Problem Audi A1 keeps driving instructor off the road

* Driving school's Audi A1 is delivered late * 10 months of problems follow * Audi offers to replace the A1...

Problem Audi A1 keeps driving instructor off the road

The compact and stylish Audi A1 was perfect for John Boland’s driving school, or so he thought. On the agreed delivery day in May 2012, John went to Audi Edinburgh, only to be told the car wasn’t ready. He was promised £250 compensation, and picked up the car a few days later.

Less than two months later, the A1 broke down during a lesson. An exhaust temperature sensor had failed, forcing John to cancel more lessons while repairs were made.

In October an indicator problem led to John cancelling yet more lessons and a driving test, for which he had to compensate his pupil.

In December, a faulty oxygen sensor stopped business again. In March 2013, another workshop visit was required to fix a top strut mount. John then discovered that during this latest repair, the wheels had slipped out of alignment.

John calculated that over 10 months his new A1 had cost him more than £1800. He couldn’t afford to lose any more money so contacted What Car? and Trading Standards for advice.

Assured his complaint was legitimate, he told Edinburgh Audi he wanted out, and was offered a replacement car under a new finance agreement at the rate he’d originally agreed, plus a five-year servicing plan.

Unfortunately, compensation wasn’t forthcoming. An Audi spokesman said: ‘We apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience the uncharacteristic problems with Mr Boland’s A1 have undoubtedly caused him. Although we accept, and regret these problems have impacted on his business commitments, we are unable to compensate customers for losses in earnings incurred while warranty related work is carried out.

What if this happens to you?

  • Make a record of each vehicle failure, take photos of warning lights and keep dated receipts of all related expenses.
  • If a new car fault persists or new faults continue to develop, tell your dealer and manufacturer in writing that you want a replacement.

We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.

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