I bought a brand-new Volkswagen Tiguan in January 2017. In March of this year, a friend pointed out rust on the brake discs. I sent some pictures to the dealer, who told me it would disappear with driving.
I was unhappy with this answer, so l took the vehicle in to the dealer. A person from the workshop gave it one look and told me he would phone the factory. They came back to me and said it is only surface rust and they would not do anything about it. Volkswagen South Africa is of the same opinion.
According to VWSA, a disc replacement is the only fix but it will be for my account because the rust is not deemed a safety risk. I am not happy as I live in Durbanville, which is not alongside the ocean and the car is garaged overnight. What are my options? HANNELIZE COETZEE Durbanville
Volkswagen is correct that the rust does not affect the operation of the disc and it should remain safe in the future, as it is only surface rust. When a vehicle is parked for some time, the entire disc starts to rust and the rotor usually gets “cleaned” only when the vehicle is driven again and the brakes are used.
However, in the case of your Tiguan, braking will not remove the rust spots because the pads do not cover the specific area shown in the pictures you sent to us.
Durbanville’s climate is not severely corrosive (as, for example, Durban’s is), so we are surprised by the lack of corrosive protection. But there is something you can do. Ask the dealership to remove the discs and polish out the rust spots. Then tape up the discs so that only the inner hub areas where the rust occurs are visible. Carefully spray the items with a clear lacquer formulated for use on metal (a spray can is suitable). This invisible layer prevents oxygen from coming in contact with the metal and prevents rust from forming.