We win £11,700 for reader in dispute with Audi

Car was stuck in a French garage while they fought over the bill.


Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,
I work in France for several months of the year. While I was there just over a year ago, my Audi S4 started automatically going into safe mode.

I had the car transported to the nearest Audi garage for repairs and was told that the work would cost about €9,900, or £7,750, of which I had to pay €5,000 upfront to cover the cost of the parts.

I paid the €5,000 as requested, but was then told my car actually needed a new engine costing €25,000 on top of the repairs already carried out - even though the initial quote included €2,500 for diagnostics that involved the engine being removed.

I complained to Audi France at this point, and was offered a discount on a new engine.

However, I still could not afford it and so just asked for my car back in its existing condition and to be let off the outstanding €3,900 as compensation for all the confusion and delays.

That's when I was told that if I wanted to collect my car I had to pay €1,500 for the second round of diagnostics, the remaining €3,900 for the initial work, plus daily storage charges.

I don't want to pay out even more for a broken down car with a dead engine, but I don't know where to go from here. Can you help?

D Austen-Adams, Bristol

Dear Mr Austen-Adams,

Audi France points out that the age of your car makes it "more susceptible to failures of this kind" and insists that "pursuit of payment for the initial work is fair" because the faults identified during the engine testing were not the same as those repaired after the initial diagnosis.

However, following my intervention, it has now agreed to buy your car for €15,000, or about £11,700, and to cover the outstanding charges on your account as a "gesture of goodwill".

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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