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25 September 2007


I have a resolution to my failed A/C compressor saga. (previous articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Since my last post, it failed *again* on the 13th of August. Of course they couldn't get me in to deal with it for a week. Another failed compressor.

When I got the car back, I wasn't satisfied with how well it cooled. A few days later, it stopped cooling altogether. I don't mean inadequate cooling, I mean none at all. The low-pressure line from the compressor was ambient temperature, and not sweating. There were some green stains around the low-pressure fitting on the line so I took off the cap and saw BUBBLES OF DYE in the schraeder valve. I had an A/C gauge, so I checked the pressure and it was low.

I took the car in to the dealer, and my service writer wouldn't even talk to me. He immediately got the service manager. The service manager immediately went into CYA mode - first he tried to claim that there was nothing wrong with it, then said they'd 'check it out'. No loaner, they gave me a ride to work.

Later that day they picked me up and claimed that it was blowing 32degF at the vents (yeah, right). They had evacuated the system and recharged it from scratch. (In fact, it *has* been working nominally since that time.) He also denied there was any leak, but assured me they had 'verified' that the schraeder valve was tight. Just like before, ONLY the service manager would deal with me, and everyone else eyed me suspiciously while I was there. Hardly a welcoming customer service experience.

They also refused to cover the scratch and scuff on the rear bumper that *they* caused while it was in their care. Instead, the service manager helpfully suggested that I use their body shop when I pay for it out of pocket.

At about this time, my attorney contacted me and said that Audi had made a settlement offer. It was an absurdly low offer, and we countered with a much higher amount (the max my attorney said I could possibly get), and a request to extend the warranty to unlimited years/100k miles. Of course Audi didn't go for it, and countered with an offer midway between what they had started at and what we had countered with, plus warranty extension to 5 years/60,000 miles (up from the standard 4/50). The settlement also stipulates that I cannot sue Audi for *anything* else related to this car, and prevents me from suing the dealer either. I accepted the offer.

The cash amount is small. How small? Well, let's just say that after covering my payments for the time the car was out of service, paying to fix the bumper damage that the dealer caused, and paying insurance, there's about enough left for a bottle of water and a pack of mints. To me, the warranty extension is more important: if they keep screwing up the compressor repair, they'll keep paying to repair it for a longer period of time. Also, Audi had to pay my attorney's fees, so it's a decently symbolic pound of flesh.


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