SINGAPORE - Volkswagen is the German term for "people's car" - but in Singapore, the brand is getting some people in a twist.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said it tops the list for complaints about new cars here, with one in three such gripes aimed at the manufacturer.
Twelve out of 36 complaints between 2012 and last month have been about Volkswagen. Most were related to faulty transmissions.
Case executive director Seah Seng Choon said the association has written to Volkswagen Singapore "expressing our concern in view of the increasing number of complaints about defective parts".
Mr Seah noted that VW complaints have crept up from one in 2012 to eight last year and three in the first four months of this year, with the defects usually appearing less than a year after delivery. "Some consumers even reported defects within a week," he said.
Volkswagen Singapore spokesman Colin Yong said seven out of the 12 complaints had to do with the cars' dual-clutch transmission, called DSG.
"These DSG-related issues were solved by our recall last year and there have been no repeat complaints," he said. "There may have been some customers who experienced issues between the announcement of the recall and the time their cars were actually recalled."
Mr Yong acknowledged that the company has faced "challenges... in after-sales and customer care, especially from 2010 to the beginning of 2013".
"Customers did not get responses to their complaints as quickly or completely as they deserved to," he admitted, but added that the firm "managed to turn this situation around last year".
Businessman Khoo Jun Hong, 37, bought a VW Jetta in 2012. It soon began vibrating violently whenever it moved off from standstill. "It was so bad that the dashboard shook," he said.
He said it took "four to five" visits to the workshop and more than eight weeks for VW to fix the flaw, which was traced to a faulty gearbox.