Date: October 5, 2011
To: Dealer Principals, General Mgrs., Sales Mgrs., Service Mgrs., Parts Mgrs., CPO Mgrs., Warranty Administrators
From: Peter Donnellan; Mark Del Rosso
Subject: Aftermarket Vendors and the Audi Warranty Policy
Dear Audi Dealer:
Recently, there has been some discussion surrounding Audi dealer participation with aftermarket suppliers, particularly in regards to STaSIS Engineering, a company that is currently selling its products through more than 80 Audi Dealerships in North America. Audi believes that for some customers, the availability of aftermarket accessories at the dealership can help drive enthusiasm for our products. At the same time, our S and RS lines do fulfill most customers’ desires for added performance and custom features. For customers who do wish vehicle modifications offered by STaSIS through our dealers, we believe it is imperative to have a clear understanding of our mutual responsibilities.
Audi’s policy on aftermarket products and specifically STaSIS has been in place for some time:
1. Neither Audi of America, nor its affiliated companies, recognize ANY aftermarket supplier of performance parts as a “partner,” preferred vendor, or approved tuner. More specifically, no aftermarket supplier is currently approved, endorsed or otherwise sanctioned by Audi of America, or any of its affiliated companies. Regarding STaSIS, we have and will continue to work with them to make this clear in their marketing and communications.
2. Audi does not warrant any aftermarket parts, accessories, alterations, modifications or consequential damage to the vehicle due to modifications. We understand that STaSIS provides warranty coverage on its products that is comparable to Audi’s own coverage. While it is true that we specify in our warranty system when a car has been altered with STaSIS parts, this information is provided to enable faster diagnostic capability, better customer service and transfer of coverage to STaSIS if a claim is necessary. Through proper communication, we expect that under no circumstance will a customer be delayed or denied repair in situations involving STaSIS and Audi products when repair is appropriate.
3. Dealers that actively promote the sale of and/or installation of aftermarket parts to Audi-brand vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s new car limited warranty, or under a certified pre-owned limited warranty MUST inform their customers that the addition of aftermarket parts and accessories may void such limited warranty as to any aspect of the vehicle which may have been affected by such alterations or modifications. In the case of STaSIS products, the customer may have rights under a STaSIS warranty.
4. Consistent with this, Audi cannot take responsibility for legal liabilities related to STaSIS or other supplier products. Audi of America may refuse to defend or indemnify Dealers where the sale and/or installation of ANY aftermarket tuning parts and accessories is a factor in a “lemon law” and/or warranty claim. Audi of America may also refuse to defend or indemnify such Dealers for product liability claims and may seek indemnification from such Dealer in the event that warranty or product liability claims are brought against Audi where the presence of such aftermarket parts may have reasonably contributed to the circumstances giving rise to such claims. In the case of STaSIS products, the Dealer is referred to the STaSIS Release of Liability document that requires customer signature at the sale of any STaSIS product.
5. Of course neither Audi nor its dealers can participate in modifications of our vehicles that adversely affect compliance with safety or emissions regulations. This is reflected in Article 5 of the Audi Dealer Agreement Standard Provisions.
Finally, the history that Audi of America enjoys with STaSIS has been and continues to be positive. We realize that a segment of the Audi customer base will continue to request customization of their Audi vehicles. Please be advised that those customers and Dealers that choose to use aftermarket parts from STaSIS need to be informed and understand the clear delineation between the responsibilities of Audi of America and those of STaSIS Engineering.
Please contact your local Audi representative if you have any questions regarding these matters.
Mark del Rosso
Chief Operating Officer
Director After Sales