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buybeach 07-29-2003 06:27 PM

More on Defective 2004 Audi A8 L(emon)
For greenie and others who asked for updates:

Further news and bugs:


I received a call from Sabrina Burrow, Service Consultant at Prestige Imports in North Miami, Florida (the selling dealer). She said car was being made ready for pickup later today.

I asked her about the repair to the headlight leveling sensor performed on 7/17/03-7/18/03. I asked whether only one sensor was replaced or whether both sensors were replaced. She replied that only the part that had actually failed was replaced.

I replied to her that on 7/24/03, in a telephone conversation with Mr. Ron Hankley, Audi area representative, he informed me that Audi had determined that these sensors were defective in manufacture and that Audi was replacing them on all new vehicles as the cars were received at the ports of entry.

Ms. Burrow responded that Prestige Imports had no authority from Audi to replace any parts other than those which actually failed in service and could not make replacement of the other sensor as they had received no directive to this effect from Audi of America.

Therefore, Audi of America and Prestige Imports are knowingly returning the vehicle to me with a part known to be likely be defective, even after one of them failed on my vehicle.

7/29/03, 1 PM:

I received a telephone call from Ron Hankley, presumably in response to my email or post regarding my conversation with Sabrina Burrow of this date.

He stated that he had instructed Carlos Pachas and Sabrina Burrow to replace all the sensors in the car and that Prestige Imports' failure to do this was due to their oversight in not ordering the additional parts at the time.

He then went on the state that these parts are not "defective" and that his (Audi's) willingness to replace them was intended as a good-will gesture rather than a matter of correcting a defect.

I reminded him that he had told me that Audi was replacing the sensors on incoming shipments of vehicles at the USA POEs. He began to quibble with this but then accepted that my recollection of our conversation was factually accurate but that it did not obligate Audi of America to replace the non-failed sensors in my car.

I pointed out to him that my goal in purchasing one of these vehicles was to obtain trouble-free service (including "routine maintenance") at a fixed cost and without the inconveniences and sacrifice of time that one associates with, for example, used cars, unreliable brands etc. and that I felt it was unreasonable to return the car to me with parts that were known to be likely to fail in service.

He then said that at this time there were no stocks of these parts remaining on hand and that it would therefore be counterproductive to retain the car tied up in the shop pending arrival of unavailable spares.

I said that is as it may be but that if I had to chose between having the pats ordered and, at a mutually convenient time, returning to service my car or in the alternative to simply wait for items to fail and then make arrangements for replacement at unpredictable intervals, I would chose the former.

I reminded Mr. Hankley that he and I did not have very good communication since, for example, in his initial conversation with me he offered me a replacement vehicle and some adjustment made to the lease for the time and inconvenience I have already undergone and that he had already effectively denied making this offer to me in our conversation of 7/28/03. I said that I viewed this as a "pissing contest", that is, a situation in which one party claims that one thing was said while the other denies that it is true.

He then asked me who many days the car had actually been in the shop since I received it. I counted and told him that it had been in shop once on 6/11/03, again on 7/8/03, on 7/17-7/18/03 at which time it was returned but immediately failed again at delivery and was therefore returned to service on 7/21/03 where it has been ever since. Depending on how you count the days, this comes out to 13 days.

He said to allow him to review this again with Prestige Imports and "make a few calls" and to await his return call

7/29/03 1:44 PM:

Mr.Hankley called back. He said that he had discussed my vehicle with Carlos Pachas (service department manager) at Prestige Imports and that Mr. Pachas would order the parts to replace the remaining suspension-system sensors and that Prestige Imports would make arrangements to replace them in the vehicle when the parts were ultimately available.

He stated that this was as far as he was able to go in attempting to satisfy me or to resolve my situation. He stated that I had certain rights under consumer protection statutes and that this might be an avenue I would have to pursue.

I responded by saying that I was astonished to find a company attempting to position itself as a serious competitor in this market segment at which the Audi A8 is targeted telling a consumer in my situation that his sole hope was to avail himself of the Lemon Law but that, of course, he had failed to resolve the core issue with my defective 2004 Audi A8 L(emon) Vin #WAUML44E24N000822: its basic unreliability and history of failures and downtime.

7/29/03: 5:40 PM

Picked up my 2004 Audi A8 L(emon) this afternoon at Prestige Motors afternoon of 7/29/03.

As dropped off, tank full, 531 miles.

As returned, tank empty (the out-of-gas light came on within a block of the dealership) and 723 miles. That's a heck of a test drive. 192 miles! I am of course eager to hear any comments on this from the dealer.

All the items for which the car was serviced appear to be functioning normally.

Within two hours of leaving Prestige Motors, my defective 2004 Audi A8 L(emon) was back in trouble mode. An "issue" (defect) which I had previously reported to both Prestige Motors and to Audi of America re-appeared.

I had the car's headlights set on "automatic" mode. It was daylight, around 5:40 PM. I parked the car, set the parking brake and turned of the ignition and withdrew the key. When I opened the driver's door the "headlights-on" warning tone sounded (although there was no indication on the dashboard relating to headlights and they did not, in fact, actually appear to be on.

I closed the door and the alarm stopped. I opened the door again, the alarm sounded.

I re-started the car and turned it off and opened the driver's door. The alarm came on.

I switched the headlight control to off, no change. I put it back on "Automatic", no change.

I re-started the car, turned the headlights "off" while the engine was running and stopped the car. Alarm gone. I put the headlight switch back in "Automatic" and turned the car on again and re-re-stopped it. removed key and opened driver door. Everything normal. Drove to next two destinations without further incident.

As mentioned above, I have had this happen to me before although on the previous occurrence the headlights actually were on and never shut down even after leaving the vehicle for 15+ minutes while shopping.

So what do I do? Is anyone interested? It is almost impossible to manage to actually bring this car to Prestige Motors and demonstrate this behavior as one has no knowledge as to whether this will happen at any given instance of turning this bug-infested vehicle off. Any suggestions besides simply learning to adore these little quirks? I am seriously seeking a reply from Audi here, not just being "funny." What can be done?

In any case, this is not an encouraging omen. It is, in fact, exactly what I had anticipated: more nuisance, more frustration, more fruitless trips to dealer etc. I like the ride and comfort of the car when it is operating properly, but I cannot live indefinitely with a different failure or "issue" on what seems to be a daily basis.

Ming Blues 07-29-2003 06:58 PM

Relax, and enjoy the car for a week! Don't open the sun roof!
And just drive in daylight with the head lights off! For the second week, try the sunroof and on the third week you might try driving at night. That should do it! You gotta break 'em in easy fella. :-)

Krisko 07-29-2003 07:13 PM

It's a lemon because the lights have a recurring problem?
I obviously haven't followed your story, so I imagine something else is wrong with your car to incur such anger. I completely understand, you don't want to spend this kind of ching and have stupid problems.

It sounds to me like a huge factor is service ineptitude. I live in SoFla and it's generally well known that Prestige offers the worst buying and service experience of any audi dealer around. You'd be much better off going to The Collection, but even they have a spotty reputation. I would highly recommend my service guy, James Edmunds at Champion in Pompano. His number is 954-946-4020. He's very competent, and Champion is selling tons of the new A8Ls so they know them pretty well. Good luck, report your progress.

greenie 07-29-2003 07:28 PM

Re: Relax, and enjoy the car for a week! Don't open the sun roof!
In my opinion, an INSENSITIVE reply to Buybeach who has recounted his frustrations with AoA with extreme candor and an amazing sense of recall(no pun intended Buybeach)! I have NEVER heard of a car company relying on specific consumer protection laws to cover their own asses. It would NOT cover much!! Audi has released this car prematurely in my opinion and without any sense of public relations. I have been involved in a number of Lemon Law cases, one being my own. If my law practice were in Fla., I would be sitting in your living room discussing the issues without any malice towards AoA PRO BONO. I suggest that you seek counsel from firms well acquanted with your states Lemon Laws and firmly establish that a "collateral exchange" is what you would like to pursue. I am not, in ANY way, indicting AoA. There are 04`s on the road that are giving their drivers much pleasure. But that is not the case here, especially when repeated attempts to repair or replace THE SAME FAILED parts fail in and of itself. As an aside, I am still looking forward with great anticipation the arrival of my 04. Hopefully, it will be one of those to give pleasure!


AvusRS6_(x-Dinan5) 07-29-2003 08:05 PM

Man, that really sux...I'm so glad my dealership
stepped up and took care of my problem. But then, in their eyes, they sold me 2 vehicles so...

greenie 07-29-2003 08:11 PM

Re: Man, that really sux...I'm so glad my dealership
Hi Dinan. You can see the value of a reliable dealership and a personal relationship with them. This is my first venture with Audi so I made sure that I met "all of the players" and got a general sense of what they are all about. So where`s the 911 TT? Are you serious?


04 A8L silver/sabre 19" wheels late Aug. del

a8silver 07-29-2003 08:31 PM

Re: More on Defective 2004 Audi A8 L(emon)
Call AOA headquarters and ask for Len Hunt!!! For 75K, you shouldn't have to put up with this garbage.

Ming Blues 07-30-2003 03:45 AM

Relax greenie, b/4 everyone with a software bug wants blood!
Reminds me of "sudden acceleration"! Maybe Audi should just stop selling cars in America or at least wait a few years until they can perfect their dealer network and public relations skills.

AofA should just close the spotty dealers, sounds easy enough to do - just close them! What a great thought!

Better do it quick before sombody is blinded by washer fluid coming through an open sunroof.

As I understand it, most dealers got one to ten cars in the first batch last June. Some of these cars had a few problems. A few of those cars had more of the random problems than others. The service departments at the dealers were caught by surprise because they had never worked on a 2004 A8L before this. Duh.

Ming Blues 07-30-2003 03:50 AM

Buyback is your L(emon) really that bad?
Sounds like a defective multifunction switch, not sudden acceleration or a cupholder problem. :-)

Ming Blues 07-30-2003 04:30 AM

He bought the first car off the boat! He should expect trouble!

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