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Cracking on A6 driver seat bolster


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I have a A6 3.0 TDI Black Edition with grey full leather seats, on a 16 plate with 21k on the clock at the moment, and I dropped my car in to the local dealer as the side bolster on the drivers side has some cracking in the leather which I think is the leather breaking down, it isn't a scuff or scratch mark (like you get from rivets on jeans etc) but a general cracking like you get on old dry leather. The dealer warranty team said "it's general wear and tear" but the service guy disagreed with them and agreed with me that for 21k miles and less than 2 year old car unless I was getting in and out 20 times a day it can't be down to wear and tear - but the warranty guy wouldn't progress a claim. I countered by saying lets go around the car lot and show me a car with 20k on the clock and the same issue, in fact lets look at cars with 3x that mileage and compare but they didn't entertain me. What's everyones thoughts on this? Should a premium car seat show signs of wear at 20k? I called Audi direct and they said that to proceed through the dealer is the correct way to handle this... Anyone else got this level of wear / cracking at such low mileage?

As you can see from the pic the cracking isn't terminal as such yet but I want to pre-empt any issue plus get anything done under warranty if needed of course.

Seat.jpg

Edited by Jonty1625
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Hello Jon,

Sorry to hear of your discontent. 

Couple of points as I see it:- I would say (from the photo which is not a good thing to judge from) that the problem is currently marginal, but of course is likely to get worse. Whatever its severity, it is caused by 'wear and tear', but stating the obvious, its current severity may not be acceptable when it's useage is taken into account. That is the ponderable debate here, and to my mind, it's acceptability - or otherwise should not be judged simply by one person's opinion, so some form of qualified second opinion would be desirable/ essential. 

Heated seats I guess? If so, this can be the earlier death of leather, and I have known of Lexus seats deteriorating in a similar time and mileage due to the seat heating drying out the leather, so this may not be so uncommon. 

What is the less-used? passenger seat like? On a more personal point- apologies- but are you a 'well built' chap? 

Now to the progressive bit:- if it were mine, I would be driving this to a more distant Audi dealership (just passing and thought I would ask for your advice!) and this would give you a reasonable second opinion. It should go without saying, but cooperation and a favourable end result depends very much on the way the problem is approached with the dealer. If this second opinion is the same as the first then I would be writing ( yes, good old fashioned nice letter) to the head of Audi customer service, and express your disappointment with the current situation.

Good luck with this Chris. Perhaps you could keep us posted.

Kind regards,

Gareth.

p.s. Prior to the the mid 1950s most cars were fitted with leather seats, but were gradually replaced due to the impracticality of leather - too hot in summer, and just too cold in winter. Of course, we now consider leather to be the way to go for a bit of luxury, but practically the same issues remain - except that in the cold weather we switch on the heater unit, and the leather does not like it. Cows never had that built in option! 

 

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Hi Gareth, cheers for the reply - yes they are heated seats and I do have them on a lot, kind of like the therapy on my old back!

I would go with wear and tear comfortably if a: I didn't do 100+ mile journeys so the 21k isn't thousands of 3 mile in and out commutes, and b: it's 21k for gods sake! My Jag XF I did 40k a year for 3 years and the seats were as new. I agree that one person's view isn't gospel - and for me the key point here is 18 months old and 21k it shouldn't be in this state... looks like I might have to argue this one up.

And HOW VERY DARE YOU :) haha - I am a tall chap (6ft 7") and not as skinny as Peter Crouch but I don't overflow over the bolster if that is what you mean! In fact that part of the bolster isn't really touched, and due to my height I rarely contact that point as my seat is so far back I would have to morph through the pillar to touch it... hence me being even more unhappy - and also no other area of the seat has any signs of wear (nor any of the other seats). And as you say at the moment it is marginal but I would rather nip this in the bud before the warranty ends and it lands on my lap.... if I can. 

And I love a good complaint letter - I ended up getting the mobile number of the CEO of JLR who called me personally regarding issues I had with an XE (returned, fully refunded and given compensation) and a F-Pace (also returned for a full refund and compensation). They were the two motors I had before switching to Audi because of the god awful build quality and problems... Audi has been flawless so far so fingers crossed. 

 

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  • 4 years later...

Sorry to bump this old thread, but I thought it was still worth replying.

 

The car may have been of relatively low mileage for the leather to be cracking/scuffing, but I think the main issue that's causing this that is ignored!

If you are getting in and out of the car 20 times a day, that will have a far greater effect on the wear than the number of miles driven.

The bolster take a lot of wear when getting in and out of a car whether it's cloth or leather. My dad's car's bolster is ripped to shreds (it's only a clio with cloth seats) as he delivered fast food so is constantly in and out of his car.

For the OP, the bolster car be re-dyed and then get a tough special coating that protects this area. Alternatively, depending on the car, just get a car cover for the drivers seat for day to day use, and when you are going to special functions, take off the cover.

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Thanks Harminder,

I think Jon clarified that his 21k equated to infrequent longish journeys, but you raise a good point in my book. Low mileage can result in above average wear and tear on many components, not really encountered on a high motorway mileage example of the same age. 
Shame Jon never came back to advise whether he had the same degree of success that he did with JLR. 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

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ah yes I quickly canned the op's post and mis-read what he said. I thought he was getting in and out 20 times a day, and totally missed out the 'unless'

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