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.

>>> Police forces hindered by budget cuts as drink and drug-driving offences increase

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.

Louisa Houghton    on 21 August 2020

"We can’t see any active customer complaints logged with our customer service team relating to 1.5 TSI issues after the software update." That's funny because my complaint is very much active! I had a software update in December 2019 which didn't work, it made it worse if anything. I've not been told of any further software updates by the dealership since then, so which is it?

golfhp    on 23 August 2020

This problems aren't solved.
I own Golf with 1.5 tsi 110kw 2020 year.
I have a „kangaroo“ problem with my 1.5 tsi since first day when engine is cold. It durings about 2 minutes after engin start every day. My engine is MY20 and engine code is DPCA. Software version is 9596.
I also notice big vibrations during 2-cylinders mod between 1400-1600 rpm.
They said in my ASO that this is software issue and i have the newest software but it isn't good obviously.

Malloi    on 27 August 2020

I just had my 1.5TSI 150bhp Golf Match in for it's first service this week. Got it exactly 12 months ago. Engine code is DADA.

I experienced the Kangaroo/Hesitation issue pretty much from start of ownership. Coming from a diesel I initially put it down to me learning how to drive a petrol car again. I put up with it and learned how to deal with it. However, it was very noticeable in car-parks and other areas where you had to drive slowly in 1st gear.

Eventually by Googling I discovered I wasn't alone and discovered that a software 'fix' existed. Because of Covid I couldn't do anything until dealership re-opened. As service was due soon, I left it until then to get sorted.

I reported it to my dealership who initially were skeptical and didn't acknowledge there was any known issue. I then sent them links to the Honest John articles and suddenly they were all nicey nicey! They said my car did have the issue and would apply the software update - I had to request this though and push for it. So it was in for another day.

I had the experience of driving a 20 reg 1.0TSI Polo for a day and noticed that although there wasn't a significant hesitation issue there was noticeable turbo lag. Not just the 1.5 then!

Anyway, to end my novel, the car is improved, not perfect, but improved. There is still slight hesitation from cold, but a second or so, not minutes now. I went grocery shopping and returned to car 30 mins later, no hesitation or kangaroo this time. I always experienced a bit before the software update.

Happy is too strong a word to use but I'm content with the car now. If anything, I noticed Sport mode was improved and turbo lag wasn't noticeable at all!

So advice, if you have issues, get the update. Bombard your dealer with the Honest John links! The update reference for info is: TPI 2054430/5, that's the code on my service receipt anyway.

And for the VW haters out there, this is my first VW car, I researched a lot before buying and am glad I didn't buy a Focus, Ceed, i3 or the like. The Golf just trumps them on quality.

Good luck!

Edited by Malloi on 27/08/2020 at 21:49

Malloi    on 8 September 2020

Spoke too soon!

Damned hesitency back (well never away) again, quite noticeable tonight when driving slowly!

Well the fix didn't work for me then :(

Slight difference, but not much. Feels better in sport mode compared to before, but overall not right.

My first VW, and likely my last.

Gonna lease a Mazda 3.

So disappointed with VW, must be emissions related. Just let my car have some fuel when it needs it. WIsh it had a choke - ha!

Anyway, good luck everyone else :)

Edited by Malloi on 08/09/2020 at 21:19

   on 21 September 2020

Hi! I also have 1.5 TSI 130 BHP Seat Leon and with kangaroo issue. Engine code is DACA. A software update was done in January this year but with only slightest changes as I have noticed. Can we hope of VW to fix this problem or we are stuck with this crappy engine?

Duffer123    on 15 October 2020

Bought a new Ateca last month and already has the issue, only 3 weeks old.

David__Burke    on 30 October 2020

This is a funny article. The issues with the 1.5 on the Leon 130 are certainly not resolved. The update from January did nothing, not even a slight improvement. So glad I no longer have the car as it was the worst I have ever driven. The kangarooing was just unbearable and the VW group are in complete denial about it.

Duffer123    on 3 November 2020

My new Ateca does exactly the same when cold. The problem is not sorted, the garage admit the car is not right, they also tried another car they had and admitted that had the same issue.

golfhp    on 9 November 2020

I want to inform you that I got a full refund for my Golf 1.5 tsi.
It was not easy but I succeeded.

Mustang67    on 20 November 2020

Hi, can I ask you if you had to reject the car or did the dealership acknowledge the fault? I have the same issue with a brand new Audi Q3, thanks

Edited by Mustang67 on 20/11/2020 at 21:32

golfhp    on 29 November 2020

They never admitted the problem but I didn’t give up. The fight was lasting for six months. i writed about 40 emails to my merchant, importer, producer... In the end, I told them that if they think that car is ok to take the car to themselves, or I will set it on fire in front of the theyr store and I will bring the journalists...

Edited by golfhp on 29/11/2020 at 20:05

A3-35tfsi    on 18 November 2020

Hello friends. I am a owner of a new Audi A3 sportback 1.5tfsi manual. The car is a 2020 new model and from day one i noticed i cannot drive smooth in first and second gear but I just put it on a new car accomodation and the fact that I pre owned a automatic gear car from the last 5 years. But in the next days I was very dissapointed by the way the car behaves especialy on cold weather start when the car bounce 5-6 times before I rev more and change the gear. Then I do a little search for this engine and I discovered the honestjohn article and the term “kangaroo” and that is when I new that something is wrong. I now have an appointment at dealer but my trust in the brand is already gone. They knew that there is a problem unsolved and they continue to sell this engine. They said they don’t know about a problem with this engine but it’s very hard to believe. If i can I just want to return the car, get a refund and look for some other brand. I own the car for about 3 weeks now and I don’t know if I can get a refund.

Mustang67    on 20 November 2020

I can assure you VAG that the fault on the 1.5TFSI is certainly not fixed! I have a brand new Audi Q3 and have the dreaded kangaroo in 1st & 2nd gears warm or cold. I can also feel the power fluctuating under my accelerator foot whenever i set off from a standing start, worse when engine cold (first couple of minutes) but still apparent when engine fully warmed up. This provides a very jerky ride and is the worst car I have ever driven. Low revs and low speeds around a car park for example, throws you around like a fairground ride!, makes the kids laugh but I’m certainly not laughing after paying just under 40K for this car. Has been to the dealership twice - final diagnosis from their master service technician? - yes you guessed it , a ‘characteristic of the engine’
Been politely arguing my case with the dealership for over two months, with them unbelievably refusing to accept the well documented fault. After owning numerous Audis i am extremely disappointed with the attitude of this luxury brand. Its disgusting that it seems to be a directive from the top to follow a set of fobbing off stages, causing a lot of upset and aggravation to loyal customers, when clearly they have been sold a faulty product. It’s such a shame because I love everything about the car apart from the way it drives, so I have finally pushed for rejection.

If Honest John want to write an update article on this ongoing issue for owners that have been blighted by these faulty cars, I’ll be happy to contribute as I’m sure would others. I have a well documented timeline of my case and this problem is certainly not ‘fixed’

Edited by Mustang67 on 20/11/2020 at 21:30

A3-35tfsi    on 20 November 2020

Hello, sorry to hear also about your Q3 kangarooing.
I just got back from my first visit to dealer and it was the worst experience in a service. The person that receive the car in service make a short test drive with me in the car and confirm it is a little hessitating but maybe I get back on a cold day to be more pronunced. I tell him that I don’t agree and it should’t be even a little bit of kangarooing and they should look at the car maybe it need a software update or something. They said they never heard of the problem and the majority of orders are with automatic gear. Later I arive to take the car and the response was that I am not used with the car and it’s a new generation of engines and it’s normal somehow. The guy who tested the car mention it is nothing wrong. I didn’t accept this response so I will let the car mext day at night as the temps will be negative and in the morning I want to test it with a technician who supose to show me how to drive a manual car. I mention that I drive till now about 700k km from my estimation and I know how to drive.

Duffer123    on 23 November 2020

Seat have said exactly the same, it’s a characteristic of the engine as others are doing. So if they all veered left would that mean it’s a characteristic.

Mustang67    on 20 November 2020

Hi A3-35Tfsi, dealers know of the issue, it’s been an issue on certain cars with the 1.5 engine since early 2019, some earlier engines were even recalled for not only kangarooing but stalling. Just look at VW, Seat, Audi and Skoda forums for unhappy owners. The various fixes have worked for some owners but not others, some owners report higher revving saddled with higher fuel consumption . My car has the latest update and is a manual gearbox. I think that is part of the problem. Most buyers have the DSG gearbox which smoothes out any possible kangaroo. We are in the minority driving manual cars so VAG blame a clear engine fault on our driving style. We need the motor press to take up our case

Edited by Mustang67 on 20/11/2020 at 22:48

   on 27 November 2020

I have heard VAG described as 'serial fraudsters'. Is this a good description? Here is a well documented example of a quality problem on a 1.4tsi ....but as usual a denial from VAG

Edited by HJ Editor on 27/11/2020 at 16:15

Mustang67    on 27 November 2020

For anybody who is still suffering with this engine, don’t suffer in silence, make a fuss, make a timeline of your case, write your rejection letter, copy the dealership, the brand head office and finance company if applicable and threaten a DEKRA inspection of the vehicle, only then did I get the dealerships attention. It wasn’t easy but I got my money back after 4 months of misery with this faulty engine on my brand new Q3. Of course the dealership right until the end were still following the corporate directive by saying it was a ‘characteristic’ and wouldn’t accept my rejection but instead bought the car back off me. Maybe this is a new policy so accepting no liability legally. I’d had enough so accepted the full refund.....any ideas what happened to my car? For sale on the forecourt the next day of course, just waiting for another soon to be unhappy customer to go through the same upset and aggravation as me....absolutely shocking!

BigBear1    on 28 December 2020

Hi Mustang67, this is very encouraging to read as we are just at the beginning of our 'journey' with the same problem with our Audi, so hope we will have the same, positive outcome. Would be interesting to know which Audi dealerships everyone dealt with as we are being told 'we are not aware of any problem ........'

I A SNELL    on 28 November 2020

Result Mustang67!

I also bought a VW with the 1.5 TSi in 2019 with very low mileage, one owner car from a main dealer Warwickshire via Auto Trader.

Thought I was getting a good deal until the "characteristic" showed up quite badly
.
Dealers not interest and VW UK weren't either (said ALL the right things but no action) who referred me back to the dealer(s)

Car sold now at a BIG lose financially but better for my mental heath!

I believe I bought a rejected car but now we have GDPR the V5 (logbook) doesn't show the previous owner name or address!

Mustang67    on 28 November 2020

Sorry to hear that you lost money I A Snell, I agree about the mental health aspect. I was having sleepless nights over it all. Dealers don’t care unless you play hard ball, but you shouldn’t have to with a clear engine fault. Don’t know if my car had been previously rejected at point of sale, but the deal I got was a bit too good to be true on reflection. I would warn anybody thinking of buying a car with the 1.5 Tfsi and manual gearbox, built in 2019/early20 with low mileage to test drive from cold...if it hops & jerks, it may not be you just getting used to the clutch biting point! Be aware

   on 12 December 2020

Check out the post dated 11 September 2020 on the other Honest John forum 'Volkswagen announces fix......'. The dealer and VW UK denied the fault on my partners A1 despite being presented with their own technical bulletins. It took about 15 months before they agreed to take the car back and that was only after a DEKRA report stating it was a safety issue. We think it has now been re-sold as she was contacted for a mileage check. Scandalous. Whatever you do, persevere with it.

Carroll BARHAM    on 11 January 2021

Just for information, I bought a new 1.5 manual Golf, (150 DADA) in late 2019, having already read about the hesitation issues, but hoping mine wouldn't be one of the 20% or so affected. Turned-out it was, but nowhere near as badly as some other owners of 1.5-equipped cars have reported as suffering. It played-up most of the time when cold at low speeds but also to a lesser extent when warm at any time.
Armed with extra information about the exact numbers of VAG bulletins with remap update codes, (from a UK-based SEAT forum) the dealer agreed to apply a 'fix' within a month. The update was performed in January 2020, took them about 4 hours and it has 90% fixed the issue - the car now performs flawlessly when cold, but will very occasionally hesitate on a hot day from initial start-up, but even that is rare now. A bonus of the update was the engine generally performed in a livelier fashion and by comparison felt rather flat/uninterested before.
Overall I still consider it a satisfactory fix a year on and would urge an unhappy 1.5 owner to chase their dealer for the update - or find another VAG outlet that will oblige if your's is one of the few still in denial about the issue.

Dave Thaw    on 19 February 2021

Would a remap solve the kangarooing problem?
I have a late 2018 Seat Leon FR 1.5 TSi 150 and it suffers from the kangarooing. It is an ex Seat UK car bought 1 year old from a main s******. I found the problem during my road test and they promised to fix it when they serviced it for me before collection. It was still juddering when I got it, I discovered, when I investigated the service indicator, that it hadn't been serviced! I took it in for a free service in Sept 20 and asked them to fix the kangarooing. They told me that I had the latest software, nothing else could be done. I'm really pleased with the car apart from this, the driving experience is great other than setting off from junctions and driving around car parks.
If I were to have a remap, my main concern is the low speed driveability, but would I lose the Seat Drive Profile and ACT? Also might it affect my warranty and service plan?

Manuel Naveira    on 9 March 2021

My 2019 Golf was bought from new and I noticed it kangarooing within the first six months. My VW dealer said that there was a fix, the car ran beautifully for about four months, but now it’s doing it again. It’s at the dealership now. Waiting for their answer

E27002    on 3 May 2021

This video by Diagnose Dan is about VW Tsi engines and their issues with carbon blockage on the inlet valves. Worth watching for an explanation of the fuel injection of the Tsi engine, how there are several modes of fuel injection, in particular listen to his explanation of the cold start warm up fuel injection sequence of a Tsi, makes you realise how hard it must be to calibrate this engine for driveability

www.diagnosedan.com/tsi-cold-misfires-explained/

Pmosb    on 6 May 2021

I have a used 19000ml Seat 1.5 Evo 130 bhp. DACA FR Bought from main dealer 3 weeks ago. Dealer warmed up engine prior to test drive whilst ‘showing me controls”. I knew nothing of the 1.5 issues. I then saw sluggish pull away at junctions and no difference between sport and eco mode. A software update is booked but i dont expect improvement. And i expect a fight afterwards.

JAO    on 12 June 2021

Our 1.5 evo manual 69reg certainly has the kangaroo fault , especially when cold . I have got used to having a kangaroo-car and put up with it .

However much worse for us is the manual gearbox going from neutral to first to second. It is very inaccurate and like bag of spanners changing gear . I expected better from this premium brand , and will have to now submit it to the VE dealership for maintenance..

Does anyone else have these gearbox/ gear changing issues ?

The golf is quality and suits my other half but these issues should be ignored.

Sorin Nica    on 4 January 2022

This article is not more than just a joke. There is no reference to the update provided by VW, therefore I consider the statement as being not true and just a VW friendly article. Journalists, do not stop by publishing declarations and statements of companies. You needs to go further and ask for proof. I was expecting a link to a Service campaign proof with public statement and a service campaign number.
Without it I believe VW just paid you to publish this.

Add a comment

 

Value my car