VTT GC Turbos Review (Updated)

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buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
UPDATE 3/27/2018

I'm always the first to admit when im wrong and today I was proven wrong. I was only in contact with Chris, not Vargas and because of that Vargas didnt know what was going on. After he found out he personally reached out to me and offered to update the turbos for free. I told him if he tares it apart and it was not the defect and it was my fault then I'll pay the $1000 to fix it, he still declined that offer.

I let my anger get the best of me and I should have reached out to him directly instead of letting all the bad online complaints get the best of me and judge him before actually speaking to him. I based everything off the internet posts and my communication with chris. Vargas has gone above and beyond what you could have asked for in regards to customer service, especially considering all of the circumstances. I just wanted to let everyone know, and he'll be getting these turbos here soon.

I'd also like to put a disclaimer up, I'm doing this out of my own free will, he never asked me to be silent or asked me to not tell anyone. He also didnt tell me that he'll fix them if i changed my review and make him look good. You can view him anyway you'd like we all have our own opionions, but my post is a geniune response considering how childish i was acting (which is easy to do on the internet).

I'm creating this thread as a review for these turbos. After my very recent experience i have learned alot about VTT. This review is based on my experience so you can make your own judgements and adult decisions all on your own.

1) Original owner bought turbos on 3/2/2016.

2) He drove it 4k miles a year since it was a summer car.

3) In Jan 2018 I aquired the car from him. Turbos had 8k miles on them.

4) I picked up the car in the upper east coast, drove about 1500 miles highway from there back home with the added road trip. (visted MA, NY, Washington ect...).

5) I drove the car for about another 600 or so miles with a few pulls here and there for log testing and tune adjustments. Then on a random day we take a trip to disney and after driving home this is aparently the drive when the GC turbos blew (keep in mind there was alot of traffic on I4 like it always it because of the big long construction project and the speedlimit is 50mph).

6) At the time i didnt even realize there was a problem with the car. It wasnt until i got I got home I noticed smoke from the tail pipes, and i was confused as hell but thats when it made me think it was turbo related or engine related.

7) I posted up on e90post for some help to diagnoise the problem to get my car up and running again.

8) After some tests the compression passed with all results in the 170+ range.

9) I contacted chris for some help looking for a boost leak and did a boost leak test to make sure all piping was secure. Everything passed a 20+ psi, no leaks on the outlet side just some on the inlets, but thats normal since the intake side isnt supposed to hold boost.

10) Pulled the downpipes and saw the busted turbos.

11) I contacted Chris and he told me they were out of warranty and only offered to repair them for $1000.

12) I then did some research on the whole GC turbo stuff and found alot of distrubing results. On Jan 30th, 2018 Vargas addmitted to the turbos having a defective exhaust turbine and offered free repairs. Chris would not honor vargas's word and give the free repair, instead he says the turbos are 2 years old, and im the second owner and bashing him online isnt going to help.

13) I have been in contact with the previous owner and he said Varags never reached out and he never had any idea that they were defective, had it known he would have gotten them fixed as soon as the fix was availible because flying turbo parts and and engines dont mix since you can easily blow your engine. He was actually quite shocked that no one ever reached out.

14) They still havnt reached out and are hoping this problem with magically go away. I've already called my losses on this and moving on, but im in contact with my lawyer and were going to spend time looking over all the facts, all his posts (all backed up since his posts are a legal binding) and all legal action that can be taken, he also suggest that i take it to a turbo specialist for an affidavit on the failure. I never intended to hurt vargas and his company, but if you're selling defective product then offer up a free repair and refuse to honor that repair because the turbos are 2 years old, or its swiched hands because they offered the free repair to late when the original owner never had a chance then your very dishonest and are looking for every excuse to not cover the product. This means that anyone who buys Vargas products are 100% screwed no matter what, Defect or not after your 365 days goes by even if a defect is found years later.

15) If you want read it all, just head on over to e90post. I fully expect to hear more of, its your fault, you installed them wrong, you overspun them, upgrading your intercooler destroyed them ect... You can make up your own mind, Vargas addmitted to the defect and thats exactly what you see, the damage is limited to the fins and what ever else was caused after the fins broke off and went into the turbos.

16) I would like to add on a positive note, that when the GC turbos worked the car ran really well and sounded and felt awsome. The spool was awsome and had given the opertunity for a repair cost that was fair i would have be happy to use them again. I dont expect them to change there minds becuase its not easy being good on moral side of life, by doing whats right (which is what brings customers back). I also hope the 2.0 versions are more reliable and fixed; however, if they really belived this to be the case why wasnt the warranty increased to 3 years as a show of confidance?
 

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NoQuarter

Captain
Nov 24, 2017
1,109
Indiana, USA
I understand your view- There is a known defect, you think they should be repaired.

I personally think VTT should repair them but I am not so sure it is because they have to. This is not a government enforced recall or anything like that. How many owners should an aftermarket vendor support for something like a turbo that goes through numerous questionable scenarios?

Shout they? yes.
Are they required to? I hope your lawyer is a friend and doing this for free.
 
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buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
I understand your view- There is a known defect, you think they should be repaired.

I personally think VTT should repair them but I am not so sure it is because they have to. This is not a government enforced recall or anything like that. How many owners should an aftermarket vendor support for something like a turbo that goes through numerous questionable scenarios?

Shout they? yes.
Are they required to? I hope your lawyer is a friend and doing this for free.
If Vargas didnt fix this for anyone else and never offered to repair it then i wouldnt feel like im being treated any differently because then he would have treated this defect the same for all purchasers. Instead he admits 2 years later that there is a known defect and offers free repairs, but aparently in his post he left out (you must be with the warranty period). This is discrimination against early adopters of the defective product which is bad. As for the lawyer, its not a friend. I have pay monthly for the service to protect my personal life and bussines.

Also i forgot to mentioned, that i never asked for them for free originally. I just asked for a more reasonable deal based on the fact that they were defective. I would have been happy to cover the cost of what ever it costs them to fix, but i wouldnt want them making a profit off of a known defect thats unmoral.
 
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dyezak

Major
May 4, 2017
1,768
Plano TX
I understand your view- There is a known defect, you think they should be repaired.

I personally think VTT should repair them but I am not so sure it is because they have to. This is not a government enforced recall or anything like that. How many owners should an aftermarket vendor support for something like a turbo that goes through numerous questionable scenarios?

Shout they? yes.
Are they required to? I hope your lawyer is a friend and doing this for free.
This pretty much sums it up. Every vendor has had this problem to one extent or another. Each vendor has dealt with it in different ways.

You are reviewing VTT's customer service (I use that loosely, since you weren't their customer) more than their product. They acknowledged the problem. Their solution was a 1y replacement program from date of purchase. If they are nice enough to replace them when you're double that time frame then good on them (and lucky you). Otherwise I empathize with you. I'd be pissed off like no other if my $3000 snails blew up in 2y.

This is part of the reason I'm still on factory turbos. Do I jump into the hybrid bandwagon when every vendor has some level of this problem to deal with? Or do I jump into the single conversion bandgagon when every vendor has some issue with their kit/fitment/service/quality to some extent?
 

buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
This pretty much sums it up. Every vendor has had this problem to one extent or another. Each vendor has dealt with it in different ways.

You are reviewing VTT's customer service (I use that loosely, since you weren't their customer) more than their product. They acknowledged the problem. Their solution was a 1y replacement program from date of purchase. If they are nice enough to replace them when you're double that time frame then good on them (and lucky you). Otherwise I empathize with you. I'd be pissed off like no other if my $3000 snails blew up in 2y.

This is part of the reason I'm still on factory turbos. Do I jump into the hybrid bandwagon when every vendor has some level of this problem to deal with? Or do I jump into the single conversion bandgagon when every vendor has some issue with their kit/fitment/service/quality to some extent?
They acknowledged the problem 2 years later, and not even within there own 1 years warranty period. How can you enforce a 1 year period on a customer if you cant even inform them that there defective within one year. This means that the customers are screwed no matter what. A defect is not a warranty issue, his post in 2018 addmitting to it is his legal binding word.

BTW Even vargas himself disagree's with this from his past statements against RB's defective turbos.
 
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9krpmrx8

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
374
San Antonio, Texas
Well, it sucks. But if it is one thing I have learned on this platform, it's that Tony is the worst face to a company that I have ever witnessed so expecting anything in terms of out of the ordinary customer service is pretty naive IMO given his reputation and the reputation of his turbos failing prematurely. I have had a set of "brand new" turbos shit the bed in a year on another platform so I get your frustration. But you are the second owner and out of warranty is out of warranty. As for forcing their hand legally, well that would be a waste of time IMO, just get them rebuilt elsewhere.
 

buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
Well, it sucks. But if it is one thing I have learned on this platform, it's that Tony is the worst face to a company that I have ever witnessed so expecting anything in terms of out of the ordinary customer service is pretty naive IMO given his reputation and the reputation of his turbos failing prematurely. I have had a set of "brand new" turbos shit the bed in a year on another platform so I get your frustration. But you are the second owner and out of warranty is out of warranty. As for forcing their hand legally, well that would be a waste of time IMO, just get them rebuilt elsewhere.
HAHA I tried. None of the other turbo manufactures will touch these. They all said that they dont want there rebuilt parts in there turbos encase they break again from a defective design.

Also i understand the whole warranty issue, i also understand im not the original owner; however, what happened was immoral and also what he types online is legal binding which is why im looking into it. Like i mentioned before, the original purchaser would have gotten them repaired if they had known they were defective. The post about them being defective and offering a free repair came after the original purchaser passed on the car to me. If he knew about this he would have gotten it fixed because turbos fins and engines dont mix.

Yes they have some legal binding protecting them from the warranty, but because of what he posted online and by him discriminating against early adopters there is always a case to be heard, especially in CA. They love lawsuits. Like i said, its at no cost to me because i already pay for it. I'm going to figure this all out and either way i already racked it upto a loss and moving onto something better like doc race, or another single turbo setup.
 
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Jerry_3:16

Specialist
Dec 15, 2016
59
I understand your view- There is a known defect, you think they should be repaired.

I personally think VTT should repair them but I am not so sure it is because they have to. This is not a government enforced recall or anything like that. How many owners should an aftermarket vendor support for something like a turbo that goes through numerous questionable scenarios?

Shout they? yes.
Are they required to? I hope your lawyer is a friend and doing this for free.
Bmw shouldn't be replacing hpfp and injectors for free to 3rd, 4th, 5th, owners. It's not government mandated recall either, but they do it because it's the right thing to do. They don't because they don't want to screw their customers and they do it to establish brand loyalty. Seems like Vargas just wants to take your money and run. They don't stand by their products and that shows alot.
 
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NoQuarter

Captain
Nov 24, 2017
1,109
Indiana, USA
Bmw shouldn't be replacing hpfp and injectors for free to 3rd, 4th, 5th, owners. It's not government mandated recall either, but they do it because it's the right thing to do. They don't because they don't want to screw their customers and they do it to establish brand loyalty. Seems like Vargas just wants to take your money and run. They don't stand by their products and that shows alot.
:D i'm not sure I would use BMW as a case study on not screwing their customers. There must be dozens of examples of them ignoring problems for years and either still do nothing or only after a class action law suit.
 
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buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
Bmw shouldn't be replacing hpfp and injectors for free to 3rd, 4th, 5th, owners. It's not government mandated recall either, but they do it because it's the right thing to do. They don't because they don't want to screw their customers and they do it to establish brand loyalty. Seems like Vargas just wants to take your money and run. They don't stand by their products and that shows alot.
BMW replaced my injectors and spark plugs replaced under warranty on my e93 n54 and i wasnt the original owner of the car.
 

Torgus

Captain
Nov 6, 2016
1,317
Boston
I would have been happy to cover the cost of what ever it costs them to fix, but i wouldnt want them making a profit off of a known defect thats unmoral.
VTT is trash. Period. Literally could not pay me money to install one of their parts on my car.

If they really cared or were a 'real' company they would have performed a service campaign and made sure every customer who purchased their product was made aware of the potential issue. This is what a professional company would do. Get out ahead of it and provide amazing CS. So you can at least say, "Yes there was an issue, but they handled it as professionally as possible." This is how you win customers for life. You fuck up and you own it like a man. Not try to make money of people's own misfortune for ignoring/not heading all the warnings about your shat company and buying and installing your known faulty turbos.

Not only do they get their initial profit from the original sale, but then additional profit when you have to pay to have it fixed. Talk about double dipping. Glad to hear you are not bending over and taking it like a sucker.

There is a reason why VTT has been kicked off and banned from every BMW forum known to man and there is a thread like this every month or so. Sorry you had to experience it 1st hand. Best of luck moving forward.

Speaking of lawsuits whatever happened to the VTT against RB lawsuit his wife was going to run with? So weird it vanished like oil & boost from one of their turbos.
 
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Blaster3500

Corporal
Nov 5, 2016
180
SC
I don't think it is a matter of being after 1 year I think it is because you are not the original purchaser. Personally I think since the turbos were defective they should take care of them for free regardless of who owns them. It's not like they are smoking or other issues it's the same known problem of the turbine failure.
 
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dyezak

Major
May 4, 2017
1,768
Plano TX
I'm not a fan of selling a known defective product. I find that questionable at best....when the proprietor found out the product in question was defective is a mitigating factor.

But I'm also not a fan of buying a known defective product then complaining about it. This isn't 2018 breaking news.
 

buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
I don't think it is a matter of being after 1 year I think it is because you are not the original purchaser. Personally I think since the turbos were defective they should take care of them for free regardless of who owns them. It's not like they are smoking or other issues it's the same known problem of the turbine failure.
Then they wouldnt mind me handing them back to the person who installed them. There worthless to me and its not like they were apart of the sale, plus he never had the chance to take advantage of the offer since he sold me the car the around jan 25th and vargas offer came jan 30th. He can send them in and get a free fix. But we all know they'd never allow that because its still 2 years old and defective.

I'm not a fan of selling a known defective product. I find that questionable at best....when the proprietor found out the product in question was defective is a mitigating factor.

But I'm also not a fan of buying a known defective product then complaining about it. This isn't 2018 breaking news.
Maybe not to you, but its breaking news to me. I didnt realize the GC's were defective until i googled the failure and found the Jan 30, 2018 Vargas post offering free replacements. So yes, it is a 2018 issue and he even posted it on these forums.

https://bmw.spoolstreet.com/threads/2018-vtt-new-product-release-thread.2791/page-4#post-31838
 

dyezak

Major
May 4, 2017
1,768
Plano TX
Maybe not to you, but its breaking news to me. I didnt realize the GC's were defective until i googled the failure and found the Jan 30, 2018 Vargas post offering free replacements. So yes, it is a 2018 issue.
You can't cherry pick one post and latch on to that to defend your case. If you look for GC Turbo Failure there are posts going back to 09/2016 documenting the issue and consolidation news articles back in 2017 bringing multiple stories of this kind together.

Google 4 u = Zage-(GC)-turbo-housing-specs-pictures-failures-and-dyno-cheating-allegations

I'm not defending the vendor, but what I'm saying is that the phrase "Caveat Emptor" has been around for over 2500 years for a reason. Grit your teeth, get pissed at me (I'd be pissed at everyone if I were you), but I do hope you grasp the silver lining and use this as a learning experience.

Buying highly modified cars means research is required.
 
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buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
You can't cherry pick one post and latch on to that to defend your case. If you look for GC Turbo Failure there are posts going back to 09/2016 documenting the issue and consolidation news articles back in 2017 bringing multiple stories of this kind together.

Google 4 u = Zage-(GC)-turbo-housing-specs-pictures-failures-and-dyno-cheating-allegations

I'm not defending the vendor, but what I'm saying is that the phrase "Caveat Emptor" has been around for over 2500 years for a reason. Grit your teeth, get pissed at me (I'd be pissed at everyone if I were you), but I do hope you grasp the silver lining and use this as a learning experience.

Buying highly modified cars means research is required.
Its not the customers responsibility to hunt down forum posts about defects, thats the responsibility of the maker to contact there customers and inform them about a fix. The defect might have been happening a while ago, but there offer for a free fix wasnt until recently. Now if they offered a free fix back in 2016 publically to everyone they please show me the post; however, the only free fix post for the known defect i seen was the jan 30th 2018 post which makes it very relevant in 2018.

BTW please post any other links you have about failures, im still doing alot of research on it and I'd like to read more about other GC experiences.
 

Blaster3500

Corporal
Nov 5, 2016
180
SC
You can't cherry pick one post and latch on to that to defend your case. If you look for GC Turbo Failure there are posts going back to 09/2016 documenting the issue and consolidation news articles back in 2017 bringing multiple stories of this kind together.

Google 4 u = Zage-(GC)-turbo-housing-specs-pictures-failures-and-dyno-cheating-allegations

I'm not defending the vendor, but what I'm saying is that the phrase "Caveat Emptor" has been around for over 2500 years for a reason. Grit your teeth, get pissed at me (I'd be pissed at everyone if I were you), but I do hope you grasp the silver lining and use this as a learning experience.

Buying highly modified cars means research is required.
Sure there were people that came forward with failed GCs but it wasn't until recently VTT acknowledged that there was a manufacturing defect.
 
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fmorelli

Colonel
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,453
Virginia
11) I contacted Chris and he told me they were out of warranty and only offered to repair them for $1000.

12) I then did some research on the whole GC turbo stuff and found alot of distrubing results. On Jan 30th, 2018 Vargas addmitted to the turbos having a defective exhaust turbine and offered free repairs. Chris would not honor vargas's word and give the free repair, instead he says the turbos are 2 years old, and im the second owner and bashing him online isnt going to help.
First off I'm sorry to hear about this issue. It's very unfortunate and I'm sure frustrating. Bad timing, too, given it happened right after you bought the car.

I have to say, I'm in disagreement with your comments of "morality". That's your morality, btw - not some ultimate truth which you seem to expect Vargas and you to both operate under. It's just your opinion. I read Vargas' post and he offered to change out wheels for those who had purchased GCs and had concerns; he was responding to someone saying what about those that had bought them that now had concerns about bolting them up - those would pretty clearly be new VTT owners of the GCs, so Tony's response was in that context, and not full of legal jumblese and disclaimers. Pretty simple.

In #12 your representation of Chris was quite clear - they were not going to do a free rebuild on a 2 year out turbo to a second owner. Extend 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? 50,000 miles? What arbitrary limit to you wish to make up and hold someone else accountable to? There is nothing moral here.

A warranty is to cover defects. Nothing else. Defects in materials. Defects in assembly. Defects in design. If not then what is a warranty covering?

The $1,000 deal to have VTT rebuild your turbos seems like a fair deal - I suspect they completely go through the turbos, and replace that wheel with the new and improved ones.

In my opinion, you've put yourself on a self-defined moral high ground, and created a no-win situation for yourself. Again I'm sorry to hear about your issues, but that's what comes across in this post. I hope it all works out well for you - life's too short for this crap :). Hope the car goes back together fast!

Filippo
 

dyezak

Major
May 4, 2017
1,768
Plano TX
Sure there were people that came forward with failed GCs but it wasn't until recently VTT acknowledged that there was a manufacturing defect.
Well, VTT is the *only* vendor to admit the issue. RB turbos hasn't admitted it, but they agreed with VTT's analysis results. And MMP is still ignoring things completely. What do you declare to be the worst offender there? Only one has actually admitted the issue exists.....
 
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buster84

Corporal
Mar 24, 2018
240
First off I'm sorry to hear about this issue. It's very unfortunate and I'm sure frustrating. Bad timing, too, given it happened right after you bought the car.

I have to say, I'm in disagreement with your comments of "morality". That's your morality, btw - not some ultimate truth which you seem to expect Vargas and you to both operate under. It's just your opinion. I read Vargas' post and he offered to change out wheels for those who had purchased GCs and had concerns; he was responding to someone saying what about those that had bought them that now had concerns about bolting them up - those would pretty clearly be new VTT owners of the GCs, so Tony's response was in that context, and not full of legal jumblese and disclaimers. Pretty simple.

In #12 your representation of Chris was quite clear - they were not going to do a free rebuild on a 2 year out turbo to a second owner. Extend 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? 50,000 miles? What arbitrary limit to you wish to make up and hold someone else accountable to? There is nothing moral here.

A warranty is to cover defects. Nothing else. Defects in materials. Defects in assembly. Defects in design. If not then what is a warranty covering?

The $1,000 deal to have VTT rebuild your turbos seems like a fair deal - I suspect they completely go through the turbos, and replace that wheel with the new and improved ones.

In my opinion, you've put yourself on a self-defined moral high ground, and created a no-win situation for yourself. Again I'm sorry to hear about your issues, but that's what comes across in this post. I hope it all works out well for you - life's too short for this crap :). Hope the car goes back together fast!

Filippo
Edit: Saw your build thread, Beautiful car!

Sorry, but your not interpreting this response correctly or rather is should say that the fact that it can be interpreted many ways only puts him in more legal problems if a class action was to show up.

If you want to send them in, we offer updates to the new wheels at no charge and cover shipping for you. Problem is, some of the wheels never give any issues, others would lose a fin in a short time. Its honestly been a bit of a nightmare, and having our own wheels cast was the only way to ensure no more issues. There are other turbo vendors announcing new offerings with the same wheels, they know very well there is an issue with, and instead of fixing it, they just ignore it and blame things like 2-step, burble tunes, NLS etc for the failures, and void warranties. Once we realized there was a real issue, it was no questions asked we would make it right at no cost to the customer. The issue was/is very real, and it cost us in the neighborhood of 6 figures to get it taken care of. Thank god it is behind us.
1) He didnt have any disclamers about it
2) He went on and talked about how some wheels never had issues and others would loose a fin (admitting to what the defect is, and this references all of his GC sales)
3) He went on and said other turbo vendors with an issue instead of fixing it would ignore you and blame it on something else voiding warrantys
4) He then said once we realized there was a real issue, it was no questions asked we would make it right at no cost to the customer.

There is no other way to interpret that. A warrandy is not a defect. Did you not read that from the Vargas own mouth? here is it again, so it doesnt matter how long it is, how many miles it is or who owns it (unless the original owner had the chance to remedy it). If he offered a free fix to GC owners and the original owner no longer has it then that set fix moves onto the person who currently holds the defect. The original owner never got a chance to fix them becaue vargas never reached out to inform anyone outside of this post.

As for the morality of it, even Vargas agrees with me! If what others have said are true and these have been known to be defective for so long then why didnt he take is own advice and stop production and stop selling them because its a criminal act?
 
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