Premature timing belt failures

I found this article listed in this group: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.audi/msg/f1d39993f41cdb09
Although the posting was from 2003, I'd like to inform everyone that
this problem is still very much an issue today.
I own a 2001 Audi TT Roadster and just experienced belt failure at 73K miles. Despite the fact that I have maintained the vehicle per Audi's spec's at the dealership, they are taking no responsibility whatsoever. The owner's manual for my car requires replacement at 80K miles.

problem and is not acknowledging it. Looking back, I find it strange that my service advisor reccomended that I should "think about replacing my belt" even though he did not say there were any signs that it would suddenly fail. I'm seeing this repeated all over various postings on the web.
I have talked with a number of shops that specialize in Audi's and the common knowledge in this community is that Audi belts fail early. I've also found a number of informative sources on the matter and would appreciate it if anyone out there who knows more could reply to this group, especially related to the class action case.
Thanks,
Eric Davis
Link to a news article in the Boston Globe (posted 7-17-2005) about a class action lawsuit that Audi settled related to early belt failures: http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/07/17/class_action_can_be_engine_of_change
Link to a helpful shop in LA that has experience with these failures: http://stuttgartauto.com/Stuttgart%20Automotive%20Inc.htm
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On 8 Dec 2005 09:42:15 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@terawave.com wrote:

[snipped]
You should have come 'round here years ago, when folks would have advised you not to push the belt much past 60-70K miles...
/daytripper '00 s4 6spd
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If you had all the services done at the dealer and they never replaced the belt, they are liable, just threaten them with the court action and they are liable for it.
You have followed the service plan, Audi are negligent for not changing the belt "if" it required changing early, so go for it, I cannot see how you could lose.
Audi will most prob say that it's a wear and tear item, but it should have been checked at each service interval anyway, but you followed the service schedule.
As far as I can see, Audi state the belt will last x number of miles, if it breaks early due to wear then it's always going to be Audis fault, either they failed to notice it on the last schedule service, or the belt was faulty and Audi need to change the replacement intervals accordingly..
Timing belts are a nightmare situation, they can break due to numerous reasons and you need to find out why...
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Eric, Sorry to hear about the loss of your timing belt (and, obviously, damage to your car). That said, and to all the newbies on this newsgroup, you should replace the timing belt _and_ all associated seals and hardware such as tensioners, water pumps, etc. at 60k miles or 5 years - yes, even if the car has been parked for 5 years and has zero miles on it, you should replace the belt. It's not a trivial job - but failure is seldom a trivial event - possibly resulting in the replacement of the engine and downstream stuff like turbochargers, cats, etc. Belt failures often result from the failure of the tensioner, which takes out the belt. "Inspection" of the belt will generally tell you little, as the heavily reinforced belt will look great from the outside. The objective is to remove a good working part and replace it with a new part. As JPF said in his reply in 2003 - ask Audi why the replacement mileage interval is different in California than , say, Germany or England - it is called "Handbook Engineering" - same belt and hardware, different interval (to meet mandated servicing intervals in California). Regardless, according to the Boston Globe article, in your case, are you not covered for the repairs to 105k? You might want to contact the Globe to get to their contacts about the suit. 60k Miles or 5 years for Timing Belt Service - period. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ - coming up on T-belt distance interval - need to change the front crank seal anyway. 1980 Audi 5k - due for a T-belt based on date - it has sat for the last couple of years 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes - a T-belt?....do they hold T-pants up?? (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/07/17/class_action_can_be_engine_of_change
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snipped-for-privacy@SHOESsoil-mat.on.ca writes:

oh dear, better move that job up the priority list on my 1988 A100! 38000 miles, 11 years.
G.
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"ovalking" wrote

Does your '88 100 have the 1.8T engine??? Because that's what we're talking about here. Well, maybe the 2.8 to some extent, too...
Cheers,
Pete
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wrote:

I just replaced the timing belt at 70,500 miles on my 2001 A4 (2.8L V6).
The shop was amazed at how good of shape the belt, tensioner and related parts were in.
I replaced it for preventative reasons, but definitely could have waited quite a bit longer ... the problem is, how much longer.
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A quick update on the timing belt thing...
I received a copy of the New Jersey class action settlement, which I'll be glad to send to anyone who desires it. (Just e-mail me directly at snipped-for-privacy@terawave.com). The bottom line is that Audi agreed to pay claims, etc to the defined settlement class which is A4 owners from years 98-00.
Although I'm not part of the settlement class, I do have the same base engine 1.8L w/ TC, so I brought this to the attention of the dealer as well as Audi of America and the *best* treament I received from them was a credit for the cost of the timing belt repalcement (~$1500). I'll still be pursuing compensation from Audi of America for the balance.
In response to daytripper's comment, "You should have come 'round here years ago, when folks would have advised you not to push the belt much past 60-70K miles..." Yeah, me too. However, my belief is that the cracks at Audi should have advised me 13,000 miles ago. I may be naive, but as a consmer I don't feel the need to research and validate what the manufacturer of a product tells me. I simply don't have the time to do this. Anyhow, I'll never buy another Audi product after this.
Cheers!
Steve Sears wrote:

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The bottom line is that Audi agreed to pay

If it happened to me, I would not buy another Audi car either. The dealer is resposible for all maintence on the car as scheduled by the service booklet, if they fail to notice or advice that a part needs changing then they are at fault
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Ronny wrote:

They did, and it still failed. That's his issue. So, is it the dealers fault?
Wolfgang
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Did they?
All his posts seem to suggest the dealer never said a thing, but after it failed he then noticed more and more people telling him it should have been changed at 60k miles.
Even if Audi do "suggest" it should be changed at 60k this is no comfort to people who religiously stick to the service schedule, if Audi are saying the belt "may" fail before 80k miles, then they NEED to change the service booklet to accompany this.
The reason they don't, is it sells cars, if they said change the belts (which is a big job) every 60k miles it might make you think twice about buying the car, but saying 80k or 90/100k like my manual states, means no big bills for while.
And yes it is the dealers fault imo.
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Ronny wrote:

Well, as I read it, the dealer stuck to the Audi service maintenance. That's what he's supposed to do.

Let me quote two sentences from his original post:
"Despite the fact that I have maintained the vehicle per Audi's spec's at the dealership, they are taking no responsibility whatsoever. The owner's manual for my car requires replacement at 80K miles."
This for me indicates the car has been maintained 'by the book'.
"Looking back, I find it strange that my service advisor reccomended that I should "think about replacing my belt" even though he did not say there were any signs that it would suddenly fail."
So, the dealer did mention it.

Right, but if it may fail before 40? Or before 30? Belts may fail anytime. So do chains.

Well, I don't think so. I don't think it's the customers fault either. As much as I regret to say: Sometimes it's just bad luck. Things break.
JM2C
Wolfgang
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snipped-for-privacy@terawave.com wrote:

Just a general thing as far I am concerned: I do some research, because it's my money and my life. Things sometimes break before their predicted lifetime is over.

Well, I can fully understand you. I just don't think it's Audi specific.
But YMMV.
Wolfgang
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wrote:

Not everyone has access to the Internet like we have, some people don't know what newsgroups are, some are just not interested, why should they be?
I can see what you are saying, as I agree, I always find stuff out about cars, TV's etc before I buy them, but not everyone is like us.
It's Audis responsibility to inform the user that the cam belt may break at 60k miles, and this needs to be written down as an advisory, this would then cover their ass and cover yours.
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Ronny wrote:

I accept that point, I'm just pretty sure, the same discussion will start then when a belt breaks at 40k, i.e. before the 60k recommendation.
It's just a matter of statistics IMO. You'll have a certain amount of belt failures at various mileages. The manufacturer recommends changing belts before the majority breaks. The rest is statistical exceptions.
Sure, I wouldn't be happy about it either, but I can truly say, that Audi here in Europe is obviously and most interestingly MUCH more inclined to cover problems or at least contribute significantly.
Might be a result of the significantly higher price we pay.
Wolfgang
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snipped-for-privacy@terawave.com wrote:

[snippage]
I'd be grateful for a copy of the suit, thanks.
And please let me know how your negotiations proceed. I'm looking at 60K mi. on my 2000 A4, (actually made late 1999) and will need to make a decision this Spring on how to proceed with this 'major surgery'.
cheers for the offer
Lloyd Bogart
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I had mine replaced on my 2001 Audi A4 (2.8L V6) with 72,000 miles and I have to tell you, the belt looked to be in excellent shape, as did the water pump, tensioner and related parts.
The tech indicated the belt/associated parts could have easily gone much longer. He actually showed me each part and where they usually see a lot of wear.
I am not sure it would have made it to 105,000 miles (the Audi recomended interval), but it certainly had more life beyond 72,000 miles!
But, I didn't want to take any chances, so I spent the $800 to have it all replaced (rather than $4000 for a new engine!).
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On 8 Dec 2005 09:42:15 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@terawave.com wrote:

I have an 87 Audi 5000s.
The original timing belt broke after 17 years.
My fault, should have replaced it sooner!
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