Menu Close

Audi sold me a £29,000 duff car that it can’t fix

Check credit my

Your article in March described the problems that new Audi, Skoda and VW car buyers had with their SOS warning systems. We now find ourselves in the same situation.

In March, we took delivery of a new Audi A1, and almost immediately the problems started. The SOS system keeps failing, which then takes out the information system. The car has also started stalling, and various alarms keep going off.

The car has only covered 3,700 miles but has been back twice to the local dealer, which said it cannot fix the problem until Audi in Germany has a software fix.

We could put up with the SOS fault but the car increasingly cuts out and we have lost confidence in driving it. Someone at the dealer told us that as many as 15% of Audi A1s are similarly affected but that there is nothing that can be done.

The car cost £29,450, and the dealer has offered to buy it back but for £24,200.

The company has sold us a duff car it can’t fix and has now made us this derisory offer. The dealer has not offered a replacement.

There is something so unjust about this.

AVdL, Portsmouth

What’s most surprising about this story, which goes back to 2017, is that there hasn’t been a bigger furore about the problem.

At the start, the SOS problems were an irritant that came and went but in the latest Volkswagen Group cars to be sold, the whole information system goes down, along with the hands-free phone system.

  Tell us: have your elderly relatives been targeted by scammers?

Credit beureau

In March, we featured the case of Flora Ellison, who was told by her dealer that he had “no idea” how to fix her new Skoda Karoq sports utility vehicle with the same problem. A VW Golf owner contacted me this week with the same problem.

I asked Audi about your car, which is still drivable.

“Further technical updates are expected by the end of this month, and we hope that this will provide the necessary resolution,” it says. “While we regret that the experience has been as it is thus far, we are confident that Portsmouth Audi is working with the customer directly in the best possible way.”

So, in a nutshell, the company expects you to put up with this for three more weeks when a software update may, or may not, cure the problem.

If you can wait that long, it’s probably worth seeing if it works. If it doesn’t, I would be asking for a full refund. If the dealer refuses, you may have to take legal action.

If I were in your shoes, I would collect as much evidence as you can, with photos and a timed log of the failures.

One option would be to take the dealer’s buy-back offer, and then seek to recover your losses through the small claims court, which will limit your costs and liability significantly. I’ll report the outcome if, and when, one emerges.

Are other Audi buyers similarly affected? Please email your experience.

Other potential Audi and Volkswagen Group customers will take note of how you have been treated by the company.

  Staying power! How to thrive in the great resignation if you don’t want to quit

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions