Latest VW Golf MK7 Shock Absorber News

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July 9th 2015

A dealer called a GTI owner July 9th with an update on his car.

VW Technical had just rung the dealer to say that newly modified shock absorbers are now being produced in the factory for retro fitting to “all cars like his” and these will now be fitted to all new builds. It is a guess that “all cars like his” means GTi’s and GTD’s

The new shocks are arriving in the UK hub Friday/Saturday and his car will be the first one in the UK to have these fitted, either Saturday or Monday next week. The shock absorbers have apparently been modified due to a trigger point being reached for “similar” complaints across the UK

If you are one of the many that have a rear shock absorber noise then I suggest you contact your dealer or e-mail the executive office of Volkswagen.

I have written to my dealer and the executive office and asked for confirmation of whether this statement by a dealer is correct.

The reply from my dealer is as follows,

I am unaware of any change or improvements to the shock absorbers currently supplied by Volkswagen and I have not received any notification of any imminent changes or improvements. I cannot comment on the case illustrated in your e-mail below.

There is currently no reply from the executive office so does this one particular dealer know something we don’t know or is it just wishful thinking on the dealers part. The customer will contact me in due course so we should know the truth within a few days.

Received today from the VW Executive Office

I cannot pass comment on what a retailer is alleged to have said, nor am I prepared to discuss another customer’s case. However, I can confirm that that we have been advised by our Technical Department that we are shortly due to receive a new set of shock absorbers to be fitted to one UK customer’s vehicle. We await the outcome of fitment of those new parts with great interest.

Volkswagen Germany had been made aware that we have a number of customers who have remained dissatisfied with the replacements previously fitted, so I am unsurprised that a further change may be being considered. Over the life of every model within the Volkswagen range, continual product development takes place on many components and this particular one is no exception.

I will be in contact again following trial of the replacement set in question. I must note, however, that should the test prove successful, there is no question of any “recall (being) on the cards”, as this is not a Safety matter. However, where we have customers who still remain dissatisfied, such cases will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Yours sincerely
Brian Kattenberg

Customer Relations Manager
Volkswagen UK Executive Office
Tel: 0333 003 7199

So there we have it - just one set of revised shock absorbers to be tested in the UK. Its unbelievable when so many have reported this issue. Given the amount of effort and time I have put in to raising this issue I have not been considered for a set to try. It just goes to show what little faith they have in the new shock absorber.

So for the rest of us, how long do we wait before we can have a car that doesn’t have a rear suspension rattle. If you have the problem you now know who to contact and I urge you to contact the above and show this statement from Mr Kattenberg to your dealer as soon as you can.

VWUK are full of bullshit so it appears

In my previous posts and emails I wrote that VW were bringing "new" shock absorbers over to the UK for fitting to several cars, including at least 2 Golf GTI models. The first person to receive them was told two weeks in succession that the parts had been mislaid and on the 3rd week that 3 sets had been mispicked including a set for me.

My personal view is that was a lie and I am standing by that.

Yesterday I received an email from my dealer with an extract from an email from Mr B Kattenberg of the VWUK Executive Office, and this after 6 weeks of waiting is what VWUK have now come out with

Subject: RE: Shock absorber date

“Thank you for your emails of 3 February 2015 (he doesn’t even know what date it is). We have now received further information from Germany which I would like to share with you.

The delay in fitting shock absorbers recently was not due to incorrect part numbers having been sent, but because we had wanted parts from the latest production week. As previously advised to you, we understood changes to have been made as part of Volkswagen‘s continual product improvement process.

We have now been advised that the change recently made was not for the Golf GTI shock absorber but another vehicle in the Golf range. There is therefore no point in fitting the latest shock absorbers currently used in production as we believe this would make no difference to the noise you find so distressing when driving your vehicle in the manner you do over certain road surfaces.

We do not deny, nor have ever denied that a noise is audible in certain conditions, but this is a noise, not a vehicle fault. I have expressed our apologies in previous correspondence that you find the noise such an intense source of irritation, but I must again stress that we do not regard this as a fault. All vehicles from all manufacturers have their own unique characteristics, including suspension and body noises, and the Golf is no different in this regard”.

Yes folks, it only took them 6 weeks to come out with this story. It sounds very much like a bunch of incompetents work in this so-called executive office or perhaps VWUK is full of them. Not even a sincere apology for keeping a number of owners dangling on a hook with expectations that our rattle would be cured. You simply could never make up this story.

If you are a director of Volkswagen UK reading this then I suggest you start employing people who actually care about the customer and who have something between their ears that doesn't end with the letter T.

If you are one of the unfortunates that has rear shock absorber issues then I suggest you e-mail the Managing Director of Volkswagen Cars as I am sure he would be pleased to hear from you.

If you have recently purchased a Volkswagen Golf and you have this issue and are concerned, then take it back and get your money back, as VW after 2-years or more with this problem now have no further intention of resolving it. Only buy a Golf fitted with DCC as that way you will not have this noise.

If the dealer or VWUK Customer Services show surprise or tell you that they have never heard of this issue then either they are lying or its that persons first day on the job.

Do be aware that VWUK staff appear brainwashed into telling you that the noise is a characteristic of the model. Well, not according to the Financial Ombudsman’s conclusion
in a case against Volkswagen Financial Services last year where another customer complained of rear shock absorber noise. The Ombudsman clearly states that it was the result of a manufacturing fault.

Bilstein Rear Shock Absorbers to be trialled

Due to the total lack of interest by Volkswagen UK in resolving the rear shock absorber problems, I am now going to fit Bilstein B4 Model 19-230559 rear shock absorbers. These are OEM replacements and apparently as close to the originals as you can get. I had to order these through Demon Tweeks here in the UK and they had to be shipped in from Germany. Tomorrow they will be fitted and then I will report on whether they are successful or not. If they prove successful then the process of of seeking compensation from Volkswagen will start using the Financial Ombudsman’s Service. Watch this space for updates.

Bilstein Rear Shock Absorbers are a success

Update following the fitting of the Bilstein rear shock absorbers on the 20/08/2015.

  • The “rolling log” noise has been eliminated.
  • The ride appears smoother on less than perfect roads.
  • The rear of the car is less jiggly as I would refer to it over patches of uneven roads at low speeds. For example when turning into a side road that has a poor surface, the rear does not bounce around as was the case previously.
  • The sound from the rear is now a muted thump which is expected.
  • The car appears quieter overall.
  • Nothing appears loose as how I would have described the previous VW parts.
  • There is no rattle from the actual barrel of the shock absorber when given a thump with the car on ground. This was not case with the previous set.
  • Overall I find the ride comfort now very acceptable and given the chance to have one with DCC I would stick with what I have.

I have now driven well over 300 miles over a variety of road surfaces with a few very bad roads and apart from the dull thump that you can expect with this kind of car, there is absolutely no sign of the rattle. One thing I can say, that each time VW fitted shock absorbers I could still detect something was not right within the first 5 minutes of leaving the dealer and then of course it became worse very quickly; in fact it did so within 24-hours. Now with these Bilsteins there is absolutely no indication of a similar sound.

Fitting time was 2-hours and so just over 100 with VAT though you could do this work yourself if you have a mind to do that. The car shop that fitted these checked top mounts, top nut on the existing shocks and had a general look around and nothing obvious was seen that could contribute to the noise problem.

For the very first time in 11 months of ownership I can at last say that I am a very happy GTI owner and now I really have a great driving experience. To anyone who has this issue and who has had more than one set of replacements fitted with no success, then I would simply say fit Bilsteins as I have done. Its cost effective and works.

Just out of interest, I still retain the original shock absorbers and I can actually see a lateral movement of the piston rod and hear a knocking sound from within the barrel and that was something that was not present on the Bilsteins.

I have proven that you don’t have to live with this irritation from what VW call a “characteristic of the model”. Just change their poorly designed or poorly manufactured part for another make.

It beggars belief that VW created a situation that was so easily solvable. Instead they have faffed around with customers for two years or so, creating so much dissatisfaction and arrogantly believing at the VWUK executive office that this noise was what we should expect.

If you have a rattle or odd noise from your Golf MK7 rear suspension then don’t live with it as there is a cure but sadly it doesn’t always come from VW.

I will now be endeavoring to make this issue known to the Motoring Press


After nearly 5 months and a few thousand miles later I can report that the replacement Bilstein B4 rear shock absorbers fitted to my Golf GTI are still proving successful. Over the past few months I have received many e-mails from owners around the world that have experienced the knocking noise from the original Sachs rubbish that Volkswagen fitted as standard. My advice is simply change the factory fitted parts for Bilstein or indeed any OEM replacement. Reports from many owners who have fitted the Bilstein’s proves that the original VW shock absorbers were the source of the noise that plagued so many people.


 16,000 miles and almost 2-years since fitting Bilstein B4 rear shock absorbers and the rear suspension is prefect with no rattles.


21000 miles and rattle free.


March 2018 and car written off in Portugal courtesy of idiot Portuguese male white van man on mobile phone. Clear quiet and wide road with 30kph speed limit. Nearly 11K repair costs so insurance company wrote it off. Good news, I collect my new MK7.5 GTI DSG in the next few days. Same color Tornado Red. Just hope I have better luck during my next trip to Portugal. Also hoping that the rear shock absorbers will have been fixed on the 2018 model. If not I will just replace with Bilstein B4’s. Test drive tomorrow.

If you have a problem then forget the dealer and fit Bilsteins.


VW MK7.5 Facelifte Models

Well sadly my beloved GTI has gone to the scrap yard due to Mr White Van Man an idiot Portuguese middle-age driver in Southern Portugal who slammed into the rear of my car while it was parked on a 7M wide quiet urban road and wrote it off - very sad indeed. Unfortunately he didn’t even break a finger doing it or his mobile phone that he had in his hand at that time!

This is the driver and you can see what he did

Since then I have now purchased a new MK7.5 Face lifted 1.5TSI Evo GT 150bhp but have far more cabin noise than on my GTI and I beleive others have a similar issue.

Has anyone else thoughts on the difference between the original MK7 and the revised model particularly with regard to road or cabin noise.

 If so please e-mail me with your thoughts.


VW MK7.5 Facelifted Model 1.5TSI recently exchanged for a new GTI due the due to horrendous cabin noise issue. What do I think of it. Ok a great car but not so quiet as the MK7GTI. What have VW done to these face lifted models? Scrimped on sound deadening I believe. Should a 30K car sound like this - I think not. Like many owners I am now fitting sound deadening materials but we should not have to do this. Will I buy another VW, well only if they can give us some quality in terms of a quieter ride. If you are considering a MK7.5 then I advise you to really consider the cabin sound levels over a variety of road surfaces at a range of speeds.

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