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Old 29th October 2014, 03:05   #1
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Default Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Seems like Audi is now the new Skoda in India when it comes to service.
Customer being harassed and dealership not returning the car to the customer sounds like an all too familiar story now within the Volkswagen Group.

I work with a British MNC and I migrated back to India in Jan 2013 after 12 years in the UK. While in London, I owned a Land Rover and an Audi and on returning back to India, I decided to purchase an Audi given my experience with the car and the brand back in the UK.

Based on various advertisements and promotions, I purchased a White Audi A6 2.0 Nav Edition from the Audi Mumbai South dealership in Mumbai. I paid a total of 55K for the car which was delivered to me on 31 Mar 2013.

At the time, it was also recommended to me by the dealership that I should purchase the Audi Sure Platinum Insurance Plan which offers the highest level of protection available and would cover me in any eventuality including engine damage plus entitle me to a courtesy car in the event my car had to be repaired. Based on these recommendations, I purchased the policy for an additional sum of 630. I also purchased an extended warranty for 500 to extend the company warranty of 2 years by another 2 years.

On 14 Dec 2013, my car started giving engine trouble on being turned on and I sent it back to the Audi Mumbai South Service Centre for a check-up. I was informed by the service manager that the engine noise and vibration were a result of adulterated fuel and that Indian fuel by its very nature contains impurities such as water and foreign particles. I was also advised not to run the fuel tank to below a quarter level as then the impurities enter the fuel lines. In addition, I was given a quote of 4K to repair the car which included replacing the fuel pump, injection unit, distributor etc.

I contested the above and refused to pay for repairs on the basis that I was purchasing fuel from reputable company owned and operated petrol stations in Mumbai and hence there was no scope for fuel adulteration and if there was any damage to the engine, this should be covered by the Audi Sure Platinum Insurance Policy that I had taken out at the time of purchasing my car.

On putting this to the service manager, I was told that engine damage from fuel adulteration is a grey area and they are not sure if this is covered by the Audi Sure Plan. I then put my case forward to the newly appointed Audi India MD (Joe King) on whose instruction (I believe), the dealership agreed to pick up the cost of repairing my car. I had also been denied a courtesy car on the excuse that they had only two cars both of which were currently issued. A courtesy car was subsequently provided once they agreed to fix my car at their expense. This had also been the case in Aug 2013 when my car was sent for body works for 20 days and no courtesy car was provided to me using the same excuse. I finally received my car back on 10 Jan 2014 after almost a month of me not having use of my vehicle.

In Mar 2014, I renewed my insurance with Bajaj Alliance and once again purchased the Audi Sure Platinum Plan for which I paid a total of 1.5K. The Audi Sure policy document clearly states that it includes the engine and gear box protector cover and on enquiring, I was assured that this covered all possible types of damage to the engine.

I sent my car for its first service on 1 Apr 2014 and incurred a cost of 400. Just two months later in June 2014, the engine issue resurfaced and I sent my car to the Audi Mumbai South Service Centre once again on 12 June 2014. I was informed the next day that they found accumulation of water and foreign particles in my car’s fuel tank and given there was no leakage in the fuel cap and fuel lines, this meant that the fuel was adulterated. I was once again given a proforma invoice of 4K towards repair of the car. I replied to the above stating that –

1. I had only taken fuel from the HPCL company owned and operated fuel pumps in Bandra (W) and BKC in the past six months and I had evidence to prove this.
2. As advised by Audi, I had never let the fuel tank run below the quarter level
3. If indeed the fuel was adulterated, then most luxury cars being fuelled from these petrol pumps should face the same issue.
4. In addition, fuel is generally adulterated using solvents such as kerosene and naptha and not water and foreign particles.
5. Given this issue has recurred in 6 months time and given the above arguments, it can only mean that there is a mechanical issue with the engine or fuel injection unit that needs to be fully investigated and resolved.
6. More so, having purchased a 55K car, am I expected to spend 8K in the first 15 months of ownership because the product doesn’t work with Indian fuel conditions and their additional insurance policy is just a sham to make money from customers?
7. I also offered to pay for the repairs if they gave me an undertaking that as long as I continued to take fuel from company owned and operated fuel stations and followed their advice, they would guarantee their product and if the issue occurred again then they would repair or replace it at their own expense. They refused to give me any such assurance, guarantee or undertaking even verbally demonstrating a complete lack of confidence in the suitability of their product for Indian conditions.

I was once again not provided with a courtesy car using the same excuse as before. When I expressed that I would be taking legal action, I was told that the dealership management had decided to not provide me with a courtesy car as I was planning on going legal. On asking them to document this, they chose to not reply to my email.

I once again wrote to Joe King and in response got a standard boilerplate message back from Audi’s customer service team. I was put in touch with a ‘Customer Delight Manager’ (Ironic!) who very kindly offered to carry out an independent fuel test which would cost ME 300.

During the course of my interactions, I enquired about the repairs carried out by Audi in Dec 2013 and the customer delight manager in his email inadvertently mentioned that they had carried out repairs worth 1.3K. This came as a shock as they had represented to me that Audi had carried out repairs worth 4K as quoted in their proforma invoice – apparently not!

It became clear that Audi made a false representation to me in Dec 2013 when the issue first occurred in my car and either applied a band aid fix or was simply trying to fleece me by charging 4K for work that was worth 1.3K.

On studying the cars manual, it also became clear to me that while Audi was recommending sulphur free or low sulphur fuel with a cetane index of 51, this fuel is simply not available in India. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers lists Indian Diesel Specifications as BSII, BSIII and BSIV each of which has sulphur content of varying degrees with the lowest sulphur content being 50 parts per million. In contrast, in Germany where all of Audi’s parts are being manufactured for the cars sold in India, low sulphur diesel is defined as 10 parts per million.

On 23 July 2014, a legal notice was sent to Audi India and the Audi Mumbai South Dealership and subsequently, I received a call from the same customer delight manager stating that Audi would be willing to bear 50% of the cost of repairs which was declined by me.

As no response was forthcoming, I sent Audi an email on 6 Aug 2014 accepting the offer to pay 50% of cost of repairs but without prejudice to my rights and contentions so I could claim these costs back in the court of law.

On 8 Aug, a letter was received from the dealership’s advocate withdrawing the offer to cover 50% of repair costs. I then sent an email back stating that I would pick up 100% of the repair cost and claim it back in court since we have two young kids and with school runs and work travel, it was causing us significant financial and physical inconvenience to be without our own vehicle or a courtesy car for 2 months. I have since then received no response to my email and the car continues to remain in the custody of the dealership.

It has now been over 4 months since my car has been at the Audi Mumbai South Service Centre and not once has anyone senior from the dealership or Audi contacted me to discuss my case. They have tried to arm twist me twice by not providing a courtesy car as I proposed to take legal action and by refusing to repair my car even when I am willing to pay the full cost of repairs. Despite asking them multiple times, they are unable to elaborate on why the issue has occurred twice in my car in 6 month’s time despite all the precautions and what’s to say that it won’t happen again in 6 months. They have been unethical in their conduct in only carrying out partial repairs on my car in Dec 2013 while making a false declaration to me. It is clear that Audi doesn’t give two hoots about after sales experience. The Indian company is simply a sales office that keeps counting the number of Audi’s sold in the country and don’t understand that an existing customer is more important than a prospective one – business basics!

I have therefore decided to fight this in the Indian consumer court not because I do not have 4K to spend to get my car repaired but because I feel strongly about the way I have been treated/harassed and I want Audi and the dealership to be held accountable for their post sales attitude, dishonesty and for thinking that they can treat a consumer like crap just because the legal system in India can be daunting for someone to navigate especially when fighting the big fish in the sea.


Note from Mods: The above information has been verified.

More details in this post : link

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th November 2014 at 17:41. Reason: Adding link to confirmation.
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Old 29th October 2014, 07:43   #2
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

I have to say that things are not going well for the German Brands. I think Audi can do better than this.

Can you take a screenshot of the bill of the first replacement? Just to know what parts they exactly replaced?

Also why not try filling at Shell?

Just to clarify:
Two of my friends fathers owns Audis.

A Q5 (2.0 TDI) which has done over 9000 km and it runs well with diesel at reputed HP pumps. (But it is filled at shell 70% of the time.)

An A6(3.0 TDI) which has done over 25000 km and it runs well with diesel at reputed BP pumps. (The owner doesn't uses fuel from Shell often.)
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Old 29th October 2014, 08:43   #3
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Really disheartened to learn about the ordeal. I hope the troubles are over soon.

So they say don't use fuel below quarter level. So are they claiming that the quarter is filled with water settled down over multiple fuel fills? And then the water level fixes at that and doesn't rise? That's one of the most ridiculous explanations that I've ever heard!

And if our stations are filling so much water, I have a new found respect for the Tata, Fiat, Mahindra and Renault passenger diesel engines that run hundreds of thousands of kms without a complaint!! Perhaps one of those hoaxes of engine running on water was true and these makers have taken that technology and are working hand in hand with fuel distributors with water+diesel mix!

This I've seen/read pretty often though. These luxury cars cost a fortune. But then the ownership isn't peace of mind. The companies basically sell for those super rich who are fine to spend plenty without questioning throughout the ownership for grimes like this. If this is what the Germans think means "Premium" in India, that's sad.

So the owner plans to go the distance with the legal process? I hope he does. The consumer courts often give a genuine verdict.

Please keep the thread updated. Tbhp threads enlighten many other owners in distress too.

Good luck.

EDIT - is this the experience of a bhpian or copied from somewhere else? A bit confused...

Last edited by Reinhard : 29th October 2014 at 09:06.
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Old 29th October 2014, 08:43   #4
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Why all the costs mentioned in pounds () instead of Rupees (₹) ? Makes it hard to understand the real cost.
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Old 29th October 2014, 08:53   #5
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Is this an owner report or hearsay? I had a couple of questions on the unfortunate incident, but thought that I'd check first before posing them.

I don't own an Audi and have no allegiance to their customer service. However, I'd like to learn more before calling one incident a trend.
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Old 29th October 2014, 09:10   #6
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Shame on Audi. Its supposed to be one of the best brands in World but things like this are hard to digest. Can't take such a harsh attitude from Audi India.

Fuel issue i am hearing for some time now. Few cases already reported. If smaller cars like Vento, Rapid etc can handle similar fuel, why can't Audi then? All are from basically same manufacturer with having similar engines. Difficult to understand this.

End of the day, I am of the opinion that instead of buying any German car & hitting your head against wall, better buy cars like Maruti, Honda, Toyota as per budget & have peace of mind. At least you will get sound sleep for sure.
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Old 29th October 2014, 09:46   #7
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
Fuel issue i am hearing for some time now. Few cases already reported. If smaller cars like Vento, Rapid etc can handle similar fuel, why can't Audi then? All are from basically same manufacturer with having similar engines. Difficult to understand this.
I think it is the first lesson in Audi group service engineers training in India that whenever any major issue appear in engine, blame it on poor fuel quality and problems because of poor fuel quality are not covered in warranty.
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Old 29th October 2014, 09:58   #8
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

First this is hearsay and as the original complainant (sorry for legalese) is not participating in this discussion so all our queries and opinions are literally falling on deaf ears.

Second almost all diesel's have fuel water separators ( that should take care of minuscule amounts of water condensations. And there are very fine fuel filters to protect injectors from harm. So a bit of water and particles in tank really should not have mattered.

Third we do not know what repairs were carried out in the first instance.

BUT all said this is a sad tale of troubles at hands of VAG
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Old 29th October 2014, 10:00   #9
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

All said and done, under what jurisdiction are they holding up your car and not returning it to you? You can simply file a police complaint and claim your car back. Also if they are refusing to carry out the repairs on your car even though you are willing to pay the whole cost, then again it just makes your case in the court more strong. This is outright ridiculous. If such tactics are being followed then what is the option left with the customer? To gather a mob or a team of goons and then go claim your car? Really really frustrating.
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Old 29th October 2014, 10:14   #10
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

It is time Team BHP issue advisories against Audi and Skoda.

In case of Audi, specific 'boutique' models which are introduced in the Indian market but not compatible with the condescendingly mentioned 'Indian fuels' should have very specific warning issued against them.

Also a specific dossier needs to be prepared, which have costs of fuel pump replacements and labour charges across the world, so that one knows the ballpark cost involved in repair and maintenance since the Indian setups have poor oversight and seem to be intent on customer fleecing only. Their technical prowess in repairing these cars also seem highly suspect, it seems they just do not have the manpower knowhow to maintain some of the higher editions. Also this dossier should include all the recall's issued by Audi worldwide so that one can ensure that they are not importing rejected lemons from across the world into India.
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Old 29th October 2014, 10:43   #11
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Fail to understand why do these top notch German brands fail to get the very simple basics of customer relationship?

Everything cannot be an automated reply initiated by a software. You need to have empathy with your customers, all HNIs and investing in excess of Rs. 35 lacs in your products.

Very shoddy and extremely frustrating for someone who wants peace of mind with status and ends up in a frying pan.
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Old 29th October 2014, 11:05   #12
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Oh boy, the same ol' adulterated fuel baloney.
I wonder (as wondered before also in another thread) how come other vehicles don't suffer the same issues as these VAG cars?
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Old 29th October 2014, 11:10   #13
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

It is high time we, as consumers, need to be more vigilant in getting such cases to Consumer courts. Many of us feel discouraged to approach the consumer courts due to the fear of time/effort wastage, but unless we are proactive, these big brands will always take us for granted.
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Old 29th October 2014, 11:10   #14
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

Don't diesels have a 'water in fuel' warning light? The owner should state whether the light ever came on, or the Audi dealer should prove that it came on but was ignored by the owner.
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Old 29th October 2014, 11:17   #15
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Default re: Audi A6 engine problems. EDIT: Court orders Audi to repair the car

As sudev mentioned, the person whose car is giving problems is not there to reply. Unless the OP has contact with the concerned party , this thread will go into just a bashing one with no fruition. Hence request MODS to either lock the thread or ask the OP to update the proceedings.
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