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VW Rust Warranty – What Does It Cover and Exclude?

siegen, North Rhine-Westphalia/germany - 29 07 19: vw car sign in siegen germany

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Corrosion protection is an important factor in car ownership no matter if your car is brand new or several years old, but newer cars are covered by a rust warranty. The Volkswagen rust warranty covers corrosion of certain underbody panels. Find out everything you need to know about the VW rust warranty, including what it covers and excludes.

What Is the Volkswagen Rust Warranty?

Volkswagen offers a rust and corrosion warranty to its customers. This warranty initially covered 2012 and newer vehicles for up to 12 years. However, as of 2018, Volkswagen reduced corrosion coverage to seven years. Volkswagen drivers can find more information about the rust and corrosion warranty in their Owner’s Manual.

Details of the Volkswagen Rust Warranty

Your VW rust warranty begins on the date you buy the vehicle or the date that it’s delivered to you. Volkswagen will cover all related costs if you’re eligible for the rust warranty. However, while this includes the cost of painting the repaired paneling, it does not include the cost of a full vehicle paint job. Volkswagen claims they’ll do their best to match your vehicle’s color, but it’s not always possible.

Volkswagen rust warranties are transferable. The warranty automatically transfers without cost as long as it’s still active. You must go to a Volkswagen dealership if you require service for a rust or corrosion issue covered by the Volkswagen warranty. You don’t have to go to the same Volkswagen dealership where you bought your vehicle, but Volkswagen requires that all work be completed at a licensed Volkswagen dealership.

Volkswagen Rust Warranty Exclusions

The Volkswagen rust warranty excludes certain conditions. Additionally, some situations may void your Volkswagen rust warranty, including:

  • Vehicles with a salvaged title, including dismantled, fire or flood damaged, junked, rebuilt motor, reconstructed motor, insurance total loss, or substantially reassembled vehicle.
  • The use of aftermarket parts.
  • Repairs that include non-authentic Volkswagen parts.
  • Repairs or rust removal performed by a non-authorized Volkswagen repair shop.
  • Surface corrosion without perforation.
  • Failure to remove and repair surface corrosion.
  • Environmental causes include airborne pollutants, bird droppings, floor water, or stones.
  • Failure to rust-proof after collision damage repairs.

It’s also important to note that the Volkswagen corrosion warranty does not cover any surface rust or corrosion. The rust must affect the inner sheet metal panels or the panels rusted from the inside out to qualify for repairs under the VW rust warranty. Volkswagen warranty holders must notify a VW shop of the rust or corrosion damages as soon as possible.

Failing to notify Volkswagen of the corrosion as soon as possible and schedule repairs may void the rust warranty. Volkswagen also expects drivers to keep up with preventative maintenance and repairs to keep their vehicles in good working condition. Failing to keep up with regular car washes or waxing, which can help prevent rust and corrosion, can void your rust warranty. If your vehicle requires any repairs following a collision, repairs must include the reapplication of rust preventatives.

What Causes Rust and Corrosion?

It can be helpful to review what causes rust and corrosion in the first place. Volkswagen has extensively tested its vehicles to find out what leads to rust and corrosion. Referred to as the “12 Years in Fast Forward Mode,” Volkswagen engineers simulated the vehicle aging process to instill corrosion protection measures into each of its vehicles. In this Dynamic Corrosion testing process, Volkswagen found that even the best-made vehicles are still subject to corrosion.

Rust and corrosion come from many sources, including:

  • Air humidity
  • Salt
  • Vehicle damage
  • Mud
  • Cold temperatures
  • Frost
  • Spray water
  • Dust
  • Stone chipping

This means that regardless of where you live, you’re likely exposed to some elements that can lead to rust and corrosion. Volkswagen aims to protect each vehicle with corrosion-resistant materials and coating, but they recognize that corrosion is still possible in extreme conditions.

Volkswagen Not Honoring Your Rust Warranty?

Many customers have reported that Volkswagen wouldn’t honor their rust warranty, even though they met all the requirements for eligibility. Some customers in Canada have even gone so far as to take Volkswagen to court for denying their warranty claim.

The Volkswagen warranty offers good coverage that’s not always available with larger manufacturers. However, you may have to follow strict requirements to keep your warranty eligible. This includes keeping up with routine maintenance and notifying Volkswagen of any rust as soon as possible. Some customers have also reported that Volkswagen may deny your claim if you receive repairs, including windshield replacements, at shops outside of the Volkswagen network.

Using your local Volkswagen dealership for each repair may be one way to protect your warranty. Keeping up with routine car washes and detailed records of your service appointments can also help you maintain the eligibility of your rust warranty.

How to Avoid Rust and Corrosion of Your Volkswagen Vehicle

Avoiding rust is one of the best ways to prevent corrosion of your Volkswagen vehicle. You can avoid rust with the following tips:

  • Wash your car regularly. Regular car washes help get rid of some of the elements that lead to rust and corrosion.
  • Wax your car regularly. Waxing your car adds a protective layer that can help prevent rust.
  • Rinse your car often during the winter months. Salt used on the roads during the winter months can lead to rust. Rinse your car frequently in the winter, paying special attention to the underbody.
  • Remove surface rust as soon as possible. Removing surface rust from your vehicle can prevent it from worsening and corroding your vehicle’s parts.
  • Park your vehicle in the garage. Parking your Volkswagen in a garage or under a carport can also help protect it from the elements that may lead to rust.

Routine maintenance and preventative care can prevent your car from rusting. Rust forms from oxidation, which is when iron interacts with water and moisture. Limiting the moisture your car is exposed to can reduce rust.

Keeping track of your maintenance and repair needs for your Volkswagen vehicle has never been easier than with the FIXD sensor. The FIXD Sensor and free app can read all standardized OBD2 codes on most gas-powered vehicles built since 1996. However, Enhanced Codes such as ABS, airbag, transmission, traction control, and TPMS are NOT supported.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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