Thanks for writing in to AskPatty, it is possible that the factory installed the release bearing in the clutch too tight...causing it to release very soon (high on pedal). I will say that pulling a u haul with a beetle is risky business, it was not made to haul loads. A faulty "tooth" in the pressure plate can make all the difference on how the clutch releases, as well as clutch plates. In my experience of working with Volkswagen it is a well known secret, if you will, that there are issues with their newer clutch models. There are a number of VW customers that have had complaints of clutch failure on newer models with less than 20k miles. I am not sure if this applies to you particular model, but VW is aware that they have clutch issues starting at the manufacture of the vehicle in the factory.
That does sound like a short amount of time for a clutch to go. I have to say, that I probably wouldn't tow anything with this vehicle though. Check in your owner's manual to see if they recommend towing something before you do it again.
I would also suggest in the future, since you know how to drive a manual transmission, that if you feel something is not right you take it back to the dealership and have it corrected right away. Having the pedal "grab" so high is not normal and it may have just needed a pedal adjustment. All of these things could add to the premature deterioration of the clutch.
As for your driving skills, it sounds like you haven't had trouble with clutches before, so I would say that this case was probably not user error.
I had a clutch master cylinder go on my vehicle at 40,000 miles and they told me it was a wear item. That is just ridiculous. Sometimes it's hard to get them to admit that something is wrong. By the way, I drove that one clutch for 230,000 miles!
Good luck with the new clutch!
〉 Answered on Sep 25th, 2007 by Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines