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Car warranty ending but still having problems

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 James Malloch 18 Nov 2020

I’ve asked this on the other channel but it would be great to get any options from UKC too.

Have a few questions on behalf of my Dad.

He's got a Vauxhall Astra 1.4 turbo 16V 150 SRI 5dr - registered Nov 2017.

He bought the car from a main Vauxhall Dealer in Jan 2019 with just under 13k on the clock, and he's done 5k miles in the last 22 months. 

He's having problems with the engine warning light which you're not suppose to drive with it on according to the manual. There's been 6 times it's come on, each time having to go back to the dealer whilst, luckily, under warranty. 

1) Engine power reduced light came on the day after he bought it - dealer changed some engine exhaust cam sensors. 
2) Happened again whilst driving home - dealer replaced more exhaust cam sensors. 
3) Happened again a month later - dealer changed exhaust cam sensors again
4) Happened again - Dealer changed exhaust cam shaft and mechanical actuator/pulley
5) Okay for a few months - went again at start of lockdown - had courtesy car for 6-7 weeks. Dealer changed full engine harness cabling/wiring 
6) Gone again this week - dealer is replacing timing chain / pulleys (estimated as a big 8hr job). 

Luckily, all of this was done under warranty, which ends tomorrow. 

He's trying to work out how to go forward given it's been plagued with the issue since buying it. He is going to get the extended warranty from them but isn't sure if there's anything he can do under the sale of goods act etc, of how liable they would be if it went again when he get's it back.

He's retired and whilst affordable, it was a fairly big investment for him to upgrade from his previous Astra (which only had 25k miles itself and never had a problem). Just one of those things which will eat at him until he knows what could be done. 

Given it's had 4 different things changed and it keeps happening, it feels to me that either they keep diagnosing the wrong thing and the problem was never fixed. or the car is a piece of shit and everything is failing on it and they all happen to impact the engine warning light. 

Any advice would be appreciated!

In reply to James Malloch:

Money saving expert is quite good on things like this - worth a look

Also worth remembering it is an MOT fail now

Post edited at 13:19
 henwardian 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

Ugh, my 2 cents - get a rid of it any which way and take the hit. If an extended warranty allows you to keep getting free repairs for a few more years and it isn't exorbitant then that sounds like a reasonable plan to extract some more value from the investment.

Otherwise it is a money pit. Realising that something you have is a money pit and you need to get rid of it is a hard thing to do - you spent money on it and the emotional part of your brain finds it hard to let that go. My first port of call would be a fighty talk with the dealer about how they clearly haven't fixed the problem and you want to sell it back or get a partial refund or.... Something that gets some money back in your pocket. I doubt the dealer will be up for any of that though. You might just end up selling it for parts or something.

Your other options include the immoral and legally dubious option of private selling without telling the buyer about the problem (or saying "yeah, some problem with that light before but all fixed now"). Or just driving it with the warning light on and hoping it doesn't die.

1
 nniff 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

I think that realistically you're making some claim round 'not of merchantable quality' given that they have not been able to rectify the fault, despite many opportunities.  Trading standards?

 daWalt 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

I'd do two things.

buy (or borrow) a diagnostic reader and log the fault codes.

take it to a proper independent garage; not a dealership. dealership garages are beneath letting agents in their esteem

1
 gethin_allen 18 Nov 2020
In reply to daWalt:

This is a good idea as if the fault is recurring then the warranty for that issue should continue even if it has technically ended for new issues as the original fault remains and was obviously never repaired properly in the first instance.

 Martin W 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

I would have thought that he has a good case for rejecting the car as not being of merchantable quality, given that the dealer has had five goes so far to fix the fault and hasn't been successful.  As nniff suggested, his local Trading Standards office could be a helpful first port of call for this.

As for the warranty coming to an end, my understanding is that any remedial work on this fault should be carried out under the original warranty, given that the fault was first reported while the car was still well within its warranty period.  They can't leave your Dad with a car that's been faulty for over a year and just say: "Oh, sorry mate, any work from now on will be at your cost."

 capoap 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

As Dawalt says find your independent Bosch service agent, let him find the fault then present the main agent with the bill.   Main agents have not got a clue unless it's a known fault that comes down the line eventually.  I am a  Ex main Bosch service engineer who's had lots of main dealer experience that is usually its  "the brain gone". That was over 30 years back before code readers that have made finding faults like this quite findable by someone who knows what they are doing.    Never liked Astras but did they not have lots of problems re wiring under the dash?   That's before they caught fire that's well documented

1
 kaiser 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

You'll have the below text from MSmarket already perhaps.   Rejection is the way to go here, with a deduction from the purchase price for the use he's had of the car.

I rejected a car after 9 months (endless ECU issues) and got £5600 back from a £6500 cost - so not perfect but better than being stuck with a lemon. 

You have a right to reject something faulty and you are entitled to a full refund within 30 days of purchase in most cases.

After 30 days you lose the short-term right to reject the goods.

You’ll also have fewer rights, such as only being able to ask for a repair or replacement, or a partial refund.

In fact, you’re legally allowed to return it up to six years after you bought it (in Scotland, it’s five years after you first realised there was a problem).

But it gets more difficult to prove a fault and not normal wear and tear is the cause of any problem.

 James Malloch 18 Nov 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

Many thanks for all the responses, it's really useful and I've sent everything on. It really seems like the car's not fit for purpose given it's age/mileage and how frequently it's in the garage. 

Hopefully he can get something resolved as he totally doesn't trust the car any more - he's considered hiring a car for some of his longer trips just for the piece of mind! 


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