Albany World of Cars - $4000 down the drain

At the recommendation of Albany World of Cars (the Volkswagen official service provider for Albany region) we had $4000 worth of car repairs done on our Volkswagen Colt. After picking up the car and driving it home, the car would not restart. It billowed tons of white smoke. We paid for it to to be towed back to Albany World of Cars. Albany World of Cars insisted that it had nothing to do with their work. Consumer Affairs (the toothless tiger) has a long list of complaints against Albany World of Cars but was unable to effectively help us. The car engine is so badly damaged that we could not afford another car servicer to fix it. It was only fit for the wreckers. We have since heard via other car service providers, that Albany World of Cars (the OFFICIAL Volkswagen service provider) has only ONE qualified mechanic. My question - why was Consumer Affairs not able to take more action? They have a growing file against this company which still continues to service cars but could do absolutely nothing for us.


Hi @ALou, welcome to the community.

It is a terrible situation you find yourself in…significantly out of pocket and also losing the use of your car.

In relation to the problem with the vehicle, it would be useful to know whether:

  1. The major failure of the vehicle was due to the work performed by the mechanics, or was coincidental in timing.
  2. The mechanic should have identified issues during the service and caused the failure.

This might provide better understanding of what options may be available to you moving forward, and allow members to respond accordingly.


To answer your question, consumer affairs organizations are just basically advice giving.
They have no powers of courts or tribunals to handle disputes.

BTW. Never heard of a VW colt. Golf yes. Or Mitsubishi colt.


I am not sure how much advice state Consumer Affairs offices actually give (as @gregr suggested) beyond the initial steps of communicating with the business one is complaining about. There after, they are nothing more than a mail distribution centre. You are right; they are a toothless tiger.

You might have a look at another topic from an experienced consumer advocate (@PhilT) which shows how difficult it can be get action against a business who is not willing to do the right thing.


Yes … Golf it was… I’m not so good at typing on my phone… *sigh


They claimed it was coincidence that when we got the car back it wouldn’t start. But when we asked for a second opinion with a different mechanic, they stalled for months and did extra investigating without our permission. They took months to put the engine back together so another mechanic could look at it. Who knows what ‘work’ they did. When eventually the new mechanic got to see the car he said the engine was totally ‘stuffed’. We will never know what really went wrong.


As it appears that the major engine failure was ‘coincidental’, which could be very well the case, the failure won’t be caused by Albany World of Cars. This is especially the case if the car has some age, has done a few miles and is near its end of life (which appears it could be since you spent $4000 doing some repairs immediately before it engine became ‘totally stuffed’).

There can be many reasons, some which can’t be readily seen by a mechanic, to why a engine can become ‘totally stuffed’. It may not be seen as being reasonable for Albany World of Cars to foresee the imminent major fault which occurred.

It could be down to bad luck which is very annoying for you, since you had spent $4000 on the car, with it having a major engine fail shorty thereafter. Now you also have a car which has $4000 worth of work which may have no or little value due to the engine being ‘totally stuffed’.

The only comeback you have is if Albany Word of Cars provided some sort of reliability guarantee, such as ‘we guarantee that your car will be reliable until the next schedule service’. I expect, like many other mechanics they won’t do such (I haven’t seen any mechanic providing such guarantees as it would expose them to considerable risks as cars start to have some age and high mileage).

These are key pieces of information that I don’t as yet see.

How old is the car? (Don’t laugh but is it still under warranty?)

How many km on the odometer?

What was the actual problem that the service provider was supposed to be fixing? Depending on exactly how this engagement was framed, a service provider should either be fixing the problem or not demanding payment.

A repair organisation should be warranting their work and their repair - but we don’t even know what the repair was. You often won’t get much of a warranty (period of time) though. And, as pondered upon here, the situation could arise that the repair organisation tries to wriggle out of it i.e. the warranty might not be worth much in practice.

What does Volkswagen have to say about it?


The original money you spent for repairs was for what? Was it, or any of it, for work on the engine?
Blowing lots of white ‘smoke’ is usually indicative of water getting into the cylinders via a head gasket failure, or a crack in the block or head.


Have you checked whether it is the same engine that was in the car when you took it to AWoC ? ( And, just to be safe, when you took it to the second-opinion mechanic ? )


The car was running beautifully before the $4000 repairs which were recommended by Albany World of Cars. They initially told us $2000 was needed but on pick up we were told another $2000 was needed due to a ‘dint’ in a fuel injector. If we had been a little more understanding of mechanics we should have questioned how the car could have even been running if the fuel injector was damaged. After the fuel injection replacement the car leaked and so seals had to be replaced under warranty. Then after the warranty work and subsequently driving it home, it no longer would drive. My grievance is that they had the car for 6 months in their workshop without working on it unless we paid $$$$. As soon as we wanted a second opinion from another workshop, they decided to put the ‘double check’ that it wasn’t their fault. They did extra ‘tests’ without consulting us or asking for permission. When the engine was finally put back together and given to the other workshop, we found out that water was pouring out of all sorts of places in the engine! We have no idea the ‘work’ or ‘tests’ that Albany World of Cars did on the car as they would not communicate with us about it. We have since found out that there is only one licensed mechanic in their workshop. This is a workshop that is a Volkswagen authorised repairer! We have also found out (from Consumer Affairs) that they have been building a portfolio of complaints against Albany World of Cars from many other complaints. The issue could have been coincidental. BUT there were so many factors that made it look like they were covering up faulty workmanship i.e. long delays in getting back to us, conflicting information, failing to ask for permission to do tests etc.

1 Like

Yes. The cylinder compression test they did the first time showed they were all functioning.
Original repairs were rocker cover and leads replacement due to mice. The second lot of repairs were for replacement injectors due to a dint they found in one injector. The new injectors leaked so seals were replaced under warranty. It was when we got the car back from warranty work that it no longer worked.

1 Like

That’s a good question and one we didn’t think to even investigate.

1 Like

I wouldn’t like to meet any mice that could do damage to a rocker cover. Perhaps the issue was a gasket replacement to fix an oil leak. Maybe a few hundred dollars, mostly labour.
Leads? A hundred dollars parts and labour.

And then a ‘dent’ in one injector, whatever that is, and replacing all of them, and in doing so killed your engine.

You were hugely ripped off.

The best advice I can recommend to any car owner is to go and buy a book that explains the technical details of cars. May be generic, or could be specific to your car.

Then you are armed with the knowledge to counter most of the bulls**t that car service places try on.


Leaking fuel injector seals depending on which seal/s and engine specifics can quickly lead to serious engine damage.

There is an assumption that when the injector was replaced a new seal kit was used. In which instance there should not have been a leak following that item of work. Something to expect given the high charges for the work performed.

Unfortunately the whole sequence of events that followed have likely made identifying the full facts after the event near impossible. The one source who will know is the mechanic/s who worked on your vehicle.

As an aside, and specific to WA. Other states are similar. Qualified motor mechanics require a certificate. If it is a business carrying out automotive work,

the Motor Vehicle Repairers Act 2003 was amended to dispense with the requirement for persons or firms to be licensed for specific classes of repair work. There remains a requirement for licensees to ensure that repair work is carried out by a person who holds a certificate for that class of repair work (or is supervised by a certificate holder for that class of repair work).

IE only one license holder, although all the employed mechanics would be expected to hold a certificate, or work supervised by someone who is.


Yes… we learnt this the hard way… costly experience.

1 Like