So I dropped the TT off at our local Audi dealer on Monday morning and waited for the prognosis to arrive. Four hours later, Caffyns Audi’s eminently chirpy service manager, Stuart, called. “We’ve spotted the problem” said Stuart. “Unfortunately both your front brake discs have warped, which is why the car is vibrating under braking. Bottom line; we’re going to have to replace both of them. But the good news is, it’ll all be covered under warranty so it won’t actually cost you a penny.
“The lads are just fitting the new discs now, in fact,” continued my new best friend. “With a bit of luck they’ll be finished within the next couple of hours, so you’ll be able to come and collect the car tonight.”
I was shocked, amazed, surprised and delighted by the outcome, especially by the speed and efficiency with which the problem had been a) identified, and b) made to go away – without actually costing me a bean.
Two hours later I went to pick the car up and was asked to sign a simple document, agreeing that the work had been carried out under warranty. At the same time, Stuart told me that the service crew had carried out a free software upgrade for the air con system and cleaned the car from top to bottom. I said “thank you very much” and kind of floated out of the big glass door towards my gleaming TT, complete with its shiny new brake discs.
As all cars tend to after they’ve had some dealer TLC, the TT felt perkier somehow as I drove it away. I felt genuinely uplifted by the experience. It’s important to note here that at no stage did they know I was from Autocar. There had been no special treatment, no favours in retun for some good press, in other words. And there was I, thinking that the modern car dealership experience lacks soul beside the “park it over there, guv, have a cup of tea, and we’ll have a look at it whenever we can” era of aftersales.
Note; had this lot not been covered under warranty it would have cost around £600, so if you do own a TT and tend to drive it quite hard, don’t say you haven’t been warned.