What I learned today..
As many of you know, Audi of America and I have a very very special relationship. It generally involves them lying to me and me thinking they are complete tools.
So today I had another case with them and the outcome was odd.
As those who actually have read my Audi updates know the moon roof on our Quattro is defective and as a result the window pane exploded back at Tour de Nez in July of '06. This was a pretty clear defect (compression cracks are easily identifiable and result from improperly installed or spec'd frames). To make a long story short, Audi refused to even look at the moon roof and we ended getting the pane replaced at Carl's and taking Audi to court over the cost of the pane. We won that case and were awarded the cost of pane we had replaced.
Now since the pane was caused by a defective frame, I was simultaneously trying to get Audi to fix the frame. I didn't file a claim against them because you can only sue in small claims court for a dollar amount and what I wanted was for Audi to fix the frame. I even got a letter from them stated that if we proved the frame was defective they would honor the warranty.
In the end, Audi never did fix the frame. So once we returned the car, I filed a small claim against them for the cost of the moon roof option.
Now, I have learned a lot about the law and small claims. I think I understand how to build a case and establish cost. But I am always nervous about whether I followed the proper procedure, especially since my experience is that procedure is where judges tend to be the least consistent.
The judge dismissed my case, with prejudice. Which, I suppose means I lost. But, she did it on procedural grounds: if I understood her correctly she said that if I had included the moon roof reimbursement in the original claim then she would have awarded me that amount too. But since that case had already be heard and a finding made I couldn't "add on" at a later date.
Which left me with the odd feeling that I had actually won. Audi America seems to have convinced itself that I am just trying to harangue them for money. Since they refused to look at the car despite my repeated requests I don't know how they can make any statement about whether the claim is valid (a point the judge has made as well). I think all I ever really wanted was for someone to say to them "hey, he's right, this is defective and you should have covered it under warranty".
And in both cases she did that. So, I actually got what I wanted.
And now that chapter is over; the care is back with Audi lease expired. I have one other warranty claim I could pursue but I would have to drag Barrier into it. And those guys have been great and I even if I won it would be hollow; I know the Barrier guys tried hard to get the item replaced and it was corporate that refused.
So here's the moral I learned. Don't buy an Audi unless you are prepared to fight to get warranties honored. And if you do, buy from Barrier. They really are good people.