Garage never suggested a cam belt change
I have recently suffered a broken cam belt - actually a few teeth have worn off. However, the result is that the engine stopped whilst I was travelling at about 70mph in the fast line of a motorway and lots of damage has been caused to the values and engine etc
I am still waiting for the garage (Audi main dealer) to advise me of costs and timescales for repair but expect it to be very expensive.
I am not a 'car person' and have taken my audi A4 to the same audi main dealer since its very first service and always done all the work they suggested. The car is now 6 years old and has done about 115k miles. It has always been serviced at the same garage and was most recently had a full service two weeks ago.
It turns out my cam belt had never been replaced and therefore it is not surprising it failed. My question is how much recourse do I have with the garage? Surely they had an obligation as part of the services to advise me when the cam belt should have been changed - which would have been at 5 years or 120k miles which ever happened sooner. At no time have they ever said the cam should be changed.
What would be an acceptable deal with the garage? Naturally I expect to pay for a new cam belt etc, but surely they have some liability for not advising a change and therefore for the consequential damage?
Also how would people recommend I approach the garage to negotiate a deal - that is if people think that I should.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Last edited by dwarren01; 27-07-10 at 08:47.
Oh dear and sorry to hear this.
Personally I do NOT think you will have much redress as it is on the owner to have read the 'handbook/service schedule' and its recommendations through the years...
I am VERY surprised the garage you use (- and a main dealer at that!) have never mentioned to you about having the cambelt done (in fact it would be an extra 'service job' for them - Audi usually requires front bumper removal and while doing job water pump replacement as well; in all approx 3 hour job).
Keep yourself calm and polite and ask (in a pleasant tone) why was one not told about cam-belt etc? Also emphasise how you have been a loyal customer (always gone back to them etc.) and you MIGHT have some 'reduction' on the labour bill (and it will only be a small reduction).
I have checked the interval replacement guide and there is nothing about a time scale. Some engines are 60,000, 80,000, 115,000 miles etc. If you can post the engine code I can tell you exactly when it is due. If you do not have it I can get it from your registration number.
I too am very surprised they did not advise you to have it replaced as it is extra income for them. Most dealers advise an early replacement just to get your cash.
I don't entirely agree with the above post as to recompense. While you are ultimately responsible for your car, the dealer as your agent is also responsible for advising you in a timely manner of any work required. If you can show they were negligent you have a case against them especially if your timing belt replacemnt guide is 80,00 miles. Most dealers are members of the Motor Trade Partnership which is regulated by Trading Standards. Their liaison officer will intervene and advise as necessary.
I agree with the 2nd previous poster, the overall responsibility of the owner to read and adhere to the manufacturers recommendations, as printed in the handbook/service schedules.
not being a car person should not be a get out of gaol free clause or excuse.
the toothed belt on my vaccum cleaner recently broke, I went and purchased a new one.
Whilst, "In Hindsight" suggesting various options to the original posters unfortunate issue, Why? should we as professionals even contemplate this, recompense?
Last edited by Wesley; 28-07-10 at 01:19.
I'm very surprised that a main dealer did not try to get you to have the belt changed early as they usually suggest it to make money.
But, In reality you are responsible to get your car maintained as and when needed.
This story reminds me of someone I was talking to recently who said "my engine seized due to a lack of oil, It is not my fault. VW should have the service intervals more regularly"
We might live in a 'nanny state' but, we can still think for ourselves can't we ?
To the original poster and any member of the RAC who reads this. I apologise on behalf of the responsible motor trade members for the response from someone in the trade who obviously cares little for their customers and as a result gives us all a bad name.
Originally Posted by Wesley
It is unfortunate that the RAC forum moderators allow the posts from the above who claims to be a motor trade 'professional.' A professional would be just that and would inform his customer of any future work that is upcoming. I would also point out that simply by looking up this poster's profile, you will see all his replies in all threads. From here you can read all his responses on this forum and judge for yourselves whether these are the responses of a qualified professional. The over use of smilies with 'confused' and 'sticking tongue out' in the majority simply do not suggest for one minute that he is.
It simply is NOT good enough to say it is entirely the customer's fault. The garage has a duty to inform a customer of any impending work that may be due now or in the future that may affect the reliability and operational performance of the car. Any garage that is a member of the Good Garage Scheme or Motor Trade Partnership would tell you when the timing belt was due, or the brake fluid or the antifreeze or the brake pads or ANYTHING else.
I have over the last few years discussed this sort of problem with west Yorkshire Trading Standards, Sarah Sillars the chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry and the Office of Fair Trading. They all, without exception, agree that this sort of issue should never arise and good garage practice would ensure it is not repeated.
If anything, this thread serves to remind you that there are still bad practices alive and kicking within the motor trade. On behalf of the thousands of good honest motor trade professionals doing excellent work I am ashamed to be associated with these remarks.
Whoa now slow down everybody!
I would like to point out regarding the second post (Which was mine) I did not say it was right what had happened. As I really tried to emphasize I am astounded that the garage did NOT ask about a timing belt replacement â€“ whether it is because of 'good practice' or 'extra revenue'.
Also I did not say he should or shouldn't it's just that I think (regretfully) he won't get much recompense.
So please as all like mind vehicle enthusiasts can we get on and focus on our goal - that of keeping motors running.
I think Hometune makes a very good point, more so today than in the past. Car manufacturers have positively encouraged the, don’t bother how it works just drive it attitude, the servicing industry has rubbed it’s hands at the thoughts of the potential revenue but there is a responsibility that should come with this, as now the motorist is almost completely in the garages hands. Personally, I think it is high time the industry adopted a, no fix no fee policy, to curtail the tendency to guess at the fault, substituting parts until the problem clears and passing all the costs onto the customer.
Wagolynn is absolutely right.(Congrats on your 2,000th post btw) On my service sheet one of the items to check is the cam belt. And next to it is 'history'. If I can find no evidence in the service booklet or the customer has no proof, then I always recommend renewal. This service sheet was drawn up in conjunction with Trading Standards by the way.
The point about being in the garage's hands will only get worse as more manufacturers copy BMW and Mercedes with their Condition Based Servcing. You no longer go in for a fixed interval service at, say, 12,000 miles. The ignition key is placed in a reader on the service desk and a print out is obtained stating what needs renewal. So you have no idea until it is read just what you will be paying for. The flip side is that the dealer simply does not know how long your service will take and they are unable to manage the work-flow through the workshop efficiently.
As for the 'no fix no fee' policy, I already do this as routine. I have a cellar with a shelf where I have fitted parts and they have not solved the problem. I keep them until one day they are needed. I do not charge the customer and I do not charge a call-out fee if I cannot identify the fault. How can a 'professional' fit a new component for Â£300, take the money, walk away and the problem is still there?
The Audi garage here in the question was very happy to take the customer's money at every service. If they have not notified the customer on a receipt/invoice/letter prior to this failure then they should stand the cost. They entered into a contract which includes advising of potential work needing to be done.
WRX GTi : My reply is not aimed at you.
Last edited by Hometune; 28-07-10 at 20:55.
I rather like your reply,
Originally Posted by Hometune
a missread post again, by you, once again adding to your personal vendetta??
a rather slanderous statement marked in bold above, and below, against an "Audi Dealer"! not my customer.
the post previous to this one "quoted" above, seems to be a more professional and accurate reply.
Last edited by Wesley; 29-07-10 at 01:37.
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