[A4] Borbet wheel broken clean in two

Tyson Varosyan tyson at up-times.com
Tue May 15 13:59:49 EDT 2007

The wheel broke lengthwise along the inner bottom part of the rim and
although it is now clean in 2 pieces, the outside rim edge of the wheel
remained attached to the hub, so I still had something to roll on. I will
get a picture up sometime.

Tyson Varosyan
Technical Manager, Uptime Technical Solutions LLC.
tyson at up-times.com
206-715-TECH (8324)

-----Original Message-----
From: a4-bounces at audifans.com [mailto:a4-bounces at audifans.com] On Behalf Of
Richard Hurt
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 3:41 AM
To: A4 Mailing List
Subject: Re: [A4] Borbet wheel broken clean in two

Wow!  That's neat (sorry) and kind of scary.  I hope that Borbet does the
right thing and compensates you for your loss.  I've purchased their
products before and have been happy, however if they wont stand behind them
I won't be a future customer.  Good luck!


BTW: Did it cause any damage to the vehicle itself?  Suspension components?
Fenders?  I can't imagine losing a wheel completely and not damaging at
least the rotor.

On 5/15/07, Tyson Varosyan <tyson at up-times.com> wrote:
> The letter I sent to Borbet today - just thought I'd share with the group:
> About 4 months ago I purchased a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro which came with
> Borbet
> 17" wheels marked with KBA 45811. While driving my car at about 30-35mph
> on
> a road not familiar to me, I hit a pothole which to my utter astonishment
> caused the passenger front wheel to break lengthwise clean in half!!!
> Needless to say, instantaneous loss of air pressure in the front tire
> pulled
> the car hard to the right, but luckily I saved it without hitting any of
> the
> nearby objects.
> After replacing the wheel with a spare, I walked back to examine what it
> was
> that I hit. The scrapes and drag marks on the roadway were easy to follow.
> What I found at the end astonished me. The culprit was a pothole, partly
> filled with gravel, which made a smooth parabola-like divot in the roadway
> that measured at its apex 2 and 3/4 inches below the surface of the
> roadway;
> by no means a giant crevice. At the time when I passed this location, I
> did
> feel a smooth bump - nothing violent or shocking.
> Upon closer inspection of the wheel next morning I found that the wheel
> broke clean in two roughly down the centerline of its inner circumference.
> Looking closer at the edge of the break, I could clearly see that the
> wheel
> is made from cast aluminum and not forged. I am by no means a professional
> metallurgist, but I am a hobbyist welder and blacksmith. To my limited
> experience I can say that the bubbles that I see in the metal along the
> crack are the result of the metal not being the proper temperature when
> poured into the cast. The metal is very porous and this undoubtedly lead
> to
> its catastrophic break.
> The impact sustained by the wheel was under normal driving conditions at a
> normal city driving speed. Potholes of this type, although rare, do
> sometimes appear on freeways where I may have been driving 70-80mph. In
> some
> ways I am glad that the flaw in the wheel showed itself here rather than
> at
> another time when the results may have been much more severe.
> I will be honest with you. I have no sales receipt for the wheels - they
> came with my car. I have little in the way of evidence to prove how fast I
> was actually going. I am sure that your company carries a "limited
> warranty". I could easily prove my case in court that the wheel was
> defective by simply taking it to a professional metals expert; but I am
> sure
> that we both realize that this will not be worth my time. I would love to
> send you a picture of the wheel and a close-up of the break so that you
> can
> see the flaws that I wrote about.
> I do think that in all fairness Borbet should send a replacement wheel and
> compensation for the tire which was ruined in the process. I leave it up
> to
> your integrity to do the right thing here.
> I may be contacted at my email tyson at up-times.com or by phone 1+
> 206-715-8324
> Tyson Varosyan
> Seattle, WA, USA
> Tyson Varosyan
> Technical Manager, Uptime Technical Solutions LLC.
> tyson at up-times.com
> www.up-times.com
> 206-715-TECH (8324)
> UpTime/OnTime/AnyTime
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