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I just bought a 2019 Golf Alltrack and really love it. However, I'm worried about the actual durability of the vehicle. I was driving down the highway when I heard a thump and started to smell gas. I pulled over to finding fuel pouring out of a puncture in the gas tank. This car was 2 weeks old and I could not find any evidence as to what had caused the hole, nothing on the road and I never saw anything. I'm guessing it was small rock or something to that effect. It is a plastic gas tank which apparently is common on most vehicles now, but there is absolutely not protection around the tank from the road.

1. Does anybody know if there is supposed to be an extension of the splash guard underneath the car to protect the tank? It appears that the splash that comes half way down the car is has an interlocking end to it that looks like it should connect to another piece that would travel further back. I checked another Alltrack at the dealer lot and it doesn't have one either. The Tiguan however, does have the extra piece that extends to cover the front of the gas tank. Is this missing on the Alltrack?

2. I tried contacting VW directly about replacing this tank under warranty, and they just said the same thing as the dealer did, that it was not a manufacturing problem and to contact my insurance. Has anyone had any luck getting VW to do the right thing under warranty before, even though it is not a manufacturing issue?

How can a car marketed as an advenure/off road type car have a completely exposed plastic gas tank? I understand that things happen and this may just be a 1 in a million fluke, but I just can't believe that something small on the highway could puncture a hole in the tank that easily. There are not other scrapes or dents anywhere else on the undercarriage, just a quarter sized dent and rip on the front side of the gas tank.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 

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Most states have a commerce/commercial code that is modeled on the UCC. Part of the UCC is that things sold must do what the manufacturer/seller claims it will do. Ie, things must function as expected, irrespective of "warranty". You can research the details -- that is just an executive summary of the executive summary. (Look for things like fitness for merchantability and things like that, IIRC).

Anyway, research the details and then go back to VW and say that it is their problem since the gas tank did not function according to the claims. THEY made the gas tank of plastic and put it underneath the car without protection where NORMAL USE can be expected to encounter things like small rocks and road debris. Since this is how they manufactured it, and since it cannot handle the NORMAL USE case, it falls afoul of the UCC (or your states implementation of the UCC). Ergo, it is their responsibility to fix it. If they refuse, get a quote on how much it will cost to fix it, and then go to your local city/county courthouse that handles small claims. I would assume the repair costs would be under the small claims limit for your area -- most states are pretty generous with these limits. File a claim based on your state's version of the UCC, stating that the car was not fit for the purpose it was sold, and use the value of the repair quote for the amount requested (plus any and all filing costs). VW will most likely just call and settle with you before it goes to court as they won't want the expense and hassle of sending a lawyer to YOUR local court house. If they do show up, just explain the facts and reference the state commercial code law. Explain that driving the car on a normal public road is normal use and normal incidental road hazards that everyone will encounter should not disable a properly designed car.

Before you get to small claims court, explain these facts to VW, referencing the commercial code, and explain to them you will need to follow this to its logical conclusion. Don't mention the word "court" or "lawyer" to VW as they will clam up at the first mention of those words. But make sure they understand that they are legally on the hook. That no normal car should be disabled by normal driving on a public road under normal conditions.
 
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