I’d like this to be the final running report on our Audi TT, during which time one particular issue has stood out and (almost) blighted our ownership experience.
The dreaded window regulator failure first arose in February 2012, which thereafter put us in touch with hundreds of TT owners who’d experienced the same issue. Then last month a second failure occurred to our car – this time on the nearside passenger door – and I contacted Audi’s PR and Customer Service team to seek the best solution.
Model: Audi TT 2.0 TFSi
Power/torque: 197 bhp / 207 lbf-ft (280 Nm)
Age: 2007 (5.5 years)
Miles driven: 68,397
Average fuel consumption: 28.7mpg
Highest fuel consumption: 41.3mpg (220 mile m/way journey)
Colour: Brilliant Red
Equipment: Xenon lights, Sat Nav + BOSE surround sound, 19″ alloys, heated seats, acoustic parking.
Price new: £31,035
* * *
Strong sense of well-being, feels contemporary even after 6 years. With one exception feels bulletproof.
Window regulator issue on both doors (now fixed), initial problem with unbalanced alloys.
As you may remember, first time around I replaced the mechanism myself – at a cost of £118.00 incl VAT plus three hours of labour. Most owners report a charge of between £280 and £580 by official Audi centres for replacement of one or both window regulators – a not inconsiderable sum considering it’s not a part you’d normally expect to fail (at least not in the first five years of use).
This time we followed the recommended customer protocol (as suggested by Jon Zammett, Head of Audi Public Relations) and was eventually contacted by Craig Westwood, Customer Relations Manager for Audi UK. So last Wednesday our car was taken in by Huntingdon Audi and a new window regulator was fitted.
While the car was there, they checked my handiwork (on the driver’s door) – not bad, but I broke a few clips while refitting the door card – and more importantly checked the part number to see if it represented the latest component.
The good news? Part no. 8J0837462D is still the latest one, which means that in the past two years Audi’s boffins in Ingolstadt have been happy to fit this part to new cars on the production line. Prior to this, the part was upgraded by the factory three times, which reflects its continued development, and their awareness of the issue.
If you’re unfamiliar with the post-production process, not just of Audi but any other quality car brand, they test each component to destruction prior to a car’s release, but inevitably every car is shipped with some hidden flaws which then manifest in use. The acid test is how quickly they respond once these flaws are detected and whether they maintain the goodwill that led a customer choosing to buy the car in the first place.
I’ve openly voiced my dissatisfaction in the past, but this time I’d like to thank Craig, Simon (dealer service exec) and Bob (Audi technician) for their help in quickly fixing our car and getting it back on the road. The cost was absorbed by Audi UK and Huntingdon Audi, partly because we’d already paid for one door ourselves but also because we’ve been a reasonably good customer during the past few years (having previously bought an R8 and RS 4 and owned this TT since new).
They’ll treat each car on a case-by-case basis, but inevitably a multi-owner car with variable service history is likely to be less supported than ‘one careful lady driver’ who’s serviced it regularly at the same Audi centre.
In our case, Huntingdon Audi contributed 30% of the fee, reflecting the value of our long-term custom to them, so bear this in mind when you set your own expectations.
Afterwards I checked the protocol for any future owners who experience the same problem. Firstly, there will be no recall – it’s not a safety issue and while it’s extremely inconvenient, some owners are having the work carried out pro-actively or being notified during a scheduled service visit to their Audi centre.
Should Audi pay for it in every case? I don’t think so.
In most cases, cars are outside warranty and it would be impossible for Audi to know if a car has been maintained properly to mitigate the problem. While failure is inevitable, so is that of many other components in the car, each of which have a projected lifespan. Audi cannot guarantee the TT (or any other car) for ever – that would be unreasonable as well as unaffordable – but they’re hopeful that the TT’s window regulator now meets the standards they original set.
I was advised that while you’re welcome to call Audi Customer Services – on Freephone 0800 699888 or firstname.lastname@example.org – in the first instance you should contact your local Audi centre. They should be aware of the issue and can liaise with Audi UK about securing any further support (financial or otherwise).
Would we recommend the Audi TT?
So what next? Well boring as it might sound we’ve enjoyed owning our first Audi TT, so much so that a TTS (with magnetic ride and S tronic transmission) is now on the cards. We were waiting for these window regulator woes to be solved and now that they have (fingers crossed), it’s time to swap our six-year old car for a newer one.