Broken Seat Flip Key 2016 VW Skoda

  Broken Seat Flip Key 2016 New Problem

**Breaking News 13 July 2018 VW have agreed to replace these keys under warranty *** See Comments below

When you think the quality of car keys can’t get any worse, it does. This week we’ve seen a broken Seat Flip key that’s just 18 months old, it broke like it was made of cheese. We didn’t realise it was such a potential problem until we got to see one up close. However, if what we are seeing in Lincoln is the same as the rest of the UK, we believe there are big problems coming.

When we write these articles, we normally have a solution for you as well. Sorry, but we don’t have a fix yet, so this article may not be for you. However, we believe that if you have this key, and if you know what to look for, you can avoid being stranded when you lose the key blade.

Seat Flip key

Lost Key Blade

The first we heard of this was a few weeks ago when a good regular customer called us to say one of his sales cars had a missing key blade. A bit odd we thought, but sure enough, when we saw the key, the pin that holds the blade in place was missing. This had caused the key blade to get lost.

Fortunately, he had another key, so we just fitted another blade, replaced the pin, and thought no more of it.

Stranded with a Broken Seat Flip Key

Then another call from someone with the same problem. They we’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, with a car full of young children and it was getting dark. We were on our way to help, when thanks to a family search party, they found the blade and managed to get home ok.

This time it’s broken

Then this week, another customer walks into our shop to show us her remote key from a 2016 Seat Ibiza. It was a lease car and she’d had it from new, for just 18 months. She had two keys, the one she never used was in perfect condition. The other was the working key, until one day she recalled how she flipped the blade out to use it and the blade shot off away from her. Fortunately, she had her spare. However, when she talked to the dealer about the return of the car at the endof the lease, they told her they’d be charging her for a replacement key!

broken seat flip key

Broken Seat Flip key – The Cause?

When we looked at the key, we could clearly see that on one side of the flip assembly, a crack had developed, allowing the blade to move from side to side. This, in turn, had caused the pin to drop out. She assured us that she was a regular user and hadn’t been rough with the key etc. Therefore, there are only a couple of reasons the key cracked so easily.

  1. The flip assembly metal is too weak. We’ve also see this with Hyundai and Kia keys.
  2. The ignition locks are too stiff to turn. We’ve seen this problem with VW transporters and Caddy vans, of the age 2010 – 2013. When the key is turned is turned to ‘crank’ it’s very stiff and causes the same damage, shown below.
  3. The key blade is the wrong orientation. With most flip keys, blade lays flat against the key, whilst with this design, it is end on. We believe this is a contributing factor.
Broken Seat Flip key

Broken Transporter key

What’s the answer?

Firstly, will there be a recall by the Seat, Skoda, and VW main dealer? With the keys being so new, it seems outrageous that replacement keys need to be paid for. For most of us that don’t buy cars from new, this may be a thing to look out for when buying a used Seat, Skoda or VW.

As with all these problems, we expect that the repair cases will be available soon. This will allow the delicate electronics can be moved from the broken key into a new case. However, this won’t help you when you’re stranded because your key blade has fallen out of the key and you only have one key!

Check out the video we made of the broken Seat Key

Your feedback

Please comment below if you have the same problem with your Seat, Skoda, or VW Key and together, we’ll see if this is a major problem or a one-off.

Thanks for your help!

Here’s the article we wrote about VW Transporter keys breaking. Click Here to find out more.

Read more about flip keys breaking by clicking here

42 replies
  1. Linda sullivan
    Linda sullivan says:

    Seat Leon less than 6 months old (leased) pin holding the key has disappeared along with the metal key. Seat day not a manufacturing fault so not covered under warranty. Offered 70% towards replacement but still want £241 for a new key. Still in dispute with them.

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Linda, thanks for sharing this. I’m amazed that there hasn’t been a recall. The people we’ve soken too haven’t mistreated the keys at all…

      Reply
  2. Declan
    Declan says:

    We have the same problem here in bedfordshire. This has happened to my partner. No force used and it snapped in the ignition. Seat want to charge £250 to replace the whole key

    Reply
      • Declan
        Declan says:

        No not fixed yet. I shall be disputing it with them when I get a moment. Timpsons said it’s a big problem too as they have had lots of people come in about the same issue

        Reply
          • Steve Bulleyment
            Steve Bulleyment says:

            Hi Chris, we have a repair case available now. How many keys do you have? Can you send us the broken key as we are waiting to make a repair video but need to get hold of a key.

          • Declan
            Declan says:

            Seat have refused to acknowledge the problem. Even their customer service are not helping. I’m going to take it further and see what else can be done as the keys are not fit for purpose.

          • Steve Bulleyment
            Steve Bulleyment says:

            Hi Chris, thanks for the update. This must be very frustrating. Please keep us informed and hopefully if you get it sorted, your information will help others

  3. Seb
    Seb says:

    I have this exact same problem with My Volkswagen key which is identical to this Seat one. I’ve been to VW dealership today who seemed to imply I must have done something wrong. I’ve owned Volkswagens all my life and this has never happened before.

    First a hairline fracture then the key blade comes out completely. Has happened to BOTH keys now. It makes me so annoyed that VW think it’s me.

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Seb. I agree, this must be very frustrating. Have you written a letter of complaint? I was talking to a manager of a local dealership and he told me no-one every complains in writing. If you do, they will have to look into it.
      In our opinion, it is a design amd manufacture fault. We’ve been doing this 14 years and never seen a key fall apart like these new VAG keys do. Let us know how you get on please

      Reply
      • Seb
        Seb says:

        Hi Steve. Well I have to Say I’m pleasantly surprised after seeing VW two days ago. They have called back today and have said that my Keys are covered by warranty and that they are going to replace them both for free. There was no fuss or a need for any further correspondence. I was quite surprised and needless to say quite relieved! (Especially as initially, they denied ever coming across this issue ever and tried to imply it must be my fault).

        Reply
        • Seb
          Seb says:

          Oh and to add; I never needed to write to them, or complain. Just called up, took them in to be photographed for consultation with a colleague elsewhere and that was it. Perhaps they are becoming more aware of it as an issue. Incidentally, o did make a serious complaint about 6 months ago that could have been very bad for them so perhaps they looked back on my history and thought better than to deny my request. Who knows. Just thought I’d give the insight to add context/perspective. Thanks so much for this article! I hope that everyone else has success too. Also that they do in fact put out a product recall and not brush this under the carpet. I would encourage anyone to leave a comment on this thread so we can spread the word.

          Reply
          • Steve Bulleyment
            Steve Bulleyment says:

            Yes thanks Seb
            If anyone has has any success stories, or failures for that matter, it will help get this problem addressed. Good luck everyone;)

        • Steve Bulleyment
          Steve Bulleyment says:

          Hi Seb
          This is great news.
          Firstly that they are going to replace them ( although I suspect that the keys they replace them with will be an identical design). But forgetting this, they must be getting alot of complaints and have decided to act on it. I guess VW have had so much bad emissions PR, they have some making up to do.

          Please can I ask you to do two things?
          Firstly can you explain the approach you took with the staff at VW, and how you talked them around? If you could give any tips, it will help any other readers.

          Secondly, please could you put this info as a comment on my YouTube video about the problem?

          Reply
          • seb
            seb says:

            Sure, all I did was call them and explain the situation. They asked me to come in and the key for me was to be polite and calm. If they thought I was an aggressive type they would feel I may have been rough with the keys (which I haven’t) but I knew it was important to be as professional as I expected them to be. With this in mind I had previously used the government initiative; ‘Resolver’ Against VW, who are brilliant and log everything for you with plenty of tips and ways of auto escalation etc. (It’s also free). Companies are worried by initiatives like this and they work. I suspect as I’d used resolver in the past successfully whilst dealing with VW that they knew I wasn’t gonna be pushed over in this case either. So for anyone struggling with a VW dealership (they’re all different), then you can access Resolver by their App on the App Store or simply online.

            https://www.resolver.co.uk

            I can’t say a lot more as that is really all I did. Perhaps it’s been good fortune. Certainly, Resolver will log everyone’s complaints and can then gain a picture of how big this issue is.

          • Steve Bulleyment
            Steve Bulleyment says:

            This is excellent, thank you, I’d not even heard of this App. Thanks for psting this Seb

  4. James
    James says:

    I am having the same issue with VW now too! Both my keys have the exact fracture as the images above. What can I/we do?

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi James, this is a big problem.
      Firstly you need to complain in writing. Do some digging and find out who it is to complain to. It would be great if you could post any good contacts to this post so others can write in too.
      In the meantime, we’d be happy to take a look. We have a range of repair cases, but could do with a look at your key to see if the case we have is a match
      Can you call us? 01522 514141

      Reply
  5. Paul
    Paul says:

    I have the same problems on my 66 plate seat Ibiza, both keys are now damaged, I was stranded when it snapped and had to buy superglue from the nearest shop to glue the key back In just to get home. Absolute joke.

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Paul, yes this is a growing problem. Did you find out whether Seat are replacing these under warranty? VW are…Let us all know please?

      Reply
        • Steve Bulleyment
          Steve Bulleyment says:

          Hi Paul, this is bad news. I would complain in writing. Hardly anyone does. Put a post on Facebook and ask friends to share and get some awareness. This is what we are trying to do here. Do a search of the top dogs at Seat and write direct to them, become a pain in the backside and this is the only way you get things done in the motor trade! Good Luck

          Reply
  6. Colleen
    Colleen says:

    I have a fabia 2016 both my keys are now broken, started with hairline crack, couple weeks later blade falls out, luckily didn’t loose the blades Skoda not interested!!!

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Colleen. This is interesting because VW are offering to replace teh same keys as you have ( just a different badge). Have you written a letter of complaint?

      Reply
      • Colleen Duckworth
        Colleen Duckworth says:

        I have been back into skoda today, they are not interested, told me to call customer services, who told me to go into dearlership. Might turn to social media!

        Reply
        • Steve Bulleyment
          Steve Bulleyment says:

          Hi Colleen
          Thanks for this update to the problem
          I’m amazed that there’s not more about it on Twitter or Facebook.
          They are washing their hands of the problem and soon the cars will be too old for them to do a recall.
          Feel free to use our article which shows it isn’t just you with the problem

          Good Luck!

          Reply
  7. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    This has just happened to my key now. Thankfully I was at home. This the reason for coming across this forum also. I will be writing to VW.

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi, yes you should. Do you have a spare? What is your local dealer like and do you mind posting the model and age ? So we have an idea? Thanks

      Reply
  8. Mark Gough
    Mark Gough says:

    Hi all,

    Same thing has happened to my spare key. The pin has come loose and the blade has fallen out. No idea where it or the pin is. I have a VW Tiguan 66 Plate. I asked Arnold Clark VW Glasgow to look at the key when it was in for a service yesterday and they advised that it would not be covered under warranty so I would need to pay £241 for a full new key, even though I only need the blade!

    I have now contact VW customer services to make a complaint. The lady advised that they would contact Arnold Clark for their view given that they have seen the key and that ultimately the decision to cover or not would rest with them. I will hear back within the next 48 hours. I think this is shocking as there is clearly a design fault with this pin. It was coming loose on my main key (which I noticed after the blade was gone from the spare) and so I had a local locksmith push it back in, otherwise I would have lost another blade.

    Very frustrating.

    Mark

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Mark
      Thanks for the comments. Yes, we have seen a Tiguan this week, also a 2016 car with the same problem.
      Can we use these comments in another article we are writing please?

      Reply
      • Matic
        Matic says:

        I also have the same problem on Tiguan 2016..both keys broken.
        I have been to the VW service and they don’t want to replace it under warranty. They also sent pictures of my issue to VW company.

        Has anyone else been successful with warranty?

        Reply
        • Steve Bulleyment
          Steve Bulleyment says:

          Hi Matic
          did you see the earlier comments on this thread?
          I have cut and paste again

          ‘Seb
          July 13, 2018 at 3:58 pm
          Hi Steve. Well I have to Say I’m pleasantly surprised after seeing VW two days ago. They have called back today and have said that my Keys are covered by warranty and that they are going to replace them both for free. There was no fuss or a need for any further correspondence. I was quite surprised and needless to say quite relieved! (Especially as initially, they denied ever coming across this issue ever and tried to imply it must be my fault)’

          Reply
  9. mike
    mike says:

    I have just had exactly this problem with the key for my 2016 VW Polo. After a bit of initial reluctance VW + Citygate Chalfont have replaced the key for free under the warranty. My other original key is still alright.

    Reply
  10. Mike
    Mike says:

    No particularly special tips – my advice is 1) Read the warranty booklet carefully and be sure about the basis of your claim 2) Communicate clearly with the retailer as to what has happened 2) Don’t be fobbed off by retailer statements that your issue is not covered by warranty – ask them to explain why 3) Make sure the retailer makes the warranty claim to VW and presents the position fairly 4) Take up any unresolved issue with VW directly and if still unresolved use the VW warranty complaints procedure.

    It is worth being aware of the rules of engagement. Claiming under the VW manufacturer’s warranty is an odd process because in practice you have to claim through the franchised retailer who is not party to the warranty contract which is between the car owner and VW. My impression is that warranty claims are seen as a bit of a nuisance by the retailer. My guess is that claims earn the retailer less money and create more paperwork than a straight customer sale. On the other hand both the retailer and VW have to be aware of the very real customer negative that arises from unreasonably turning down a claim.

    Reply
  11. Amber
    Amber says:

    I have also a 2017 reg seat Ibiza with 2 key fobs snapped seat didn’t want to know said wasn’t under warranty had the car for near 2 year now 1 snapped a year ago the design of them in awful and I was not willing to pay over the odds for a key as this was unaffordbale especially for 2 so I ordered 2 similar key fobs of eBay and got key cut to fit got 2 for just under £40 pound. Hope it’s helps

    Reply
    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Amber, thanks for your advice. It’s amazing that they are ducking responsibility for this. The design of the key is flawed.
      Shame you had to fix your own keys but well done. Did you transfer over everything ok?

      Reply

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