Volkswagen Recalls 2007-10 DSG Transmission
For those who are not in the know because they have recently just purchased a VW or Audi with the new DSG transmission, whether used or not, there have been many consumer complaints about these transmissions. It seems it really is just bad luck, as some owners have zero issues even up to 200,000 miles, while others spend $4000 for replacements at less than 85000 miles. Many suffer from loose flywheels, which cause rattling which grows worse and worse until the car suffers from excessive vibration. It seems many of the cars are in the 2007-10 range, while the 2005-06 suffer less.
On August 20th, 2009, VWoA issued a voluntary Safety Recall on 16,000 '09-'10 VW and Audi DSG cars because of a defective DSG temperature sensor. This small sensor is located toward the front of the car and can be accessed fairly easily. If the sensor does fail, it will do so without much warning. You will be driving along when suddenly the LED on the dash for the gears flash. The car will revert into a neutral gear to protect the tranny. While it may protect that, you could lose control and be in an accident. It is wise to have a mechanic check for any fault codes or see if the sensor is within temp range spec, as if the sensor is out of range, it is failing.
Then, a week later, VW recalled 53,300 VW and Audi DSG equipped cars. While faulty temp sensors are an issue, far worse were malfunctioning DSG cars whose temperature sensors were fine but the Mechatronic Units (computer for tranny) were malfunctioning causing: warped clutch packs and/or bent clutch forks, chaotic shifting patterns, severe clutch slippage, jerking forward and in reverse at a light, surging forward from a complete stop even with little throttle, clunking sounds during shifting, rattling in idle. The symptoms vary depending on which component(s) fail. These units cost $4000 to replace. Some can be reprogrammed. If the flywheel becomes too lose, it can destroy the tranny. Replacing the Flywheel costs around $1200.
The recall does not include 2005-7 models, which seem to suffer far less with the same issues because VW made changes to the DSG for the 09+models, which I guess they should not have done!
The best advice is to ask your mechanic to confirm the brake and DSG temperature sensor and others related to its operation are working and within temp spec. This should be easily done. Once these go bad, the mechatronic unit will begin to instruct the gears to shift irregularly based on the bad data from the bad sensors. This in turn will damage or destroy the transmission. If the mechatronic is doing this, stop using the car and have it tested for compliance.
A good time to have this checked is every 40,000 miles when the tranny oil is changed. Insist on the tests.