Watchdog: Audi pays up following warranty row over rust

Firm initially claims rust is caused by ‘paint defect’ before u-turn and free repair

Rust is never a welcome sight on a car, which is why manufacturers go to great lengths to provide warranties against corrosion. However, making a claim on that warranty is sometimes easier said than done, as one reader found out.

Geoff Berrett from Sprotbrough, Doncaster, got in touch with Carbuyer's sister site Auto Express after he noticed bubbles building up on the front wheelarches of his 2005 Audi A6.

“The car has done over 114,000 miles, but I keep it in perfect condition. It was bought in 2007 with the intention to keep it, being only my second Audi in 18 years,” Geoff told us. “Five weeks ago, I noticed rust bubbles on the wheelarches.”

Aware that the terms of Audi’s 12- year anti-corrosion warranty stipulate the owner needs to inform his dealer immediately of any rust, Geoff quickly contacted Doncaster Audi, and had the car examined a week later.

Despite being quick to alert Audi, Geoff’s request for repairs to be carried out under warranty was shot down. He said Audi had told him the rust came from a ‘paint defect’, and as such would not be covered by the perforation warranty.

Yet, Geoff’s dealer was able to confirm the paint was entirely original. Geoff said: “The rust is clearly caused by internal corrosion, not paint defects or stone chips.” Geoff was considering shelling out for an independent inspection and small claims court before contacting us for help.

Auto Express agreed that if the paint had been confirmed as original by an Audi dealer, then the manufacturer should pay out for repairs under the terms of the 12-year perforation warranty.

They contacted Audi and a spokesman said the company was going to investigate the matter thoroughly.

After a few weeks, Geoff got back in touch with good news: “Audi has come back to me and agreed to meet the full cost of the repairs as a gesture of goodwill, which is exceptional. Thank you for your help.”

A spokesman for Audi added: “I can confirm Doncaster Audi has booked in Mr Berrett’s car in to have the defects repaired. The repair will be done free of charge.”

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