Where do I start?

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 12:40
ThreadID: 12453 Views:1593 Replies:8 FollowUps:21
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We have 2yr old small car still under warranty and we have had no end of trouble with it over the last 18 months. It is always at the mechanics with the same problem, always blowing low beam light bulbs after having a major hiccup( goes to stall and then jumps forward) when taking off in heavy city traffic, which looks as though it is a computer or electrical problem. Sometime back we had to come home at night on high beam, when a vehicle approached, went off the road and turned our lights off, so as not to blind the oncomer, took us forever to get home. I am getting fed up with this nonsense of not getting anywhere with the warranty service guys here. We had bought a new car wanting to save time on repairs etc. now hit with a very green lemon, that is turning me sour against the model. Is there some words of advice out there that can get us out of this mess and head us in the right direction for complaints. Jen
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 12:55

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 12:55
From my experience you can talk face to face or on the telephone until your blue in the face and it quite often get's you nowehere. If you haven't already, start logging all faults, times it's in the workshop, phone calls etc. Then write a letter, to the dealer and CC it to the manufacture's head office. Make it firm but polite. Don't try and be a smart arse as that won't get you anywhere. But make your points very easy to understand. If that does not work it's time to go to fair trading. I had a similar problem once with a second hand 4by and after I wrote the letter, it was fixed promptly by a local small business (as I complained about the costant travelling) who was in turn paid by the car yard to do the repairs. It was fixed within two days of writing the letter, amazing. Previous to that I had made phone calls, talked to the service staff and everything, and didn't get anywhere.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 12:56

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 12:56
Oh yeah address it to the "dealer principle".
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 13:47

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 13:47
Thanks Jeff, I will pass this on to my darling placid Geoff who I hope will do something. I am about to go out and I am dead scared that I will be coming home in the dark again with no lights, by myself. It already has one blown light and if the other goes, I am stuffed. I am usually placid also, but someone has to get a bit tough here, as to wake somebody up to the seriousness of this trouble, and it seems to have to be me. Jen
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 13:50

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 13:50
Jen, you can also mention "duty of care" in the letter somewhere, that normally scares the pants of companies as it makes them think of you taking them to court if you have an accident due to them not fixing your car correctly. Of course they would probally sluaghter you with their high paid laywers, however it's not a bad one to make them think about it a little deeper.
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 16:39

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 16:39
Dont let them scare you off with big lawyers, i sued our local holden dealer, for a $3500 issue that was their fault, cost them 40k, including costs by the time we spent 2 days in court, but we won.

27k of that was the holden dealers barrister and 2 instructors costs, so trying the big guns worked against them in the long run, still makes me smirk when I think about it......;-)
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:33

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:33
We don't want to have to go through courts and crap, besides we haven't got the time. We just somebody do their job well and give us what we paid for in the first place, a trouble free running of a car for 5 years or 120,000klm, after all that is what attracted us in buying the new car, not knowing it would be in there once a month if not twice with unfixable problems. I hope we don't have to go that far. Jen
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 21:59

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 21:59
Of course you dont, and dont have the time, thats what they prey on by pushing you to decide........

Im just saying dont be scared to do so.
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:06

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:06
I know they are the fat controllers and if needs be we will get our solicitor on to it, but will try other avenues first.
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:11

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:11
Never underestimate the power of a legal letter from your solicitor, they should be the first line of defence, not the last ;-)
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:24

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:24
Are you a lawyer offering free services;>) I cannot see the sense in paying big bucks before we see the reaction we get from the top. Will probably sell or trade it to some poor sucker before the warranty is up anyway. We usually keep all our new cars only for about 3 -4 years. This one tops the cake with problems.
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:41

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:41
No lawyer, no, but just like you use an accountant to do tax/books, a lawyer should be used to handle problems, not as a tool only for court.
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Reply By: Vince NSW - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 14:00

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 14:00
Jen
Contact the head office of the car co . Go right to the top.
For a start, let us know what brand it was so that we can stay away from it
Vince
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:37

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:37
Vince, It is a HYUNDAI ELANTRA 4 door. How do we find the top? I guess with my ignorance it should be in the service manual....never had to look for anything like this before. Jen
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Reply By: goingplatinumcomau - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 14:48

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 14:48
Hi Jen

What sort of car is it ?

What city do you live in ?
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:41

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:41
It is a Hyundai Elantra................I won't tell you exactly where we live ...........you may be the mechanic who is working on it ;>) let's say country Qld.
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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:43

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 19:43
Write down all the things that have gone wrong with the car and keep it in a safe place. Park vehicle in driveway away from the house. Light a small fire in the footwell on the passengers side under the dashboard. Close all windows and doors of the car and go out for the evening. Make sure you are seen where you are visiting. Come home late at night to find vehicle totally gutted. Claim on insurance and buy a new car. It was an electrical fault after all............

Alternatively I would suggest that you take the vehicle to an expert Auto-electrician and ask him to replace the loom. Then send the bill to the manufacturer.
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 20:13

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 20:13
Willem, I didn't know you were a professional crook, boy! you were very specific and did well in educating me:>)))
Geoff thinks it is the computer and it needs replacing. As well as the lights blowing, the fuel gauge is never right, although the fuel consumption is at its all time best, 15klm per lt, on a trip to Brisbane we got 42mpg. We have had to have the clock replaced since all this trouble, so whatever it is, is stuffing everything up. As you saying take it to an expert Auto electrician, wouldn't that violate the warranty?
We have a good mate who is an Auto elecky so maybe he may be able to diagnose the problem without touching it. It shouldn't have to come to that, if the service depts. were educated properly in their field or the Head Company wasn't so stingy. Jen
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 21:03

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 21:03
Not a crook...just a naughty childhood.

You know, it could be a simple thing as a Fusible Link. These small items in modern vehicles have been known to be the cause of lots of problems. So get you Auto sparky to check the car out! Good luck.
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 21:57

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 21:57
Willem, Geoff said they checked every tit and tail, and in my mind( very suspisious mind I have, I don't trust a soul) I am starting to think they are waiting until the warranty runs out and then hit us up for something major. We have done in excess of 80,000 they have mucked around for 40,000 so far. So I think I will go to the top blokes.
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 03:13

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 03:13
Jen and Jeff I would try to find others with similar stories through car forums. Even if you could only find 3-4 others in the same mess you could send out a strong message to head office.
A second opinion from a auto electrician who has specialist training on on board computers would most helpful and neither would it damage the warranty as long as the technician doesnt attempt to fix it.The seller always has 1st option to fix their warranty claims against them.

Maybe have some signs fixed to your car detailing all the problems youve had and park it outside the dealership on the busy days.Completely legal as long as its truthful.

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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 07:53

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 07:53
Ross, it would be of great interest to see whether any other car owners of the same model have had the same problem. Could you pass on the websites if you know of any? I will be sending a message to head office anyway, and Geoff is going into the service dept. today, to get the headlights fixed a g a i n. At first they were charging us for the bulbs until we found it was happening too often and then we asked for a refund and free replacements since. They are shockers, I think they are trying to put it over us and hiding something. Jen
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 11:29

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 11:29
Willem, You might be right, Geoff went into the service dept this morning with a little bit of a hot head for a change. After getting the low beams fixed today, they have made an appointment for an all day session next thursday for a complete rewiring, if there are still problems the Loom will be replaced. This is after a threat of them being involved a web of battle if there is an accident. I rang RACQ they gave me the address of head office and also told me seeing it is a safety issue, it could be reported to the Federal Office of Road Safety, apparently mentioning FROS to them puts a shiver up their spine. So thats the latest, Jen
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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:02

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:02
Jen & Geoff,
One thing you could try is asking the offending company for a non conformance report for you to fill in, if the company is AS compliant a Non Conformance report will compromise their certification if they get enough reports they can have their AS certification removed. They have to follow non conformance reports right through their system. You never know it could be worth a try.
Keep the shiny side up

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AnswerID: 56479

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:10

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:10
Thanks Martyn, Interesting, That's worth looking into. Should we be able to pick one up from the service dept or head office?
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Reply By: navaraman - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:15

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004 at 22:15
Pointless making phone calls. You need to put everything in writing and send it registered post. Contact your state motoring association (RAA in SA, not sure in Qld) and ask them for advice, they are usually very helpful. Also contact your Consumer Affairs/Fair trading dept. I've worked with major appliance manufacturers and getting consumer affairs involved has the service managers jumping through hoops every time.
Getting an authorised auto elctrician to look at it should have no effect on your warranty, consumer affairs usaull ask you to get independent advice before taking action.
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 07:59

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 07:59
Very interesting, I will do that. Through being a RACQ member I think we can get free law advice and help, so will look into that. I know before they said they would draft up a letter for me to send to a business who had done the wrong thing. Jen
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Reply By: Member - Eskimo - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 07:28

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 07:28
Write letter giving them say 30 days telling them you want problem fixed and to never re-occur again or you'll be asking for your money back via the Consumer Affairs Dept as the car is not fit for its intended purpose

sounds like you've been too quiet for 2yrs.
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 08:07

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 08:07
Yes Cute, we have been quiet for tooooooooooo long. Now the beast has come out in me and I am ready to attack. We are normally easy going and Geoff has made me that way since I married him 28 years ago. So I am getting my old nature back, and all out to get somewhere with this issue. I think it wise to give them an alloted time to fix and them give us an extra 30,000klm warranty to compensate. Jen
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Reply By: TonyT - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 08:12

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 08:12
read Navaraman again- he's right on the money Cheers TonyT
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