Brand new Audi Allroad up in smoke


#1

I bought a buetiful new 2015 Audi Allroad. Drove it for 3 weeks in town put 450 miles on it only to see it go up in smoke. A lot of smoke. Coming from the front hood. The car was towed to the original dealer and the following diagmosys was done. vfound that alternation was not able to free spin due to damage caused by high current draw from starter failure. Alternator damage was consequential damage from starter melting. Removed and replaced ternate starter and wiring
I have a few questions 1 how did the starter motor fail in such a new car?
2 did the really high temperature cause damage to the engine?
3 should I try to get the car replaced under the Florida lemon law statute?
Any pertinent advice is welcome


#2

Sorry for misspelling. Writing from my phone


#3

“should I try to get the car replaced under the Florida lemon law statute?”

You need to educate yourself on the exact details of the Lemon Law in your state. All of the LL statutes with which I am familiar require that there be three failed attempts at repair, or that the vehicle in question has been out of service for an extended period of time–typically 30 days or more.

If, at this point, the vehicle’s warranty has provided free repairs, then I don’t believe that you have any claim, but researching the exact details of your state’s Lemon Law will tell you where you stand.


#4

Typically getting a replacement through the lemon law requires multiple visits during the first two years or so of ownership. I submitted a lemon law claim almost 20 years ago on a Ford Taurus. At the time, Maryland required documented evidence of 6 visits for repairs (not maintenance) in the first two years of ownership of a new car. Before the return could be authorized, I had to contact Ford before taking it in for the final repair attempt before replacement. You aren’t there yet.

But you could talk to the dealer and see if Audi will replace the car. They have all the bad press they need these days and might be more willing to trade your car for another. But don’t be surprised if they repair it. And keep all your receipts for defects during the next two years or whatever Florida requires. This might not be the last time you have to go in. Only time will tell.


#5

I would push for replacement of the vehicle, but you’re unlikely to get it. However if the dealer makes all the repair properly and cleans everything up you should never know it happened.

As others have stated, the lemon law is unlikely to apply here, but contact your state Atty General’s office of Consumer Protection for a copy and read it carefully. I might be wrong.


#6

I had a friend who had this same happen, and her car burned up, literally. It caught on fire and was completely consumed, ruined, started the day fine, ended the day in a scrap heap. The fire department had to come and put the fire out, that’s how bad it was. The fire damaged a couple of other cars parked nearby. All in all, not a good situation. You were very fortunate it was just smoke and burned wires.

Starter motors are really powerful electrical motors, rated in kilo-watts. Most are around 1 to 1.5 KW. That’s enough power to heat up the starter motor really fast, if something goes wrong. When you turn the key to start, a huge switch (called the starter solenoid) inside the starter motor closes. That’s what makes it start working. After you turn the key back to “on”, that switch opens up, causing the starter motor to stop working. If the contacts on that switch don’t make a good electrical contract in the “start” mode, they’ll heat up very fast, and can weld themselves together. That causes the starter motor to be impossible to turn off, even when the key is released, and that’s the usual way they catch on fire.

All that said, since the only problem was smoke, I think there’s a very good chance replacing the starter motor, alternator, and the affected wiring should return the car to good condition. I’d probably ask them to replace the battery too, as it could also be damaged.


#7

If it were me, I’d push for another vehicle although that may be easier said than done.

While I can’t tell you exactly what caused this problem, offhand it sounds like there was an electrical glitch which caused the starter solenoid to stay in operation and which in turn kept the starter motor armature engaged.

The real stickler is trying to determine what glitch in a pile of wiring and electronics is responsible for the solenoid staying engaged.

In the old days this would not have been too difficult to sort out. With modern complexity the obvious becomes not so obvious.

The problem with replacing all of those parts is that it may be repairing the symptom instead of the cause unless they can pinpoint why the solenoid stayed engaged; assuming that was the cause of this problem.


#8

Ditto to everything above, and of course the dealer MUST loan you an equivalent car for as long as it takes to fix yours properly. Not a rental Toyota Corolla, another Audi Allroad. You bought a car, and now you’ve got nothing. They need to make you whole again.


#9

Thanks! I will look into LL in Florida. I still can’t believe that a 46000 dollar car went up in smoke after 3 weeks!!!


#10

I’m going to go against the grain here and wonder why anyone would even think a lemon law action might apply here, or why anything other than repair or replacement of the faulty components and associated systems is needed. The car is almost new. It had a component failure, the failure was or is being repaired by the dealer under warranty, what else is there to talk about?

Warranty does not entitle the owner to a replacement vehicle simply because there was a problem that surfaced during the warranty period. I’m sure the terms of the warranty state that the manufacturer will repair the vehicle to serviceable condition. I can’t see any reason that Audi would even consider replacing the vehicle.

To the OP, the starter failed because it was defective. Even with the best of quality control things still go wrong. I think you just happened to be unlucky in this instance and got a defective part. Cars are machines, an assembly of man-made moving parts. Sometimes things break.

Until you have reason to believe otherwise, have the car repaired and motor happily on.


#11

Answers: 1. Things break 2. No 3. Lemon law is not in play here.


#12

No lemon law. I would pay for an independent mechanic to check it over to confirm the repair.

If you want to see new cars disasters Google supercar fires. Amazing how many new ones have gone up in smoke, even though they cost $100,000 - $1,000,000.


#13

I’m in agreement that any Lemon Law criteria has not been met yet.

What would disturb me would be if no clear-cut answer is provided as to why this happened.

That brings up the rhetorical questions of repeated failures or the ominous what happens if this occurs again after the warranty expires…

If the shop is able to say that X, Y, or Z was the cause and the problem is now solved permanently then all is well. If they can’t say or lay on some BS to cover up why they don’t know then I’d be greatly concerned about the future.


#14

I am just wondering why someone livingin Florida wants an all wheel drive car?


#15

Perhaps they just liked the car.


#16

AWD is useful in sand. My understanding is that they have a bit of that in Florida.


#17

AWD is useful for climbing out of Florida’s well- known sink holes.