Royal Ford of the Boston Globe bashes VW/Audi on ignition coils

William Ng willng at
Mon Jan 27 00:48:43 EST 2003

Hmmmm, just finished reading Mr. Ford's article.  After evaluating it's
points as a 'buyer/owner' of these suspect models, I'd say his remarks are
spot on!

4 coils known to be from a defective batch, yet only replace the one that
failed and send your customers back out on the streets. Sorry, but that
smells of something GM bean counters would do.
This is quite negligent of VW to adopt this policy.  All it takes is one
incident with bodily harm or death that could be accredited as a direct
result of letting a car back on the road with 3 defective coils, to return
to the 60 minutes scenario. But this time, the lawyers will have teeth.
Should Ford have replaced only 1 of the 4 defective Bridgestones on their
Ford Exploders during their tire blowout mess?
Mr. Ford did not attack the cars, but the lame policy and responses from
VW/Audi.  This can be handled a lot better IMHO.  And I differ with the
remarks that a recall isn't required...that recalls are only necessary in
safety issues. This is a safety issue.

I cite an example with how Honda handled a matter with their run of late
80's/early 90's which got defective OKI ignitors installed in their
distributors.  They issued a recall on every affected car, to have the
ignitors replaced free of charge, regardless of mileage/warranty.  I
learned about this after purchasing a '89 CRX Si for track duty, 4 years
ago. Even though my car was actually running with a suspect ignitor, it was
replaced no questions asked, on a 10 year old car.
And to add, if my passive restraint seat belts weren't tensioning like they
used to, Honda would replace them free of charge, thanks to a lifetime
warranty on safety restraint equipment. Let's see if my Audi dealer will
replace my 10+ yr- old air bag in my 1990 200q. After all, the Bentley
states it's only expected to function for 10 years. Will it fire when I
need it most, who knows, given VW/Audi's record with electrics, I don't
bank on it.

You see, it's all about company policy, whether or not they make you feel
like they give a damn about you after you've plunked down a pretty penny
for that new Passat/A4/TT.
If the car is shipped defective and is unreliable, they better damn well
have it addressed correctly. Otherwise, you can damn well bet said owner
will not be buying another VW/Audi.

After owning and wrenching domestic, Asian, and European makes, I'm not one
to have blind brand loyalty.
Given my Audi experiences, my associates' S4 and A4 experiences, and all
the recent negative feedback, I won't be getting a new 2003 A4, but a G35c
or 350Z.

Let's face it, there's a lot of us out there who keeps their fingers
crossed every time we start our Audis.


At 02:01 PM 1/26/2003, Brett Dikeman wrote:

>Folks, thought you'd like to see this:
>A lovely piece of work, particularly damaging since Ford usually
>heaps praise on every Audi press car he gets.  If you read Mr. Ford's
>article, you learn that:
>-Audi Client relations is extending the warrantee
>-people with broken down cars that take a while to fix get free
>rental replacements until the car's ready
>-plant where coils are made has gone to triple shifts
>-there's a limited supply of the coil packs, so dealers are for now
>limiting their repairs to just the packs that have blown for now(to
>get as many people back on the road as possible given limited supply.
>The company reps state this outright even though a child could see
>the logic, yet, well, see below.)
>Far as I can tell from Mr. Ford's own article, Audi and VW are doing
>everything right; they're prioritizing, fessing up to the mistake,
>and treating people fairly.
>So why do I come away from reading the article, feeling like Audi and
>VW just got their teeth kicked in?
>Mr. Ford takes issue with the policy of replacing only the faulty
>packs due to short supply, yet offers no suggestions of his own on
>how the situation might be handled in a better manner, probably
>because there IS no better way.  Based on some magical ability to
>evaluate the VAG supply chain, Mr. Ford further chastises dealerships
>for not replacing all the packs now(because obviously, "supply has
>doubled" means "there are enough to start replacing every pack in the
>car", right?)  All this is offset, supposedly, by one line saying the
>problem is Bremi's fault.
>   I especially enjoyed the hysterics about getting stranded.  Nothing
>like terrifying people that their car will grind to a halt in the
>middle of 128 or at the top of Pinkham's Notch; we even get the image
>of the family with the 2.5 kids and golden retriever sewed into the
>back seat, terrified their evil car will leave them stranded in
>Vermont, because, after all, "up there" is "the wilderness" full of
>"savages".  No, no 60 minutes dramatization here, folks.  Move along.
>In a further example of excellent journalism, we see quotes from "the
>Internet"(no site names, no poster names, no followup; apparently too
>much effort to even email the posters and find out more).  Because,
>if it came from the internet(particularly a chat board- I suspect the
>comments probably came from VWvortex), nobody EVER exaggerates, lies,
>stretches the truth, etc. Yessir, nothin' but the facts, ma'am.
>But ah, yes, Mr. Ford's favorite vehicle, the 4-runner, is the
>pinnacle of reliability, so run right out and buy 4-runners
>folks!(side note- the article about the 4-runner had been featured
>for weeks on the website with an extremely favorable tag
>line.  Mr. Ford does all but lick Toyota's boots clean in the review.)
>"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
>safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

William Ng....................................willng at
"Never knock on death's door, ring the doorbell and run away..."
"he just hates that."

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