Plastic bumper 200q20v Digest, Vol 30, Issue 24

Phil Rose pjrose at
Fri Apr 28 11:05:16 EDT 2006

At 11:05 PM -0400 4/27/06, Brett Dikeman wrote:
>On Apr 25, 2006, at 12:26 PM, SuffolkD at wrote:
>>This last sentence:
>>"The dealer claims this damage was hidden beneath that protective cover when
>>the car was delivered."
>>(to me) implied that they were deflecting attending to it, since it didn't
>>say they fixed it..
>I kinda sorta read that the same way- that the dealer was either 
>making excuses, or trying to deflect blame.  The dangers of reading 
>between the lines :-)

More a matter of reading _beyond_ the lines. We all do it from time 
to time. ;-)

The dealer's claim about the damage being "hidden" beneath the cover 
was just an effort to convey the impression that they, themselves, 
had not been careless in the handling of my car.  Who knows if that's 
true or not? Yeh, I guess Taka thinks _he_ knows "the truth" about 
this (as usual). ;-)

We had an appointment to pick up the car barely 24 hours after it 
came off the truck. It had arrived in late afternoon on a Thursday 
and they promised delivery the next day (Friday afternoon).  In the 
course of doing the pre-delivery prep, the paint damage was noted (or 
happened?), but it was too late to contact us before we showed up for 
delivery (i.e., we were busy at the bank finalizing our loan).

When we arrived in the dealer showroom, the salesman greeted us 
shaking his head and with a deep frown on his face and immediately 
took us outside to show us the damage; certainly they didn't try to 
slip it by me. At that point, the choice was entirely mine as to how 
to handle the situation, but the dealer in no way attempted to evade 
full responsibility to "make it right". Sorry if I gave that 
impression. Quite the opposite--they fell all over themselves trying 
to give me acceptable alternatives:  I could (a) of course simply 
refused the car and waited for a 2007 model (I'd estimate approx 3-4 
additional months); (b) leave the car to be repaired before accepting 
delivery, or (c) take delivery and arrange for repair at my 
convenience.  Considering how minor the damage was and how anxious we 
were after waiting 2+ months for delivery, we chose the latter 
option. We have a six month period in which to bring it in for 
repair--by which time I expect the front bumper will probably have 
suffered even more abuse. [I've got to say that I have great 
misgivings about the fragility and vulnerability of the painted 
plastic bumper covers on most new cars these days]. Repair will be 
done by their body shop and will involve removing the bumper and 
re-spraying. So that's why there was no mention of having been fixed.

>MAC- A3 owner at this evening's big get-together in Waltham just got 
>back from NHIS and said she loved it!  You should drive out, Phil!
>Hey, it's only...what, 7-8 hours? :-)

I'd seriously considered driving at least in that direction (for Lime 
Rock track event in June),  but once again I'll miss Lime Rock and 
save my pennies for attending the WGI events in July and August. See 
you there, Scott? That'll give time for the A3 to go through the 
break-in period and acquire decent rubber and track pads. Yesterday 
afternoon, David Kavanagh used his VAG-COM to help me re-code the 
steering-assist level. Wow, what a great improvement in the road 
"feel" to eliminate some of the excessive low-speed assist. There are 
10 levels of steering assist; the car came set at "5", and I've 
reduced that to a value of "1". maybe I'll need some time on the 
Cybex upper-body machines? Oh wait: now I have a Cybex upper-body 
machine on four wheels!

I'll add a bit to what I mentioned in my reply to Taka--about 
handling. I referred to the lamentable absence of the "Launch 
Control" mode (e.g., it's absent in all USA versions of the A3 with 
DSG tranny). Without a Launch Control mode, the ECU will reduce power 
if you attempt to rev the engine while brakes are applied--e.g., 
prior to a standing start. However I've found that when using 
automatic Sport ("S"), you simply release the brake, then put pedal 
to the metal (from 600 RPM idle) and launch the car to neck-snapping 
acceleration with virtually undetectable hesitation. And--thanks to 
quattro-- with no wheel spin. You _will_ leave most other cars 
(especially _anything_ shaped like an A3 Sportback) behind you when 
the traffic light goes green. I suppose Launch Control might gain a 
couple tenths, but then you might eventually need Clutch Destruction 

BTW, speaking of the shifting abilities of the DSG transmission: 
here's an interesting video comparing a pair of similar VW Golf 
cars--one with 6-sp stick  and the other with DSG automatic (DSG with 
launch control).

Can you tell I'm enjoying the A3? My primary vehicle will continue to 
be the beloved Lago '91 200q (MAC). In reply to questions about the 
red '91--I'm still deciding what I want to do with (or how to price) 
it. One possibility is that my son might want to have it as a track 



Phil Rose				Rochester, NY USA
'91 200q	(156K, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (70K, Tornado red)
'06 A3 3.2Q (0.5K, Silver)
mailto:pjrose at

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