Audi Voted Most Reliable Fleet Car

Published 15 November 2013

The day after Reuters broke the news that 1.7 million VAG DSGs and s-tronics had been recalled, mainly in China, Audi announced it has been voted most reliable fleet car manufacturer in the annual FN50 survey.

The FN50 survey gauged the opinion of over 600,000 company car drivers served by the nation's most prominent leasing companies, typically driving the cars on 3 year leases.

The FN50 survey, commissioned annually by the specialist fleet title Fleet News, is the nation's largest poll of vehicle reliability. It asks participants from the top 50 (by fleet size) leasing companies to rank the best vehicles and manufacturers for reliability, and then filters each category into a Top 10.

Two Audi models - the A3 compact hatchback and the A4 compact executive Saloon and Avant - appear in the Most Reliable Cars Top 10, the A3 ascending from seventh position last year to fifth in 2013 and the A4 from third to second place. The A1 premium subcompact, the Q3 compact SUV and the TT sports car also climbed the rankings in this year's results. According to the magazine's editorial it is these positive movements which have helped to swing the Most Reliable Manufacturer result in favour of Audi.

Audi produces an array of models that combine its famed flair for design, technological innovation and exceptional quality of finish with particular focus on cost effectiveness for business users. The range includes a total of 139 options with emissions of less than 140g/km, 57 variants emitting 120g/km or below and nine undercutting the 100g/km marker.

Highlights from among these economy champions include the A4 2.0 TDIe Saloon EC rated at up to 65.7mpg and low 112g/km emissions, the A6 2.0 TDI, EC rated at up to 57.6mpg with a 129g/km output and the new generation A8 3.0 TDI quattro, EC rated at up to 47.9mpg while keeping CO2 down to just 155g/km. For the ultimate in VED-beating financial viability in the line-up, three A3 1.6 TDI variants, including the new A3 Saloon, pare emissions back to just 99g/km and boost fuel economy in the EC lab tests to up to 74.3mpg.

The other side of the coin, and something of potential concern to anyone who might buy a VAG car after it comes off a 3 year lease, is that Reuters yesterday reported that the Worldwide recall of DSG and s-tronic transmission fitted to Audis, VWs, Skodas and SEATs, has now reached 1.7 million.

VAG has always denied the reason for this recall in Europe. The explanation of what goes wrong is best described here:

Australian VAG DSG recall

Basically, due to electrolysis, the DSG 7-speed transmissions are susceptible to conductive deposits forming in the gearbox control units, possibly causing the gearbox fuse to blow. Should this happen, the clutch will fully open due to power supply failure, causing the vehicle to roll to a stop if in motion.

In the majority of cases, the fault occurs when the engine is started with the vehicle stationary. If the fuse blows while the vehicle is in motion, however, a sudden loss of power at the wheels could in certain circumstances occur while the vehicle is being driven. 

VW reports that the recall is to replace the synthetic transmission fluid with mineral transmission fluid because it is electrolysis of the synthetic fluid that causes the problem. VW also raised the size of the worldwide recall to 2.64 million. 

However, so far, VAG has reassured European journalists that this same scenario has not occurred in Europe and despite feedback from more than a million readers we have no evidence that it has.

The full unabridged Reuters report is as follows: 

(Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) is beset with a large global vehicle recall as Europe's biggest carmaker steps up efforts to surpass Toyota (7203.T) and General Motors (GM.N) in the quest for the top sales spot.

Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW is recalling almost 1.7 million cars, sport-utility vehicles and pick-up trucks worldwide, about half of which are in China, the carmaker's biggest market.

The company's China division said on Thursday that 640,309 vehicles will be recalled from November 25 to change the oil in a number of 7-speed double-clutch gearboxes, without specifying the models affected.

The recall comes a day after China's quality watchdog announced that 207,778 Tiguan compact SUVs, one of VW's three best-selling models globally this year, will be pulled off the world's biggest car market.

"We sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience caused," VW Group China said. "We will do our utmost to serve our customers efficiently and in the shortest time possible."

VW has been pushing rapid growth in China where it aims to double manufacturing capacity to over 4 million cars per annum by 2018, the year it wants to snatch the global sales crown.

Separately, VW's German headquarters said on Thursday that about 800,000 Tiguans assembled between early 2008 and mid-2010 are being recalled for risks of a partial malfunctioning of lights.

The multi-brand group also said on Thursday that it's recalling 239,000 models of its Amarok pick-up truck worldwide for possible leaks in fuel lines. The action affects models built between 2010 and June 2013.

VW doesn't sell the Amarok in China, a spokesman said.

At the heart of VW's global aspirations is a strategy to expand modular production to boost the proportion of parts that can be shared among models and brands, allowing the company to build cars more rapidly and at lower costs.

Analysts have said the strategy isn't without risk and could expose VW to the threat of massive recalls if a single part, used in millions of cars, fails.

China's quality watchdog said the recalls will include VW's imported cars, such as Scirocco, Golf Variant, Golf Cabriolet and the Beetle, as well as those made at its two Chinese joint ventures with FAW (000800.SZ) and SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS).

FAW will recall the Bora, Golf, Sagitar and Magotan and Shanghai Volkswagen will recall the Touran, Lavida, Superb, Octavia, Passat and Polo.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer and Shanghai newsroom;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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anthonylast    on 15 November 2013

I like the Audi. They now have so many great cars for sale you don't know which one to buy

Rod Stearling    on 15 November 2013

My only problem is they are so expensive to fix. My power seat motor went out and it was 900 bucks to fix!! I left it.

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