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Re: the Bose Towering Inferno--still simmering?
Mr Harrison you make a good point, and I certainly hope that no one is so
cavalier as to take the path of "hounding Audi" until (a) they get free
speaker replacements or (b) their car is destroyed, whichever comes first.
The sad fact is that probably no one is yet really "hounding Audi". The
exception might be the lister who earlier this year reported losing his car
to a speaker fire. A concerted effort directed at Audi has yet to develop
because awareness of a possibly significant significant fire hazard is
just developing (during the past 6 to 12 months) within our small segment
of '91 200 owners. Naturally, the vast majority of owners are completely
unaware of even the suspicions of a hazard.
There's a psychological hurdle to taking the preemptive action you advise
(unless one already hates the Bose sound) when there is only limited (yet
provocative) information. Thus it's understandable that many owners--who've
only heard some rumors--are not rushing to perform a Bosectomy. Of course,
any who do reach the conclusion that a significant level of fire hazard
exists in their '91 Audi's rear speaker amps should certainly take
immediate steps to mitigate the situation. As I have become more and more
concerned over the past months, my reactions were to (1) carry fire
extinguisher and (2) become more vigilant about shutting the radio off
whenever the car was unattended (I don't have heavy-metal-crazed teenagers
roaming my garage). But DeWitt's "different take" prompts me to conclude
that I really should go at least one step further. I'll just disconnect
the damn things!
The "disconnect" approach is an easy short-term alternative to the process
of _replacing_ the rear Bose speakers with "new improved units" (such
things actually exist?). Pulling the plugs is a 2 minute task for even the
most maintenance-aversive owner, who needs to keep in mind that the world
got along quite well for decades without the availability of automobile
rear speakers. My advice: disconnect right now! Then give some thought to
speaker replacement and/or efforts to get information from Bose and Audi.
On the 200q20V maillist, it's now the practice to advise disconnection of
any rear speaker if there's _audible_ evidence of a malfunction. However
we must keep in mind that it's not established if speaker amps will
necessarily give an audible alert of their intention to combust.
>Well, just to keep things lively, here's a different take from the bro
> Interesting..............I say to Mr. Rose and those hounding
> risk your loved ones and your garage for a "free bee?" Simply replace
> the silly things with new improved units (speaker cones likely blown
> anyway from their kids sneaking into the garage and blasting heavy
> metal). Kind of like replacing worn out shocks, eh? And while
> it, replace the funky radio unit with one from an early A6. Pops
> there (same harness) and is a better BOSE unit anyway that won't
> change stations during bumpy hillclimbs.
>Aside from the odd notion of listening to music during a hillclimb, I
>think it is valid to point out that you ought to correct this problem on
>your car as you would any other problem. Why live with a known hazard?
>Fix it now. Stew (or sue) later.
>The most useful information would consist of that necessary to establish
>whether his or her vehicle is effected. Perhaps you are close to that already
>with the Bose lead. As long as Audi is witholding such, then by all means
>continue to beat them about the head and shoulders. (Anybody checked
>the TSBs for this btw?)
>On Mon, 20 Dec 1999 17:07:07 -0500, Phil Rose wrote:
>>[ ... ] This dealer/mechanic has sold and
>>serviced at least a dozen (probably many more) of the '91 200q, and he had
>>finally gotten fed up with seeing the burned (or just defective) rear
>>speaker amps. He decided the statistics were not "normal" so he contacted
>>Bose about it, and they sent one of their engineers (Boston to Salisbury
>>NY, about 300 miles) to discuss it (this was early last month).
>>What he learned was that Bose (if not Audi also) is well aware of "the
>>problem". The Bose rep stated that for their 1990 production they received
>>a batch of defective capacitors from a supplier. These were used for Audi
>>Bose rear amps and _also_ in similar Bose systems installed in certain 1990
>>and '91 Japanese luxo cars (I don't recall if it was Lexus, Acura, or...?).
>>[ ... ]
>>Bose evidently seems to take this situation more seriously than does Audi.
>>Or at least they're willing to acknowledge some concern. Hence, although
>>Audi needs to be prodded (to put it mildly), it could be that exerting
>>pressure on Bose could be more productive--in the short term--for those
>>presently with malfunctioning rear speakers or with concerns about driving
>>around with an incipient incendiary device in their trunk.
* Phil & Judy Rose Rochester, NY *
* mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org *