Vehicle: Audi A4 mileage approx. 19500 miles. Purchased May 2017 from Harold Wood Audi for £27,000. Serviced on 18/04/2018 by Audi Solihull.
On 30/04/2018, I finished my work shift at 2300hrs having been picked up by my wife who was with our 22 month old child.
I swapped seats with my wife and drove to the BP service station on the A4600 Hinckley Road to fill up the AdBlue tank as it was low.
Following this, I drove back up the road out of city to go onto the M6 motorway to my home address in Nuneaton.
By approximately 2330hrs, I was driving on the right side of the road approaching the roundabout on Hinckley Road junction with Eden Road and was about to slow down to navigate the roundabout when I heard a dull thud from the front nearside of the car which immediately caused me to lose control and the car not responding to steering of the car properly.
I shouted out in panic as did my wife due to the sudden and unexpected nature of what had occurred and having already been handling the steering wheel firmly with both hands I managed to regain a semblance of control of the car and turned left into Eden Road to investigate the cause. I suspected that I had burst a tyre as this is the only thing I could attribute as to how I lost control.
Upon calming everyone down and exiting my car, I saw that my front nearside tyre was intact with no damage to the side wall or alloy.
I looked at the other tyres but could not see anything.
Upon closer inspection of the front nearside tyre, I realised that it was digging into the top of the wheel arch as if the car suspension had been modified to be lowered. I then used my torch to look under the tyre and upon inspection found that the lower suspension arm (wishbone) was snapped in half.
I was stunned to find this as there was nothing on the road that could have caused such significant damage.
I immediately contacted Audi Roadside Assistance to inform them of what had occurred and was informed that an AA recovery van would attend by 1240hrs.
I informed the call handler of the circumstances of the breakdown as well as the urgency for a recovery van as the car was positioned in front of an entrance to a building and my wife and child were in the car.
I managed to eventually arrange for a friend to collect my wife and child to be taken home.
Whilst waiting, I walked up Eden Road onto the Hinckley Road to inspect the vicinity of where the incident occurred.
Other than a slightly an uneven surface on certain parts of the road, I could not find anything that could have caused such catastrophic damage which could have been potentially fatal especially if I had entered the M6.
At approximately 1240hrs, an AA flatbed van did arrive and I met with recovery technician, Daz.
Upon inspecting my car, he informed of the snapped wishbone which I was aware of already.
Daz took out a wheel skate to put under the wheel however soon realised that it could not fit under the car as it was now too low due to the collapse of the wishbone and other internal components which I cannot recall the names of.
He informed me that the weight of the car was sitting on the wheel causing undue pressure and had caused slight damage to the wheel arch.
Daz stated that the car would require a full lift and he contacted his department to advise them of the issues and the requirement for a HIAB lorry.
I was informed that there would now be a further wait for the correct van to turn out.
By now it had become very cold even when staying in the car as I decided against turning on the car for fear of further damage.
Sometime later my friend, returned to assist me and soon after that, at approximately 0140hrs, a PGSS Motoring Services recovery van arrived.
I realised that this was a flatbed also.
Myself and my friend queried if he would be using skates as this is what had already been attempted by AA to no result and that we were advised a HIAB would arrive. The technician who was completely disinterested in us stated that he would be hooking the car up and dragging it onto the flatbed.
Not having enough knowledge to questions otherwise at the time, I let the technician continue however I remained concerned.
During this, another PGSS recovery van arrived with this technician stating that he was just passing by.
I and my friend explained the situation to this technician as well as what Daz from AA had stated.
This technician confirmed that if the car was to be hooked and dragged onto the flatbed as it was being prepared to, then further damage would very likely be caused and that a full lift would indeed be required.
Due to this assertion from another technician, I stated to technician carrying out the recovery that I was not happy with what he was about to do and would like him to stop. This was not only due to the concerns but his overall dismissive attitude and being in a rush to get my car on the flatbed and be gone. The technician became angry and stated that he had been doing this for 14 years however I stated that his very own colleague had the same concerns as us and that I would be contacting Audi Breakdown to determine what had gone on. The technician returned his equipment and abruptly handed me a copy of the paperwork and left.
By now it was approximately 0215hrs and already exhausted from a tough shift, I called Audi Breakdown.
I was informed by a staff member that they would liaise with AA to determine what went wrong and that the manager would call me.
Sometime time had passed where I did not get any call back and I was left to chase up what was going on.
It lay on me to call on three occasions to chase up an update.
At one point I was informed that I had turned down a recovery truck for no reason.
This is despite Daz from AA already having informed them that a full lift was required.
I was then informed that they were trying to get in touch with PGSS to determine what my requirements are despite Daz from AA having already told them.
As far as I am aware; Audi work in conjunction with the AA not PGSS of which their technician could not have been any less interested of what had occurred.
At this point, I was tired, angry and frustrated of what was going on and I let it be known that this was unacceptable.
I was informed that the manager from AA would be in touch with me to assist.
By now it was approximately 0400hrs when I was contacted by the AA manager who informed me that the AA does not have HIAB vehicles in their fleet except for emergency situations and that one may come out to me in the morning from 0800hrs. This manager advised that I leave my vehicle in situ and for me to go home.
I stated that this was unacceptable and that my car was parked over an entrance leading to a barrier gate to a building.
The manager then stated he would look into getting one out sooner.
Sometime after, I was contacted by the AA manager again who stated that a HIAB lorry would set off shortly from Leicester and would be able to do a full lift of my car onto the lorry and that ETA would be approximately 30 minutes.
Happy that the situation was eventually resolved, I waited for the truck to arrive.
At approximately 0500hrs, a recovery truck from Crouch Recovery arrived only for me to realise that this was yet another flatbed.
Exhausted from all this, I did not have the energy to argue but yet again explained that I was advised a HIAB was required for my car.
The technician stated a full lift would not be needed and proceeded to hook the car and drag it albeit very carefully onto the flatbed.
The car was to be taken to Leicester and then later to Audi Coventry.
From the start of the incident at 2330hrs 30/04/2018, I was to return home at approximately 0600hrs 01/05/2018.
The weather conditions were dry with no rain however it was cold out. There was sufficient street lighting for visibility on the road where the incident occurred with no debris, objects, fluids or potholes near or up to the point where the incident occurred.
I have since been informed that I must have hit a pothole on the road for the damage to be caused as there is impact damage on the car. I am adamant that there was nothing on the road for such significant damage to occur. For me to have struck something as significant to cause such damage to the wishbone, I would have spun out of control and definitely collided with street furniture. As such, there are no skid marks on the road from my car and I would encourage Audi to visit the road to inspect yourself.
Further to this, damage to the under tray and gearbox lining was already present during my service and health check by Audi Solihull on 18/04/2018 which is evidenced by the Audi Cam provided and shown to you. Audi Solihull did not raise any concern of any damage or significance in relation to the wishbone of which I am sure they would have done so and any other issues highlighted by them were classed as ‘advisory’.
It has been pointed out by Audi Coventry that there are scratches/scuffs under both front wishbones which caused the wishbone to fail. From looking at these scratches/scuffs, there is no way they could have done such catastrophic damage for the wishbone to cleanly snap. This initially was the view an assessor of The Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors (IAEA). He was to change his view upon analysing the images he took which he later determined to show a dent on the exact point of the crack.
Coming to the latest update as of 09/05/2018, I have been informed by Coventry Audi that there is actual impact damage on the wishbone at the same location of the fracture where it has snapped. The photos of the wishbone and video from the Solihull Audi service were analysed by myself and the assessor where it is confirmed there is an impact mark on the wishbone as stated by Audi.
However, this obvious impact mark was present also during the service on 18/04/2018 and was mere inches from the technicians hand when he inspected the vehicle as seen 31 seconds into the video with screenshots provided. The technician neglected to inform me of this damage which would have been classed as a ‘requiring urgent attention’ type of repair which I obviously would have authorised for repair during the service. This whole situation would not have come about had the technician informed me of this in the first place. In light of this, I take the view that Audi Listers have been negligent in highlighting this repair which was clearly visible to the naked eye and therefore on this basis should repair the car.
I would like to think that I purchased a great car from a great company however the issues that I have had with this car and the handling of these issues make me question ever purchasing or recommending Audi again. From the day I bought this car and bringing it home, I was to find on the first night, that the car alarm would go off in the middle of the night and the battery become flat.
This would go on for three embarrassing and stressful nights until the car was collected and returned to Harold Wood Audi to be fixed. From there, I eventually received the V5C in the post to only find that there are two keepers on record. This left me to rectify this by liaising with the DVLA and Audi Harold Wood to show as the one and only keeper on record. Now I am having to go through the struggle of getting my car fixed by Listers Audi due to Solihull Audi’s negligence in not informing me of the damage.
I ask that you take all that I have written into account from the issues I have had with the car and the handling of these issues. Bearing all this in my mind, I request for my vehicle, which I still very much prize, to be repaired and for a courtesy car to be provided for the duration of the repair so that my faith in Audi can be restored.