I bought this car used with approx 19,000 miles. The first time I took it in to the dealership for a instrument panel issue I already had blackened wheel bases for all four tires. I've taken the car in at lesast four times since I purchased it in August, 2011. I took it in last week (Dec., 2012) since the instrument panel advised to :"Check brake pads." The Service Center attendant told me that the blackened wheel base is an indicator of brake pad and rotor problems or need for replacement. If this is the case, why wasn't I advised of this issue back in September, 2011 when I first took the vehicle in for another issue and all of the wheel bases were blackened then and, for that matter, each of the three times when I subsequently took the car in to the VW Service Center? Needless to say, I feel that this issue is something that VW doesn't wish to disclose to its customers. (Not very honest, right?)
Unbelievable, just took my 2011 Jetta in for the 40K check-up and was told the front rotors were worn beyond repair. They explained that the pads were not working correctly and did not wear away the rust and consequently the rotors were pitted beyond repair. Hence $ 488.00 dollars to replace the rotor and pads.
I am in disbelief since the car is in the garage and is only used on the highway. The rear drums and pads are only 50% worn, yet the rotors were destroyed. There must be a design error in the brake caliper or the free three check-up at 10K intervals does not include checking to see if the rotors is being ruined. The maintenance people said it just could have just happened overnight... the deep rusty pits.
We bought used last summer (2014), one-owner, meticulously cared for, and it had just had a full brake job. 26,000 miles later we're getting all new pads and front rotors. Checking in to repair history we find the original brakes lasted 50K, and since then it has had full brake job every 25-30K miles. Cannot find anything to indicate this is not normal, nor a defect... just seems to be the norm for these vehicles. With that in mind, you need to figure about $0.04/mile operating cost just for brakes. Most of the other vehicles I have owned over the years go 60-100K between brake relines, so I don't think this is a driving habits issue.