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  1. #1
    Baz A3 T Sport

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    Angry Audi UK dispute - where do I stand?

    Below is a recent problem experienced with my 2001 A3 T Sport, can anyone give provide any advise to where I stand? Any help would be appreciated.

    *Spark plug cross-threaded in cylinder 2, which has caused thread in the cylinder head to be stripped*

    On 28 April 2006 I was on my way to work when there was a bang and my car started to misfire badly. This happened at the roundabout near Crawley Audi. For convenience I decided to pull into Crawley Audi to get them to look at the problem. This is also the garage where the last service was carried out. The problem was diagnosed as a loose spark plug in cylinder 2 and I was charged 60 to fix it.

    Three weeks to the day on 19 May 2006 I was on my way to a meeting in Slough for work when I again heard a bang and the car started to misfire badly. This time I was on the M25 and was forced to pull onto the hard shoulder. I had no breakdown cover so had to call and join the AA. 160. The AA diagnosed the problem as a loose spark plug in cylinder 2 so it was exactly the same problem as before. This time however the spark plug could not be tightened as the thread had been stripped in cylinder 2. I therefore had to get my vehicle recovered and decided to take it back to Crawely Audi as they were the garage to last touch the car.

    Crawley Audi was extremely unhelpful and denied any wrongdoing what a surprise! They did however concede that spark plugs rarely come loose so the problem should have been investigated more thoroughly on 28th April. This would have prevented the 160 expense incurred by me to join the AA and have the vehicle recovered. At the very least I would have expected Crawley Audi to refund the 60 charged to supposedly fix the problem in the first place as clearly it wasnt fixed and as a gesture of good will take some money off the cost to rectify the problem. However, Crawley Audi refused to refund the money and their gesture of goodwill was allowing me to store my vehicle there until I decided what to do. What a joke!

    The bill to resolve the problem was 650 to remove the cylinder head and re helicoil cylinder 2.

    However, I fail to see why I should incur this cost as someones incompetence at an Audi main dealer has caused the problem in the first place.

    The car was purchased used from Aylesbury Audi in December 2004 with Full Audi Main Dealer Service History. Aylesbury Audi serviced car in November 2004, prior to my purchase. This is when the spark plugs were last changed. The car has been serviced and maintained by Crawley Audi since purchase.

    I do not feel I should have to foot the bill as the problem has been caused through no fault of my own. Somewhere along the line the spark plug has been crossed threaded in the cylinder head. This was either done when the car was manufactured, by Aylesbury Audi at the last service when the spark plugs were changed or by Crawley Audi when they tightened the loose spark plug in cylinder 2.

    Any idea where I stand compensation wise?

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  3. #2
    S3_MCD's Avatar
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    If the 1st diagnosis was a loose spark plug in cyc 2... and you paid 60 to have it sorted, surley you need to be looking at the dealer for mis threading your head. As nobody can prove that it was like this before, and they have charge you to fix it, I would go down the line 'you broke it, you fix it!'

    I would take this stance with the dealer and see where it gets you, failing that Audi UK for support....

    and as a last resort get them to do the work, pay by check(s) drive the car home and cancel the chqs.
    S3(225) - Dolpin Grey | Leather/Silver Alcantara | Bose | ViperDV | Samco Hoses | Eibach Pro-Kit | H&R Spacers | Brembo GT kit | AreoWipers | BlueTooth | Dension Icelink | New engine, Clutch, Turbo, Water pump thanks to Cambelt @ 79,000 miles | New short engine thanks to ****ed valve 22,000 miles later!

  4. #3
    MikeA3's Avatar
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    Someone please correct me if Im wrong here but:

    As they undertook the work to the spark plug in the first place, their work on the car should be guaranteed for a set period of time, do you still have the receipt?

  5. #4
    jcs356's Avatar
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    Go and meet with the dealer principle at Crawley Audi. Write him a letter before the meeting and copy it to Audi UK.

    He is bound to faff around and try to put you off, but stick with it - he will back down - eventually.
    Jason
    2001 Nogaro S3 (daily driver)

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  6. #5
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    You paid them to fix a problem, the car still has the same problem - therefore their fix didn't work so in my opinion they shouldn't be taking your money.

    The question is where the cross threading occurred in the first place.

    I would contact your local Trading Standards - you'll find them via google. Either email or call them, they'll advise you of your rights, then present this to the dealer principal.

    Let us know how you get on.
    Sportback

  7. #6
    Anito's Avatar
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    I would say you ar completely in the right. Stick to your guns, Audi have a habit of making you work for these types of issues.

    If the plug was threaded before they changed it they would not have been able to fit the replacement. In actual fact it's unlikely that they would have been able to remove it.

    Stick to your guns, good luck.

  8. #7
    Baz A3 T Sport

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    Thanks for the responses/advise, much appreciated. I'll keep you posted as to how I get on!

  9. #8
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    You need to speak to the dealer principle as they are obviously the guys who have messed with the sparkplugs on the last two occasions. Perhaps with hindsight when they charged you the 60 a few searching questions should have been asked.
    It is not the 60 pounds that you want back as this was monies paid to diagnose fix your current problem.
    They did not diagnose or fix the problem that you paid them for so contractually I would think that you could force the issue on this.
    Also they have a duty of care to you and your property, so should only allow competent people to work on your car. Neither misthreading a sparkplug or misdiagnosing the aforementioned would indicate that the people who worked on your car were competent

  10. #9
    neil.c's Avatar
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    Oh and get some legal advice

  11. #10
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    Good Luck with that Hazelwood.

    I am about to take one of my local dealerships to court since they seem to have failed to diagnose a problem that I reported to them 3 times whilst under warranty. I then sent it to another dealership after the warranty expired and got them to have a look whilst doing some other work. Seems I need a new engine and there may be further damage to the cat and turbo.

    I have written to both aftersales managers and told them that I feel that the first dealership are to blame. I was Quoted 5500 for a new engine but they offered me a 10% discount on parts and a 20% discount on labour. The original quote of 5500 included the labour discount but not the parts discount apparently, so down to 5000.

    After 2 weeks of trying to get the first dealership to pay, I gave up and wrote to Jeremy Hicks, Director of Audi UK.
    Pointless. He got some one to conduct some 'lengthy investigations' on his behalf. It seems all she did was ask the first dealership's head of business if they had done anything wrong. You can imagine how keen they were to own up. Then she asked the master tech at the second dealership if he thought the first dealership had done anything wrong. Since both dealerships are owned by Sytner Group you can again imagine his reluctance to drop a sister dealership in it.

    So I got a letter back from Jeremy saying that Audi UK would not be in a position to contribute towards the repair bill, especially as my warranty had expired. However he did offer a discount on a new car if I was interested.

    I wrote back and complained further saying that I expected the dealership to pay, not Audi UK. I also suggested that what the dealership told him and what they told me were completely different and that the 'lengthy investigation' didn't seem to be very thorough.

    Tom Peterkin, Customer services Manager of Audi UK then contacted me and said he'd try to broker a deal. He asked how much I would be preparred to contribute towards the repair. I said I wouldn't since it was all covered by warranty when I first reported the problem, and the second time, and the third. He called me today to say that the head of business at the first dealership is adamant that they have done nothing wrong and as such I have to pay for the repairs in full.

    Meanwhile, the second dealership (who have had my car for 7weeks now) are talking about charging me storage. Hardly fair - call me to tell me my car is unsafe to drive, take the head off to investgate - 650 thank you very much - oh you need a new engine sir, thats 5500. Pay up without question or start paying storage costs.

    Oh and all this time Neither the dealerships or head office are interested in providing a courtesy car.

    Here are some useful numbers:-
    Audi UK Switch-Board 01908 601000 - ask to speak to Liz Luckett, PA to Jeremy Hicks
    Jeremy Hicks Direct Fax - 01908 601040
    Audi UK customer Services - 0800 699888 - Tom Peterkin is the Manager
    Address :-
    Audi UK,Yeomans Drive
    Blakelands
    Milton Keynes
    MK14 5AN

    I wish you the very best of luck, but I wouldn't hold your breath.
    Flipper

    A good loser is a born loser



  12. #11
    S3_MCD's Avatar
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    Flipper - really feel for you, looks like u have had all the bad luck!! That is a total sh1t way to be treated by dealers and AUK
    S3(225) - Dolpin Grey | Leather/Silver Alcantara | Bose | ViperDV | Samco Hoses | Eibach Pro-Kit | H&R Spacers | Brembo GT kit | AreoWipers | BlueTooth | Dension Icelink | New engine, Clutch, Turbo, Water pump thanks to Cambelt @ 79,000 miles | New short engine thanks to ****ed valve 22,000 miles later!

  13. #12
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    Best of luck Flipper mate, keeps us informed. Very poor customer service from Audi.

    Presumably they want us to buy another and spread the word how good they are!
    Sportback

  14. #13
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    Hazlewood/Flipper, I hope you stick with it. On a previous S4, dealer negligence caused a seal to be ingested into a turbo causing damage. Diagnosis was engine removed, two new turbos, two intercoolers and both heads needed removing to clear any debris from cylinders. As you can imagine, thats a bill I didn't want to foot and after 6 weeks, both the dealer and Audi UK tried washing their hands over it. Only when I threatened legal action was the car finally fixed. It is a disgrace that you have to fight tooth/nail to get remedy. From my experience, all Audi seem to do is to bounce your complaint around their call centre (who incidentally are the RAC and not part of Audi!)
    ------------------------------------------
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  15. #14
    Baz A3 T Sport

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    58.16 back so far from Ayslebury Audi. Not very good! Not giving up though!

  16. #15
    Numptie of the highest order

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    Yep I'd agree that you do have a "case" as the problem appears to be caused by their stupidity! However it won't be easy to get them to cough up any money, be bloody careful what you do next as there's a remote chance other stuff related thats now knackered - you need to get Crawley Audi / Audi UK to admit responsibility for this as soon as possible and don't give up.

  17. #16
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    No idea how old your car or engine is.
    But the fact is your warranty does not expire at all after 3 years thats just pie in the sky rubbish.

    If your engines 5 years old and covered 65,000 miles and has been serviced correctly it still is covered under warranty as it should last for a reasonable period. A modern engine should last well past 100,000 miles without major failings.

    The terms and conditions of any warranty do not in anyway superceed your statutory rights they can only enhance them .

    Take the fools to court if they wont play ball
    Last edited by co55ie; 21st August 2006 at 15:22.

  18. #17
    Baz A3 T Sport

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    Unhappy

    Car had done around 62,000 miles and is a 2001 Audi A3 T Sport.
    Last edited by Hazelwood; 22nd August 2006 at 16:52.

  19. #18
    Baz A3 T Sport

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    Below is a copy of the letter sent to Audi UK, which explains the situation in more detail. This letter has been passed on to Aylesbury Audi who agreed to refund the 58.16 for the cost to fix the problem initially. Aylesbury Audi believe Crawley Audi is at fault for the rest of the costs inflicted, but no doubt Crawley Audi will blame Aylesbury Audi! Will have to wait and see!

    Audi UK
    Customer Services
    Yeomans Drive
    Blakelands
    Milton Keynes
    MK14 5AN

    For the attention of: Customer Services Manager


    04/07/2006


    Dear Sir,

    Spark plug cross-threaded in cylinder 2, which has caused thread in the cylinder head to be stripped

    Car: Audi A3 1.8 T Sport
    Year: 2001
    Reg:
    Chassis Number:

    I am writing to you concerning the issue above with my Audi A3 T Sport (details above).

    On 28 April 2006 I was on my way to work when there was a bang and my car started to misfire badly. This happened at the roundabout outside Crawley Audi. For convenience I decided to pull into Crawley Audi to get them to look at the problem. This is also the garage where the last service was carried out. The problem was diagnosed as a loose spark plug in cylinder 2 and I was charged 58.16 to fix it. Details of the problem and work carried can be found on the attached invoice from Crawley Audi.

    Three weeks to the day on 19 May 2006 I was on my way to a meeting in Slough for work when I again heard a bang and the car started to misfire badly. This time I was on the M25 and was forced to pull onto the hard shoulder. I had no breakdown cover so had to call and join the AA for 163.00. The AA diagnosed the problem as a loose spark plug in cylinder 2 so it was exactly the same problem as before. This time however the spark plug could not be tightened as the thread had been stripped in cylinder 2. I therefore had to get my vehicle recovered and decided to take it back to Crawley Audi as they were the garage to last touch the car.

    Crawley Audi was extremely unhelpful and denied any wrongdoing what a surprise! They did however concede that spark plugs rarely come loose so the problem should have been investigated more thoroughly on 28th April. This would have prevented the 163.00 expense incurred by me to join the AA and have the vehicle recovered. At the very least I would have expected Crawley Audi to refund the 58.16 charged to supposedly fix the problem in the first place as clearly it wasnt fixed and as a gesture of good will take some money off the cost to rectify the problem. However, Crawley Audi refused to refund the money and their gesture of goodwill was allowing me to store my vehicle there until I decided what to do. What a joke!

    The quote from Crawley Audi to resolve the problem was 650 to remove the cylinder head and re bore cylinder 2. This was without even seeing the full extent of the problem.

    However, I fail to see why I should incur this cost as someones incompetence at an Audi main dealer has caused the problem in the first place.

    The car was purchased used from Aylesbury Audi (ID 601) in December 2004 with Full Audi Main Dealer Service History. Aylesbury Audi serviced the car on 29/11/04, prior to my purchase. I believe this is when the spark plugs were last changed (a copy of this invoice is attached). The car has been serviced and maintained by Crawley Audi since purchase, the last service being on 31/10/05. Your records will confirm this.

    I do not feel I should have to foot the bill as the problem has been caused through no fault of my own. Somewhere along the line the spark plug has been crossed threaded in the cylinder head. This was clearly done by Aylesbury Audi when the spark plugs were last changed or by Crawley Audi when they tightened the loose spark plug in cylinder 2.

    Due to Crawley Audi being so unhelpful in this matter I decided to take the car elsewhere to get the work done. Crawley Audi offered no quick solution to this problem and no courtesy car was offered. Certainly not service worthy of over 90 an hour labour. Time was of the essence so I took the Car to TC Garage (contact details on invoice) in Copthorne, West Sussex an Audi and VW Specialist to get the work done. I have used them before with a previous A3 and they have been excellent.

    After a full investigation of the problem, TC Garage did not believe a satisfactory repair could be carried out due to the multi valve design so a complete new cylinder head was required. Trevor Clarke of TC Garage would be happy to discuss his decision to do this if necessary. An invoice for the work carried out is attached. As the car had done 62,349 miles the cambelt, tensioners, tensioning plunger and idle roller as well as water pump were replaced. Sensible as most of the engine was apart anyway. I do not expect this part of the invoice to be refunded.

    At the very least I expect compensation for the following:

    58.16 Invoice No C361705 - Crawley Audi invoice for supposedly fixing the problem.

    163 incurred for vehicle recovery after fault occurred again after supposedly being fixed.

    2,119.83 invoice from TC Garage to replace whole cylinder head as highlighted on invoice, less cambelt parts as mentioned above. Labour charge would be no different as parts had to be removed anyway when cylinder head removed.

    This is a total of 2,340.99, which I expect to be refunded in full as the problem was clearly caused by either Crawley Audi or Aylesbury Audi.

    As Im sure you can appreciate I do not expect this kind of expense from an Audi Approved Used Car I purchased only 18 months ago and on a car that has been serviced and maintained at Audi main dealers.

    If it is not refunded to me promptly and in full I will be forced to seek legal action, which I have no hesitation in proceeding with.


    Yours sincerely


    Barry Alce


    Encl.

    Invoice From Invoice Number Date
    Aylesbury Audi - Invoice for service 487248 29/11/04
    Crawley Audi - Invoice for service C359054 31/10/05
    Crawley Audi - Invoice C361705 28/04/06
    Crawley Audi Invoice/Advise note C361959 19/05/06
    TC Garage - Invoice W08073/ALCE 08/06/06

  20. #19
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    Hazlewood.

    You should have initially written to the dealer who knackered your plugs giving them ten days to sort the matter out to your complete satisfaction explaining to them that if they did not meet their obligations within this time period that the vehicle would be repaired at their expense at a dealer / garage of your choosing.

    You should have filled in a county court claim form and attached it to the letter claiming an undetermined sum and informed the dealer of the exact date and time you would submit the claim to the court. Exactly ten days after their anticipated receipt of the letter.If you do this they cant argue out of paying your costs.

    You should have also asked the dealer for a detailed written explanation as to why the vehicle has failed. They are unlikely to do this as it well may liable them. But your request is more than reasonable and if the matter went to the small claims court it is more proof of the unreasonable nature of the dealer. All fuel for your fire.

    Audi UK will tell you anything rather than your rights .

  21. #20
    mintie's Avatar
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    so sorry for doing this, where do i stand on having to put a new brake master cylinder on my S3, having the brake lines changed an new dot 5.1 fluid put in, the rubbers turned back on their selves, with looking at my service history the fluid has not been changed for FIVE years, the car has always been to EAST KENT AUDI for any service work, because this is where i bought the car and it is the only AUDI stealer ship in the area

  22. #21
    ZeroK66's Avatar
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    Very Interesting stuff guys...

    I have a turbo moments from failure on my 2000 Audi S4 - 3k to fix. Car is 6 months old, purchased from a dealer in March as an Approved Used Car. The car was advertised as 310BHP - standard is 265. At time of purchased I clarified that the mods (chip & exhaust) would not affect the warranty & recorded the conversation.

    The dealer has since changed hands and the new owners want nothing to do wtih it. Audi UK say there is no proof of me purchasing it moddified (despite providing the recorded conversation etc) and will not warrant the work on the car.

    I have contacted Tom Peterkin who will not speak to me and got the useless cow in CS I was originally dealing with to reply on his behalf saying the same thing.

    What should I be doing next guys? This is going to cost me £3k to fix!
    Facelift Imola S4 | Custom: K04's, Tubular Manifolds, 3" DPs-> 2.75" Catback | FMIC | H&R Coilovers + ARB's | Brembo 8-Pots | SS + DTS | 503HP/475lbs/ft | 1800W RMS

    Sold: Audi A4 (B5) 2.8 Quattro | Ivory Pearl
    Melted: Corrado - IHI 1.8 20vT: 343BHP

  23. #22
    mintie's Avatar
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    stick to your guns you brought the car from a stealership they gave you a 12 month warranty with the purchase of the car, as long as you have made no changes to the vehicle,they sold it as good for them, then they should fix it under warrenty

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mintie
    stick to your guns you brought the car from a stealership they gave you a 12 month warranty with the purchase of the car, as long as you have made no changes to the vehicle,they sold it as good for them, then they should fix it under warrenty
    But that agreement was with a dealership that no longer exists. Audi UK are not obliged to honour it and i'm not suprised the new dealer isn't interested.

    Your best bet is persue it through Audi UK, the dealership won't be any help. Keep pushing with Audi you should get some good-will out of them as it came from their dealer network.

    Tough one though; the arguement is clear; They'll just say 'if it wasn't chipped the turbo wouldn't have failed'.

  25. #24
    ZeroK66's Avatar
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    Well having gone all the way to the top (director of Audi UK) he too will not offer any assistance or goodwill in this case. I will now go to Audi HQ and also seek legal advice on this and also write in to as many magazines as possible so I can pass on my experience as an Audi Approved Used car customer.

    Thanks to this forum I was able to pursue it a little further, sadly I couldnt get Audi to help in this case.
    Facelift Imola S4 | Custom: K04's, Tubular Manifolds, 3" DPs-> 2.75" Catback | FMIC | H&R Coilovers + ARB's | Brembo 8-Pots | SS + DTS | 503HP/475lbs/ft | 1800W RMS

    Sold: Audi A4 (B5) 2.8 Quattro | Ivory Pearl
    Melted: Corrado - IHI 1.8 20vT: 343BHP

 

 

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