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Old 30th October 2015, 23:58   #1
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Thumbs down Problematic experience with my Audi A4

I had a disastrous experience with my 2012 Audi A4, which had run less than 40,000 km.

I was on my way to a nearby town on a rainy night, with my wife and 8 month old baby on board. Things were fine until I tried to overtake a truck, when I heard a beep sound and the power steering just stopped working. I wouldn't be writing this report if there was a vehicle coming from the opposite side when Audi decided to turn off the power steering to save some internal part. With God’s grace I could slow down and manoeuvre the car and my family to safety. It is such a scary situation when there is nothing you can do to save your family. We were in a state of shock for a while, after a near death experience. It showed a message that the steering has malfunctioned and I shouldn't drive any more. Hiding my anger, frustration or whatever you call it, I contacted the Audi road side assistance, who was more worried about explaining the cost involved in towing the vehicle to nearest service station.

It took a few days for Audi engineers to find what went wrong. I got the car back after a couple of days with assurance, & he became my companion for the daily commute, but only for 4-5 days. The steering failed again while driving which is a serious safety issue now.

Anyway, towed back to service station again and after a week, got it back with assurance that the problem has been rectified. After that I was reluctant to use it as my primary vehicle, since I lost confidence, especially on safety and reliability aspect. Whom will I blame if something goes wrong again? Audi has programmed the car to give primary importance to internal parts than to the safety of the passenger? Or is it some serious manufacturing defect with my car alone?

Meanwhile car went for regular / routine service and delivered back at my hospital with some snacks, bottled water etc. a good gesture which my old service station never used to do(but they charged for delivery!). The smile on my face didn't last for more than few days, this time check engine light got turned on suddenly. I couldn't bear this any more, still I restricted myself and informed the service people who asked me to take the car to their place for a quick check up.

They found that it’s some problem with coolant pump which stopped working too. I was totally frustrated by that and asked them not to do anything and demanded an explanation from Audi India for selling me a defective vehicle which went completely crap in less than 40000 Kms. I send them a mail and in response nearest Audi dealer send one engineer to my place to take vehicle log and assured me that they will find a solution to my everlasting agony immediately. Even after 2 days there was no proper response so I called them again and they told they need the vehicle at their place for a detailed check-up. I agreed but demanded a standby/ courtesy vehicle. They told me that they will contact me as soon as the vehicle is available.

Now it’s been more than 2 months and waiting for a reply from Audi India / for a courtesy vehicle. The check engine lights are still ON and Audi is least bothered. Guess I made a mistake buying this brand. By the way, steering problem is a serious manufacturing defect which could have costed my life and I think I should take the matter to judiciary.

Problems with this vehicle started with an engine noise at less than 10000 kms followed by a part of the bonnet / hood getting chipped off by a defective wiper assembly, whenever the wipers are ON. Paying a premium amount for this vehicle which went completely useless in less than 40k Kms is totally unacceptable.

I don’t know, how many of you can feel the intensity of mental trauma me and my family went through when the steering stopped working while driving at quite a good speed on Indian roads. We have a small Korean hatchback which we purchased during the same time as this A4, touchwood it never visited the service station other than for routine services. Am not comparing Audi A4 with a sub 5 lakh vehicle, but I can trust this one more than an Audi.

I am pretty sure that Audi India doesn't bother about my issue since am just one among a huge customer base they have or they are pretty sure I will not buy another vehicle from them.

I request support/ suggestions from all team bhp'ians.

Think twice before buying an Audi, you could be the next me !
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Last edited by GTO : 2nd November 2015 at 09:31. Reason: Entering spaces between paragraphs :)
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Old 2nd November 2015, 09:38   #2
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Technical Stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Steering box, coolant pump, idler roller....sure are a lot of replacements for a car that's not even touched 40,000 kms . What's even more shocking is the dealership being unresponsive to you.

Start communicating with Audi (the company). Talk ONLY to them. They MUST get your car fixed and give you additional warranty coverage as a goodwill measure.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 11:53   #3
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Plus 1 to GTO. Its useless to communicate with a non responsive dealer. The communication should be directly with Audi India only. Have had a harrowing experience of engine failure in my one and half year old XUV, but the case was beautifully handled by Mahindra Team, including the dealer. But primarily the communication was with M&M, with dealer in loop.
Going by the brand image, am sure Audi will take notice of this. Steering malfunction is a serious problem, and thank god that everyone is safe. Coming back, if you find that discussions are not satisfactory, refer your case to consumer forum, as a last resort.
Food for thought, what would Audi have done, had this been in USA or Europe?
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Old 2nd November 2015, 12:50   #4
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This is a disgusting attitude by your dealer and you should cease all communications with him, directly talk to Audi India and work out on the issue, demand an extended warranty package for all this trouble.

There are too many part replacements for a car that has only done 40,000 kms, not even providing a loaner car is atrocious. VAG need to work on their service support, VW/Skoda are pathetic but had better hopes from Audi.

Reading such threads and from my own VW experience, i am glad that VAG is slapped with such huge fines and they got caught cheating, should bring them back to earth.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 12:56   #5
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Thats bad, Just 40k On the ODO and such problems, Thats scary! People expect better service backup after buying such luxury car's but unfortunately thats not the reality. Glad you and your family is safe, Please do keep us posted regarding this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post
Reading such threads and from my own VW experience, i am glad that VAG is slapped with such huge fines and they got caught cheating, should bring them back to earth.
Exactly my thoughts
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Old 2nd November 2015, 15:06   #6
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Hey althaaf, echo your words and thoughts. You are dealing with VW, that too in India. Steering lock must have been a horrific experience for you and your family.

My Polo is at the VW workshop as well, for the Check Engine Warning. Not once, but for the 6th time in the past 5 months.

I have escalated to VW directly, but I don't think it will make much of an impact on how they deal with customers.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 15:28   #7
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

The primary problem with premium cars is that they are so complicated to repair that you have to send them to the Dealer every-time, and put up with the tantrums of the Dealer.

There are a lot of people whom I know who can easily afford premium cars but still stick to the high end models of Maruti and Hyundai because they cannot afford to be let down due to lack of reliability

The time delay in your case can also be directly attributed to the complexity of the machinery. I would not be surprised if the Dealers have to fly down experts to diagnose a problem and those experts have a 'waiting period' of their own

My recommendation to someone buying a premium car would be, don't take it out of the city. Its such a shame, to be driving on the expressway keeping your fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong with your premium ride

Last edited by TheARUN : 2nd November 2015 at 15:30.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 15:56   #8
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

I think Overdrive or Autocar or What Car has a section on these problems. Don't remember which one. Reach out to them. They contact the company for you. Additionally they pen down the entire episode and publish it. Companies generally do not ignore the publication houses.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 16:17   #9
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
I think Overdrive or Autocar or What Car has a section on these problems. Don't remember which one. Reach out to them. They contact the company for you. Additionally they pen down the entire episode and publish it. Companies generally do not ignore the publication houses.
I think one needs to be an Autocar subscriber to utilize that feature.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 16:36   #10
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Hi Altaaf

I tweeted your post to Audi India and Audi.
They assumed that I am the owner and asked me to write email to customer.first@audi.in with contact number.

P.S. I didn't want to hijack the issue - just wanted ensure to get the eye-balls of the Audi Team.

Please see the snapshot below
My Tweet below: And Audi's response below that

Name:  1 2.png
Views: 1947
Size:  43.5 KB

Audi India's Response:

Name:  2 2.png
Views: 1940
Size:  78.7 KB


Do Keep us updated on their response!

I sincerely hope and wish that Audi resolves the issues and leaves you with a smile on your face!
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Old 2nd November 2015, 19:27   #11
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Technical Stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Steering box, coolant pump, idler roller....sure are a lot of replacements for a car that's not even touched 40,000 kms . What's even more shocking is the dealership being unresponsive to you.

Start communicating with Audi (the company). Talk ONLY to them. They MUST get your car fixed and give you additional warranty coverage as a goodwill measure.
Thanks GTO for the support,
Seriously fed up of Audi, what's more shocking is the service history. If you look carefully you can see that my car went to service station when the odometer reading was 32689. And according to them its when the steering failed first. The second episode according to them happened at 38755. They are manipulating odometer readings in their records, just to be on safer side.

The truth is, they had called in our car at 32689 Kms telling there is some emergency software update, which should be done in less than a week. But when I went there, they changed some belt telling it belongs to some defective batch.
Anyway, in service history it should have been
32689- software update
38755- steering failure
39098- second time steering failure
But 39098 is not shown in records. Am sure they are trying to prove that steering failure didn't happen in such quick succession.
The first attached picture above is a screenshot of an excel file, which I procured from dealer, it shows the real Km readings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by me_sid View Post
Plus 1 to GTO. Its useless to communicate with a non responsive dealer. The communication should be directly with Audi India only. Have had a harrowing experience of engine failure in my one and half year old XUV, but the case was beautifully handled by Mahindra Team, including the dealer. But primarily the communication was with M&M, with dealer in loop.
Going by the brand image, am sure Audi will take notice of this. Steering malfunction is a serious problem, and thank god that everyone is safe. Coming back, if you find that discussions are not satisfactory, refer your case to consumer forum, as a last resort.
Food for thought, what would Audi have done, had this been in USA or Europe?
Thanks me_sid ,
I had communicated with Audi India who responded back the next day, telling they had communicated with the dealer and my issue will be solved immediately. Its been 2 months now .
It was a terrible experience sid, to have your family next to you and you know you hardly have any control over the vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post
This is a disgusting attitude by your dealer and you should cease all communications with him, directly talk to Audi India and work out on the issue, demand an extended warranty package for all this trouble.

There are too many part replacements for a car that has only done 40,000 kms, not even providing a loaner car is atrocious. VAG need to work on their service support, VW/Skoda are pathetic but had better hopes from Audi.

Reading such threads and from my own VW experience, i am glad that VAG is slapped with such huge fines and they got caught cheating, should bring them back to earth.
Exactly coolboy007, Too many part replacement and umpteen number of workshop visits.
Only since I requested for a loaner car they didn't immediately connect the laptop and cancel the error code to turn off the warning light. I don't know which customer took their courtesy vehicle for two months. Guess its regular with Audi India. Lets see how Audi is going to compensate for all the trouble I had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
Thats bad, Just 40k On the ODO and such problems, Thats scary! People expect better service backup after buying such luxury car's but unfortunately thats not the reality. Glad you and your family is safe, Please do keep us posted regarding this.



Exactly my thoughts
Sure Tanveer, will keep you all updated. More than better service back up, people expect a safer car. There is no point boasting about so many safety features, when you don't know, "when not to" turn off The power steering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
Hey althaaf, echo your words and thoughts. You are dealing with VW, that too in India. Steering lock must have been a horrific experience for you and your family.

My Polo is at the VW workshop as well, for the Check Engine Warning. Not once, but for the 6th time in the past 5 months.

I have escalated to VW directly, but I don't think it will make much of an impact on how they deal with customers.
Same here, I never expected Audi to be this irresponsible for an issue that was already known to them.
The whole Audi family is least bothered about the customer once the sale is finalized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
The primary problem with premium cars is that they are so complicated to repair that you have to send them to the Dealer every-time, and put up with the tantrums of the Dealer.

There are a lot of people whom I know who can easily afford premium cars but still stick to the high end models of Maruti and Hyundai because they cannot afford to be let down due to lack of reliability

The time delay in your case can also be directly attributed to the complexity of the machinery. I would not be surprised if the Dealers have to fly down experts to diagnose a problem and those experts have a 'waiting period' of their own

My recommendation to someone buying a premium car would be, don't take it out of the city. Its such a shame, to be driving on the expressway keeping your fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong with your premium ride
Thanks TheARUN,
Guess Audi should be used only inside a closed/ restricted area! May not be true for all Audi's out there, but for me its not worth the risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
I think Overdrive or Autocar or What Car has a section on these problems. Don't remember which one. Reach out to them. They contact the company for you. Additionally they pen down the entire episode and publish it. Companies generally do not ignore the publication houses.
Sure Altocumulus,
Will try that too now. Thanks for the suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterylow View Post
I think one needs to be an Autocar subscriber to utilize that feature.
Yes batterylow, one needs to subscribe their magazine. But I guess, its worth the subscription if the problem is solved nicely

Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
Hi Altaaf

I tweeted your post to Audi India and Audi.
They assumed that I am the owner and asked me to write email to customer.first@audi.in with contact number.

P.S. I didn't want to hijack the issue - just wanted ensure to get the eye-balls of the Audi Team.

Please see the snapshot below
My Tweet below: And Audi's response below that

Attachment 1434650

Audi India's Response:

Attachment 1434651


Do Keep us updated on their response!

I sincerely hope and wish that Audi resolves the issues and leaves you with a smile on your face!
Thanks a lot daretodream,
I had contacted them 2 months back regarding this, and that's when they assured me that, they have entrusted the dealer to solve the matter. Unfortunately the dealer is still busy finding a courtesy car. My problem is not getting a courtesy car, but a proper guarantee/ permanent solution. I have suffered enough already for purchasing a car from Audi.
Once again thanks a lot for sharing the issue on social media's as well.
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Old 6th November 2015, 23:36   #12
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Quote:
Originally Posted by althaaf View Post
I had a disastrous experience with my 2012 Audi A4, which had run less than 40,000 km.

Think twice before buying an Audi, you could be the next me !
Hi althaaf,
Sorry to hear about the dangerous situations you faced and about the sufferings from your car.

My query is about the steering: According to Audi, what exactly was the problem with the steering? And what caused that problem, according to them?
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Old 7th November 2015, 23:58   #13
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Hi all,
Audi dealer / customer care executive visited me two days back and apologised for the hardships I had with the car. They have promised me a solution after consulting with Audi India. Their courtesy vehicle is available now it seems, so they need my car for detailed inspection on Monday.
What you guys suggest? I had asked them not to fix any problem with the car until Audi India comes up with a permanent solution. Given them permission just to inspect in detail.
I am aware of the fact that 1 in 1000 cars may be faulty, but hope Audi will deal with my problem as 1 in 1000 and not like the regular complaints.
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Old 8th November 2015, 07:58   #14
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Quote:
I am aware of the fact that 1 in 1000 cars may be faulty, but hope Audi will deal with my problem as 1 in 1000 and not like the regular complaints.
well in case of Audi / VW this might not be truth where all 1000 are found faulty , coming to your problem of steering failure - did it complete jammed or you lost the hydraulic / electric assistance ? If its later then something is indeed wrong with setup that's assisting steering so nothing in engine or the steering assembly itself . I am sure this problem should be rectified - you should allow them to work on your car .
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Old 8th November 2015, 21:04   #15
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Default Re: Problematic experience with my Audi A4

Surely power-"assisted" steering has a fall back to manual physical steering? This is what happens if we turn the wheel without even having the engine on. It is harder work, but one can steer.

Any vehicle which does not fail-safe with stuff like steering and brakes is unthinkable.

Isn't it?
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