I am fed up!

Fred Munro munrof at sympatico.ca
Mon Jan 12 21:04:57 EST 2004

	Sorry to hear about your troubles, Igor - I feel for you. I went through
the same thing with AoA when they were replacing the fuel lines free of
charge on UrS cars in the U.S. but wouldn't do mine in Canada. I solved that
little problem by reporting the problem to Transport Canada which issued a
recall two weeks later, thanks to a wealth of additional evidence from
listers. I must confess with a certain degree of embarrassment that I called
the AoA rep back after the recall and, err, gloated about them now having to
fix every car in the country for free - but I was extremely pissed off, and
only over a car! Go figure - what is it about these things?
	AoA doesn't seem to care much about owners with out of warranty cars - they
seem to be going for the "buy it new, sell it in warranty" crowd; truly
terrible customer service. I plan to hang on to my UrS for a long time - it
seems to be one of the last decent and reliable cars Audi produced.
	Since you are dealing with a brake issue and a widespread one at that, you
should be able to persuade NHTSA to smack AoA around a little. Transport
Canada issued a recall on my '93 Chev van because the ABS programming
wouldn't release the ABS when you went from ice to pavement (if the ABS
activated on ice, it would stay activated when the wheels regained traction,
increasing braking distance). They made GM install new ABS controllers with
updated software. That issue is a lot less serious than a failed controller,
so you should be able to get some satisfaction out of NHTSA.

Good luck! Let us know how you make out. It's very disheartening when a
strong brand loyalty like yours is not reciprocated by the brand.

I wonder if it is different in Germany?

Fred Munro
'94 S4

-----Original Message-----
From: quattro-bounces+munrof=sympatico.ca at audifans.com
[mailto:quattro-bounces+munrof=sympatico.ca at audifans.com]On Behalf Of
Igor Kessel
Sent: January 12, 2004 12:48 PM
To: Audi A4 list
Cc: auditalk at audi.com; Audi S-list; Audi Q-list
Subject: I am fed up!

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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