VW Beetle Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all! Coming to the boards to see if anyone else out there has had any issues like I have been experiencing with my 04 NBC. First, thanks for reading this whole thing if you do. It has been an ordeal that hurts my heart.

For the last 2-4 years, I had noticed the back window glass separating from the convertible top. I knew eventually a long term solution would be needed and waited as long as I could for that solution. This past January, 2014, the glass was coming completely unsealed and I decided to purchase a new top. I went to a reputable shop in my hometown (a 2 hour drive from my current home) and they did an immaculate job with a Robbins top, including warranty, for just under $1900. It took the shop a day and a half to do the repair. I was told to not take down the top for at least 2 weeks, to allow for stretching of the material. I was so incredibly happy with my new top on my 10 year old beauty.

I had my convertible top down some 5 months later, in May of 2014. It was getting late, about 3:30pm, so I went outside to put up my top. As my top came up into the locking position, I heard cracking and saw my shattered back windshield. I was in absolute disbelief and couldn't believe my eyes. I immediately panicked and immediately thought that maybe something had inadvertently gotten into the convertible top hatch, but alas there was nothing but broken glass falling into in. I immediately started calling the repair shop and pulling out my warranty, to find to my even greater disbelief that window breakage is not covered under warranty. I was absolutely crushed. What I couldn't understand was how the glass had broke, and why there was some slight sagging on the passenger side after the breakage. Where once the fabric was taught, there seemed to be internal structure pieces missing. The picture attached down not clearly show that void. Thankfully, I have insurance and the ability to pay for my $500 deductible. Thus, a claim ensued. I figured that the shop would diagnose if there were further issues that would damage a brand new part.

I'm not sure if anyone has driven with a shattered back windshield, but it is scary. I kept it parked until I was able to very carefully drive it to a local repair shop, the closest shop with which my insurance company worked with. The shop was an auto body shop, thus my car had to then be taken to an upholstery shop. When I was called to pickup my car over a week later, I was told that all the glass had been vacuumed and that I could take down my convertible top in 3 days. Remarkable change from the first amount of time I was told. When I went grocery shopping 3 days later, I found piles of glass remaining in my trunk. Second bad sign. Upon closer inspection of my top after its immediate arrival from the shop, I noticed that there seemed to be a loose flap of fabric top on the corner front of the driver's side, at the very front. It looked as if the top had not been stretched completely to the corner before being secured, and the flap was quite unsightly. Thus, I took my car back to the shop and told them that the top was not installed correctly. My car was returned to the upholstery shop, who made the flap less noticeable, but not completely disappear. I went back again a week later and was told that if it did not completely smooth out, I could bring it back anytime. I decided to wait and see. Jim Hensen had a wait and see sort of attitude and look what happened to him.

This last Tuesday, I decided to finally take down my convertible top. This is now roughly 6-8 weeks after installation. Upon first movement of the mechanics, I could hear grinding, pressure noises against glass and plastic. I heard/saw the plastic flap on the driver's side snag and almost break on the headliner as the parts moved, not in sync. I stopped the top from going down any longer while my boyfriend and I looked at both sides of the car, noticing loose/frayed/snapped cables on the driver's side that seemed to be connected on the passenger side. I was horrified. I immediately returned the top to close, to at least secure the vehicle if it breaks, and video recorded the ordeal for proof, in case something catastrophic were to happen. When the top returned to closed position, I looked around the cabin and saw that above the driver's back side window, all cables and headliner were slack and hanging.

I drove to the repair shop, who was needless to say, not happy to see me. The manager had me take the top down again, which I told him was a bad idea because of the loose mechanisms. The top made no funny noises when being taken down, however all of the cables on the driver's side had substantial damage. When I was instructed to raise the top again, the plastic siding on the passenger side back seat was lifted almost to breaking point by mechanics from the flap, which then broke, including the arm inside and mechanics. At this point, I was close to becoming frantic because of the damage I was seeing continue to happen to my car because of someone's careless repair, thus I walked away. My boyfriend continued a discussion with the manager, who indicated because of the issues, my insurance company would have to be brought back in to decide how to proceed. I was told to expect a call, and have still heard nothing.

1850+500 = 2350 out of my pocket thus far.

1900 so far from insurance.

I have gone back into my records and found that I had new tension cables installed in 2009, a year after I had bought the car. The cables hanging looked familiar.

Has anyone else ran into problems like I have?? I love my bug really more than life itself practically, but this makes me so sad. The headliner, damaged by the parts that were not aligned correctly, now needs to be replaced. The top, goodness I hope it can be saved. The real issue is the lifting of the plastic siding by the top, which indicates possible frame alignment problem. My stomach turns thinking about insurance putting this all back on me, when I have paid my premiums for years without any claims. First time I use it and the shops they send me to destroy my vehicle.

Any help appreciated!!!!


1 - 1 of 1 Posts