Bose Recall

Phil Rose pjrose at
Sat Jul 20 15:26:03 EDT 2002

At 3:05 PM -0700 7/19/02, Bernie Benz wrote:
>Apparently, I touched your upset button!

Yes, I'm afraid you did, and I'm sorry for my surly reply. I feel
much better now. :-)

>their replacements are proof of an expense greater than the cost
>of this current Audi recall, and the replacementof which may well have been
>influenced by Audi's refusal to acknowlege a safety hazard.  Using 12V caps
>in a 14.5 V system is not safe design, originating at day one, IMO.

IMO, Audi is doing the recall not because the Bose amplifiers merely
failed after many years, but because the Bose rear amps have a
significant potential for causing fire. I would agree with your point
about the poor design, but that issue could also apply to a many
_other_ components that fail within a period of 4 to 12 years (brake
accumulator, bypass valve, emergency brakes, fan fusible link,...).

There are at least a couple of situations that would militate against
compensation: (1) In some cases the speakers were replaced by
non-Bose simply because owners were looking for "better" sound--well
before any public knowledge of a safety hazard. Do these
"audiophiles" deserve compensation?  (2) In many cases where the
speakers were replaced with Bose, it was because the amps failed
(typically after 5 or 6 years) and created a squawking noise--without
smoke or fire. Since those replacements were generally done well
after the warranty expired, compensation was (and still is, IMO) not
expected. I did one speaker replacement in that category during 1999
($35 used).

Naturally, anyone who can prove that their speakers did smoke and/or
catch fire--and who subsequently replaced the speaker (whether with
Bose or not)--certainly does deserve compensation, but I can't
imagine they would not have already have had contact with AoA about
this (i.e., or have some documentation--even just e-mail.)

I would argue in favor of compensation for any owner who can prove
that they replaced their Bose rear speakers (with a non-Bose speaker)
at any time since about early 2000, which is well after the Nissan
recall had been announced and Audi was contacted formally and asked
to state a position in the matter. At that point in time, Audi of
America should have been in possession of suficient information to
take more positive action, and I think it should be assumed (whether
true or not) that any speaker replacements shown to have been done in
this period were because of a safety concern.

>Further, I have little faith in the PO.  They just lost a Bentley set that I
>had shipped.

That's a shame. But "little faith" might be extreme. I've lost the
"complete faith" I once naively had, but it's not gone below the
level of "limited" faith.

>The real war has not been won.  Only the war of attrition has been won by
>Audi, inasmuch as there are apparently few of the hazardous amplifiers still
>on the road.

You have a point there. But I will be presenting them with four (Bose
flamers) next week. :-(


>>  From: Phil Rose <pjrose at>
>>  Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 17:16:17 -0400
>>  To: Bernie Benz <b.m.benz at>
>>  Cc: Brett Dikeman <brett at>, 200q20V mailing list
>>  <200q20v at>
>>  Subject: Re: Bose Recall
>>  What are you smoking, Bernie?
>>  First of all, expecting reimbursement without any proof of expense is
>>  just plain silliness.
>>  Secondly, what leads you to conclude that Audi had knowledge of a
>>  safety hazard from these speakers for 10 or 12 years?  That would be
>>  from the "get-go", so to speak. It's not likely that any serious
>>  problems started to appear so early. Not that I've heard about,
>>  anyway. The Nissan recall on Q45 cars with Bose amplified speakers
>>  was issued around 1999. My own letter to Audi of America was sent in
>>  December 2000. Steve Bednarski's fire ocurred in mid-'96 and his
>>  buy-back settlement with AoA did not happen until mid-'97. From my
>>  information, Audi must've had reason to take a serious look at the
>  > issue by some time in 1997. That's 5 years ago, at most. In my
>>  opinion they could and _should_ have acted at the same time as
>>  Nissan, which would be no later than1999/2000. But knowing about this
>>  as a safety hazard for 10 or 12 years is not a reasonable supposition.
>>  Third: Why will you not not write a "real" letter to AoA? It would
>>  have far greater significance, IMO, than e-mail.
>>  Finally,  when the war's been won, so to speak, it appears you're
>>  asking Brett (or someone else) to write now on your behalf. Are you
>>  completely unaware of the efforts that have already been made by some
>>  of us in contacting Audi and NHTSA? Did *you* ever write a letter to
>>  AoA and NHTSA a couple of years ago--when I made a request-- here and
>>  on the qlist--for listers to do so?
>>  Too little, too late, Bernie.
>>  Phil
>>  At 12:34 PM -0700 7/19/02, Bernie Benz wrote:
>>>  The recall notice also states:
>>>  "Please write us at the address below, if you have incurred out of pocket
>>>  expenses for a rear amplifier replacement, and we would be
>>>pleased to review
>>>  your request for possible reimbursement.  Include any receipts you have."
>>>  In lue of writing a hard letter, I have talked with their CR rep.
>>>asking for
>>>  a direct e-mail address, was refered to their web site CS page, through
>>>  which I asked for a direct e-mail address so that I could retain a copy of
>>>  my contacts.  This address is: Auditalk <auditalk at> Subject: Safety
>  >> Recall LM.
>>>  My thoughts are that, we who have replaced our amplified rear speakers over
>>>  the years because of actual or potential damage to our cars due to the
>>>  defective amps, and inasmuch as we as well as AOA have been aware of this
>>>  safety hazard for many (10 or 12) years, and AOA has until recently refused
>>>  to acknowlege the hazard, thereby forcing us to correct the hazard by our
>>>  own means and at our own expense, should be elegiable for a cash
>>>  reimbursement under Safety Recall LM of an amount equal to the
>>>cost of parts
>>>  and labor for the current LM dealer recall service, without having to
>>>  furnish receipts for same, inasmuch as AOA has been negligent in its long
>>>  delay in acknowleging the hazard to which they have knowingly subjected us.
>>>  My request to Brett, or anyone else that has a full knowledge and
>>>  understanding of the history of this problem, is that he compose an e-mail
>>>  form letter addressed to both AOA and the NHTSA that explicitly and
>>>  sucinctly describes this issue and makes this point, for the individual
>>>  e-mail use of us 200-20V listers.
>>>  Thanks in advance,
>>>  Bernie
>>>  Bernie
>>>>  From: Phil Rose <pjrose at>
>>>>  Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 14:18:53 -0400
>>>>  To: Kneale Brownson <knotnook at>
>>>>  Cc: "Brennig, Rakesh (CORP, GEAccess)" <rakesh.brennig at>,
>>>>  "'200q20v at'" <200q20v at>
>>>>  Subject: Re: Bose Recall
>>>>  I believe Rakesh's dealer is mistaken. My reading of the recall
>>>>  notice is that if your car is in the specified group (and has the
>>>>  Bose amplified rear speakers) the amps in those speakers (not the
>>>>  entire speakers) _will_ be replaced.
>>>>  There is no "inspection" and "if defective", etc, etc. Of course
>>>>  perhaps your dealer feels he needs to do an inspection to determine
>>>>  if you're ineligible because the rear Bose speakers have been
>>>>  replaced with another make.
>>>>  Phil
>>>>  At 1:42 PM -0400 7/19/02, Kneale Brownson wrote:
>>>>>  --
>>>>>  The letter describes "Safety Recall LM" as "Replace Rear Speaker
>>>>>  Amplifiers" and explains that "It is possible that an electrolytic
>>>>>  capacitor in one of the rear speaker amplif9iers could leak electrolyte,
>>>>>  which could cause overheating and result in a fire."  It says Audi has
>>>>>  supplied dealers with new amplifiers and instructions on how to
>>>>>remove and
>>>>>  replace amplifiers.
>>>>>  At 07:54 AM 07/18/2002 -0600, Brennig, Rakesh (CORP, GEAccess) wrote:
>>>>>>  At the end of June I called both AoA and the local dealer to inquire
>>>>>>  specifically about any known problems with the rear speakers.  Of course
>  >>>>> neither group had the foggiest of what I was talking about.
>>>>>>  Suddenly, with the official word out both AoA and the local
>>>>>>dealer are now
>>>>>>  aware, but I was not told what would be done.  I called again
>>>>>>and was told
>>>>>>  that recall is to the effect of inspecting the unit and replacing if
>>>>>>  defective.  This would not be a blanket replacement of the
>>>>>>unit.  Is this
>>>>>>  possible?  Can one simply replace a part (capacitor?) in the
>>>>>>sealed unit?
>>>>>>  Or if the units seem good upon inspection what about 2 years
>>>>>>  from now?  The
>>>>>>  dealer seemed puzzled by this whole recall and was not too descriptive.
>>>>>>  Since I did not get a copy of the letter, does it say more
>>>>>>than what I was
>>>>>>  told?
>>>>>>  This is a great list - I would not have known of this issue otherwise.
>>>>>>  Regards, Rakesh
>>>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>>>>>  200q20v mailing list
>>>>>>  200q20v at
>>>>>  --
>>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>>>>  200q20v mailing list
>>>>>  200q20v at
>>>>  --
>>>>  Phil Rose
>>>>  Rochester, NY
>>>>  mailto:pjrose at
>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>>>  200q20v mailing list
>>>>  200q20v at
>>  --
>  > Phil Rose
>>  Rochester, NY
>>  mailto:pjrose at
>>  _______________________________________________
>>  200q20v mailing list
>>  200q20v at
>200q20v mailing list
>200q20v at


Phil Rose				Rochester, NY USA
'91 200q	(130 Kmiles, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (57 Kmiles, Tornado red)
	mailto:pjrose at

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