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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I have a 2012 beetle, and we started having a problem recently. The passenger side fold-forward seat handle doesn't work anymore (pulling the handle up doesn't do anything). The cable itself is NOT broken, I can see pulling motion on the handle moving the mechanism down at the bottom. I took it to the dealer this morning and they took a look. the tech notes indicate " the lower seat frame is binding". They want over $1,000 to fix as the fix is to replace the seat bottom frame. I didnt speak with the tech (he was gone when i picked up the car), but is it possible "the frame is binding" is a techno word that means "we would rather sell you a seat frame and the labor that goes with it than try to "unbind" it (whatever that means)? I googled it and nothing came up. It just seems like something that should be "fixed" without a 1k+ part replacement. Has anybody else had an issue like this? Hoe tough is it to remove the passenger seat? I am thinking to take a look. Maybe take it for a 2nd opinion? the problem the dealers charge $70 just to look. Is the "lower seat frame" an easy replacement myself?

Any information would be helpful.. Thanks!
 

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VW dealerships; are notorious, for overcharging and making a situation, sound like a disaster... when it maybe, something simple or repairable vs. replacing a whole seat. Replacing a whole very expensive assembly vs. fixing the problem; maybe, just a shotgun assessment by a overzealous service writer. They are probably; giving you a worst case scenario "repair quote", without any diagnosis or tearing into the seat, to see what is wrong with it.

I am assuming; since, they want to charge you for the repair, your car is out of warranty?

Because, of the newness of the car; you might call VW Customer Care and complain, see if they can do anything for you. Options: call, chat online or email:

You can give us a call or send us an email. Either way, VW customer service is easy to reach.

* Due to unusually high email volume, our response time may be delayed 10-14 days. For immediate assistance, please contact Customer CARE at 800-822-8987. Our sincere apology for the inconvenience.

1-800-822-8987
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If you end up on your own and holding the bag, you can fix it yourself.

I haven't worked on the newer Beetles yet but I can only assume, it can't be too hard to remove a seat. It could be anything from the release mechanism jamming, a spot weld on the frame has come undone or the linkage is messed up or something is jammed inside the seat track and impeding the movement of the seat. So far; because these cars are so new, I haven't seen much "diy" posts created but you could check out a service manual, on how to take things apart. As far as I know; there are no "paper" service manuals; as of yet, as the car is so new but you could get access, to online manuals through sites like VW's "eRWin" subscription service, for a day ($35) and download all the manuals, related to your car.

https://erwin.vw.com/erwin/showOrderFlatrate.do

Otherwise, you can "feel" your way through disassembling things and inspect everything for any damaged welds, track parts or other things, that seem out of sorts.

http://parts.vw.com/a/Volkswagen_2012_BeetleBase/_51505_6235026/FRONT-SEAT-COMPONENTS/9212530.html

Looking at the exploded view of the seat; #18 release cable and release handle #15, might be something to look at. This is a case; where the factory service manual from the eRWin site; might really shine and show you how to take the seat apart without damaging things.

Worst case scenario; you could probably find a used seat at a junk yard. http://car-part.com/

Let us know; how you want to proceed and if calling VW Customer Care, gets you anywhere. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank for ALL of that information, it will be extremely helpful! I agree, perhaps they didn't spend too much time diagnosing, and maybe lots of people just fork over $1k when told by the dealer. Those words "the lower seat frame is binding" just don't seem very specific and seems fishy.. Yes its out of warranty, but I will contact VW just to see, maybe they've gotten multiple complaints about this. I think I will take a real good look, there are some plastic covers and such that I can remove and see how the mechanisms look underneath (I can see it moves but it doesn't release, maybe there's a toy stuck in there or something).

The funny thing is, a while ago, my Toyota minivan power folding seat wasn't opening, and the dealer wanted $2600 to fix it, but after some research, it turned out a latch was broken, and I fixed it with a $0.99 spring from my local hardware store). I know that was Toyota, not VW, but I that's why I am so skeptical!
 

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Well, I would inspect everything and see if there is anything jammed in the tracks and try to see if the release mechanism is working correctly. If you don't find anything; before tearing it all apart, you might give VW a call and see what they say. Let us know; how things work out, as you move forward in your troubleshooting and the contact with VW Customer Care, ends up working out. :)
 
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