Ask the Expert: How can I guard against Volkswagen infotainment system failures?

Many people have reported that their Volkswagen touchscreens are glitchy
Many people have reported that their Volkswagen touchscreens are glitchy -

Dear Alex,

A few months after my wife bought a new Volkswagen Polo in March 2023, aiming to keep it for five years, the infotainment system developed problems. The dealer attempted software updates but eventually fitted a new unit, under warranty. A month ago, the screen went blank and the radio could not be switched on. A software update fixed the problem for 10 miles before it recurred. Hopefully this will again be fixed under warranty – but is there anything she can do to protect herself against this fault occurring once the warranty has expired?


Dear TS,

The Volkswagen Group’s issues with its latest infotainment system have been well documented and while some owners have had no problems, others have found their cars’ touchscreens glitchy – indeed, completely blank screens, such as the one your wife has experienced, are not unheard of.

As you’ve found, the usual fix is a replacement of the complete unit. Hopefully, the time will come when an aftermarket specialist will work out how to fix these hardware malfunctions by taking the box apart and repairing individual components, in the process saving owners hundreds of pounds – but unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet (to my knowledge), while relying on such a development would be foolhardy.

So all I can suggest is that to insure yourself against such a cost again, take out an extended warranty. It used to be that you could only take out an extended warranty at the time of purchase with Volkswagen and its subsidiary brands, but it now allows owners to take out extra cover a year at a time once their car’s warranty has ended, which seems to be a much more helpful approach.

Just be careful that the cost of warranting the car for an extra two years won’t cost you as much as a replacement unit might (though this is unlikely).

An alternative option might be to take out one of VW’s All-in service plans. These cover two services, two MOTs, two years’ breakdown assistance and two years’ warranty. On that basis they often work out rather good value.

I’ve checked the terms and conditions and I can see no exclusions for infotainment systems, so you should be covered under this product – though I’d always recommend double-checking the small print to your satisfaction.

For new and used buying guides, tips and expert advice, visit our Advice section, or sign up to our newsletter here

To talk all things motoring with the Telegraph Cars team join the Telegraph Motoring Club Facebook group here

A-Z Car Finder