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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On a recent exploratory (what the car can do) offroad driving trip (shrub,tall grass, loose rocks, erosion ruts - see image) the following experience has brought a question to mind.

During a steepish descent where the road also slopes downhill from left to right, the car was positioned with the LH wheels outside the rut and the RH wheels on the raised centre of the two-lane track.

Traction was lost on the left rear wheel with the ESP system applying brakes to that wheel. As the RH rear wheel was still driving the vehicle, the rear end started to slide downhill (from left to right) with absolutely nothing that I could do to stop this slide (braking did not help), as it was all under electronic control. The rear end of the car slid across the track untill the LH wheel gripped again which although brief, felt like an eternity.

Upon getting to similarly sloped terrain, I disabled the ESP, and the car did NOT slip off the track ridges. Some time in future I will repeat the first part of the track with the ESP off to confirm whether the effect I noticed was not perhaps unrelated, but at the time I ran out of adrenalin right there, and somehow lost interest in confirming this behaviour immediately.

Has anyone had experience of the effect of ESP ON/OFF? From what I've read, with ESP OFF, wheelspin is allowed, e.g. when stuck in sand or mud where you need to rock your way out forwards and backwards. This seems to tie up with what I have experienced.

Other general observations are that the Tiguan turning circle is a bit on the wide side (12m), having to do 3 point manoevres to get around some bends. The torque of the diesel engine is unstoppable, with 1st gear sufficiently low to chug up steep inclines at around 1500 rpm. Downhill the traction control also works well (just watch out for the cross-slopes!).
 

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I noticed the back end going too, while parking in the snow, where one part of the car would be on higher ground than the other ... I did not try disabling the ESP, enabling OFF road though, I just reversed into the space ... I also tried pushing the throttle a bit harder again on lots of slippery snow, the result was similar to driving a RWD car...
the rear wheels went out lot, plus the ESP kicked in the first time .... it was fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi all,

I am still awaiting a follow-up response from VW regarding the ESP matter, but am feeling increasingly uncomfortable in not sharing the status with the forum at this point, especially since across various topics members are asking questions about ESP ON/OFF, driving in snow, etc. and this post may be crucial to their safety.

If this jeopardizes my issue with VW, so be it.

The picture demonstrates what happens when ESP is on - as instructed by VW in their manual - when driving on sand.

The attached 3 pdfs describe the nature of the event, the VW response and my return response to that, and should be read in the sequence Tiguan ABS, Tiguan - Mr J Jonker and VWConnect.

3 weeks elapsed between my original letter and the first response from VW, to which I replied last week Wednesday. I will keep the forum up to date with any follow-up responses.

So for my money, ESP ALWAYS OFF, except on a paved surface. If the paved surface is covered by a layer of matter through which the tyres can bite, e.g. water, then ESP ON, as you could regain control of the car when the tyres regain grip. If covered by something through which the tyres cannot cut, e.g. ice, ESP OFF, as you can not regain traction.

Take care.
 

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Hi JJJ

Many thanks for that, have downloaded the files and will have a good read as soon as I can. Interesting how these issues can develop. I previously had a Kia Sorento with a "torque on demand" 4 wheel drive system and despite all their testing etc etc they hadn't figured out that under about 5mph (when you need it MOST) the 4WD was turning OFF cos it had decided you were stopped !!! This was only discovered under somewhat similar circumstances to your own when somebody nearly lost their Sorento (and possibly their lives !!) over the side of a ridge in Spain while crawling down a hill. It was all caught on video and eventually Kia had to "bite the bullet" and replace the "brain box" of those Sorentos whose owners requested it. So, thanks for all this, it may just save somebody a real fright or even more.

Cheers
 

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Hi JJJ

Extremely interesting reading, do you think there may actually be some "glitch" between the off-road and the ESP packages ? Would be interesting to see if the same thing happened with a non-off-road Tig or even with the off-road OFF as well as the ESP on if you get my meaning.

Anyway, the thing I take from this is (for off-road owners) that if you switch the off-road ON you should switch the ESP OFF (even though this is supposed to happen automatically it appears it MAY not)

Thanks again for the heads-up on this, will be interested to see VWs response. If they're anything like Kia they'll want to just sort yours and not tell anybody about the issue unless they ask. Then they'll just do a "mod" to the new ones coming off the line. It may be as little as a programming error by the sound of it !!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi all,

You've probably forgotten all about this, but the issue is not dead yet, hence the following update.

Following another 8 week period of no reply, other than a telephonic response (upon my call, after 4 weeks) that the documentation has now been forwarded to VW Germany for their reponse, I sent VW a 3rd letter (attached) informing them that I am going to hand the matter over to the local Motor Industry Ombudsman, as after 11 weeks of no valid response I can only assume more time is not going to make any difference.

I allowed another week for VW to respond prior to submitting my complaint to the MIO, but nothing.

I have been informed this week by the MIO that my application has been forwarded to VW, and that they have been given 14 days in which to respond.

This of course does not guarantee success, but the mere fact that the MIO was prepared to take this case, shows that legally they believe it has merit. I have previously made use of Ombudsman intervention (short-term insurance, in that case) with GREAT results, so am in an up-beat mood, expecting that at least the right people may now learn of the issue.

I'll keep the forum posted regarding their reaction.
 

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JJJ said:
Hi all,

You've probably forgotten all about this, but the issue is not dead yet, hence the following update.

Following another 8 week period of no reply, other than a telephonic response (upon my call, after 4 weeks) that the documentation has now been forwarded to VW Germany for their reponse, I sent VW a 3rd letter (attached) informing them that I am going to hand the matter over to the local Motor Industry Ombudsman, as after 11 weeks of no valid response I can only assume more time is not going to make any difference.

I allowed another week for VW to respond prior to submitting my complaint to the MIO, but nothing.

I have been informed this week by the MIO that my application has been forwarded to VW, and that they have been given 14 days in which to respond.

This of course does not guarantee success, but the mere fact that the MIO was prepared to take this case, shows that legally they believe it has merit. I have previously made use of Ombudsman intervention (short-term insurance, in that case) with GREAT results, so am in an up-beat mood, expecting that at least the right people may now learn of the issue.

I'll keep the forum posted regarding their reaction.
Sorry to hear about your problems JJJ.

I am awaiting a replacement of a "Steering Box" in my Tig, Got the Bentley Repair Manual Yesterday, and can not for the life of me locate a "Steering Box?"

But regarding your issue, this might sound offbeat, but I had a problem with a 1 Year Old Hitachi 50V500 Projection Television that blew its Light engine ($800 Part not including shipping). After Months, almost a year without getting results and Hitachi Service telling me I would have to purchase a New Light Engine, because my television was supposedly the only one with that sort of problem (it wasn't though).

So in a desperate effort, and luckily my Sister and her husband now work in Japan teaching English. I wrote an extremely convincing letter, and directed it to 10 of the TOP People in Hitachi, and asked my Sister to Write it in Japanese as well and drop them off. 1 Week Later I got a very Apologetic Call from Hitachi, asking me where they could send the Replacement Light Engine to! In the Mail the Next week, I was surprised to receive TWO Light Engines!

Me and my brother actually had to follow some DIY instructions on the Net to install, but the TV is still going strong today 3 Years later, with the first replacement light engine (which they modified the Cooling system).

Not sure if you could possibly do this in Germany, you never know who your letter may really reach.

Cheers,

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dear all,

Finally, for those who followed the ESP/Sand driving saga reported under this topic, an answer.

2 Days short of 8 months since the original complaint was lodged, the written response from VW is:

"Volkswagen Germany conducted an extensive study of the content in the owner's manual for the Tiguan range and has confirmed that the information in this manual is correct"

This implies my car being at fault. This was confirmed during the 15000km diagnostic test 2 days after the incident, to not be the case. This was pointed out to VW in my correspondence.

This conclusion however, frees me up to pursue the matter further in the press, as the MIO moratorium on communication outside their case handling period, has now expired.

Any suggestions as to who I can present the history to in other parts of the world, would be appreciated. I don't know whether people like Honest John or the Australian Caradvice magazine would be interested, but I'll give it a try. First prize would be Auto Bild, being a magazine that was heavily involved in the Tiguan launch. Unfortunately my German is no good.

As the Dutch say: A "no" I have, a "yes" I can get.
 

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Hi JJJ,

I came across this topic as I was searching for " ESP Light".

I drive Tiguan in sand with ESP off, but some times the "ESP" light flashes with some strange trricckkrr-trricckkrr sound. This is for few seconds (3-5).

Then the light goes off, sound stops and everything is back to normal.

This happened 7-8 times in that last 40 plus trips in the desert.

I guess the ABS system gets confused, or giving me warning that ESP is off and suggesting to switch it ON. Don't know exactly.

The user manual still carries the errors mentioned by you even in my 2011 model.
 

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On further reading, I observed that Flashing light means - "The system is intervening" and its normal if it goes off automatically.

I wonder, why the system is intervening when it is manually switched off !
 
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