Bad transmission @ 66k; dealer failed to perform maintance @ 35K

I have a 2004 Audi with 66,000 miles. The transmission just went (CVT). I have an aftermarket warranty from a third party. They need to see that Audi changed the transmission fluid at 35,000 miles (part of schedule maintenance). I did take my car in at 35k miles, but Audi dealer failed to do the fluid change so the warranty won’t cover the repair! That dealer is now out of business. Would Audi, the automaker, cover the repair? It seems ridiculous that I paid for the maintenance at 35k miles, paid for a warranty and now am told to pay thousands of dollars for a new transmission! Any suggestions? Help would be greatly appreciated! Sincerely, A broke Audi owner

Why don’t you call them and ask? It seems to me that Audi is responsible for the actions of their agent, the dealer, on Audi’s behalf. You might contact your state Attorney General’s office if you get an unsatisfactory answer from Audi.

Holy smokes, this is a sad story and interesting too. Did you pay for the transmission service and they failed to do it? I am guessing not or you would not know. I don’t know if the dealer is legally responsible for making sure every item gets checked off or not. I would guess that it really is the owner responsibility, but any good repair shop would fix you up if the evidence indicated you asked for the 35K service and trans service is part of that. Your only course might be to sue anything that is left of the company that was the dealership.

When I bought the car all scheduled maintenance was included for the first 4 years or 50,000 miles (so they build the costs in the price of the car, right?). I went into the shop and asked for the 35,000 service. I have the paperwork that says “Performed 35K Service” … so it should’ve included all that Audi says to do at 35K (which would include changing the transmission fluid).

Yes, it seems ridiculous. However, it might be true. You paid and you paid, and you have, what; an aftermarket warranty? Apparently not.

This is what most buyers of aftermarket warranties discover when they need their aftermarket warranties.

If the fluid change was required at 35K, it should have been done. It’s your responsibility, not the dealer’s, to make sure all warranty requirements are met.

You should have read the fine print.

Sadly, I assumed that I didn’t have to double check what Audi says is required vs. what the Audi dealership actually did. I can’t believe this. If Audi did what was required @ 35K, the warranty would have covered the cost for a new transmission. Live and learn. Sigh…

I am sorry to say it, but I doubt if you have any legal fix and with the dealer out of business, you are just out of luck. However do check with Audi, you might get lucky.

I would suggest that you get a second opinion and estimate.  You should not need to have the work done by an Audi dealer, so if that is who has given you an estimate, you likely can find a local (not a chain) mechanic to do the job for you and likely it will be less than an Audi dealer would charge. 

I just thought of something. Was it Audi who shut down some low volume dealers recently? If so you may have a claim against Audi if the dealer closing was their doing.

While I agree with the principle that the owner is ultimately responsibile to prove that the proper maintenance was completed on their car; in this case the maintenance service was included in the price of the car. The no costs schedule maintenance for X years and Y miles provided by the authorized Audi service department means that all the maintenance included in the mfgs recommendations as per the car service manual disclosed maintenance schedule should be completed by the authorized dealer.

I think the OP in the instance has a good argueable point and needs to take this up with Audi. My guess is that a lawyer will need to get involved in this and Audi and the secondary warranty company will be sued by the OP in order to get his money back for the transmission repair. Contact Audi, nicely at first. If you are not satisfied with their response be ready to hire a lawyer with experience in “lemon law” and consumer law to take the matter further and perhaps to court.

The OP did not refuse recommended service to save money. The OP delivered the car to Audi service as agreed so Audi could perform the required maintenance. The OP did all the right stuff and therefore I feel it is a legit case. The OP may not win, and may not want to take the time and cost of taking it to court. It is an argueable case and I think a judge would be sympathetic, and most certainly a jury would be. Audi lawyers might feel the same and offer to settle.

The dealer went out of business a couple of years ago so it’s not related to today’s issues with the slump in the automotive world.

Wait a minute. You have a receipt that says the (defunct) dealer did the 35K service, which includes tranny fluid change. So how does anybody – especially the 3rd party warrantor – know that the fluid change was not done?

The receipt says “Performed 35K Service” and it does list a brief description of what was done (top fluid, “s engine oil”, “b oil filter”, “filterelem”). It does not say anything about transmission fluid as the maintenance schedule requires. Hmmm. Do the Audi computers tell the mechanics what is required or do the mechanics have to generate the list at each serving? There is a list of codes and the description under a header: “35K mile service.”

Just to clarify and be dead certain on this, does the owners manual state “change the transmission fluid”?

I took a quick look at the Audi maintenance schedule as listed on Edmunds and they make no mention of changing the transmssion fluid at 30, 35, or at 40k mile intervals.
There are references to “inspection” but none to changing the fluid and many car makers have gone to extended intervals on transmission fluid changes. (NOT good anyway)

Welcome to the world of third party extended warranties where foot dragging can be the norm.

The manual is in my car and an hour away from home but I downloaded the “2004 Scheduled Maintenance Intervals” from the Audi website and it says that at 35K and 75K to “change ATF”. :frowning:

On closer inspection, I see that the maintenance schedule I looked at was REVISED on 10/27/08 (and fyi, I’ve since learned that Audi has had big issues with transmissions). I will need to look at the ORIGINAL maintenance schedule … and I’m guessing I will need to find out what the schedule was when I signed up for my warranty (keeping in mind that I need to know the “fine print”). WOW! Everyone here has been really helpful. I may (or may not) be on to something here. Thanks for your feedback so far… keep it coming!! :slight_smile:

If nothing else, readers are getting an education about CVT’s and extended warranties…

Faoling to service the tranny at 35K would not cause it to go bad at 65K.

Sometimes what is in the glove box owners manual may vary with what is published anywhere else or is posted on-line. Whenever there is a discrepancy the booklet in the glove box always takes precedence.
The same thing applies when viewing underhood stickers which may show something different than what a service manual states. The underhood sticker always takes priority.

My opinion is that any auto transmission, CVT or otherwise, should get 30k miles fluid changes. Many car makers have routinely extended these intervals to 60k miles, 100k miles, or infinity.
Ford Nissan, Dodge, etc.have extended fluid change intervals on their CVTs and there is no reason to think Audi is any different.

That glove box manual may reveal the truth. As to warranty coverage this may involve some pushing and shoving with the warranty company. It may even involve having to pay a lawyer a comparative few bucks to send a letter in an attempt to force some movement.

Maybe the warranty company is basing their decision (scraping for a loophole) on the revised maintenance schedule instead of what is in the owners manual.
Hopefully this will get worked out.

I think the 3rd party warrenty outfit is finding any excuse not to pay. If it wasn’t the fluid, it would be something else like abuse.

I think you keep it clear and simple and don’t let them make it your fault. Audi was to perform the service. You have a paper that says they did. If Audi changed the maint requirement, the dealer would know that and perform the maintenance as required. Audi is the expert not the insurance company. You have a policy that says the insurance company pays. So you tell them you expect them to pay, period, otherwise it will be to small claims court for the judge to decide. If they don’t think Audi was correct, it is up to the insurance company to collect the damages from Audi, not you. If you let them, they will keep you spinning for years. They never had any intention of paying for a transmission unless forced to.

I agree with Bing. One of the cardinal rules of car ownership is to NEVER buy a third-party extended warranty. Most of the veterans of this board would not recommend an extended warranty of any type, but since Audis do have significantly more problems as they age than most cars do, and since these problems tend to be very expensive ones, an extended warranty from the vehicle manufacturer would probably be a good idea. But, from a third party? No!

The reason for my statement is the history of these third-party warranty companies. They will use any excuse in the book to avoid paying for anything, and if really pressed, they may wind up paying a only very small percentage of the repair bill–if you are lucky. Most policy holders get no compensation. The other situation that all too many people have experienced is that these third-party warranty companies have a fairly incidence of simply disappearing, leaving the policy holders with no recourse whatsoever.

It’s too bad that you had this negative experience with the dealership, compounded by the warranty company. Hopefully, Audi corporate will do the right thing and help you out with this situation. And, if you decide to buy an Audi again, be sure to buy only the manufacturer’s extended warranty.

Why don’t you call them and ask? It seems to me that Audi is responsible for the actions of their agent, the dealer, on Audi’s behalf.

NOPE…If Audi cover it…it will be good will only. They are under no obligation what-so-ever. If the car was still under the Factory warranty then they’d be obligated, but not now.