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UK garages introduce mechanic webcams

If you've ever wondered exactly what the mechanic is up to with your precious set of wheels, Audi has the service just for you.

The German automaker is introducing "Audi Cams", a webcam attached to the technicians so that customers can see exactly what's going on under the hood.

The service, called "Direct Reception", connects mechanics with video and two-way audio links to customers in the Audi Center reception area, enabling either party to ask questions as work is being completed on the vehicles.

Audi says that the aim is to provide full exposure to the investigative work undertaken, maximizing "transparency" so that customers are aware of what technicians are up to with their vehicles.

Audi UK boss Jeremy Hicks said:

"Service departments throughout the industry are often accused of baffling customers with science - by offering ours full exposure to the work undertaken on their cars, and the ability to talk through that work with the technician involved, our aim is to demystify the process as fully as possible."

The firm says that customer feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, although the service is currently only available in the UK.

A 2008 study by the UK's Which? magazine found that almost half of motorists thought they had been ripped off by car mechanics, with 52 percent saying that they stay away from mechanics for fear of being overcharged.