[A4] I am fed up!

Igor Kessel igor at s-cars.org
Mon Jan 12 12:47:45 EST 2004

I am about to throw in the towel, sell my Audis and move to the other 
side. The 330ix seems more and more attractive by the minute.

Here's the scope.
Sometime in November 2004 the ABS controller in the wife's '98 A4 
(WAUCB28D3WA077066) has quit at only 46kmi. In January 2004 I have 
finally found the time to VAG-COM the car and to look into the problem. 
The VAG-COM gave me the now infamous error:
"01203 - Electrical Connection between ABS and Instrument Cluster
03-10 - No Signal - Intermittent"

Judging by the traffic on Audiworld the Bosch 5.3 ABS controllers are 
failing left and right on those cars. Some people with the 
out-of-warranty 1999 cars we successful in getting AoA to replace the 
controllers. So I decided to give it a try.

On 5 January 2004 I called AoA and opened the case #40003690 with Jeremy 
and explained the situation stressing my fears for the safety of my wife 
driving with the non-functioning ABS system on snow and ice. He 
conference called my local dealership, Don Rosen Audi in Conshohocken, 
PA and set up an appointment to have a look at the car in order to 
determine where the problem was. NOTE: at the time of the call he 
already knew both the year and the mileage of the car, yet he sent me to 
the dealer anyway.

On 7 January 2004 I had brought the car in for the diagnostic. Bob 
Gordon, the Sr. Audi Tech at Don Rosen, connected the VAG 1551 to my car 
and determined the bad ABS controller to be the culprit. Just as was 
expected by the yours truly.
I immediately called AoA from my cell phone and advised Kimberly on the 
other end that she could contact Mr. Gordon and enquire about his 

Kimberly called Bob Gordon and he advised that the car did indeed need 
the new controller to the tune of $1300 + labour. She never got back to 
him with the determination regarding my case.

Today, 12 January 2004, I myself called AoA and got to talk with the 
third so-called "consumer advocate". He reviewed my case and advised 
that AoA would not be paying for the repair "because the car is so much 
outside of warranty". Lovely.

I asked the man then why the hell did AoA make me waste the day at the 
dealership and diagnose the problem, if their refusal to help was based 
on the age of the car? Which they already knew before they sent me to 
the dealer, remember? The guy on the AoA side gave me a bunch of lames 
like "their determination was based on the combination of the nature of 
the problem and the age of the car". To which I sarcastically remarked 
that did it mean that if it were a 15 cent ABS fuse they prolly would've 
replaced it, but not the $1300 controller?

I also told him that back in 2002, when the engine on my A4 failed due 
to the defective timing belt tensioner at only 4 mos after the warranty 
had expired with the mere 38kmi on the odometer (you prolly remember my 
posting about the head rebuild saga circa August 2002?), AoA didn't even 
extend the courtesy of a single replay to either of the two(!) e-mails 
that I'd sent them. That's why this time around I decided to call them 
up on the phone, speak to a live person and open a case with them.

I also advised him that for the past 10+ years I have been an avid Audi 
fanatic, who at any given time owned at least two Audis in the family 
and who had directly influenced at least a dozen purchases of Audi 
vehicles between my friends and acquaintances. I also advised him that I 
was fed up with the AoA attitude towards customer and was considering 
dropping Audis from my stable for good. And if Audi stands to lose such 
hardcore loyal Audi brand supporters like the yours truly, then how on 
Earth did they hope to keep the foothold on this market?

Folks, can you tell that I am pissed off and simmering like a teapot on 
the stove? Thanks for listening.

I'll also be sure to fill out the form on the NHTSA site.

Igor Kessel
two turbo quattros

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