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I think it IS certainly possible that a potholed dirt road COULD cause this. If you're accustomed to steel wheeled cars, there's a big difference with alloy wheels; irrespective of whether they're on an Audi or any other car. The Audi's suspension wasn't designed for these conditions either. It's a sport sedan with plenty of aluminum in the suspension and I have to think that a potholed dirt road won't do it much good either. The Audi allroad might be a better choice. And though I'm no fan of trucks and SUV's, I must acknowledge they have their place.
But the information you were given by the dealer is wrong. There are plenty of other wheels and tires that will fit on the 2.7T. And you can get four for less than $1200. One good source is Tire Rack. This is their URL:
I can't guarantee you can find any alloy wheel that will be pothole proof, but the folks at Tire Rack are pretty knowledgeable, and could probably make a suggestion if there is anything.
Also, THREE? bent wheels, wow -- I hit a pothole that was full of water last winter -- this hole was so deep there were already two Buicks and a small pickup truck in it. Unfortunately one of the wheels on my Audi did get bent. My insurance paid for it, minus the deductible ($250.00), the state of Kentucky paid $250.00 (the wheel, tire and four wheel alignment ran around $800!). I have hit many potholes here in Southern Ohio / Northern Kentucky -- several times the alignment was knocked out -- only once was a wheel damaged. Is it possible that the wheels were "bad?" I have had Audi bend over backwards to do things to "make it right," I think you should not give up with Audi, yet. Moreover, your auto insurance may pay for this, as did mine -- and my letters to the state highway kept of KY certainly worked too. Its just that is seems SO RARE for three wheels to be bent, especially if the car was NOT involved in an accident or crash. Audi should come to your aid, IMO.
I have noticed that these low profile tires and alloy wheels (that are on many cars, not limited to Audis) are much softer (or more likely to be damaged in the case of the tires) than the steel wheels and higher profile tires that are on lower performance, lower priced cars. Perhaps this just goes with the territory.
The most disturbing and [for you] disappointing part of your message is the apparent resolution (none) from Audi. Again, I encourage you to try Audi -- I usually write a letter to Audi Owner Loyalty -- Carol Glynn -- and then she forwards it to the correct party. I never blame anyone for the problem, I just state the facts and ask if anything can be done.
I have found Audi generally helpful.
Scott in Central Florida
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