VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - Steve A
In July of this year, I had the front wheel bearings and brakes replaced at a VW dealer, on my 1996 Golf VR6. The cost was nearly £400.

Today, I have taken the car to the National Autocentre near where I work on the Isle of Wight for an MOT. It has failed due to the front near side bearing being (and I quote) \"SO DANGEROUS that we don\'t recommend that the car is driven, sir\".
The garage have had such problems removing the bearing, that they have had to remove the whole assembly, including the drive shaft, to enable the drive shaft to be freed, and then get a very worn bearing out of the hub. Their opinion is that the bearing is so worn, that it couldn\'t have been replaced within the last few months. During this time, the car has covered about 4500 miles (total mileage 69600).

I am understandably angry with the state of affairs, not to mention very alarmed at the thought of a wheel bearing failing totally at motorway speed, where most of my driving is done.

Does anyone have any thoughts about how I should proceed from here given the alarming thought of a bearing failing at motorway speed where most of my driving is done? What action is possible against the VW garage?


I have removed the name of the dealer that carried out the original work, as this site does not permit naming & shaming. DD, BR Moderator.
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - Civic8
I understand your frustration at what you have discovered.But am surprised that you did`nt notice any difference in the noise
ie they tend to whine when worn once replaced quiet.Wheel bearing`s do make a noise when they are worn and steadily get worse if you did not notice any difference in sound then it is likely either one or both were not replaced.Not sure how you stand with garage that was supposed to do it though.I have only seen one fail but it didn`t fall off it seized up on motorway at 60mph
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - stefan99
Hi I am a trainee barrister so I feel somewhat able to comment. Essentially, the issue is that you have suffered no loss as a result of the apparently negligent work of the garage (other than the cost of repair).

If your vehicle had been damaged as a result of the bearing seizing, or you suffered personal injury then you could bring a claim for damages. As it is, you cannot claim anything for the 'risk' of damage or injury, irrespective of the fact that is was just lucky that it was discovered.

You can claim for the cost of rectification however. It is clear that your trust and confidence in this particular dealer will have been shaken. As a result, I advise that you take it to another VW dealer to have the rectification work done. Before you do this, it is advisable that you speak to the original dealer to inform them of your intentions and then send them a bill for the repair.

Should they prove difficult in paying up, you will need to get a signed witness statement from the MOT tester who made those comments and launch a small claims action against the dealer. Again, write to them (recorded delivery) prior to doing this and give them 14 days to respond. At this stage it is most likely they will pay up but if not then www.courtservice.gov.uk will explain the actual small claims action you can bring.

All the best!
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - M.M
Steve,

You are going to need a better case than the rather typical mechanics phrases/claims "SO DANGEROUS that we don't recommend that the car is driven, sir"....and "The garage have had such problems removing the bearing, that they have had to remove the whole assembly, including the drive shaft, to enable the drive shaft to be freed, and then get a very worn bearing out of the hub"

Mostly the old bearing will have been somewhat damaged during removal so that taints the evidence.

You really needed some digital photos of the hub before/during removal and a report written in engineering language.

You need to know why the bearing was considered too dangerous to drive the car, why it was so hard to remove the driveshaft.

I mean the VW angle could be that the MOT station had scammed you and it was their lack of ability that made the job difficult.

I wonder what prompted the bearing replacement in the first place. If it was noise then, as mentioned above, did this go away after the first job and then slowly return?

M.M
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - RichardW
Ah, MM, the voice of reason as ever...!

I doubt that a wheel bearing could be ruined in less than 5,000 miles, unless it was very badly put in in the first place. Is there conclusive evidence that it was replaced a few months back, or is just 'assumed' both were replaced (bearing in mind most wheel bearings now last the life of the car, it seems unlikely BOTH would require replacement at 65,000 miles).

The hub of course would need to be removed for bearing removal anyway, and it is possible that corrosion prevented separation of the driveshaft from the hub - I read a report of a simialr instance where even after heat and 24 hours with release fluid and the attention of a big hammer the shaft and hub still refused to separate - resulting in replacement of both.

I'd also imagine a bearing so bad it made the car dangerous would have made itself apparent with noise / wayward handling.

One final point - looking at it from the other way - if the bearing was absolutely shot, is the mileometer being somewhat economical with the truth...?


RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - daveyjp
My old Focus had a rear bearing replaced at 7,000 miles. I was advised it must have been a faulty part or incorreect fitting at the factory as it had disintegrated in its holder. It made no noise and was only found when the rear brakes were cleaned out due to excess dust in the hub. They removed the hub and bits of bearing fell out.
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - M.M
>>Ah, MM, the voice of reason as ever...!

Thanks... but does that mean I should be wearing my slippers to the village shop now?

As Aprilia says a loose hub nut could allow all sorts of damage and this is the sort of detail the MOT guys need to have recorded.

This will be a "sealed" wheel bearing and they can be a pig to drive in, they need to be dead square and ideally a press used. With the wrong method of replacement it is possible to get in all sorts of trouble and end up pushing the new bearing apart, particularly if the press or support sizes are wrong.

The most trouble I've had removing a driveshaft from a hub was where the shaft splines appeared to be blued from overheating.

M.M
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - matt35 {P}
Steve,
If they are tapered roller bearings (?) one possibility is that the old outer race (the cup) was left in the hub and only the inner race (the cone) was replaced to save time or trouble in extracting the old cup from the hub.

Leeds University have a Tribology Department - did you retain the old parts? Might be worth calling them.

Also - if the cup and cone were from different makers - the contact angle might not be correct - leading to rapid failure.
Matt35.
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - Aprilia
It wouldn't be tapered roller on the front of a Golf, I don't think.

Things could have gone badly wrong if the dealer didn't torque up the driveshaft nut sufficiently. The bearing could be wrecked in pretty short order, although I would expect plenty of indications that it was going bad.
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - none
Over the years I've come across quite a few cases of very badly worn front wheel bearings with the driver being unaware of a bearing problem. Before the bearing finally collapses it allows the disc to move so far that the pads are pushed back into the caliper - giving rise to a loss of brakes, and this has been the problem reported by the driver.
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - Civic8
That would then cause extreme steering problems.ie steering wobble.then steering pull to one or other side.badly worn bearing`s will have that effect no matter what car including brake pedal Ie pulsing of pedal
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - Civic8
Slightly puzzled as to why you didn`t take it back to this company for the M.o.T as they did the work I would have been inclined to take it to them for the mot.If it failed on the work they did.Then you can ask why.I am not saying you have no grounds to take them to court but as it was taken to another conpany for m.o.t are they to be trusted/do they have correct tools for the job.difficult to answer
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - DL
I doubt you (now) have any comeback on the VW Dealership as the repair has been done etc etc

You really should have (in an ideal world, I know...) returned the car to the Dealership and asked them to repair it FOC

--
groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words.....
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - sean
Steve A

I work for a Corporation not entirely unconnected with your problem.

If you can substantiate what you are saying, I will help you.

I am only here for the next 6 days as I work usually in Germany.

My friends here know me, and I ask them to relay my text to you.

Try and write to

Sean.Kirby@ntlworld.com

I will give you an intranet address which will explain things
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - DL
Heh - If your third line down doesn't give it away then I will eat my shorts!

--
groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words.....
VR6 bearing probs - VW dealer negligent? - sean
Beggar!

I'm uncovered.

Hi DL.

Life moves on, life stays the same
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car