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VW - Front Assist issues while towing


PLD967
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Hello, I have a brand new VW Touareg we got the car in March and it has the full VW towing package. It has been a great car. We got our Caravan (Buccaneer Clipper) in July. On every occasion that we have towed the van after about 1 1/2 hours of towing the front assist system (front assist, lane assist, adaptive cruise control) stops working. On the most recent occasions we were actually stationary at the time. The car has been to the dealer once and had the system re calibrated. But as soon as we towed again the fault re occurred. It is booked in for next week. I was wondering as the system appears to be common in most modern VWs has anyone had the same issue?

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We have a VW Passat with the front assist system although I suspect it is more basic than yours (ours is distance cruise control and it warns you if it thinks you will hit something but being a manual drops down to only 30km/h) - no issues with it when towing, did 7 hours with only a stop for fuel in France last year and a couple of 2-hour stints this year and it all works fine.

 

Not related but it does get confused by snow as my sensor is under the VW badge which doesn’t clear!

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22 minutes ago, PLD967 said:

Hello, I have a brand new VW Touareg we got the car in March and it has the full VW towing package. It has been a great car. We got our Caravan (Buccaneer Clipper) in July. On every occasion that we have towed the van after about 1 1/2 hours of towing the front assist system (front assist, lane assist, adaptive cruise control) stops working. On the most recent occasions we were actually stationary at the time. The car has been to the dealer once and had the system re calibrated. But as soon as we towed again the fault re occurred. It is booked in for next week. I was wondering as the system appears to be common in most modern VWs has anyone had the same issue?

I have a 2018 Tiguan 2.0 diesel.

I imagine that the system will be similar to yours.

I presume the caravan's atc is working normally.

When the caravan is plugged into the car it changes the proportional braking on the ACC to allow for the extra load.

To date I have had no problems and all systems work as expected.

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Snow dirt and rain can cause the acc sensor to malfunction, that's the sensor behind the badge.

Lane assist uses a separate sensor a camera I believe.

Front assist sensitivity can be adjust under settings, I assume that's the auto braking system.

 

Seems odd that it fails after 1.5 hours, I would expect the garage will struggle to sort that issue for you but report back if they do I would be interested myself as I have a Tiguan.

 

I've assumed the towrag  has the same systems but have no personal experience of one so could be wrong.

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Front assist sensitivity can be changed without going into settings. If ACC is active just pressing the left OK button on the steering wheel will change/cycle through it.

For those that haven't found it yet, the rocker around the left OK button changes cruise speed in steps of 5mph; pressing the res and set buttons WITH NO FEET ON THE PEDALS changes it by 1mph.

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Mine is a Skoda but has the same or similar system and it is plain that it is flaky to say the least. Both me and my friend with the same car have had issues needing the system to be re-calibrated. Following my re-calibration, within a couple of weeks the system suddenly stopped working while towing on the autobahn in Germany, then two days later, it suddenly sprang back into life while towing on a Belgian motorway. I reported this to my dealer who basically just shrugged their shoulders.  It has been fine since, but if it stops again, the re-calibration fee is £450 as Skoda dealers apparently refuse to accept this as a warranty issue despite this being a safety-critical item. I am hoping that as this feature becomes more common, that there will be independent firms who can perform the re-calibration for a much-reduced fee. Other than that, I have had no issues while towing and the after-market towbar fitting used the appropriate Skoda wiring harness, so recognises when the caravan is attached.

John M

 

2017 Skoda Superb Estate 2. 0 Tdi 190; 2014 Swift Challenger 530SE + Powrtouch Evolution

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One other point I forgot to mention is that the ACC won't work if the caravan brake lights are defective in any way.

Is there a slack connection in the plug or socket?

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On 22/08/2019 at 11:21, FrankBullet said:

We have a VW Passat with the front assist system although I suspect it is more basic than yours (ours is distance cruise control and it warns you if it thinks you will hit something but being a manual drops down to only 30km/h) - no issues with it when towing, did 7 hours with only a stop for fuel in France last year and a couple of 2-hour stints this year and it all works fine.

 

Not related but it does get confused by snow as my sensor is under the VW badge which doesn’t clear!

 

A leaf can effect the system if it get stuck over the front sensor .

 

 

Dave

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I think I have solved the issue - I am a little embarrassed about this but I am putting it on here should others have similar problems. I was lucky enough over the last couple of days to be working with a colleague who had a friend who is a VW master tech in North America. His view was that the system has a failsafe that will trigger under certain circumstances, if it believes the system is not working properly. His view was that it was something to do with the tracking of the caravan and it was unlikely that the dealer would be able to fix the issues. 

Due to a combination of reasons on our first two trips I had not been able to effectively measure the nose weight on the caravan. Having taken it to a weighbridge to find the over all weight was ok and the fact that we carry very little over what the van came with I had assumed (makes and ass out of u and me) that it would be ok.

Yesterday, now that the system has come back and is working again I went to the storage yard - got the caravan on a reasonably flat location and was shocked to find a nose weight of 179kg. The max for the VW is 140 (buccaneer 150). I rebalanced the caravan - I was amazed (I am new to caravanning) that even things like the mains cable moved from front to rear make such a difference. 

I got the nose weight down to 130-135kg, the gauge I have is electronic and has a screw thread allowing you to measure the weight at various heights.

I then hooked up and towed for over two hours no issues. Used the ACC. Turned it off and on. Various traffic conditions. On my return the system was still fully functional. 

I am as sure as I can be that this has resolved the issue. The likelihood being that the excess nose weight was pulling the rear of the vehicle down too much and causing the front assist system to failsafe.  I shall be much more aware of the nose weight in the future. At this point I have cancelled the booking at the dealer.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this and reply.

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If the rear of the car was being pulled down it is likely the front of the car was being lifted effecting the angles on the sensors seeing the road and vehicles ?

 

Moving 10kg from the front to the rear will have a 20kg reduction on nose weight but be careful putting to much to the rear when back loading or you can get tail wag .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave
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2 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

If the rear of the car was being pulled down it is likely the front of the car was being lifted effecting the angles on the sensors seeing the road and vehicles ?

 

Moving 10kg from the front to the rear will have a 20kg reduction on nose weight but be careful putting to much to the rear when back loading or you can get tail wag .

 

 

Dave

 

Moving weight like that gives wet finger style something like, but it is actually quite easy to calculate the change - its all about moments.

Think of a see-saw. Empty it should balance. Put 10Kg on either end and it should still balance. Move the 10Kg from one end to half the distance to the fulcrum and it won't balance. Increase that weight to 20Kg and it will balance. So in simple terms multiply the weight times distance from the fulcrum for one side, then divide the answer by the distance on the other side and you will get the weight needed to balance. Units don't matter so long as the weight units and the distance units are the same throughout.

This measure the distance from the axle to the hitch, and the distance from the axle to the load at the front that you are going to move. Using the sum above you can easily work out the effect on the noseweight of removing the load. Then measure the distance from the axle to where the load will be relocated, do the sum and it will tell you how much more it will take off the nose.

If you are good enough at maths you can do the whole sum in one go if you make the load weight negative when it is in front of the axle and positive behind the axle.

 

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Yes CommanderDave - I think that is what was happening - the weight on the rear was putting the car at an angle the system was not designed to cope with. Was not obvious looking at the vehicle though.

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  • 2 months later...

I have an update on this. We have just returned from a 9 week trip around the country. The problem came back again every time we towed despite keeping the nose weight well below the 140kg. The vehicle has just been to the dealer and I have to say I was very impressed they took the time to listen to the issues and take note of exactly what the probem is.

They have now levelled up the suspension (it is conventional suspension but I am assuming there must be adjustments that can be made) and I can visibly see the difference - it always looked low at the back now it looks level. They have also changed some of the settings for the sensors.  There are no guarentees but I am hopeful that this has resolved the issue. If the problem reoccurs then they will look to alter the adjutments again. I am really hoping that this will resolve the issue as in every other aspect the Touareg is a fantastic vehicle.

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Its always reassuring when something is found and rectified, sounds like the issue might now be sorted.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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Hi I have a 2019 Touareg also with the factory fitted tow bar and tow assist, I get the same problem after 1 to 1&1/2 hours driving, with or without the caravan hitched up, the car has been into a VW dealer and they have referred the fault to VW technical support as they have no idea on how to resolve the issue. Four weeks now have passed and still no fix or word from VW so I complained to VW UK and basically was told they will come up with a fix but have no idea how long it is going to take.

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  • 2 months later...

SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE WITH TOUAREG
We have a 19 reg Touareg and have the same problem. Our car brakes without warning.

oyr local dealer has said there is a software problem with the camera. VW DO NOT HAVE A FIX FOR THIS.  They have admitted this.

sat nav doesn’t work

headlight assist doesn’t work 

lane assist doesn’t work

front assist doesn’t work 

boot opener doesn’t work 

It is all part of the same problem 
I understand the Tiguan has the same problem 

In December I finally managed to corner them into admitting there was a problem by telling the dealer I wanted in writing that the car was safe to drive. They refused to do this. VW then said technical in Germany had said the car shouldn’t be on the road.

Vw then put is in a hire car for the last month while our top of the range Touareg has sat on the dealership car park.

Even the dealer has said they don’t know why VW have done this as there is nothing they can do. There is no fix!

My wife is the main driver of the vehicle and now refuses to drive it

VW have now given us  14 days to accept a derisory offer or continue driving the car.

VW have , on numerous occasions, asked VW to respond in writing about the braking problem.

They have refused to do this until this evening and only after the dealer said that it braked twice without warning during their test drive.

i am trying tomorrow to see how this will affect my insurance as I’m knowingly driving my vehicle with a serious safety issue.

i will be contacting my solicitor on Monday.

VW have been nothing short of a disgrace with the matter. This has been going on for four months.

it has been worse than dealing with a back street garage.

please share this with whoever you can

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Time to reject your Touareg as not being fit for purpose. 

 

Do you have legal legal assistance with your car insurance! If so speak with them.

 

If it was me I would speaking to the motoring press by now. 

 

Andy

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm so glad I have found this thread, as there is very little mention of these issues on any VW forum.

 

I purchased a new Touareg last February, and within weeks I had it into the local dealer for issues with the camera and system failures with the front assist, lane assist and ACC. At the time I was told that VW are aware we (the dealer)  are awaiting an update, thus far nothing.

 

VW Customer service are a complete waste of time, and I am constantly battling to keep a case open as it appears they want to close any case as quickly as possible to show they have solved the issue. In comparison my previous car was one of the first new Volvo XC90's which I had loads of issues with from an engine rebuild and then a new engine to trapping the kids in the back of the car in the end enough was enough but Volvo's customer service was second to none and wrongly I expected VW to be the same when I purchased the Touareg as a replacement. Don't get me wrong I really do like the car and it is an impressive towcar, but all I want is a car I and my family can trust and feel safe in.

 

I have just had the car in at the dealership for the last few days for what I see as various issues and the hope of a fix, to be told that is normal rather than looking and saying we could of done that better, after all what does the end user know. In comparison when I raised issues with Volvo they would issue a fix and emailing it to the dealer from Sweden within hours to have it applied, and I wouldn't be asked to pick the car up until it was right.

 

Anyway the latest visit consisted of and VW response;

 

1.      Ongoing since Feb'19. Front headlights (matrix IQ) dazzling oncoming traffic and moving the beam around automatically at times directly towards oncoming traffic. The car had already been in for recalibration (taken to an Audi garage) and adjustment which made things worse. Awaiting software update.

 

2.    Smell of rubber from offside rear wheel (intermittent) Normal DPF Regen
 

3.    Stop/Start doesn't automatically deactivate when caravan attached, all previous cars have. Normal not designed to
 

4.    Brake wear (grinding noise), is there an indication. Design of VW brake pads, Normal and plenty of wear left
 

5.    Rear nearside electric window not working. Replaced window motor
 

6.    Wind noise when motorway cruising from front edge of both front doors.  Added additional strip to window seal, VW aware of issue under a Technical bulletin.
 

7.    Digital Cockpit / Instrument cluster fails to remember the "Auto" setting once ignition switched off and car locked/shutdown. It does remember the other 3 pre-sets if selected.  Normal
 

8.    Ongoing since Feb'19. Numerous system failures in relation to front assist, lane assist and ACC. VW aware awaiting a software update

 

9.   Fan running regularly after a journey, is this normal? Normal DPF Regen
 

10.  Towbar, is there or should there be an additional fan be fitted? Accessory brochure now mentions "An uprated dual fan is required, and for some vehicles it will need to be retrofitted”. The towbar was factory fitted. Uprated fan is fitted.

 

Along with this they have also mentioned an recall for a new VIN plate due in next week, i'm not sure what this will change but i've already got a photo of the existing plate incase any weights are amended.

 

Sorry to go on but I thought I was alone in all of this..

 

 

 

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It’s more than a bit worrying they keep saying waiting for a  “Software update”  isn’t it. The model has been around for a number of years now so have previous models had the same problems?? If not why have they released the vehicle with known defects that could affect the safety of others?

 

As for the dazzling headlights issue I would be inclined to write back and ask what would happen if you were prosecuted for causing “Unnecessary dazzle” with your  (clearly defective) headlights, or, even more seriously, another motorists claims they were so dazzled they couldn’t see something so were involved in a collision as a direct result. That should wake them up a bit.

 

 Might be worth writing to the motoring press asking those very  questions. VW have had a lot of bad press recently so I doubt very much they would want any more. 

 

Just a thought! 

 

If it were my (very expensive) vehicle I would be contemplating whether to reject it as not fit for purpose. You have identified the faults, they have attempted, and clearly been unable, to rectify them. 

 

Andy

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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I tow with a Treg Escape which I bought new in 2015 and has still only done 40k miles.  Nevertheless, it was at the back of my mind that time to change was coming up soon. Unfortunately, the Escape variant is no longer made - so no low ratio box, stiffened and raised suspension etc and that has been what has been putting me off changing.  The Touareg would still have been top of my list - but having read this post, it has dropped off that list altogether.  Shame, really because the Touareg is probably one of the best tow cars I have owned.

VW Touareg Escape towing a 2018 Knaus Starclass 695

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On 24/08/2019 at 08:39, PLD967 said:

The max for the VW is 140 (buccaneer 150). I rebalanced the caravan - I was amazed (I am new to caravanning) that even things like the mains cable moved from front to rear make such a difference. 

I got the nose weight down to 130-135kg, the gauge I have is electronic and has a screw thread allowing you to measure the weight at various heights.

 

Since the Buccaneer is built on an Alko chassis, I thought that the maximum load on the hitch was 100kg.  I suspect it's the same or similar chassis as that on our Knaus Starclass 695 and that's maximum load is 100kg, regardless of the fact that the Touareg is able to take up to 140kg.  I always load our van to give a nose weight of about 95kg.

VW Touareg Escape towing a 2018 Knaus Starclass 695

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5 hours ago, tramman said:

I'm so glad I have found this thread, as there is very little mention of these issues on any VW forum.

 

I purchased a new Touareg last February, and within weeks I had it into the local dealer for issues with the camera and system failures with the front assist, lane assist and ACC. At the time I was told that VW are aware we (the dealer)  are awaiting an update, thus far nothing.

 

VW Customer service are a complete waste of time, and I am constantly battling to keep a case open as it appears they want to close any case as quickly as possible to show they have solved the issue. In comparison my previous car was one of the first new Volvo XC90's which I had loads of issues with from an engine rebuild and then a new engine to trapping the kids in the back of the car in the end enough was enough but Volvo's customer service was second to none and wrongly I expected VW to be the same when I purchased the Touareg as a replacement. Don't get me wrong I really do like the car and it is an impressive towcar, but all I want is a car I and my family can trust and feel safe in.

 

I have just had the car in at the dealership for the last few days for what I see as various issues and the hope of a fix, to be told that is normal rather than looking and saying we could of done that better, after all what does the end user know. In comparison when I raised issues with Volvo they would issue a fix and emailing it to the dealer from Sweden within hours to have it applied, and I wouldn't be asked to pick the car up until it was right.

 

Anyway the latest visit consisted of and VW response;

 

1.      Ongoing since Feb'19. Front headlights (matrix IQ) dazzling oncoming traffic and moving the beam around automatically at times directly towards oncoming traffic. The car had already been in for recalibration (taken to an Audi garage) and adjustment which made things worse. Awaiting software update.

 

2.    Smell of rubber from offside rear wheel (intermittent) Normal DPF Regen
 

3.    Stop/Start doesn't automatically deactivate when caravan attached, all previous cars have. Normal not designed to
 

4.    Brake wear (grinding noise), is there an indication. Design of VW brake pads, Normal and plenty of wear left
 

5.    Rear nearside electric window not working. Replaced window motor
 

6.    Wind noise when motorway cruising from front edge of both front doors.  Added additional strip to window seal, VW aware of issue under a Technical bulletin.
 

7.    Digital Cockpit / Instrument cluster fails to remember the "Auto" setting once ignition switched off and car locked/shutdown. It does remember the other 3 pre-sets if selected.  Normal
 

8.    Ongoing since Feb'19. Numerous system failures in relation to front assist, lane assist and ACC. VW aware awaiting a software update

 

9.   Fan running regularly after a journey, is this normal? Normal DPF Regen
 

10.  Towbar, is there or should there be an additional fan be fitted? Accessory brochure now mentions "An uprated dual fan is required, and for some vehicles it will need to be retrofitted”. The towbar was factory fitted. Uprated fan is fitted.

 

Along with this they have also mentioned an recall for a new VIN plate due in next week, i'm not sure what this will change but i've already got a photo of the existing plate incase any weights are amended.

 

Sorry to go on but I thought I was alone in all of this..

 

 

VW customer service is out sourced and is truly awful in my experience.

 

2/ burning rubber smell after a regen is common with most DPF cars, all three different makes I've had could do this.

 

3/ Stop start being active is normal on all Tiguans with factory towbar from 2019 while towing.

 

4/ I believe VW use a crude noise indicator for brake pad wear.  Having said that my second CX-5 had brake squeal due i believe to fitting cheap pads or lack of shim lubrication, dealer failed to sort the issue after 3 times of asking (Mazda dealer)

 

7/ unsure what you mean by auto, but my Tiguan never remembers if I've previously used Eco and always selects Drive

 

9/ Tiguan fan will also run if a regen is interrupted I've had this at least 4 times over the last year.

 

There is a very long thread on the tiguanforum.co.uk forum for the MK2  about braking for no reason, I've only had two warning, and the sensitivity is adjustable, I believe it can also be turned off.

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Tramman -

 

3 - Stop-start can be modified using VCDS from Gendan/Ross-Tech or finding a member on the myTreg.com forum near you who has one - mine is changed so it defaults to the last setting, usually off in my case.

 

6 - I too have excess wind noise from the front doors - do you know the Technical bulletin number?

 

10 - An easy way to see if the uprated fan is actually fitted is to look at the fan blades, if each blade is wider than the gap between the blades, about 60:40 then it's the uprated fan - if each blade is narrower than the gap, about 40:60 then it isn't uprated - in addition there should be a label on the fan motor showing 850W but you'll need a phone camera to get in to see it.

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This is all in relation to the new Touareg 2018 onwards, sadly VCDS (i am a user) hasn't caught up with this fully yet so no joy there. With regards the DPF it is the first car I have that smells like this hence the query, it is also the first which uses AdBlue so that my be a contributory factor. I guess with regards to start/stop I am used to the system deactivating automatically, it maybe a case VW monitors the current draw and determines itself if the engine needs to run or not. With regards the fan it is nye on impossible to see anything with the way the engine bay is covered for aesthetics. Ive attached the TPI info but again this is for the new Touareg, it does make a difference though.

TPI wind noise.pdf

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22 minutes ago, tramman said:

This is all in relation to the new Touareg 2018 onwards, sadly VCDS (i am a user) hasn't caught up with this fully yet so no joy there. With regards the DPF it is the first car I have that smells like this hence the query, it is also the first which uses AdBlue so that my be a contributory factor. I guess with regards to start/stop I am used to the system deactivating automatically, it maybe a case VW monitors the current draw and determines itself if the engine needs to run or not. With regards the fan it is nye on impossible to see anything with the way the engine bay is covered for aesthetics. Ive attached the TPI info but again this is for the new Touareg, it does make a difference though.

TPI wind noise.pdf 1.95 MB · 0 downloads

 

Thanks for that

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