‘Why can’t Volkswagen fix my ID.3 electric car?’

Alex Robbins is contributing editor at Telegraph Cars where, as well as responding to readers’ queries, he also contributes reviews of new and used cars, together with articles on buying and selling.

His knowledge of the used car market informs his many buying guides relating to the best buys in particular sectors, with an emphasis on value for money. Every week he will answer your questions on buying and selling, as well as solving your car problems, whether consumer or mechanical.

Do you have a motoring dilemma you’d like our expert to solve? For consumer and used car advice, or car faults, email CarsAdvice@telegraph.co.uk and include your subscriber number. This week’s question…


Dear Alex,

My Volkswagen dealer has had my 11-month-old ID.3 for five weeks. They say that a driveshaft is broken but the replacement part is “unorderable” from VW in Germany and they are waiting on VW to advise them on how to fix it under warranty. I don’t want to drive around in a budged repair. In the meantime I am paying a lot of finance money to drive a Polo courtesy car, so am I entitled to a replacement ID.3, or a refund?

– PH

Dear PH,

I would imagine your dealership can’t order the part because of the supply chain crisis in the automotive industry. You’ll probably find the factory that produces the driveshafts is at capacity supplying every one it can make to the factory, to produce new ID.3s, which is why it’s on back-order.

Unfortunately, this is not a problem that’s restricted to the ID.3, or even Volkswagen. Each week I hear from some poor soul whose car is stuck in a garage awaiting parts that are unavailable, and I’m sorry to say that there’s no easy solution – if the dealership can’t get hold of the parts because the manufacturer can’ t make enough of them, there’s not much they can do.

In fact, it sounds to me as though they’re trying their best – firstly seeking an alternative repair solution from VW, which I’d imagine will be better than a bodge, because it wouldn’t be in VW’s best interests to have you come back demanding a new driveshaft if it breaks. The dealer is also keeping you in a courtesy car, which it isn’t obliged to. So I’d cut them a bit of slack.

I’d suggest instead speaking to Volkswagen Customer Service directly, to see whether they can move things along at all. This might have the effect of speeding up the response from VW’s technical arm with regard to a fix. And if it doesn’t, you might be able to persuade them to buy back the car from you and supply a replacement.

VW isn’t obliged to do this, but I have heard of some other manufacturers opting to keep customers happy in this way, given the scale of the crisis and the lead times they’re experiencing. If your car is going to be out of action for the foreseeable, VW might agree to take it back and supply you with an alternative.


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