Your vehicle’s air conditioner is supposed to keep you comfortable on demand. But a local driver said his car rides were getting warmer than usual. And he said the automaker refused to help until NBC 5 Responds got involved.
Larry Necheles spends a lot of time behind the wheel of his 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. Necheles is an attorney who said he drives from his home in Pontiac to courts across the Chicago area at least three days a week.
“I put about 35,000 miles a year on the car,” Necheles said.
But Necheles said he did not expect his car’s A/C to have problems so soon.
“It did not work at stoplights or at stop signs or when my foot was off the gas pedal,” Necheles said.
Necheles said his Jetta’s air conditioner only blasted cold air at highway speeds.
He said he took his car to two VW dealers three times and that one of the quotes to replace the air conditioner compressor was close to $1000.
However, Necheles said one of the mechanics suggested he may not be the only one experiencing the problem.
“He told me that he has been replacing compressors on Jettas on a regular basis,” Necheles recalled.
A Volkswagen spokesperson said there has been no recall or service campaign for 2013 Jetta air compressors.
According to Necheles, he contacted Volkswagen corporate and offered a compromise. He said if VW supplied the part, he would pay the labor.
“They told me that they weren’t going to do anything for me, that the car had too many miles on it and that it was out of warranty,” Necheles said.
NBC 5 Responds asked VW what Necheles’ options would be. We also asked what the options would be for other consumers who bought used Jetta’s experiencing the same issue.
That’s when VW agreed to replace Necheles’ air conditioner compressor at no charge, which they said has a value of about $800. The automaker said the retail cost might have been a couple hundred dollars more.
“Despite the vehicle having significantly higher mileage than average, we’ve extended goodwill to Mr. Necheles to cover the full cost of the AC compressor replacement,” a spokesperson wrote to NBC 5 Responds.
The repair means Necheles could drive in cool comfort, just in time for the warmer months.
“I get my new air conditioning compressor and I can see the breath in the air conditioning vents now,” Necheles said. “You guys fixed it for me.”
An automotive expert at Kelley Blue Book told NBC 5 Responds A/C compressors are designed to last the life of the vehicle. He said broken compressors could be leaking Freon or other lubricants. He urges consumers experiencing similar issues with newer cars to be honest with their car dealers and if need be, work their way up the corporate chain to try to get the item replaced.