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Sudden Perfume Smell

Strange Mud

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Small Town CT
Ride
2017 GTI Sport
is the principle of the matter worth writing off the $ of new car depreciation? Selling it isn't going to hurt VW, heck if you buy an R it will be 2x profit to them. IDK your financials but even mine that are decent I would swallow pride and try to fix it rather than loose the $. Or do you really just want a different model car?

not trying to insult
 

dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
I still don't follow how the dealer is responsible for rectifying this.

Dropping the car off with them and telling them you don't want to see it again til the situation is resolved is an impossible demand. It seems as if you weren't clear about your intentions. From their point of view you must have come off as being dug in the day you dropped the car off.

If you were willing to pay gorb
There was a lot more to that conversation. As noted, I spent quite some time outside with the service adviser. I said that on the second visit, after we'd already been over the car in the lot looking for something. Told him I might be back if it didn't begin to dissipate. We discussed potential places to look. I'd considered taking it back and messing with it myself, but then I just brought it back as I said I might.

When asked what I wanted him to do, it was to fully investigate that smell. How fully? Well, I didn't want that car back until it didn't smell. He said I should also call VW.

You're just getting the words, here; not the delivery. We weren't out there arguing, and we'd already spoken earlier, as I'd originally just stopped by to verify that I wasn't smelling something that was already gone; you know how things can seem to get stuck in a nose for a while, at times. The original visit was because I happened to be a quarter mile from the place and the smell had just happened.

It's not a good idea to wait when something strange happens to a car that's under warranty and/or you don't plan on keeping very long. Get it checked as soon as possible; especially if you think it's something smelly baking in the engine bay. That's a common sense response. I'm good for sitting down in a car and driving it, and most of the time getting out. That's all I can do for a while. I needed those eyes on the issue, and to determine if it's just something I'd have to pay to clear out (or take the hit on a trade if it wouldn't go away), or if something I wasn't familiar with had gone wrong in there.
 

imthanick_a

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Ohio
Skip the air freshener sprays, they'll just mask the odor. Go right to the ozone generator.

OP should do the same. I genuinely feel for you. I have a freakish sense of smell and I don't blame you at all.
Ozium isn't a freshener spray, its an odor eliminator and actually works really well for most things. My mom used to use it in her car with good success
 

imthanick_a

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Ohio
I'm chasing a smell in my car as well, only mine is a bad smell. OP you're lucky you don't have that problem. I left a flavored coffee in the cupholder while at topgolf one day and the smell has not gone away. I've parked the car in the garage with the windows down for weeks on end since I don't drive it in the winter, I've closed up the car and poured 5 pounds of baking soda into cookie sheets and placed them all over the car for days on end, nothing gets rid of it. It's stuck in the leather and cushions and floormats and everything. Didn't even spill it. My next step is to grab a bottle of Ozium and tie the nozzle down, throw it in the car, and run like hell. If that doesn't work, I'll rent an ozone generator for a day or two. I suggest you ask them to do the same.

I have had a bad smell issue in a couple of cars I have owned, and it smells like old sweaty gym socks. That stink is caused by mildew in the air conditioning vents, and is very easy to get rid of. If that sounds like what you have, See link below. Interestingly enough the problems have been most noticeable on German cars (although not on my VW yet)
My smell is from coffee that was in the car in the sun, not mildew
 

imthanick_a

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Ohio
I still don't follow how the dealer is responsible for rectifying this.

Dropping the car off with them and telling them you don't want to see it again til the situation is resolved is an impossible demand. It seems as if you weren't clear about your intentions. From their point of view you must have come off as being dug in the day you dropped the car off.

If you were willing to pay for them to really search in a no expense spared fashion then maybe call them back and make that clear.

Otherwise they're not responsible for a smell that appeared after you took possession of the car...unless they actually find something Warranty wise during the tare down.

I cannot see a scenario from which you get satisfaction here. This seems impossible to resolve as it stands.
Agreed with this. It wasn't the dealers fault, the car isn't just creating the perfume smell out of nowhere, and it's not an issue with other peoples car. Dealer is not responsible to fix this issue so you shouldn't be upset at them for not bending to your will to fix it. It's not worth their time and they certainly won't miss you as a customer. They'll likely be happy to be rid of you based on the things you've said about how you've been acting in this thread. Inside of warranty or out, this is NOT a warranty issue. (unless it turns out to be coolant from a water pump leak)

This thread is like an episode of Seinfeld
 
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dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
is the principle of the matter worth writing off the $ of new car depreciation? Selling it isn't going to hurt VW, heck if you buy an R it will be 2x profit to them. IDK your financials but even mine that are decent I would swallow pride and try to fix it rather than loose the $. Or do you really just want a different model car?

not trying to insult
That's not insulting at all; this is a financial quagmire, in a way, and I was indeed considering moving to a different model.

I can't drive the car. It's too irritating, given my current and foreseeable future conditions. I can't personally trace that smell or detail it away. Either way I'm paying someone if it's not a production issue, but there's another factor: With how fast an innocent request turned into nonsense, I'm hesitant to own a VW in this area at this time. If they hadn't just fired all those assumptions at me, and then denied to give me a transcript or copy of the lunacy that was the phone conversation... Whatever. Good days and bad days; but man, when I say I encountered a total lack of logic, I mean it.

According to the person on the phone, that's the only person I will ever be able to contact within VW, because she handles that dealership and the region; the same person that believes a problem that hasn't been investigated is certainly not a production issue... Okaaaay... At this time, I have not said that it was; only that it's impossible to know. This is also the same person that said "I handle all (insert dealer owner's name here) problems."

I was already thinking about trading up to an R before this happened, so I thought... Well, I'm going to take a hit anyway, so why not investigate the possibility? Now I'm a bit gun shy in regard to VW here.

In the middle of typing this, the service manager just called me, and gave me yet another entirely different story. Now, their position is that they never even inspected the vehicle... 🤣

This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
 

dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
Agreed with this. It wasn't the dealers fault, the car isn't just creating the perfume smell out of nowhere, and it's not an issue with other peoples car. Dealer is not responsible to fix this issue so you shouldn't be upset at them for not bending to your will to fix it. It's not worth their time and they certainly won't miss you as a customer. They'll likely be happy to be rid of you based on the things you've said about how you've been acting in this thread. Inside of warranty or out, this is NOT a warranty issue. (unless it turns out to be coolant from a water pump leak)
I did NOT say it was a warranty issue to that dealership. Don't cookie-cut the details. They didn't build the car, they didn't sell the car, they probably don't even have to service the car if they don't want to. That's fine.

I've now received several different stories from them in relation to a simple request to find the source of an odor. That's all. Read the posts, man. They got their hackles up after I called VW, which is precisely what they told me to do, and VW specifically did state that other GTIs had experienced sudden, strange smells. So, according to VW, other cars DO have a similar issue. Does that mean mine is broken? No, of course not.

It means it needs to be investigated. What I'm dealing with here is an inspection that:

A: Happened
B: Partially happened
C: Didn't happen at all

Literally all of the above. I've no idea why the story keeps changing over something so simple and stupid. Car smells, find out why, and I'll fix if I have to.

The only reason there are so many posts is because I have to keep replying to correct people like this. All I wanted was to find out where the hell that smell was coming from, and if I have to pay to fix it, so be it; but with the repeated verification (and since denial) of the fact that no foreign object or substance was found... Look, that leaves the car itself; or perhaps something stuck inside it deeper.

Pay attention when you're reading. I've written it in several ways already. Don't be deliberately obtuse.

This stuff is ticking over entirely without my input. They just keep running things up and down the flagpole on their own for some unfathomable reason, at this point. I've already told them I'll be picking it up later today, and we had yet another pleasant conversation. I don't think the techs are at fault for this. It seems like they're on some manner of leash that's causing them to behave differently than they otherwise would.

I haven't named the dealership, and I don't intend to. I do not have enough information to know where communications broke down; but everyone I've spoken with seemed reasonable except that one lady from VW.

Edit: All this and I still don't know where the smell is coming from. That was the request, and we're here before we got there.
 
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imthanick_a

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Ohio
I am reading what you're saying, and you stressed in your posts "if the car is in warranty, get the dealer to fix it". It costs them money to look into this. It's not anything warranty related at all so why should they put any time into investigating it?
 

dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
I am reading what you're saying, and you keep stressing "if the car is in warranty, get the dealer to fix it". It costs them money to look into this. It's not anything warranty related at all so why should they put any time into investigating it?
It costs me money to look into this unless they can't find an external cause. They don't have to pay a dime unless it's a defect that caused it, in which case I'd assume VW would pay them back.

I never demanded any manner of service for free. I even asked how much I owed them when the guy stepped out to verify the smell was present. I'm not an asshole.

Even at this point, I believe something is just stuck in the engine bay. I'd never expect VW or anyone else to pay for that; perhaps insurance, as I'm covered to that degree; but it's not likely something I'd bother them over beyond notifying them that it's an issue to avoid devaluation upon resale.

This is what's killing me about the affair. I'm not trying to get VW to dig into this car and make a smell go away for free. I'm trying to get the smell found, to determine what needs to be done about it.

They can't even get their story straight on whether or not it ever made it on a lift, at this point.

What fired me up was my treatment by Volkswagen, who'd I'd never have called if I hadn't been told to. What did they have to do with it, anyway?
 

dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
You've also got to remember that you're reading posts from someone that's just as confused as you are, here; and frustrated, as a result.

I can assure you that this makes less sense to me than it does to anyone here. That's why it's so frustrating.
 

Inka Orange

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
CT, USA
Ride
2019 GTI Rabbit 6MT
Sorry for your situation - it must really suck to have that happen. Sounds like it could take a fishing expedition to get to the cause. Any time spent needs to be billed. If they're now claiming they haven't looked into it, now's your chance to get it somewhere else...indie shop, auto detailer, or someplace nearby with a decent reputation. I'd be thinking every hour is gonna be about $100.
 

ElectricEye

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Central NJ
All smells dissipate in time, don't they?
Any piece of plastic stuck on something, melting and giving off a scent will go away.
Heck, even if you stuck an air freshener into an intake - the smell will go away.
 

sterkrazzy

Drag Racing Champion
Location
United States
Ride
2018 R
It's a hard one to deal with. I know OP has said he's asked the dealer things like how much do I owe you, but I wonder if they're really aware that he's prepared to pay for all of their time (if he is). I feel like my service manager wouldn't want to have a tech hunting down a ghost smell when it's something that could involve a ton of work and they might not even find anything. What happens after they've looked for 10 hours and still can't find anything? You're willing to pay for that? I'm sure they don't expect you would, and they could have a tech working on other jobs they can actually complete and know they'll be paid for. This might be part of the issue...I'm just trying to think of it from a dealer perspective, but some of the things you've said about the dealer lying don't really add up and it would turn me off from them too. Have you gotten in your car and smelled it in the last couple days to see if it is gone though?

From what OP has said just seems like there should be a way to figure this out, but I also think there might be some miscommunication or the dealer has low expectations maybe because of miscommunication.

Nobody really wants to deal with anything like this. We had a guy buy a boat from us a few weeks ago and they declined on the sea trial, just paid for it and told us to get it ready for delivery. Then once they got it they complained about everything they could and we knew there was nothing we could do to make this guy happy. The boat didn't get registered before they started their complaints so we ended up giving their money back and taking the boat back. The way they talked about it made it sound like they were having really bad issues and we even sent a tech to their house so they could go for a ride and show him what's going on. The tech came back saying there was nothing wrong. When we went to pick the boat back up my dad went with them so he could see what was going on himself. That actually kinda freaked out the customer, like we were out to disprove them but really we just wanted to make sure there weren't any issues so we don't have any problems the next time we sell it. Also my dad ended up coming back saying the boat behaves exactly like you would expect it to. They still got their money back but it was a pretty unique situation where that option was actually available. If the boat would have been registered our only option would have been to consign it for them at their loss because there was literally no way we could fix any of the problems they were having and we were never going to be able to make them happy.
 

dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
From what OP has said just seems like there should be a way to figure this out, but I also think there might be some miscommunication or the dealer has low expectations maybe because of miscommunication.
It's got to be a miscommunication. I see no benefit for the dealership digging their heels in when they've acknowledged everything I've been on about even today. They'd just be turning down money for no good reason, so someone either didn't listen properly or didn't communicate properly. It doesn't make a lick of sense, otherwise; but it seems VW planted their flag permanently with the first report they got, which simply must have been misinterpreted.

I've spent quite some time today with the service manager on the phone, and he's searching around trying to help again (his discretion) in the meantime before I pick it up. He's written up the order so I have it if it comes back again; but he's now of the opinion that it may well indeed be the car. There's just no sense digging into it at this time. He swears up and down the smell is entirely gone. We'll see when I pick it up. With totally denied authorization for any repair, factory or not, there's nothing they can do either way.

So, he's prepped me for lemon law stuff just in case. If it came out of nowhere once, it could again. Seems things may have changed over there, after all. I get no suspicious feeling from the dealer, and I've been looking for it at this point; trying to find the broken link in the chain. VW placed it on them, but I don't think this nonsense is their fault at all. I'll be doing what I'm supposed to do again, and just seeing if it comes back. If it's there when I show up, I'll just trade it for a different car and take the hit. I can believe it may have dissipated enough at this point that some wouldn't notice it.

It may well be that I end up taking it upon myself to improve their reputation around here. If they're telling the truth, they've gone out of their way to help, and VW just screwed them. I will absolutely eat my words if I don't detect any lies personally. I'm not above that at all; I want good people to get good reviews, and to have good reputations. I'm thinking the local hatred of this place may be out of date.

Now, as for Volkswagen...

I ain't done with them. Not by a million miles. You don't get to collect information and then deny the recorded party access to that information; and even if you could, "person on phone number one" doesn't make that decision. If you collect information or record conversation, and if it's not indicated that no access will be provided, you absolutely MUST provide that information upon request. Even Google and credit companies bow to that regulation. I'm not going away without a transcript or recording; and if they've overwritten it by the time of it's intended provision, both barrels of paperwork open up.

I follow the letter of every document in which I find myself involved. I expect others to, as well. I'll be getting that damned transcript or recording. Period. Volkswagen doesn't have a choice in the matter. Uncle Sam will take care of this for me. That's what he's there for, and he generally does what he's supposed to if you ask properly.

Edit: When I do get that information, I'll post it. You can see what the hell I was dealing with in regard to that woman.
 
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dosjockey

Go Kart Newbie
Location
South
Straight up Karen level shit in here.
I don't know who that is, but I can imagine what you suggest. Every forum has one. 🤣

What this seems to be coming down to is that the VW representative threw those guys under the bus, and in the process filled me with conflicting, confusing, incorrect information; and was perfectly happy to leave them with the hot potato and on the hook for lies I don't believe they told, at this point.
 
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