My story starts almost 12 months ago when I purchased an Audi A3 dieseal quattro from an independent dealer. The car a 2007 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Quattro with full Audi service history and 62,000 miles on the clock.
My problem arose when I got the car on my four post ramp and looking at the underside noticed a considerable amount of rust. My first port of call was my local Audi dealer in Stoke who inspected my car, then told me that the vehicle was not covered for the rust as it had been involved in an accident at some time. With this I put the car back on my ramp and did a thorough inspection, (being in the body/mechanic trade for over 30 years, I knew what to look for). Armed with this I rang Audi Stoke and they said bring the car back for another inspection. This time they confirmed that the vehicle had not been involved in any accident and they had made a mistake.
Photos were taken and sent off to Audi UK, who I believe also involved Audi Germany. The result after many phone calls and letters was that due to outside influences affecting the underside they could do nothing.
I next tried to find some history on the car. My findings were that it had been a one owner lease vehicle, by a professional Banker and that as far as the leasing company knew it had only been driven around tha Aberdeen area on mainly A-B roads and motorways so nothing unusual there. The service history seemed to back this up.
Back to Audi and a letter to Jeremy Hicks director ofAudi Uk, who said If I had an independent report on the vehicle he would review the matter.
This I had done by DEKRA (Part of the AA) at a cost of £199. When the DEKRA inspector saw the underside he was very surprised at the amount of serious rust to say the least. DEKRA gave me a full report of their findings which I sent to Jeremy Hicks.
More weeks passed and I was told to take my car to an Audi approved body shop in Crewe, Cheshire. There inspection confirmed excessive rusting on the underside areas ie rear chassis sections and boot floor area.
About 2-3 weeks later I received a phone call telling me that as the rusting was so excessive they would be prepared to repair the vehicle by cutting out the two rear chassis sections and the complete boot floor where the spare wheel goes etc and wield in new metal. After some thought I decided not to go ahead with the repair, knowing that the resale value after such extensive work may be affected, but mainly the safety aspect of having the main structure cut away and rewielded it would become a cut and shut job.
I expressed my concerns with Audi who said that I have two weeks to take up their offer or nothing else would be done. I argued the case that the car should be replaced like for like with Audi UK and Audi Germany, but although they said it shouldn't have rusted in this way, there was nothing else they were prepared to do.
I have owned Audi's for the past 16 years thinking them a quality marque and with fully galvanized bodies and hot waxed dipped, rust is the last thing you think of, especially on a 3 1/2 year old car that has full Audi service history and no accident damage. The only conclusion I have asatained is that the vehicle has spent most of its 3 years up and around Aberdeen which is affected by salty air. So my conclusion is if you buy an Audi and live near the coast (of which there is some 5,000 miles of coastline around the UK), your Audi can rust away and nothing can be done by Audi.