Does my 2008 Volkswagen Golf have a belt cam or a chain cam, and how should it be maintained?

Several years ago I purchased a 2008 Golf Plus 1.4 TSI. When I purchased the car I was adamant that I wanted a chain cam system as a result of the problems with belt cams. The Volkswagen dealer assured me that this was an engine with a chain cam, and the manual appeared to back this up. However, after two years the dealer sent me a letter telling me that the belt, pulleys and cam belt on my engine needed urgent replacement. A couple of weeks ago your column seemed to indicate that all Volkswagen 1.4-litre petrol engines should have their pulleys replaced after five years as they were made of plastic and prone to disintegration. Recent contact with Volkswagen has given me two differing pieces of advice on this subject. Either yes, the belt needs replacing along with the pulleys, or no, it’s a chain cam and should last the life of the car. Could you clear up this conflicting advice?
The 1.2TSI 3-cylinder, the 1.2TSI 4-cylinder and the 1.4TSI 122, 150, 160 and 180 are all chain cam. But VAG had trouble with the chain cams on some engines, especially those on its stupid longlife service plan, so reverted to belt for the new EA211 1.4TSI ACT 140. Any Volkswagen dealer that tells you the cambelt needs replacing on a 1.4TSI 122, 150, 160 or 180 is either incompetent or attempting to defraud you and should never be patronised again.
Answered by Honest John on

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