They Kept Your Car for How Long?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Hands up if you’ve ever had a car repair stretch on longer than your liking. Chances are, most of us have been without our wheels for an unexpected spell – whether that was at the hands of a so-called professional garage or one’s own wrenching ineptitude is often up to our own personalities. This author has sadly fallen into the latter category more than once.

Some news outlets north of the border have been atwitter about the apparent plight of an Audi customer, one who has allegedly been without their car for five months. It seems the A3 e-tron was brought to a Canadian dealer for recall work, only for the car to suffer an unspecified breakdown shortly thereafter. Since then, the little hatchback has apparently loitered at the dealer roughly long enough for a ewe to have lambs. It must be said that whatever the issue, Audi seems to be doing right and not letting the customer twist in the wind. Local spox for the company say they’ve hooked Jaszai up with a loaner vehicle and plan to offer a ‘goodwill gesture’ once repairs are complete. 

This is significantly more than most customers in similar situations with other brands can claim, such as the Ford customer in Canada whose 2012 Focus sat idle for fifteen months whilst waiting for repairs. The standard line of “back-ordered parts” was apparently mouthed by the dealer repeatedly, during which time the customer was paying about $150 per month for a rental. This dragged on for roughly 8 months, at which time Ford began paying the full tab for the loaner car. As one would expect, the poor Focus was not in drivable condition after sitting for more than a year. As a final insult and comment on the dealer’s ineptitude, they actually called the customer to say the offending part had been replaced (a TCM) but also to deliver bad news about the car’s overall condition.

Think about that for a second. Someone at that dealership, knowing the Focus was in bad shape thanks to the delays, went out into the parking lot and replaced the TCM. That’s like setting a broken bone on a dead person; anyone with half a clue would recognize there is no point. Blindly completing a work order in situations like this is beyond belief. Besides, any self-respecting sales rep at the store would have used the opportunity at about the second month to call the customer and trade them out of that Focus into something new.

Remember the old Honda tagline of “Don’t Open Your Hood to Strangers?” That was decent advice, as it turns out.

[Image: Standret/]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on May 16, 2023

    Even during the worst times with the GLI's multiple system failures and interior trim wanting freedom, the longest I ever had to wait was around 2 weeks. (Insert "The Money Pit" joke here.) And there were times where they ser me up with a beautiful top trim Arteon for those weeks. Or a Hertz rental. So there were some slight silver linings in the possessed VW.

  • Jarrod Jarrod on May 22, 2023

    I’ve got a similar story. Took my 2014 Q5 TDI to a dealer to replace a water pump on March 30th, and it’s been there since. While in the dealer’s care, glow plug failure has escalated to catastrophic engine failure. We’ve been in a loaner since then, so thank goodness we still have wheels, but Audi is debating whether they will cover the cost of a new engine or just make an offer to buy my car back outright. The dealer is telling me to expect another 2-3 months for all the legal and backordered parts to be worked out.

  • Wolfwagen If there is no Rust or rot this would be a good buy when MB craftsmanship and engineering meant something. While I prefer the 500 or 560 for the larger engine, this is good
  • Wolfwagen Tim, Now you should ask the B&B who we want to succeed and why. You could limit it to EV or non- North American MFGs.
  • TCowner I consider it mandatory for the navigation purpose - using a phone in a Weathertech cupholder in my old Town Car just doesn't compare. However, I don't use it for anything else (i.e. music, etc) and don't find that important.
  • THX1136 No smarty pants phone, no interest in mirroring.
  • Daniel J Locally they just passed new/stricter hands free laws. Without mirroring, hands free is pretty difficult with Mazda's older infotainment system. So yeah, it's pretty important. I passed on buying a Camry back in 2018 because they didn't support AA at the time.