After China, Volkswagen’s DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox comes under the scanner in Europe?
The technology packed dual clutch DSG automatic gearbox, that is a regular in a range of Volkswagen group cars, seems to be facing the flak yet again, and this time the trouble seems to be emanating from Europe. Owners of Volkswagen cars like the Polo, Golf and Scirocco are said to be reporting issues with their cars’ DSG automatic gearboxes. In France, owners of other Volkswagen group car brands like Audi, Seat and Skoda are also said to be reporting issues relating to DSG automatic gearboxes on their cars. These latest reports cast a doubt on the long time reliability and longevity of the DSG automatic gearbox.
In simple terms, the DSG gearbox is an automatic gearbox with two sets of clutch plates. In the DSG gearbox, one set of clutch plates shift the odd gears while the even gears are shifted by the other clutch plate, thus reducing gear time changes and offering a higher level of performance than conventional single clutch automatic gearboxes. The entire activity of shifting gears is accomplished by a complex mechatronics software that functions as the brain of this gearbox. Also, gearboxes are said to be lighter than conventional automatics and more fuel efficient too. The DSG gearbox is used across a range of Volkswagen group car brands.
The gearbox has come under scrutiny, especially in the Chinese market, where the German automaker went ahead to even issue an apology to car owners who experienced issues on the DSG automatic gearboxes, which range from electronic glitches to mechanical failures. In China, Volkswagen has even increased the warranty on the DSG gearboxes to 10 years and 160,000 kilometers. Coming to the Indian market, there are a plethora of cars running DSG gearboxes, and Skoda is one car maker whose cars in India have been bearing the brunt of DSG failures.
In fact, we did highlight this issue in our previous story, where we questioned VW India and Skoda on whether the same 10 year, 160,000 Km warranty should be offered to Indian car owners driving VW group cars with DSG gearboxes as well. Now that the murmurs around the DSG gearbox’s various niggles have been gathering steam in Europe as well, it may well be a premonition before a global recall/warranty increase of the DSG gearbox, if Volkswagen acknowledges a possible issue with the automatic transmission unit, which has been a big hit amongst VW group car buyers. Watch this space.