Volkswagen says 1.5 TSI engine hesitancy problems are now fixed

Published 17 July 2020

Four months on from a software update to fix ongoing hesitation issues with the 1.5 TSI petrol engine in Volkswagen Group models, the German carmaker has told HonestJohn.co.uk that it considers the fix "a success" - despite continued reports of ongoing issues from owners.

Volkswagen admitted in January 2019 that it was aware of a fault with its then-new 1.5-litre petrol engine, which was being rolled out across the Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen range as a replacement for the 1.4-litre turbocharged unit.

Angry owners report problems when driving the car, with the engine feeling hesitant when pulling away in first and second gears. It was an issue HonestJohn.co.uk's staff experienced, too, with our SEAT Arona long-term test car.

In March 2020, more than a year after Volkswagen Group was made aware of the issue, a software fix was released. However, results are varied, with some owners saying they are still experiencing problems. 

SEAT Arona

One reader has told HonestJohn.co.uk that his 2018 Skoda Octavia suffered the issue all the time, regardless of whether the engine was cold or hot. Some owners say they have successfully rejected vehicles that suffer with the kangarooing issue.

However, Volkswagen has told HonestJohn.co.uk: "We can’t see any active customer complaints logged with our customer service team relating to 1.5 TSI issues after the software update."

"As far as we are aware the software update has been a success and no further measures are planned. However in isolated cases it is possible some vehicles may have another mechanical fault unrelated to the software update."

The 1.5 TSI engine is currently available in Volkswagen models like the Golf and T-Roc as well as other Volkswagen Group vehicles like the Skoda Karoq, SEAT Arona and Audi A3. The fix is applied to new cars, too, so any new Volkswagen Group model will have the software update already applied.

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Comments

Micky Myers    on 18 July 2020

Just wondering how many 'badge hunting fools' will fall victim when these rejected cars hit the second hand market...

malcolmghenderson    on 18 July 2020

I avoid VW group cars like the plague. So many issues with them, when it is presented by most of the motoring press as a quality brand

johnbuk    on 18 July 2020

I can confirm my SEAT Ateca 1.5tsi is working fine now after the update. I had the "kangaroo" issue prior to the service in January, (usually when in 2nd and below 10mph) and since then the car has been excellent.

The drive at my golf club is plastered with sleeping policemen and slowing down in second to roll over them always caused a problem when trying to accelerate away.

Delighted with the car now.

johnbuk    on 18 July 2020

I can confirm my SEAT Ateca 1.5tsi is working fine now after the update. I had the "kangaroo" issue prior to the service in January, (usually when in 2nd and below 10mph) and since then the car has been excellent.

The drive at my golf club is plastered with sleeping policemen and slowing down in second to roll over them always caused a problem when trying to accelerate away.

Delighted with the car now.

Micky Myers    on 18 July 2020

So good you posted twice...!

johnbuk    on 20 July 2020

Thank you Mick, I've no idea how it happened but if it offended you then my apologies --- twice even!

Engineer Andy    on 18 July 2020

Bless you! :-)

Richard M.    on 18 July 2020

I work a 5-shift rota, and park my vehicle on site. There is a 1/4 mile drive at 15mph to get out of the car park. My car, a 150ps 1.5tsi evo with DSG would kangaroo if I left the car in auto. I has to switch it to manual mode and drop to 2nd gear to get off site. Now it is fine in auto and 3rd gear at 15mph.

Anthony Rice    on 18 July 2020

Just goes to show the V A G Group don't even roller test their cars let alone road test them before sending them out for sale, no doubt with a certificate of check and OK'ing.

Vag 8    on 19 July 2020

I have a 68 plate Seat Leon with the 1.5 130 engine and I had the software update in December 2019 and it definitely has NOT fixed it.... I 1st reported the issue 4 days into ownership (nov18) had to wait a year for them to create a software update, for which the concentrated their efforts on the 1.5 150 engine, meanwhile the fix has not sorted the 130 engine which is less common in their range and only fitted in the Leon, the golf blue motion and a limited run in the Tiguan until they dropped it from this car.

Vw has raised my suspicion further by changing the engine codes after only a year into production, obviously as the later engine will have components changed to truly fix this engine?

Definitely won’t have another VW until they ditch the 1.5 engine it a lemon ?? no where near as good as the 1.4 active cylinder it replaced.

May as well bought a VW diesel at least that way I’d have know I was being cheated !!!

   on 19 July 2020

I have a new Karoq with this engine, and have had no problems.

Engineer Andy    on 20 July 2020

I have a new Karoq with this engine, and have had no problems.

That's because it's not the same engine configuration. VAG added a 48V hybrid system that essentially 'does the job' of the 'software fix' for the previous generation of engines. If your Karoq has the hybrid config, then it wouldn't need the software fix.

At least according to the HJ new report some months ago.

gavsmit    on 20 July 2020

Funny how forgiving and tolerant people are of some car brands.

If I'm paying ridiculous amounts of money for a new car, I expect it to work without fault for at least a few years (car prices have gone completely bonkers in recent months so they need to be worth that extra money).

I'd never buy anything from the VW group stable again - we bought a Skoda Octavia after car magazines reported it was supposed to be one of the most dependable makes / models out there but it was rubbish. I had exactly the same experience with a Mazda which was terrible as well, despite the glowing magazine write-ups of that particular car.

The moral of the story is to read customer reviews then decide what to buy (if you can stomach the ridiculous new car prices these days) and weed out those customer reviews who have a misguided brand loyalty despite experiencing problems themselves.


Engineer Andy    on 20 July 2020

Funny how forgiving and tolerant people are of some car brands. If I'm paying ridiculous amounts of money for a new car, I expect it to work without fault for at least a few years (car prices have gone completely bonkers in recent months so they need to be worth that extra money). I'd never buy anything from the VW group stable again - we bought a Skoda Octavia after car magazines reported it was supposed to be one of the most dependable makes / models out there but it was rubbish. I had exactly the same experience with a Mazda which was terrible as well, despite the glowing magazine write-ups of that particular car. The moral of the story is to read customer reviews then decide what to buy (if you can stomach the ridiculous new car prices these days) and weed out those customer reviews who have a misguided brand loyalty despite experiencing problems themselves.

It often depends upon which model and engine combo you get, and, at least as far as the ownership experience goes, the main dealer.

With Mazdas (and as someone who's owned one for 14 years), this really makes a difference - the diesel models are much more of a problem if any owner during the car's life (including previous owners for those bought second hand) has used it for regular (mostly) short trips from cold rather than longer trips.

If you can find a good Mazda dealership (I've been lucky to have a reasonable one) - they can be rather hit and miss in my view - and buy a petrol-engined car (not a rotary engined one), then you should be fine. Touch wood, I've never had any issues of note over the years - essentially wear and tear items only, e.g. batteries, tyres, suspension parts, clutch.

conman    on 20 July 2020

The price of new cars is rising so that they can charge a ridiculous price for electric cars that have fewer components, if you go on the YouTube site,' Fully Charged' they state that the cost of the batteries is falling and should only cost between £6-8000 a average vehicle, so where they are getting the ridiculous price for the EV car is beyond me. They should be cheaper than a ICE car.!!

Phillip jameson    on 20 July 2020

I purchased my 1.5 150 Golf from new in July 2018 and haven’t experienced this fault, its due for its second service this week so I hope the Software update doesn’t screw things up.

pint6x    on 20 July 2020

My 2 year old Skoda Octavia 1.5 manual has never put a foot wrong in 28,000 miles. I love it - it has decent shove, 45mpg and is very comfortable.

WJD NoS    on 20 July 2020

My SEAT Arona 1.5 FR Sport was horrendous even after the alleged fix. I had been in talks with SEAT UK and SEAT Finance. After the software update I contacted them to say it was no better and they said as far as they were concerned the update had fixed the problem and they were closing the case. The woman I spoke to was, and I’ll make no apology for my Language, a complete a*** hole, and pretty much hung up the phone. When I called back they said the matter was closed.
I’ve had VW group diesel cars for 25 plus years and this was my first back in petrol.
Anyway, with it less than a year old, it’s gone. I’ve lost thousands on it but couldn’t bare to drive it. Got a Skoda Karoq Sportline 190 diesel now and delighted with it.

Edited by WJD NoS on 20/07/2020 at 20:49

Vag 8    on 20 July 2020

Yeah that’s pretty much the attitude I have had from Seat too,
Most of those reporting no issues with there cars on this forum have the 1.5 150 engine as you had in the arona so guess it just didn’t work for you.
For me there is something fishy about the issues they were having, like why was the 1.5 dropped in the Ibiza ? Why has it never been offered in the polo ? Why was it delayed from being introduced to the t-cross ... is it because in a lighter car the problem is more pronounced?

Who knows, but I wish I’d rejected mine, roll on November so I can terminate and walk away.
Good luck with your Karoq ??

WJD NoS    on 20 July 2020

Cheers. I’d previously had a yeti and I loved it, didn’t like the jibes I got from pretty much everyone I know. Lol. Yip they’ve ditched that engine from the new Leon too.

VINCENT MILLARD    on 21 July 2020

Just wondering how many 'badge hunting fools' will fall victim when these rejected cars hit the second hand market...

No one should buy any products from the VW group, as VW is still getting away with Trying to cheat the World. Also I had an Austin Maestro back in the Day! The only part that went Catastrophically wrong was the VW Golf Gearbox fitted. And it was Rover Group who got the blame!

Jag Land Rover need to bring out a range of smaller Cars for after next January.

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