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My Car is a Lemon


In September of 2009 I bought a NEW Audi A4 Convertible. Within 300 miles I had the car in service because of a horrible groaning noise when I was steering in or out of a parking place. The customer service rep. told me that “ALL new cars make noise.” When I suggested the noise was coming from the steering,and that they check the power steering fluid, they told me it was a little low. I said, “But the car only has 300 miles on it, how can it be low?” The answer was “these cars eat a lot of fluid.” Also at that time I had some shimmy in the wheels, and we couldn’t regulate the volume on the Bluetooth. They replaced two tires, eventually replaced the radio, and even though they told me at first that a service notice regarding the noise problem I was having did not apply to my make and model car, they did eventually replaced the brake pads and brake calipers.

It is now May the car has less than 3,000 miles on it and it has been in the shop for the same noise problem which I maintain is coming from the steering, altogether 9 times. It still isn’t fixed,I have been told that when the noise gets really bad to bring it in again. All the time they maintain that it is safe to drive. My reply to that is " How do you know that, when you don’t know what the problem is"?

I have contacted a lawyer that deals with lemon laws, sent them all my service records and even voice mail I received on my cell phone from the service manager saying that they have heard the noise and it was even louder than when we test drove it.

The lawyer contacted Audi and Audi’s offer to me is to let me keep the car and the will give me $2500 for my aggravation and I would have to sign a release that I would not sue them again.

Because it has been in the service department so many times, I feel that this car in spite of it’s low miles and mint condition, I would have trouble selling it because that service record devalues the car. I have been told so many stories, and lies, that I don’t trust the service department at the dealership where I bought the car and I feel that I am stuck with this lemon. Also the oil light came on at 2500 miles, when I had it checked the oil barely registered and all the other fluid levels were low. The car has no leaks. This tells me that the car was never serviced when they first brought it in to be sold. When again I pointed out that the car had so little oil in it, I was once again told that these cars eat a lot of oil. Remember that the car only had 2500 miles on it when we found very little fluids in it.

As for the noise problem, Audi maintains that it is just that a noise, and it will not interfere with my safety. If I want to find out where the noise is coming from I would have to dismantle the car,and that would void all warranties on it.

What do I do now? Has anyone else had the same problem with a groaning noise coming from the steering column, and with the service department at Valley Motors?

I’m sorry, but I cannot and will not attempt to read anything that long without paragraph breaks.
If you post your question again, with formatting that is friendly to the eye, you will likely get many more responses.

I agree. I get a headache just looking at it.

Audis drink oil, and they are not “perfect” cars. They have problems, just like less expensive cars, only more so, and the problems are more expensive to repair. They are beautiful cars, but they are expensive to own and maintain, and the dealers aren’t know for treating their customers very well. Sad, but true.

I’d take the $2,500, sell the car, and move on. This car will cost you money after the warranty expires. Get rid of it before that happens.

And look up the word “paragraph.”

It Sounds Like Audi Is Trying To Pay You To Go Away And Not Sue Them. Is That All Your Lawyer Can Get You Is $2500 ? What Does The Lawyer Think Will Happen If You Proceed Against Audi?

Why in the world would you want to keep this car ? Did You ask Audi that ? I guess you’ll have to decide to take a loss, but try to minimize it, get rid of the car by almost any means, and never buy one again. Going this route, what is the best possible scenario ? Does your lawyer Favor the $2500 offer or just what is her / his plan ?

Should the car turn out to be deemed a lemon and is “bought back,” will it be pro-rated by time and miles or how does that work ? Ultimately, how much would it cost you to take delivery on a brand new A-4 going that route ?

I think these questions are some that need answers before one can answer, “What do I do now?


Answer this first. You say you bought a NEW Audi in Sept. of '09.

Does this mean the car is a 2010 model?

How many miles on this car when purchased; 4 or 5 or was it a 100 or so?

Every car maker including coveted Honda/Toyota has these problem children. Fortunately for most it is a small percentage of vehicles sold.

Have you tried with Audi to simply exchange it? Audi A4’s are not unreliable cars. They are expensive to maintain and repair when that arises.

I would push for an exchange of vehicle and leave this one behind.

Unless things have changed, MD allows you to return a lemon after 6 attempts to repair the same thing. They may also allow a return for a certain number of days without the car because of repairs. You need to have receipts for each visit. If you have exceeded 6 visits (it looks like there are 9 visits to the dealer), then you need to write a letter to Audi America and attach copies of your receipts. Request that the car be replaced with another Audi A4 convertible. The dealer will have one more chance to fix the problems. If they can’t do it, they will provide the new car. The car could be another 2009, but it has to be essentially identical to yours.

Do a web search for “lemon laws” and you will get the information you need - don’t just take my work for it. If you have questions after you find the information, stop back.

I am sorry, I am new to this. Didn’t know that this program existed, and didn’t know how much space I was allowed to write in.

Thank you for taking an interest and for your suggestions. I checked out the Maryland Lemon Law web site and this is what I found.
Maryland’s Lemon Law applies to new or leased motor vehicles (including cars, light trucks and motorcycles), registered in Maryland, that are less than 24 months old and have been driven less than 18,000 miles. The law provides for consumers whose cars meet certain criteria to receive a refund or a replacement vehicle if repair attempts have failed to correct a problem, and the problem substantially impairs the use and market value of the vehicle.

The part of this that I have highlighted I am not sure I understand of if that applies to my situation.

Back in Dec. of ‘09’ I hired a private lawyer to send a certified letter to Audi with copies going also to the President of Valley Motors and to Motor Vehicle of Maryland. Along with the letter was a detailed description of all the problems I was and still having with the car, all the service records, and a demand that Audi repurchase the car.
I never heard directly for Audi. Unfortunately I could not afford to keep this lawyer because he told me that if we had to go to court that this might wind up costing me more than the car was worth.

I found through the Lemon Law web site a law firm that specialized in recovering losses at no cost to me. They would get their fees from the car manufacture. I sent them all the records I had plus they duplicated voice mail records from my cell phone. These calls were from the service rep. stating that they had heard the noise I described and it was even louder than when we test drove it.
Within days the lawyer emailed me with an offer from Audi for $2500, I said that it was not acceptable. The next day she emailed me again and said that this was Audi’s only offer.
I have not accepted or denied the offer yet.
If what you and Maryland law says is true, and I am entitled to either a new car or a buyback, how do I get Audi or Valley Motors to abide by this law. I don’t want to keep this car, and I feel that anyone who would be interested in buying it would have it Carfaxed and find out how many times the car has been serviced. Even though the car is in mint condition and has less than 3000 miles on it, I feel that the market value is greatly diminished.
I am literally spinning my wheels, and don’t know where to go from here.

Thank You for your suggestions and for taking the time to write.


Your car sounds like a mail order bride in a “B” movie! When German cars are lemons they are really expensive lemons, only surpassed by Range Rovers!

As others advise, and Anthony Quinn decided in the “B” movie “This Land is Mine”, when he sent Anna Magnani back to Italy, get rid of her and start over.

Accountants refer to this as a “sunk cost”. Go on with life.

My point in asking if this car was brand new or a dealer demo is that if it was a demo the car could have seen some abusive driving during the break-in period.
Get a car salesman with a lead foot and the metabolism of a hummingbird and anything can happen during those first 100 miles.

These cars do not eat power steering fluid or engine oil unless there is a problem; be it factory defect or improper break-in.

You must like old movies and The Turner Channel.
But the question still remains. Under Maryland Lemon Laws, does the dealer or Audi have a legal obligation to make good on this car, by either a repurchase or replacement?

This car was brand new with 15 miles on it. It was not a demo. Just a lemon!

I know that what they are telling me is a load of horse pucky. The first thing they said to me was all new cars make noise.
My answer to that was, “That is why I sold my old car, it stopped making noise!”

Is there a problem with this car they have duplicated and have attempted some type of repair on? then and only then is a lemmon clock running.

I hope you did not pay this “lawyer” any money because I feel you were let down big time. The laws in your state are pretty clear cut in this regard. Here are some links to the actual pages for your state-

See the first paragraph-

When a new car, light duty truck, motorcycle or multi-purpose vehicle has been “repaired” for the same problem four or more times, or the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 days for repairs, under the warranty, you are entitled to a new vehicle or a refund for the vehicle you have bought. If the problem involves the steering or braking system, only one attempt to repair it is required.

The state’s Attorney General web page-

You do not need a lawyer for any of this, just read and follow the instructions. Likely, when you notify Audi that you intend to pursue a lemon law claim and understand your rights, they may straighten up, pay attention and act on your problem.

Another avenue is you local consumer rights advocate or a TV station- they love these type of stories as they can usually shame the dealership into acting in good faith.

Good luck.

They absolutely do under the lemon laws of most states. In all developed countries you can take this dealer to court and he would not stand a chance.

They have duplicated the problem NINE times. They thought it was the Brakes so they first champered the brake pads a couple of times. Then they finally put new pads on and brake calipers. The noise is still there. It is a groaning sound, it doesn’t happen regularly, but when it does happen it is when I am backing out or pulling into a parking place or tight spot.
This is why I think it has something to do with the steering. I never hear the noise while driving normal speeds or turning corners. They try telling me that this is a normal noise, and I have never had an Audi before so therefor I don’t know that this is normal for Audi. Yet all the loaners I have been given I have never heard that noise on any of them . Nor have I ever heard such a noise on any other car I have ever owned or been in.

You see you have symptons, diagnosis, repair attempts all mixed up here. You first complained of low fluids, what was the diagnosis and repair here, then you complained of shimmy, this is where I detect they did the brake work, then you complained of a noise, but the way I read your post this “noise” has never been accepted as a problem or sign of defect, and no attempt too repair the noise has been made.

You can’t link (but you can try) a brake repair for a shimmy to this mystery groan. Does the car still shimmy? is this the symptom linked to 9 repair attempts?

Me being just a retired mechanic can see these holes in your story, imagine what a lawyer can open up.

Has the groan ever been accepted as a sympton of a defect and what were the repair attempts made to stop the groan?

I brought the car in the first time when I had 300 miles on it. The thing I complained about the most was the loud groaning noise I heard as described above. It was the Service department that said the groan was coming from the brakes. They Champered the pads twice and then finally replaced the pads and the calipers, hoping that this would stop the groaning noise we all heard. But it didn’t. The shimmy they fixed right away, they determined that the rear tires were out of balance so they replaced the two rear tires.
My position is if the problem was only a noise problem why did they replace the brakes? A noise does not pose any danger, but bad brakes do.
About the low fluids, there are no known leaks in the car. I maintain that the car was never properly serviced and fluids added when it was first brought to the dealership to sell. I had been driving a car for 2500 miles when I discovered that it had no oil, and all the other fluids were low. They did replace fluids and noise is still there.
I don’t think there are any holes in this, I have all the service records and they all state the same complaint. "Customer hears a loud groaning noise when trying to park, she states that she thinks it is coming from the steering. " It is the technician that determined it was coming from the brakes. That is why they were replaced, but the noise is still there.
They replaced brakes and noise is still there and the tires.
They have accepted that the car does make a loud groan, they tried to fix it by doing the above. They maintain it is not a safety issue. My answer to that is, if you are not sure where the problem is and you have tried to fix it but can’t on NUMEROUS occasions, then how do you know that the car is not unsafe to drive?

They will probably claim that the brake work was sucessful and no further problem exists. Perhaps not need but certainly in your favor, what work could be considered a “second attempt” to fix this groaning noise? If they made a second attempt this supports your claim that the first did not work.

Has a District Representive been asked to get involved?

After reading earlier posts, this issue is headed to court and what is happening now is just a vent. Lets try NOT too turn this into another 200 thread post.

Myself I would keep this down to just the “steering noise issue” leave out references to low fluids, I don’t see any benifit.