New Lotus Freelander Caravan problems and leaking roof

Submitted: Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 19:48
ThreadID: 109443 Views:10544 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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I recently purchased a new Lotus Freelander caravan for over $82,000 and have had nothing but problems. My major problem is that the roof is leaking and I have had it back but it still leaks and I have noticed that the roof around the air conditioning unit has a depression of around 5mm, making a well and before water can run off it finds the lowest point and that is through the air conditioner and out through the ceiling like Niagara Falls.

I feel that the air conditioning is not supported sufficiently and the weight has caused the problem with the roof sinking but I am not sure and either is the dealer.

Has anyone else had this problem?

I would appreciate if the forum could tell me if there is an independent organisation that can inspect and give a written report on faults and repairs needed to be done while still under warranty.

I have had the van back 3 times over a number of matters and had to return from trips on two occasions at great inconvenience and expense.

Cheers and Thanks in anticipation
The Major
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Reply By: Member - KBAD - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 20:31

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 20:31
Major i would suggest that you gather all correspondence make a record of all calls contact the company you purchased the caravan through and tell them that they have one more opportunity to fix the problem before you take the matter to consumer affairs.
You should contact them (Consumer Affairs) anyway as i am fairly certain that you can claim travelling expense's if you are returning the van or product to address and ongoing fault that they have failed to rectify, you can in some cases hire a third party to return it for you and the company you purchased it through has to pay. You also have the right to take the van to a third party if the company you purchased the van through has failed to rectify the problem but you need to contact the consumer department to double check all this. Just recently consumer law changed to the better making it easier for the consumer to get a result.
This company is highly regarded
AnswerID: 538809

Follow Up By: AlanTH - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014 at 09:31

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014 at 09:31
Couldn't agree more with KBAD, try the nice bit first but don't be put off by the retailer telling you see the manu or aircon maker.
We had lots of problems with our new Goldstream a couple of years ago and was told by the retailer various excuses...."misuse" "abuse of vehicle" "lack of service" "wheels out of fix it (just a few months old then) and eventually "Get out of my yard"
Straight to consumer affairs in WA who were nervous of approaching an "icon" of the industry!!!!
However they did do so after a bit of prompting and we got new shocks and a tyre off them via Goldstream. But had to wait until they got sent from Melbourne.
At no time did the maker bother communicating with me but would deal only with the service people who I will say tried hard.
Eventually we tracked the prob down to cheap crap buckled wheels which was when we were told to "get out of his yard".
Consumer Affairs wouldn't do any more so off to the small claims court and took out a claim for the total cost of all investigations and new parts.
Goldstream paid up immediately and the prob is now fixed.
Bear in mind this is our third new van from the retailer and second from this maker and we got treated like crap on their shoes.
Many stories around of lousy service and lousy products and nothing being done to control them and most owners won't pursue the matter through the various Gov depts. or courts.
I'm going to see my local MP soon and see if we can't get something started to bring out more awareness of what can be hidden under those pretty van skins. And fix some of the scum that get away with building expensive lemons.
Good luck.

PS. Another problem we had was holes throughout the curtain lining material....dismissed as "moth eaten". Eventually they sent new curtains tied up so tightly in a rubbish bag that they had to be washed and ironed before they could be hung.
That just about sums up what they think of their customers after they've got the money.

FollowupID: 823407

Reply By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 22:31

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 22:31
NRMA do pre warranty inspections for vehicles. May give them a call and see if they do caravans too. If you are not in NSW your equivalent (RACV, RACQ etc) may do it.

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AnswerID: 538815

Reply By: 671 - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 23:37

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 23:37
If you live anywhere near the man who wrote this then he should be able to help you.
AnswerID: 538818

Follow Up By: PeterInSa - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014 at 09:35

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014 at 09:35
Agree, Cabcar is the person who has wide industry experience in checking out manufacturing problems and fixing them.

To me even worth a trip up to see him, After a phone call and discussion first.

FollowupID: 823408

Reply By: Member - KBAD - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014 at 10:05

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014 at 10:05
We have been told the old line that if you have a problem with equipment in the van to contact the manufacturer of that equipment such as air con. Not so unless you had bought the equipment after you had bought the van and had it installed or installed it yourself. If it was on the van when you bought it then it is the van makers responsibility. We had a hot water system that failed from new to be told by the van maker that we have to "put up" with it until he could get sorted it out with the supplier, we pointed out the relevant "Consumer Guarantees" and he decided to fix it straight away by replacing it, stick by your guns and if you have a smart phone you can get an app from the Govt Dept Consumer Affair's that will guide you through the process.
AnswerID: 538832

Reply By: 410 - Thursday, Sep 11, 2014 at 16:49

Thursday, Sep 11, 2014 at 16:49
Hi Major,
I think all the followers on this site need to "name and shame" companies as you hear of so many problems with vans. A lot of the companies ( not all ) love you while you are signing the cheque, but after you leave and have a problem, the love has gone !!
Good luck, and I hope your problem is resolved ASAP. You can also contact A Current Affair. They always love a story like this.

AnswerID: 538964

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