Q: Brakes: vacuum pump relay failire

asked by on November 15, 2016

Hello, I purchased a new 2016 vw jetta and the check engine light came on w subsequent brake/vacuum pump relay failed at just under 400 miles. It was replaced under warranty.

6 months kater at 4850 miles, again, check engine light comes on & I had to be towed from VT to MA to vw dealer . Dealer says "software update, prrformed diagnostics, retrieved code p0556. Found TSB for software update. Charged battery and performed Road test. Operating normal at this time"

From my knowledge these two events signify a major Safety issue (brakes) failure at both 400 and 4850 miles.

It's still practically a brand new car & should have zero issues. 1 Should I be concerned for my safety? 2 as the brake assist is attached to the engine, will the loss of vacuum affect the engine life/performance? 3 is this car basically a lemon (especially if this happens again)

Thank you for your time & knowledge!

My car has 4850 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

It sounds like your problems are isolated to the Brake Assist System which is a system designed to sense panic stop conditions and use vacuum to assist the brake pedal and give you the shortest possible stopping distance. Like the ABS system or vehicle stability control, they go into "limp home" mode when there is a problem, leaving the car in driveable condition, but without the assistance of those particular systems. . It’s just sort of like driving a car built in the 1970’s. The failure of the vacuum assist should not affect the engine. I can’t speak for the safety record of your new car, but recalls and software updates have become standard operating procedure for automobile manufacturers and like your home computer, sometimes the updates solve the problem, and sometimes they lead to more problems. I can only recommend that you try to stay informed as to the latest recalls and updates as they come down the line and have them performed as soon as possible. You should be on the dealer’s mailing list for these updates and recalls. If you continue to be completely frustrated with your new car, Years ago some states passed a "lemon law" that said if you had to bring your new car back to the dealer three times for the same problem, you were entitled to a replacement. I don’t know if those laws are still in effect, but it might be worth doing the research.

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