• Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Dec 11, 2016
That's an incorrect assumption that I wanna be paid for "Owning" my car. I want to be reimbursed for the loss of my vehicle because of a design flaw. Thank you.
That's just it, you already WERE reimbursed by your insurance and gap coverage. That is what paid off the outstanding loan. What the other poster meant, is that you are trying to get back everything you have paid until now, which would be like driving the car for free since 2016. No one is going to do that.

Please know I am sympathetic. I had a small accident two years ago (I was not at fault) and while insurance covered the repair, I would have loved to be compensated for the time, stress and aggravation. Sadly insurance doesn't work that way.
Mar 14, 2018
That's an incorrect assumption that I wanna be paid for "Owning" my car. I want to be reimbursed for the loss of my vehicle because of a design flaw. Thank you.
Can you explain why you think there is a design flaw? All timing belts have a limited life and when they break bad things can happen to the engine. On a 6 year old car (and depending on mileage), you could easily be approaching the timing belt's end-of-life.

That's why your insurance company would have pursued this with Volkswagen if the timing belt were 2 years old, but will not since it is 6 years old.
Jul 30, 2018
I had a similar kind of problem last year with a Volvo S60. The serpentine belt frayed, got sucked into the engine which caused it to basically self destruct. The car was beyond the warranty period and so I had to replace the whole engine for nearly $7k. Our independent mechanic commented that he had seen the same thing happen to a couple other S60's. He speculated a design flaw/defect. We tried writing Volvo seeking reimbursement but got no favorable response. We then consulted an attorney who informed us that the cost of proving that our loss was due to their design flaw/defect in a lawsuit would exceed the amount of money we spent on the replacement engine.

Sometimes in life bad things happen. You were quite fortunate that you had gap insurance and were able to get your auto loan paid off.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
How many miles were on the car? Was the mileage such that the belt should have already been changed?

You have no proof there was a design flaw- you are speculating. Your insurance company paid you the book value of the car. If that didn’t cover everything you owed on the car, that’s not the insurance companies problem. What it means is that the price you paid for the car may have been too high.

If you have proof of a design flaw you will need to contact an attorney to help you. It’s beyond what we do here.
Feb 7, 2016
If there is a design fault or not - you actually have no case against VW.

At the time of the fire your vehicle was worth $8117. That was your financial loss because of the fire nothing more. Your insurance company paid you (or your finance company) that amount - thus making you “whole”. You are in the same financial position now as you were before the fire (or better)

To illustrate this as an example:
Before the accident:
You owned a car worth: $8117
You had a loan on the car valued: (for the sake of this example) $10,009
Your net worth was: $-1883

After the accident:
You have no car
You have no loan
Net worth: $0

You are actually in a better financial position now - thanks to your gap insurance. The $6000+ that you have paid over the years is the cost of owning the car - items depreciate in value.

Finally , if the insurance company did determine that the fire was due to a fault with the vehicle you have given your right to sue VW over to progressive by accepting the claim amount - this is called the right to subrogation.

I hope this puts it into a better perspective for you. I wouldn’t waste any time or effort with lawyers on this.