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Cam Belt Broken at 102000 miles

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by popeye9299, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. popeye9299
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    popeye9299 New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm after any advice people can give me regarding compenstion for a broken cam belt...

    I have an Audi A3 2.0 FSI (53 reg, 102 000 miles) and the cam belt recently snapped whilst I was doing 70 mph on the M3! The damage has now been fixed at a cost of £1950. All 16 valves were replaced as well as a new cam shaft and a few other engine parts.

    My question is, do I have any come back to the garage where it has been serviced annually as they did not inform me that it needed changing at 75000 miles as per the manufacturers instructions?

    The garage initially said it needed changing at 115 000 miles. Subsequently they have put the correct engine code into their computer and it says it needs changing at 75000! Their latest statement is that they told me verbally at 75000 miles that it needed changing. I have no recollection of them telling me and it has not been written in the invoice, or in the service book that it needs doing.

    The car has been into the garage for two subsequent services, the last of which was one month before the incident and again, they said nothing about the cam belt.

    Do I have a case to try and reclaim some of my £1950 costs as I feel they have not provided me with the service I have paid for?

    Thanks for your help.
    #1
  2. Ben H
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    Ben H On a journey...

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    Did you own the car from early in its life or low mileage and only have it serviced at the dealer / garage in question? Were you not supplied with an owner manual? Do you have any written reference to the 115k claim?

    I ask because those would be my criteria for reasonably asking for some assistance.

    It's a nasty bill you've had and I'm sorry to hear it - but we all have some level of responsibility for knowing things like when MoT, insurance and key servicing is due. I don't think it's 100% reasonable (and definitely not a contractual obligation) to be able to hold a garage to account for not giving you a reminder.
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  3. popeye9299
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    popeye9299 New Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I've had the car since it was a year old and for the first few years, got it serviced at a main dealer. In a bid to save some money(!), for the past three years it has been serviced at a local garage.

    In the service book it states that the cam belt needs changing at 115000 miles but I am told (news to me since the incident) that Audi revised their figure to 75000 miles.

    I understand that the consumer should know when MoT and servicing is due but further work, I believe, is what I am paying the garage for.

    Does anyone know of any successful actions via trade bodies or the small claims court?

    Thanks for any help you can give me!
    #3
  4. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie

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    All cambelts should be replaced at 75 - 80k miles. That applies to all cars. Your service book gives details of when the cambelt should be replaced. It is your responsibility to ensure the work is carried out at the appropriate time.

    I'm afraid 'ignorance of the rules' or in your case not having written evidence does not make your garage liable for what they have not carried out. Was it an Audi dealer garage that the car was serviced at ? If so, they will have told you about the requirement.

    At the end of the day we are all responsible for ensuring that what is required to be done is carried out. If you don't ask - you don't get and therefore I'm afraid you have very little, if any, recourse apart from asking for a 'goodwill' contribution.
    Sorry and good luck.
    #4
  5. RedDejavu
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    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

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    thats why whenever you buy a high milage car you should do cam belt just in case unless stated otherwise in the SERVICE BOOK. Never depend on what dealer say just do what you thing is right. Sorry buddy to hear this happend. Gutted for you.
    #5
  6. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    If it had happened at 60k, or even 80k, I'd have said you had a case... I can't see how you didn't suspect it might need a change at over 100k though, if you've had it from a year old.

    Sorry if I sound unsympathetic, and also sorry that you've had to shell out so much for repairs - but I really can't see how the garage has any culpability. A main dealer, maybe you'd have more of a leg to stand on.

    It's worth asking, but I'd expect a swift rebuke.
    #6
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  7. RPB
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    RPB Active Member

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    If I read it right, my service book says 114k?????
    #7
  8. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    Are you sure it goes that long between belt changes. My wifes seat Altea 2.0FSi with a BLR engine code has the came belt at 5 years or 40k miles. Im sure alot of the other 2.0 VAG engines are the same.
    #8
  9. hursty
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    hursty Member

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    I though cam belts were changed on a time or distance schedule, so 80000 miles or 4 years, I may be wrong but I think they are manufactured to degrade after a certain time for eventual disposal purposes if that makes sense
    #9
  10. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    Its nothing to do with how they will degrade over time for disposal. Timing belts all have different stresses on them depending on what application they are used for and what size the belts are. The life of a belt is measured in both mileage and age, that is set by the manufacturer of the engine though with many different cars having massive differences in life. For instance many cars are 10yrs or 100k miles others are 60k miles and the BLR in my wifes car is 40k miles or 5 yrs.
    #10
  11. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    As has been pointed out the mileage is not important in this case. It should have been changed at 4 and 8 years regardless of mileage.. Audi changed the recommendation from 60k miles about 3 years ago. I remember i received a letter telling me the belt was due for change on my 3.2 ( which dosnt have one ) from Audi and detailing the new service recomendations. :)
    I cant see you have a claim on the garage ! It is not their job to remind you of service intervals or MOT's but i am surprised if you put it in each year for a full service that they were not doing it to the service schedule which then begs the question what else are they not doing ? I suppose if the service book has been stamped by them as fully up to date and they have not carried out the required work listed in the book you might have them on a technicality but TBH i would be putting this down to experience as an expensive lesson.

    As a foot note. Had you been using an Audi dealership it would have been a different thing altogether because they keep an personal record of each car and its service history hence why i got a letter telling me of the changes.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
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  12. popeye9299
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    popeye9299 New Member

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    Ok, thank you all for your comments.

    I'm rapidly getting the idea that I'm going to have to suck the cost up and put it down as a 'life experience'!

    I can't help feeling quite aggrieved that, whilst accepting it is my resposibilty to stay on top of service dates etc, the information I have (service book) states that the belt needs changing at 115000 miles. Audi are well aware of my address (they send me enough junk about new cars and touting for service business) and have not written to me to tell me of the change to their service schedule. I was following the information I had at the time.

    Does anyone have any experience about getting money out of Audi for this sort of issue?
    #12
  13. ajex
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    ajex New Member

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    does anyone know what is the recommendation for BVY engine code-A3 2.0 FSI???
    #13
  14. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    Had you had the cam belt work done at Audi and then it snapped then you would have been able to claim as parts and work are guaranteed, but as you didn't get your cam belt changed (and to be fair you should of changed it after a max of 5 years regardless of mileage) then I don't think you will get anything out of Audi.

    Ring Audi UK customer services though, you have nothing lose...
    #14
  15. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    You sure your book doesn't say 115,000km and not 115,000 miles??

    Anyway..
    If your service book says that your cambelt should be changed at 115k miles with no mention of "....or after x amount of years" then I would say its fair that Audi should accept some responsibility.... assuming that they haven't informed you of the interval change.
    What goes against your chances are... 1) you didn't continue to take your car to them for servicing so they could claim that they would've informed you of the change in interval if they were still servicing your car; and 2) I doubt they'll give you money towards the repair now that you have got someone else to fix it. If you had taken the car to them to fix it then you probably would've got some sort of goodwill discount on the labour. But saying that, audi's repair prices are so high that even with a discount you could've still ended up paying more than the £1900 you have already shelled out.

    I'd forget about trying to claim anything from the other garage who looked after your car.
    #15
  16. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    Just take it that ALL Audi/VW/SEAT/SKoda need a belt change at 60k or 5 years, whichever comes first. Its a £200-£300 job (including the water pump change at the same time), dependant on model at a good VAG Independant.

    Its common knowledge to those who are familiar with the VAG range and I have used it a bartering tool when buying/selling. I often will look for something thats approaching the change, that then gives me the reassurance that I can change it when I get the car and its good for years to come.
    #16
  17. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    To guve the poor guy some sympathy, my 2004 service book does indeed say that 4cyl petrol engines need their cambelts changing at 115000 miles (180000km) with other models at 80000 miles. There is no mention of any age related terms.

    I became aware from this forum in the change of recommendation, so got mine done at 5 years (55000 miles).

    Because I was still using the main dealer for servicing, they also told me that it needed changing according to the 5 year/60000 mile rule too (on many occasions both before and after I'd had it done by them...).

    You could have a case that if Audi UK haven't told you of the change of interval, they're somewhat culpable, because how else were you meant to know...
    Certainly, I'll back you up that your car's manual does say its ok until 115000 miles. You could give Audi UK a cll and see where you get, but if you've had it fixed at a non-Audi garage, I suspect Audi won't help much....
    #17
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  18. legin
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    legin Member

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    They have let you down thats for sure so I wouldnt put more business their way. You will never successfully recover any of your loss.
    #18
  19. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    there Is no way Audi will pay. Might it not be cheaper to get a 2nd hand engine?
    #19
  20. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    If the manual does indeed say 115k miles, it might be worth getting in touch with AutoCar/Auto Express etc and see if they can help. You can only go with the information you have.
    #20
  21. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    Cambelt - 5 years or 60k
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  22. popeye9299
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    popeye9299 New Member

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    Thanks for all of your replies.

    I have written a letter to Audi HQ to complain about the difference between the 115 000 miles in the service book and the 75 000 revised information without informing the customers. I'm not hopeful but I'm quite keen to try and recoup some of the money for a problem that the average (i.e. not petrol head) driver may face.

    For information to those who asked, this is what the service book says...

    [​IMG]
    #22
  23. popeye9299
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    popeye9299 New Member

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    Thanks for all of your replies. <br><br>I have written a letter to Audi HQ to complain about the difference between the 115 000 miles in the service book and the 75 000 revised information without informing the customers. I'm not hopeful but I'm quite keen to try and recoup some of the money for a problem that the average (i.e. not petrol head) driver may face.<br><br>For information to those who asked, this is what the service book says...<br><br>[​IMG]<br>
    #23
  24. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    Two things:

    1) It does say to check with Audi as some models require more frequent cambelt changes.

    2) Are you sure that's an A3 service book you've got there. It makes reference to a 2.4ltr V6 engine but there isn't one in the A3 range.
    #24
  25. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd say if you had stayed with Audi for all your servicing you'd have had more of a leg to stand on, but as you decided to go outside to an independent (which in my eyes should make no difference as long as its serviced on the nail), they'll pull the old get out of jail free card.

    I'd reiterate the point above about calling auto express or a motoring body:

    1) Get all your service history info together
    2) Tell your indy garage what you are doing and ask if they would be prepared to be involved (giving support) to any case you were to raise about Audi's misinformation in the service manual etc.
    3) Contact Audi Cust. Svcs and gently and politely explain your dismay and disappointment and the route you will be taking to highlight this within the motoring press and see whether they want some time to consider or respond before yu engage with the press.
    4) If no satisfactory answer is forthcoming, contact motoring press and provide Audi's position
    4) Provide a clearly layed out scenario of ownership / service regime / history of why's and how's
    5) Cross both fingers tightly and see if when Audi are engaged by the press if they offer any 'goodwill'

    It could ultimately end up triggering Audi to have to contact all owners with misleading service books that they have on their database.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained but do it politely and you may just be in with a shot.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
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  26. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    Warren is right, but as I said the general rule is 5 years or 60k, thought this was common knowledge :ninja:
    #26
  27. popeye9299
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    popeye9299 New Member

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    Thanks for your posts.

    @N8 - common knowledge, maybe, but when the service book is saying 115 000 miles I reckon most would be inclined to follow the Audi advice?

    @warren_cox - this will be my next line of investigation if the initial letter proves fruitless.

    @Ads - the line referring to contacting Audi as more frequent changes my be required applies to the 1.8L petrol engines as signified by the small (a)

    I will report back here as to what reply I get from Audi.
    #27
  28. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    Its common sense to think that the cambelt isn't going to last 115k, hence yours snapping @ 102k
    #28
  29. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    Ah yes, was viewing it using my phone so didn't see the (a).

    Good luck with the letter mate. Worth a try!
    #29
  30. paul_r
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    paul_r Member

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    All comes down to wether they told you or not. If you have had it serviced a few times from this garage, they should have written something on the service bill, like a recommendation. It is not up to you to know what needs doing at X,Y,or Z date. That is why you pay them to do it for you.
    I went to the dentist yesterday. Nothing needed doing, but he did say i needed to floss more. He is he expert, thats why i pay him. Its not up to me to research dental health.
    Same with your car. Also any decent garage should have seen it as a few extra quid, another job that needs doing. However, if they told you and ignored it, then its a hard lesson learnt.
    Did they repair it, or was it someone else. I would have got them to do it, but maybe gone for a 50/50 deal on the cost.
    #30
  31. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    I agree its common knowledge but in our circles, outwith our "enthusiast" group a lot of motorist wont even know what a timing belt is!
    #31
  32. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    I thought we were talking about cambelts?? :think: :whistle2:
    #32
  33. ryanstewart9
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    ryanstewart9 Member

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    Just checked my Audi Service Manual and it says:

    Replacing Toothed Belt

    A3 2.0 TFSI, 2.0TDI Common Rail 180,000 km (114,000 miles)

    A3 1.9TDI, 2.0TDI (unit injector) 150,000 km (95,000 miles)

    Personally I would have thought the belt would need replacing before this. Also no mention of maximum years of life either.

    My manual was printed: 05.10.2007
    #33
  34. ryanstewart9
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    ryanstewart9 Member

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    From Audi's website in the Owners area, Maintaining your Audi:

    We recommend that your cambelt is replaced every 5 years or 75,000 miles, whichever comes first*, to ensure optimum safety and performance.

    *Not applicable to A2 or V8 RS6 models. Details refer to 2004 model year onwards.
    #34
  35. fangio
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    fangio Well-Known Member

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    And if it was an 80-year-old lady? :huh:
    #35
  36. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    I've a cam chain & timing belt LOL
    #36
  37. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    Its common knowledge fullstop :ninja:
    #37
  38. Charlie_Williams
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    Charlie_Williams Member

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    I hate to say it because of your unfortunate incident, but N8 is right. I have always knows that a cam belt needs doing every 60k, its one of those things that I've always checked when buying a 2nd hand car. Fair enough an 80 year old woman may not know, but we aren't 80 year old women are we?!!!
    #38
  39. SMc
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    SMc Member

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    Popeye, I do have a fair bit of sympathy for you, technically you are correct, you have followed Audi's recommendations and have suffered the consequences of their inaccurate information. I don't think it's fair to say 'it should be common knowledge' as some posters have done because in this day and age, companies cannot assume customers know anything (eg a packet of nuts carries a 'this product contains nuts' warning).

    Audi clearly have some responsibility here...you have followed their service schedule which has been revised without them informing you. Technically, they could say its out of warranty...end of. But, there is no mention in the service schedule that you must use an Audi dealer for the work so they have left the door open imo.

    Warren Cox made some good suggestions, best to go for Audi rather than the local garages...they are blameless tbh. Do it in a pleasant manner but inform them you are furious they have misled you and believe they should accept responsibility. Ask for the full cost (always aim high as they will barter you down if they make an offer), tell them if it is not resolved to your satisfaction you will be contacting motoring magazines, the press, Watchdog and anyone else who will listen. They may surprise you and offer you something but like others have said, you should have gone to them before having the car repaired, they would have definitely come to a deal...it will be hard trying to squeeze hard cash from them.

    Your ace card is that they did not follow up with any letter stating the service schedule had changed, that is what you have to focus on. Take them all the way to small claims court...You can represent yourself and make your case to claim around £2000 and the most you will lose is £100 or so if you don't win so it's worth a punt. They wont want to go to court and will most likely make an offer. Keep us posted how it goes though. Good luck!
    #39
  40. sinic
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    sinic Audi WAudi

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    My owners manual says every 8 years but Audi have changed this to every 6 years...they didn't advertise it, I found out from the dealer and got it done for peace of mind.
    #40

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