Hi ice9 Just saw you edit, 50,000 miles is a bit short considering the taxi torture test, 1 year lets your imagination run a little. The fundamental of the design is fail proof meaning if the part stops working OEM or Red Bullet the valve timing will be slow or in a fixed variable time. The below will put our unrest to sleep. From the diagram which JimboPalmer posted earlier here and which I have used on other page to describe how the variable valve work and how the Red Bullet makes it better. The variable valves works at optimizing the valve position with very minor angle adjustment, you will still be able to drive the car if it fails regardless of OEM or Red Bullet. I guess this is what a mechanic will never tell you! unless they are your family or close relative. Let me explain why. With a failed solenoid unable to adjust the variable positioning it just means you are driving a non-variable valve that is all. If it is stopped working at idle, you will be driving at the idle setting, if stuck at power, you will be driving in the power setting, if you are stuck in a betweener then you are there fixed none the less. Ever wonder how engines continue to rotate before they invented variable valve? I guess it must be a fixed system then just like running on a failed solenoid. Wrong variable time is totally manageable and wont cause total engine destruction like they try to scare you at the stealership, just go and get the solenoid replaced. I once drove my car that had one cylinder totally off time from Lublin in Poland all the way to Budapest Hungary back and forth twice I think until we figure one set of tappet was set to the wrong engine firing sequence, ran like a bloody diesel, the thing took regular, it was significantly off time in a cute fixed way. The car was adjusted correctly after and I used it for another 3 years traveling as far as France and Italy, in the end sold to very happy people. I think it is still running right now. I think people are being scared to a extant that we do not even look at the logic and theory behind it anymore! Caution side note here! A wrong variable time is not the same as a skipped tooth or skipped timing! Those can be very dangerous! especially on a VW zero tolerance engines!