But when he tried to get back into the car‚ all the doors had locked and his key remote wouldn’t work. Then the car’s cabin began filling with smoke and flames followed.
A laptop containing photos of his son’s birth and irreplaceable data‚ as well as clothes and a camera were among the possessions lost in the blaze. Mabasa says he remains traumatised by the incident.
Audi SA said it took the issue of a vehicle catching fire “very seriously”.
“When this was reported to us‚ we took immediate action and a full investigation was conducted internally. We also referred this incident to our headquarters in Germany to establish if similar incidents have occurred anywhere else in the world.”
The answer was no‚ the manufacturer said.
Mabaso also tweeted that Audi Germany had recently issued a recall for 1.2 million cars for a coolant fire hazard “but in South Africa when our cars burn we are told it’s unknown circumstances…”
Audi SA said that recall did not affect TT models.
Mabaso has been in contact with five other South African owners of Audis which caught fire and has posted photos of some of the burning cars on social media.
But Audi says: "All other fire-related cases in South Africa have their own specific facts and technical circumstances applicable and there is no relation whatsoever to that of Mr Mabasa’s case.”
The manufacturer said it had commissioned an independent investigator‚ Dr David Klatzow‚ to participate in its investigation into the cause of the Mabaso’s TT fire - a difficult task as it had totally burnt out.
Although it could not be established that the tracking device which Mabaso had had fitted to the vehicle contributed to the fire‚ Audi SA said‚ “the wiring did not conform to … the standard of the wiring utilised in the Audi TT”.
Mabasa counters that he started “having issues” with the car’s entertainment system within two months of purchasing this vehicle.
“By the time of the fire‚ it had been in for repair or replacement of parts eight times and was still not right‚” he says.
But Audi insists that “none of the technical problems referred to by Mr Mabasa could have been the cause of the fire”.