-8-2015: Complaint of juddering of brakes of January 2015 Polo, diagnosed by dealer as warping, but possibly caused by the old Polo problem of material from the pads adhering to the discs.

27-8-2015: Timing chain failure reported on 2010 Polo 1.2 (3-cylinder or 4-cylinder not mentioned, but assumed to be 1.2 TSI) at 40,000 miles. Bought independently and has non-VW service history.

9-12-2015: Report of repeated failure of satnav in 2014 Polo and dealer unable to fix.

9-12-2015: 'Official' CO2 and fuel economy figures of 2016MY Polo 1.0l TSI BlueMotion 70kW EU6 Seven-speed (DSG) to be reviewed but true figures are only very slightly worse.

30-12-2015: Report of premature failure of front brake discs and pads on 2 year old Polo at 14,500 miles. Replacement cost was £259.

31-1-2016: Report of 2014 Polo 1.2 TSI DSG changing down three gears at a time on an incline.

6-2-2016: Window winding cables snapped inside the doors of a 2010 Polo, within days of the same thing happening to another reader in a similar age SEAT Ibiza.

3-3-2016: Report of EPC light coming on in 2010 Polo 1.2 TSI and engine becoming sluggish. EPC = Electronic Power Control, which is the drive by wire system between the accelerator pedal and the engine. Local garage tried various remedies all of which failed but when the light comes on the reason is usually a duff brake light switch that VW uses to shut down the throttle when the brakes are on and is the reason why DSGs are often sluggish off the mark.

23-4-2016: Premature clutch failure reported on 2009 Polo 1.2 TDI. Driving style blamed.

29-4-2016: Report of 2015 Polo 1.2 TSI SE Petrol 5 Door suffering from engine judder. When manoeuvring at low speed, forward and reverse, applying power produces judder from engine. It is not clutch judder. Engine runs perfectly under all other conditions. Dealer says that this is a known problem on some cars but does not have a solution.

18-6-2016: Report of difficulty shifting from 4th to 5th in November 2015 Polo 1.0 TSI 6-speed manual. "Intermittently gets stuck when trying to change from 4th to 5th gear." Dealer stated he had not come across this problem before. Probably caused by a problem with the dual mass flywheel fitted in the drivetrains of VWG 3-cylinder 1.0 TSI models in order to absorb vibration.

27-6-2016: Trip meter of 2013 Polo 1.4 Match auto keeps self-zeroing and software reboots and replacement of column stalk cannot remedy it. Low mileage of 7800 results in battery often holding very little charge.

26-7-2016: Report of intermittent problem of 6-speed gearbox of 10,000 mile 2015 Polo 1.4GT intermittently getting stuck in 2nd gear. Suggests problem with 6-speed box may be with box itself rather than clutch or flywheel.

7-8-2016: Driveshafts of 2015 Polo reported to be knocking when turning left and right forward or reserve.

1-9-2016: Number of problems with 2013 Polo due to poor component quality: A/C leaking gas diagnoses as condenser. Dealer wanted £800 to replace. A/c specialist did job for £400, then found that the evaporator was corroded and leaking, bringing the total cost of repair to £1500.

3-9-2016: Misfire on acceleration reported on 27k mile 2010 VW Polo 1.2TSI. Lost power and four warning lights illuminated: Engine management, Traction control, EPC & Tyre pressure. On stopping and restarting the engine the lights went out and the car drove normally but the misfire gradually got worse over the next 1k miles and the four lights came on again three more times within a short period. Local VW specialist hooked it up to his laptop and diagnosed a misfire on cylinder 3. He recommended and fitted a new non genuine ignition coil but this just made the problem worse so he replaced the original VW coil and insisted he change the plug leads with genuine VW parts. This did improve things but the warning lights illuminated the very same day and the misfire on cylinder 3 fault code returned - along with a misfire on load and at idle. The specialist seemed phased by this but advised owner to drive the vehicle until its next service (October) when he said he'd think about replacing the plugs and coil again. Despite all this it averages 45mpg. Likely to be the usual problem of a stretched timing chain.

17-9-2016: Report of emission fix being surreptitiously applied to a 75k mile 2013 Polo 1.2 TDI while in for a service. Reader was not told and only found out when after the service the car started to struggle on hills, power only came in after 2000rpm and he found that the Bluetooth connection was now in German. Dealer confirmed the fix had been carried out. Fuel economy no different. Tends to confirm that the 'fix' turns down the fuelling between 1000 and 2000rpm.

3-10-2016: Report of a/c playing up on a 2014 Polo 1.2 TSI SE. A/c ceased to function for 35-45 minutes at a time, then work again. Faint 'click' when it shut off and re-started. As the Polo was only 2 years old and under 3 years warranty, owner tried Breeze VW in Poole first. They found the air con pressure 25% of normal and a tiny leak from the condenser/radiator. They changed it under warranty and re-pressurised the system and checked the pressure again 4 weeks later and all is well. They told him that it would have cost £700 if it had not been under warranty because of the amount of dismantling involved.

1-11-2016: Report of 56k mile 2010 Volkswagen Polo 1.6TDI not running well for past 2 years. "Rough running, clouds of black smoke coming out of the exhaust, the engine judders and misfires, loss of power. It eventually clears and the car then runs smoothly." Supermarket fuel never used. DPF sensor replaced. Probably a choked EGR. Car has yet to be recalled for EA189 emissions fix. Previously both window cables had failed and needed to be replaced. Problem turned out to be injectors: 4 at £500 each. Dealer blamed a previous misfuel for sending shards of metal into them.

15-12-2016: Timing chain failure reported in 2012 Polo 1.2. Dealer offered to fit replacement engine FoC but owner asked to supply the replacement engine.

18-1-2017: Report of EGR of Polo EA189 1.6 TDI failing at 51,000 miles and engine stopping. Car had not yet been recalled for the NOx emissions 'fix'.

24-1-2017: Report of timing chain of 2010 Polo 1.2 TSI stretching and causing valve damage at 45,000 miles despite regular servicing at the dealer.

27-3-2017: Report of a 39k mile 2010 VW Polo 1.2 TDI regenerating its DPF much more frequently after the NOx emissions fix and eventually clogging its DPF entirely with soot. When first broke down RAC found 27 grams of soot in the DPF. When checked at dealer, oil level in engine was found to be too high, suggesting extra fuel for regen was not regenerating the DPF and was sinking to the sump, raising its level and the extra soot in the DPF was not being burned off, which is why the soot eventually blocked the DPF. When next broke down, apparently the EGR, the turbo and the DPF were all changed.

11-4-2017: Report of timing chain of 2001/61 Polo 1.2TSI slipping at 41k miles, bending the valves and damaging the velve seats. Owner thinks c amchain must have slipped round the sprockets due to weak oil pressure that starves the tensioner of pressure. More likely to be due to the variable quality of the chain links. £2000 repair bill.

28-4-2017: Engine failure reported in 42,000 mile 2011 Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI. Using oil. Oil light came on. Took to VWG independent who said engine needs replacing. Burning oil through worn/defective piston rings. Cylinder 1 wet and cylinder 4 scored through cylinder bore. Car has full VW service history and 6 months used car warranty just expired.

3-7-2017: Report of Mechatronics of 2014 VW Polo 1.4 DSG, just out of VW warranty, failing at 33,000 miles. Dealer wants £2500 to fix.

31-7-2017: Report of timing chain of 2013 Polo 1.2 3-cylinder 70PS engine failing at 41,000 miles due to chain tensioner failing and timing chain jumping a tooth. VW initially refused any goodwill.

15-9-2017: Rear damper failure reported on 36,000 mile 2013 Polo 1.4. Owner quoted £186 by dealer to replace it.

2-10-2017: Handbrake of brand new Polo stuck on at traffic lights. Eventually released and car returned to supplying dealer who could not offer the owner a courtesy car because owner failed the dealer's insurance criteria.

13-10-2017: Report of rattle from 7-speed dry clutch DQ200 DSG of 40k mile 2012 Polo 1.4 between 1100 and 1250rpm. More likely to be the clutch pack than the Mechatronics.

7-11-2017: Report of loss of compression of 1.2 TSI engine of 2013 Polo at 30,000 miles. Dealer told owner “the cylinders are not getting any compression. There appears to have been metal shavings getting in somewhere (?) which has affected a belt”. Going to cost about £1500 to fix. Almost ceretainly failure of the timing chain (not belt) due to the links having been stamped out past the end of life of the link stamping tool.

10-11-2017: Series of problems reported with 2012 Polo 1.2TDI. September 2016 underwent NOx ‘emissions fix’. August 2017 had trouble starting and engine light came on. Owner took it back to VW who replaced 2x glow plugs. This seemed to work intially, then the problem came back. Two more separate times the car got returned to VW only for them to tell owner it had started for them every time and they couldn’t diagnose a problem. Problem persist until in mid October car failed to start completely and made a whirring noise suggesting a starter motor issue. It got towed to owner's local garage who changed starter motor, flywheel and clutch for £1,100. Following this, within two days, car still had problems starting. Went back to the local garage who could only suggest the battery as the problem. The battery got changed... within 24 hours the car still has problems starting. Makes a brief initial sound when key is turned, but it then cuts out, makes no noise and the lights go off the dash. Turn the key another couple of times it does absolutely nothing, no sound, no lights. After a couple more attempts and holding the key it makes a clunk and then starts to kick in, makes a noise the dash lights appear as normal and it starts. However the dash time, trip counter etc. reset to 0.

14-12-2017: Report of DSG of 2009 Polo 1.4 sticking in 3rd gear.

3-4-2018: Report of engine failure of 2016 Polo 1.2 TSI after clutch replacement by independent specialist.

17-4-2018: Report of "cat converter light" coming on in 2011 Polo TDI that has the NOx emissions fix in 2017. Dealer replacing sensors in the first instance.

26-4-2018: Report of clutch failure on base model May 2017 Polo S. Owner noticed burning smell in stop/start traffic and on hill starts. Took it back to dealer who found nothing wrong. Then at first service in April 2018 dealer noted clutch was biting high, indicating wear. Probably a good case for a free replacement clutch despite VWG's clutch wassanty of only 6 months or 6000 miles.

8-6-2018: Report of Mechatronics of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG in 2010 VW Polo 1.4 failing at 55,000 miles and replacement Mechatronics quoted at £1,700 minus a controbution from the dealer of £275. Car had been bought used at 20,000 miles in 2013 so it is possible that the change of fluid from synthatic to mineral had been carried out prior to purchase.

13-6-2018: Report of noises from DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG of 2014 Polo 1.4bTSI auto.

6-8-2018: Report of transmission failure of 2016 Polo 1.2 TSI BlueMotion Tech R-Line (s/s) 5dr manual at 48,000 miles. Several weeks ago driver reversed out of a parking bay then pulled away in 1st gear, accelerated to go into second but before being able to select second gear, at nominally 2,000rpm, first gear failed. Driver continued to try and select second gear but the car stalled after engaging the clutch and had to be pushed out of the way until it could be towed to the VW dealer's garage. The VW dealer has declined to repair the gearbox under warranty. Dealer saying driver that he must have been over revving the engine or even that he must have been driving it fast in reverse then slamming it into 1st gear.

13-8-2018: Report of timing chain failure on 2013/63 Polo 1.2 TSI R Line at 70,000 miles. Full service history with 5 stamps in book. Last serviced was May 2018 at cost of £329.

13-8-2018: Report of engine failure of 2015 Polo 1.2 TSI at 40,000 miles and 3 years 6 months old. Has later timing belt version of EA211 1.2 TSI engine. Car not serviced by Volkswagen dealer but apparently "serviced regularly and beyond Volkswagen guidleines." Volkswagen dealer wanted £450 to inspect the damage so owner had it taken to an independent engineer who reported: "The vehicle was recovered to our workshop from Harrogate VW for diagnosis and repair. The first impression was that the inlet camshaft drive pulley had collapsed. We stripped the cylinder head off the engine and stripped the head. Once stripped down it was quite clear the variable timing inlet camshaft pulley had suffered failure due to one of the retaining bolts coming slack and fouling the cam housing. There is obvious damage to the cam housing and cylinder head caused by the bolt rubbing/digging into the aluminium. In our opinion this damage will have occurred in a relatively short period of time, shortly before the failure of the pulley. The bolts which hold the toothed part of the pulley to the main body are fit when manufactured and have no reason ever to come out. The cambelt shows no signs of fatigue and is not due for replacement, however the belt has been damage due to the pulley failure. Conclusion to failure: The variable timing pulley bolts have worked loose for whatever reason, rubbed on the cylinder head until they have come out so far at which point have snagged and locked up the toothed drive on the inlet and the outer pulley has failed causing internal engine damage." Owner facing a bill of £2600.

14-8-2018: Report of wipers of 2014 Polo switching on at random when in the 'off' position. This can last for seconds, a few minutes or for longer periods. VW dealer cannot identify the fault.

31-8-2018: Report of timing chain failure on 2013 Polo 1.2 TSI R Line Style 5-door.

6-9-2018: Infotainment system problem reported with 35,000 mile January 2014/64 VW Polo. Owner inserted the key in the ignition on 32-8-2018. Immediately, the media screen in the central car panel (where the radio usually displays) turned blue with a white bar at the top displaying the words "Emergency Download". The screen then turned red with the words "No suitable update found. Please insert valid update! Will reset now". The screen then turned black (as if it was turned off) and this pattern of coloured screens repeated continually on loop. The loop continued even with the ignition turned off, the key out of the car & the car locked. According to the VW garage, the issue concerns the 5F control unit, part number 3Q0035820. The VW garage has advised that the part has failed - they cannot ascertain any particular cause for the failure and so are putting it down to "technical failure". The price of the part through VW is £2,289.84. They have priced the total cost of the work to have the issue fixed (part + labour, etc.) as £2,918.81. When the representative of the in VW servicing team was asked to explain the part with the issue, he described it as the box that sits behind the CD unit in the glove-box which connects into the radio 5F unit.

7-10-2018: Report of clutch failure of 2016 Polo 1.0 TSI Match in 2017 at 12,942 miles. Now, at 18,990 miles the smell of a burning clutch has re-occurred.

15-10-2018: Failed clutch and flywheel repeated on 2014 Polo 1.2 TSI at 22,000 miles.

21-10-2018: Report of ABS light on in 2011 Polo. Local garage replaced two wheel sensors, but light still on.

6-11-2018: Report of yellow emissions light on in 40k mile 2013/63 Polo Match 1.4 DSG from time to time. One garage blames the petrol the driver was using. Another replaced a sensor to no effect.

27-11-2018: Report that only possible to select gears 2, 4 and 6 in 2013 Polo 1.4 fitted with DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG. Could be a fault with the clutch pack or with the Mechatronics.

11-12-2018: Report of timing chain stretching and slipping in 2014 Polo 1.2TSI, valves hitting pistons and engine ruined. Dealer initially quoited £5000. VW Customer Care reduced it to £2500.

22-12-2018: Report of EPC light of 2015 Polo 1.4 TSI coming on and car loses power when changing from 1st to 2nd gear and then again from 2nd to 3rd. (The EPC warning light, also known as the Electronic Power Control warning light, is a vehicle warning indicator that indicates a problem the car's throttle system, such as with the throttle pedal, throttle body, traction control, or cruise control.)

26-1-2019: Report of intermittent fault with DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG of 2016 Polo 1.2 TSI 90 SE DSG with 19,000 miles. On occasions the car sticks in first gear and owner has to stop and start over again. Up to now the car has then worked normally. This can happen at any time in a journey when owner has to stop.

2-2-2019: History of problems reported with 2014/64 Polo 1.4 TDI over the years: At 16 months old (28,000miles approx), water pump and timing belt replaced. At 3+ years, (49,000 miles) Dual mass flywheel replaced by single mass flywheel. (Why?) At 4years (52,000 miles) water pump and timing belt replaced again. At 4 years, 3 months, exhaust valve and wiring replaced. Owner subsequently read that single mass flywheel on 3 cylinder engine causes torsion on crankshaft and affects badly on clutch and gearbox.

3-2-2019: Report of driver's seatbelt locking in retracted position in 2015 Polo Bluemotion. "Once it has retracted into its housing it can take hours to unlock. Once it has unlocked, it works normaly on braking. Owner uses a bulldog clip to prevent it retracting into its housing once unbelted. Quoted £285 to replace.

19-2-2019: Report of timing belt of 2014/64 Polo 1.2 TSI failing at 21,000 miles, significantly damaging the engine. Local dealer and Volkswagen Customer Services refused to help, presumably because the car had been independently serviced (using the correct parts). Had it been serviced by Volkswagen dealers, they would have advised to change the belt at 4 years or 40k miles. But still not a good enough excuse for such an early failure. Owner subsequently advised that an "inlet cam adjuster sprocket broken up into pieces and jammed up timing belt in lower cover / engine mounting". The total cost of repair was £1,060.81.

27-2-2019: Report of difficulty engaging 1st gear in 2016 Polo 1.2 TSI at 8000 miles. "The gear change is often stiff. This is particularly problematic when engaging 1st gear from neutral. It gets half way and then gets really stiff. Not wanting to force it home I engage 2nd and then into 1st and then it is better. This can be awkward at traffic lights as I can't always set off as timely as I would like which is frustrating for the vehicle behind. This doesn't happen all the time but maybe 25%. It is also often difficult to engage reverse gear and even selecting 3rd to 4th or 5th to 4th can feel stiffer than I would expect and needs a shove. This was investigated recently and the garage said they had reset the gear linkages. To be honest it probably feels a little worse than before now. The gear change has always been notchy." Might be caused by insufficient or contaminated transmission oil. There is a chance that a change of transmission oil might cure it.

2-3-2019: Report of "very expensive" timing chain replacement required on 2012 Polo.

13-4-2019: Report of Polo 1.2 TSI rolling down a drivewway with handbrake fully applied.

9-5-2019: Report that throttle body of 2015 Polo needed replacing at 40,000 miles at a cost of £750.

27-5-2019: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed DSG transmission of March 2016 VW Polo, just 8 weeks out of warranty and with just 21,000 miles. Supplying dealer offered a 30% discount on the £2,000 bill, but no further support was forthcoming from VW.

29-5-2019: Report of shearing of bolt that holds alrernator to engine of 2011 VW Polo (didn't say which engine). Mechanic said would have to remove the engine to drill the stub of the old bolt out of the engine block in order to fix it.

18-6-2019: Report of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG sticking between 3rd and 4th gear in 2012 VW Polo at 44,000 miles. Owners told it needs a new transmission.

14-7-2019: Relatively heavy oil consumption of 1,200 miles per litre reported by 2009 VW Polo 1.2.

23-9-2019: Report of failure of timing chain of independently serviced 2010 VW Polo 1.2SE at 95,000 miles (though hardly a legitimate complaint).

29-10-2019: Owner of 2010 VW Polo 1.6TDI SE quoted £1,600 to replace the front exhaust catalyset and DPF by an independent VW specialist. Effectively writes the car off as it is only worth £2,000 repaired.

3-1-2020: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG in 2013 VW Polo 1.4 at 55,000 miles. Owner quoted £350 to inspect and £2,000 to repair by supplying dealer (thought to be a used car dealer).

6-1-2020: Report of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG problems with 2016 VW Polo. Now and then it won't shift from "neutral" to "drive", and again, now and then, goes into "sports mode" unasked. Owned from new and main dealer serviced, it's only done just over 8,000 miles. Guessing at clutch pack.

6-1-2020: Report of engine management light coming on in 999cc 2014/64 VW Polo 1.0MPI. Independent VW specialist updated the software, the light went out and the car passed its MoT. Within a day the light came on again. Might need a replacement timing belt.

9-2-2020: Report of timing chain failure of 1.2 3-cylinder MPI engine of 2011 VW Polo. No damage to valves and pistons, bill for replacement chain was £575.


5-3-2011: Mystery TSB: 'Recall 24T6' on 1.4 16v. Service advisor stated 'think of it as a software quality upgrade'.

3-7-2012: reports We have been informed that owners of Euro-spec VW cars (Polo, Golf and Scirocco) are reporting similar problems to the ones that caused a massive recall in China (500,000-strong). The issue has been reported in France, where owners of the aforementioned cars started reporting hearing strange noises coming from the gearbox, which lead them to believe that there may be a design flaw which wears the mechanisms inside it prematurely.

The culprit is VW’s latest twin-clutch setup, the seven-speed DSG7, which reportedly makes the ‘strange noises’ when shifting from 4th to 3rd, 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st, inside the car. However, outside, a different sound is audible, a metallic and repetitive sound which is made when the car goes over speed-bumps. Whatever it is, it sounds serious, especially since owners first began to hear it “a few weeks after delivery” (of the car) - nothing should wear out that quickly.

Also, since the problem in China was never really solved, as they just increased the warranty coverage to 10 years, it will be interesting to see how VW handle this problem in a market very close to home - France. Furthermore, the angry group of French VW owners claim that Seat, Skoda and Audi drivers are also reporting the same problems, so If this report turns out to be accurate, it will spark further outrage and may dent VW’s famed ‘bulletproof’ reliability record.

12-6-2013: Australian VW DSG Recall

Australian VW DSG You Tube Video

Description of Australian Recall. Due to electrolysis, the DSG 7-speed transmissions are susceptible to conductive deposits forming in the gearbox control units, possibly causing the gearbox fuse to blow. Should this happen, the clutch will fully open due to power supply failure, causing the vehicle to roll to a stop if in motion. What are the hazards? In the majority of cases, the fault occurs when the engine is started with the vehicle stationary. If the fuse blows while the vehicle is in motion, however, a sudden loss of power at the wheels could in certain circumstances occur while the vehicle is being driven. This may pose a hazard to the vehicle occupants and other road users. All other functions of the vehicle (steering, braking, etc.) remain fully active.

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