This is an email we have sent from Romania to Skoda.cz
We are a group of Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSI 77kW owners from Romania. All of these vehicles were purchased in 2010 and 2011 through the national Romanian importer, Porsche Romania, and we would like to hereby officially inform you that we are extremely disappointed by our choice of automobile, because of the faulty functionality of the 1.2 TSI engine. Although it has been presented as “innovative”, “revolutionary” and so on, soon after the winter season had arrived, the engines were hesitant at start-up, in idle they were running unevenly and, in some cases, the rpms decreased to a grinding halt.
As a result of previous complaints which we have already directed to you and your continuous studies and experiments which you have conducted on these engines, you have issued several software upgrades, each one more of failure than the previous.
Over the course of one year, you have issued three software versions for the 1.2 TSI 77kW engine: 7425, 8620 and 9163 and despite these so-called “efforts”, the engine is still not working within reasonable running parameters. Not even the latest version, 9163, has not solved the cold start problem, as the engine manages to start only after keeping the ignition key locked in the “start” position for longer than normal. It is still difficult for the engine to run when the A/C is turned on, as the loss of power is tangible and quite significant. In all situations, engine noise continues to be extremely elevated, especially between 2.400 and 2.800 rpms. Also disturbing is the turbo lag present when the engine reaches its optimum operating temperature.
A very large number of owners have complained that there is a rattling noise at engine start, coming from the chain driven camshaft, an aspect of which Skoda CZ is fully aware of, claiming that it has made an “innovation” to solve this shortcoming. It is worth mentioning that this noise has not been present when the vehicles were new, but it has appeared after several thousand kilometers (regularly, after approx. 10.000 km.), so it cannot under any circumstances be considered as “normal”, as some services claim it should be or, as others say “Chain noise on start due to hidraulic tensioner which does not create tension up to a certain oil pressure level. If it worsens, please return to service.”
Furthermore, Mr. Vladimir Kutnar of Skoda CZ mentions, in a letter addressed to a Skoda owner here in Romania that “I am persuaded that this fault with engine chain won't repeat in the future, because an innovation on the chain has been implemented”. What would be a “normal” time span for this rattling noise to worsen? Until our cars are no longer covered by manufacturer warranty? (which is, by the way, embarrassingly short, compared to what other automobile producers are currently offering for their products, both for the Romanian market as well as for the international one). We feel that, given all these issues, faults and shortcomings of the 1.2 TSI 77kW engine, the warranty is ludicrously short compared to manufacturers like Dacia, Renault, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and others (in comparison to which the VAG feels superior to—in our opinion, unjustly so) which offer a full warranty of 4, 5 and sometimes more years.
We are extremely concerned also by the failing turbochargers with which these engines are equipped. There are cases where these turbochargers, already changed, fell a second time and guarantee their standard warranty already expired at the end of the car. What if we warranty expires and the new turbocharger fails after 3 months? An increasing number of owners are confronted with failing turbochargers, in Romania as well as in other countries where Skoda models are sold (i.e., Greece, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands and UK etc.) where forums are simply flooded with disgruntled stories coming from users who have problems with faulty parts. Given the number of kilometers we drive every day, we are deeply concerned that the turbocharger in our cars will crash immediately after expiration of warranty, a part which should not create problems for at least 100.000 km. under normal circumstances and conditions of use.
Given all of the above, we strongly urge you to carefully and thoroughly review these concerns and we expect a positive resolution on the following issues:
1. The permanent and complete resolution of all software malfunctions in other ways than on the expense of Skoda customers’ time, money and mental well-being;
2. Developing a fully-working software upgrade which has been properly and fully been tested prior to market release. It should address ALL of the issues which have caused us so many problems: noise reduction, a proper cold and warm start, a proper torque and engine power curve, compliance with factory communicated pollution emissions, lowering of consumption to fall within normal range);
3. A publicly announced, factory recall of all Octavia models equipped with the 1.2 TSI 77kW engine, which will positively solve the noise coming from the chain drive, by installing the “innovation” which the producer claims to have made;
4. A free verification of the turbocharger installed on current models, its degree of deterioration caused by faulty use as a result of improper software solutions, its replacement free of charge where needed with a newer, better version, if the supplier for this part has been changed or if it has improved the quality of its parts;
5. Due to numerous problems and the faulty patches (rather than proper solutions) applied by Skoda CZ (over the course of one year, we have wasted significant time and money by putting our cars in service and renting vehicles which should have been supplied free of charge, courtesy of Skoda) there have been not one, not two, but THREE software releases (7425, 8620 and 9163) which, apparently, have proved less than satisfactory both for users as well as for the factory itself, and because the factory has chosen to treat us, buyers of Skoda Octavia, as “guinea pigs” rather than customers, through its repeated experiments on these engines, turbochargers and chain shafts made at OUR expense, time and patience, we hereby officially request A FREE OF CHARGE PROLONGATION OF THE WARRANTY PERIOD WITH AN ADDITIONAL 3 (THREE) YEARS FOR THE ENGINE, GEAR BOX AND ALL THE COMPONENTS CONTAINED THEREIN. Seen how the “quality” and “reliability” of the Skoda brand is notorious, we feel that this request, along with the ones listed above, is not only reasonable, but reparatory and fair and does not imply significant expense on the part of Skoda CZ, as we are sure that you actually believe that the quality build of your vehicles does not significantly deteriorate over the time window mentioned before. Furthermore, this effort on the part of Skoda CZ would be perceived as a sign of goodwill and as a reparatory measure towards your clients. As a secondary benefit, we would have to continue conducting service inspections in authorised Skoda services, which would prove beneficial for the sale of required parts and components.
We would also like to mention that this is our final effort to reach an amiable understanding with Skoda CZ. We have already arranged with a law firm to be represented, should our efforts to reach a common ground fail; if legal course is to follow, we will take our grievances to the National Authority for the Protection of Consumer Rights, to the national written, visual and internet media and we will resort to all legal
measures and channels to have our voices heard and our problems solved.
Also made contact with a television showing a weekly car show for a possible presentation of our case study and in a show.
Hoping for a positive response and for an amiable resolution of all of the above, we, the undersigned, thank you for your cooperation and await your response."
And Skoda reply was this:
"Dear Škoda owners,
we have received your letter, in which you decribed your dissatisfaction with our product Octavia 1,2 TSI.
We regret very much that you have mentioned problems with your cars and apologize for all the inconvenience on behalf of the manufacturer. The Škoda Auto company very thoroughly tests all engines in cooperation with other brands during the development phase and continues to monitor in detail the quality and the customer satisfaction after the market launch. Like the whole engine range produced by the company Škoda Auto, this engine complies with the strict quality standards required within the automotive industry. When developing engines, sophisticated design principles and latest technical know-how well-proven within the VW concern are applied.
If general serious problems occur on vehicles, we inform our customers about the need to carry out measures aimed at preventing subsequent complications (e.g. via a recall action). Nowadays there are no general problems with 1,2 TSI engines all over the world in order to make such arrangements. We would like to examine your complaint in detail, therefore we passed your petition for direct handling to our representation in Romania – PORSCHE ROMANIA S.R.L., SOS.PIPERA TUNARI NR. 2, COM. VOLUNTARI, JUDETUL ILFOV. The importer organization representing the brand Škoda in your country is entitled to respond to all queries, comments, claims, complaints in accordance with current legislation of your country and warranty and claim conditions as well as with the approved repair technology. The importer is entirely competent to resolve this matter with our thorough technical support.
We hope that within this procedure the case will be resolved to your full satisfaction and you will continue to favour the brand Škoda.
Best regards from Mladá Boleslav"
They don't want to ackwnoledge that there is a problem with this engine.