Should Volkswagen replace my my Golf's EGR for free?

I own a 2011 Volkswagen Golf Mk6 1.6 TDI, bought in in December 2015 from a local independent Volkswagen dealer. My mechanic noticed a water leak after I mentioned the coolant light coming on a couple of times. He thought it might have been coming from the EGR/DPF area but was unsure how to do the job. I was then 'invited' to take the Golf to my local Volkswagen dealer for the emissions fix in April 2017 and they reported that they couldn't carry out the 'fix' due to an error on the computer coming up as an EGR fault. The dealer said they would do the fix but only after the EGR had been replaced, and quoted me £1200. The car has not yet gone into limp home mode. I declined the fix and said I would do some research. Looking at other forums online, many owners seem to have been able to get Volkswagen to give them the part for gratis and the labour heavily discounted. An independent Volkswagen specialist in Birmingham has quoted around £800 over the phone. He advised taking it for a thrash down the motorway every week or so (we do mainly town driving having recently had a baby) and using premium diesel. The yellow coil light my wife had appear has not come back as yet.
What has been happening here is that if the EGR failed after the NOx emissions fix, as long as the car had been properly maintained, VAG would usually replace the EGR free of charge. But in your case the EGR cooler has failed before the NOx emissions fix so doesn't qualify. That said, even prior to the NOx issue, EGR failures on Golf Mk VI 1.6 TDIs were of epidemic proportions and in my view VAG should have been replacing them anyway because they were originally sub-standard parts. You might want to watch BBC Watchdog tonight because they will be putting VAG on the spot over the NOx emissions issue and this may lead to public opinion forcing the company to capitulate and be more generous.
Answered by Honest John on

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