I don't know if VW's reluctance to give a tow rating is related to liability issues, but rather warranty concerns. The warranty is longer in the US than most other countries and covers more of the car. Like the towing issues on the DSG. The clutches in the DSG actually outlast the DMF flywheel by quite a bit being oil bath and multiple disc. There is little if any difference in the DSG vs. manual ratings in the UK and Germany.
What is happening now in VW is the culture will be challenged and hopefully changed.
VW's offerings in the US have always been limited and trailed behind the rest of the world. Perhaps with the culture shift VW will consider tow ratings for their passenger cars, but most likely they will instead build more CUVs and SUVs since those are more popular and have higher profit margins (assuming survival!). The new Tiguan will still be built on the Golf/Jetta platform, just taller with a higher CG.
As to the restrictive Euro towing standards what is the problem with that? We are talking height of hitches that match trailers. You just need fewer drop and rise adapters etc. Their "odd" electrics mostly are to detect lamp failures and insure good grounds with multiple pins (13 pin). Electric brakes
vs surge brake would be an issue, but a rather small one. Tests have shown that the time advantage for the electric over surge is less than .3 seconds. Also testing has shown that in the case of sway putting on the trailer brakes
, while a good thought, is usually not done in time to actually help control the vehicle.
The European and now US electronic trailer stabilization is a great safety addition and one reason I am using the VW TDI wagon for towing. In the case of detected trailer sway the computer accelerates or brakes
individual wheels as necessary along with giving steering cues as well through the electric power steering system.
I understand all of the hullabaloo about liability etc whch is why my insurance company has the trailer and tow car on the policy and their concern was the wear and tear on the VW while towing not the liability of the pair.
Engineering wise I am not concerned about the loads etc. I have taken pains to keep the weight
within reason and close to the axle
centerline. I have lengthened the frame to allow for the front bath and also reduce the tongue loading. This also increases stability of the system.
Others should not tow with cars that they are concerned about the ratings in the US, but people should be aware of what smaller cars are capable of.
One hopes that with the new SAE guidelines manufacturers would test and rate both trucks and cars like they do in Europe where testing has been required for a long time. Of course they don't have the Davis dam road to use to test.
There are several items of importance here.
1. Stability under tow - mostly determined by the trailer geometry and loading
2. Pulling capability and cooling of the systems.
3. Braking (Discs at all four corners etc), but again this is determined by the trailer brakes.
4. Percentage of weight
of the tow vehicle vs the trailer. Looking at trucks I wonder if this should really be a part of #1 above. I have seen many trucks towing trailers that make me wonder about them more than my VW and 16' Scamp
I apologize for continuing to post on this thread since I said earlier I would not. Mostly because these discussions go the same way with the same people contributing the same "facts" and opinions. It seems to be mostly related to liability and not the capability of any particular TV - trailer combination or engineering limitations.
Perhaps one day I will learn how to let it go.
Sorry again for being one of the few that have no concern towing with my now obNOXious VW TDI. (Bob - Here I mean that I don't worry about towing with the VW TDI and Scamp
even with the news that the TDI has been cheated by VW to pass NOX emission standards. If (in the southern slang) Y'all have concerns about my towing with the VW TDI then chill out, I know the trailer is back there, but it tows well and is very stable and no performance worries, even in 110* Texas heat.
If there is a flood of TDIs on the market cheap then if you have the fortitude to maintain one it makes a great tow car for the small eggs, US ratings taken inder personal advisement.
Being an engineer and in R&D for about 45 years I have a little bit of experience with things that roll and break (or not). I can make my own decisions. I can also ramble about a little.