Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Golf sports?
VW had largely sorted out the most expensive of its DSG automatic gearbox problems before this generation of Golf was launched, but there are still some early cars with which problems have been reported, so make sure the gearbox changes smoothly and there are no signs of temperamental behaviour.
Timing chains fitted to petrol engines have been known to snap prematurely; this can cause significant engine damage but can be mitigated by having the car serviced on time. This means a full service history is critical.
Some examples may have an issue with either the air bags, seat belt tensioners, or both. Due to an error in the manufacturing process, these may not trigger correctly in a collision, affecting passenger safety. Affected cars will need to have all faulty air bags and seat belt tensioners replaced.
A tooling issue at the factory meant that some examples were fitted with engine cylinder heads that were not produced to the correct specification. This then lead to an issue with the fuel rail loosening over time and allowing fuel to leak, with the potential for an engine fire.
Front wheel bearing housing
The front wheel bearing housing on a small number of Golfs might not have been manufactured correctly and could potentially fracture. Your Volkswagen dealer should be able to check the casting date to find out if your car is affected and let you know whether replacements are required.
Incorrect front brake discs fitted
Some Golfs might have been fitted with front brake discs that are not of the correct thickness, which could crack under extreme circumstances. Contact your local Volkswagen dealer to check if your car is affected by this recall and needs to have replacement discs fitted.
Insecure head restraint
There has been an issue reported with the front head restraints of a limited number of Golfs where a burr created during the manufacturing process could prevent the locking mechanism from working correctly. Your Volkswagen dealer should be able to let you know if your car is affected.
Rear hub carrier
On certain Golfs there was an issue with the rear hub carrier not being manufactured to the correct standard, so in extreme circumstances, the car could lose a rear wheel. A recall was issued to replace the carriers on affected cars.