Why aren't Volkswagen customers told about timing belt changes when they buy a Golf or Polo?

I am writing to thank you for the reply you gave to CS of Woodstock recently relating the changing of a camshaft belt on a Volkswagen Golf. My wife owns a Polo which is six years old and has a mileage of 28,300. Alerted by your comments I checked the maintenance manual and found that the recommendation was for an inspection of the belt at 60,000 miles and a change at 120,000 miles. I then telephoned the service department of the Volkswagen dealer from which we had bought the car and who have carried out the maintenance ever since, and was told that they recommended a change of belt at 60,000 miles or four years. I booked the car in to have the belt and pulley changed and this has been done, but the fact is that they seem to rely on the service engineer recommending the change of the belt at the four year service and if he forgets, as in my wife's case, she would never had known of the problem until the car suffered a breakdown. Shouldn't the customer be told about this requirement when they bought the car?
A salesperson is hardly likely to tell a customer that he/she will need to spend £300 - £600 changing the timing belt every four years. So 'Mr Bad News' (me) ends up with the job of reminding people. But it could be that Volkswagen has corrected its mistake of fitting fragile plastic/nylon timing belt pulleys to these engines and the problem has diminished.
Answered by Honest John on

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