Watchdog: Late service wrecks Audi warranty

Late service leaves Audi unwilling to pay for £9,000 gearbox claim

When the complex S tronic gearbox and expensive stereo failed in Justin Berkovi's 59-plate Audi S4 Avant estate within six months of purchase, he didn't know whether to complain to Audi or the supplying dealer – Fontain Motors in Iver, Bucks.

Justin had two extended warranties: one from Audi (via Mondial Assistance) and one from Fontain with a £1,000 claim cap.

Facing a £9,000 bill for the replacement gearbox, Justin called Mondial Assistance. It rejected the claim, arguing that a gearbox oil change that was carried out 1,500 miles late (by a previous owner) had invalidated its cover.

Justin argued the car had a full service history from Walton Audi, Surrey, which didn't mention any problems. "It was absolutely impossible for me to tell just by looking at the car's service book that something had been missed. It was all simply ticks and stamps," said Justin.

An Audi spokesperson later admitted that: "the delayed gearbox oil change did not contribute to the gearbox fault". It confirmed that the firm would split the replacement costs with its warranty provider Mondial and Whetstone Audi, which would carry out the repairs.

Audi would not pay for the stereo repair though, as poorly plugged holes discovered in the bodywork were letting water in and blowing the system's electrics – something Fontain should have spotted. Although Fontain did eventually agree to pay for and fix the fault, its work would invalidate Audi's extended warranty. That left Justin to pick up the tab for Audi to complete the work. He said: "Fontain won't pay Audi's labour rates, so I have to."

What should you do if this happens to you?

Justin's contract of sale is with Fontain, rather than Audi, so the onus to fix the car falls on the dealer. It's then Fontain’s responsibility to recover the costs from Audi. However, the Audi extended warranty means any work carried out by Fontain will invalidate the cover, effectively blocking the dealer from carrying out any repairs.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Fiat 500 electric
Deals
24 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks