With temperatures soaring across the country, customers have been complaining of poor performance from the HVAC unit of the cars. Mind you, India remains a hot country through most parts of the year and a strong AC remains a key point in any car. The weak AC system, especially in the summer, blew up on social media and forums alike as customers wrote to the brands citing their displeasure.
Given the situation, both Skoda and Volkswagen issued separate statements acknowledging the matter. Responding to a user, Zac Hollis, Director – Sales and Marketing, Skoda Auto India, wrote on Twitter, “We are aware of this concern from some customers and our engineers are looking into how we can improve the performance of the AC. I will update here when we have news. In the meantime, the service centres are equipped with advice on how to maximise the performance of the AC.”
Volkswagen India’s official handle also tweeted out a similarly worded statement while responding to a concerned user. The tweet read, “We are aware that a few customers might have faced AC cooling concerns, especially in the regions where the temperatures are soaring high. There are chances that it takes more time to bring cabin temperature as per the occupant’s requirement. Please be assured that our technical teams are working to analyse further the improvements in AC performance in specific operating conditions. In the meantime, kindly visit your nearest dealership and they will assist you further.”
New cars, no matter the brand, tend to face teething issues, which is why you see automakers issue recalls or advisories regarding fixing the same. Usually, the first 100 days of any product can be a testing phase as more and more customers put the vehicles through real-life situations. That’s why you’ll hear more complaints initially that will often get addressed in the subsequent batches. Skoda-Volkswagen India seem to be in this phase of their 2.0 range of products.
Skoda Auto and VW India haven’t specified as to what dulls the AC performance but reports suggest that the AC filter is more prone to attracting dust. Given the dry Indian climate, dust becoming unavoidable would require frequent cleaning. It’s not clear as to what the automakers plan to do to address the issue. A clogged filter means that the HVAC unit has to work harder to cool the cabin, which in turn, puts more pressure on the engine. Not only are you sweating it out in the sweltering heat but are also taking a hit on the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
The AC system though hasn’t been the only issue with Skoda cars. The Kushaq was also affected by problems with the Electronic Power Control (EPC) as well as the fuel pump, both of which were replaced by the company on the affected models. The replacement was carried out free of cost with a more robust fuel pump put in place. It needs to be seen if the AC issue will persist with the new Virtus as well or VW will take preventive measures before handing over the cars to customers.