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    • Dear All,   BN - Thank you for your comments.    My wife had prepared the relevant notice to the court and rather than spending time redacting I am sending it as PM to the contributors to this thread. It covers everything we have been discussing and is in line with  your comments and our discussions.   For the benefit of readers oif CAG I will redact and post it later as we have pressing family medical matters to attend to.    Warm regards BF  
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    • Thanks for the images. It's shocking. This more than ever reinforces my view that you should take this to court. The number of people they must be fobbing off with this three months story is incredible – and they need pulling into line. If you simply complain to the CEO then they may sort out your problems – but the rest of it will go on as usual. They need something very serious here. In fact, I would think about suing them for £200 because I think that once they realise about the mistake they are making, they will be extremely anxious not to go to court. On the basis of this, I'm afraid I don't think I would even alert the CEO. I would send a letter of claim which will probably simply be seen by drones – and then issue the papers. I think you have an easy win on this case. Also, once they realise that they are dealing with a court case, they will look at the whole situation more carefully and they will probably sort out all of the problems at the same time. If they don't, then these two have laid down your marker and they will know that you're not mucking around and they will take you seriously.
    • These are the two incidents from Virgin Chat where their Live chat has informed me of the 'only 3 months' decision.... 15 April was the date they acknowledged receipt of my SAR. Apparently anything from before that date can't be included!
    • You could try both routes at the same time. Send your letter of claim by email to the CEO email address. Confirmed by letter. That way you have communicated with the CEO – but given a very definite deadline and a very definite promise as to what will happen if they don't comply. Then on day 15 sent the claim. Don't make a threat of legal action if you don't intend to carry it out. Don't bluff – but it is very easy to do
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Supply of Goods and Services - which costs do I claim for?


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hi all, brief background ->

 

i have a renault clio that has very low braking efficiency at the rear, it is like this as standard from the manufacturer due to lack of abs. this is to prevent the rear wheels locking up which could cause the rear to overtake the front! most of the times these particular clios fail mot's due to this, and there is a vosa notice on the issue sent to testing stations. most stations fail these cars when they should be passed.

page 8 on this link: http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/MoT%20Issue%2031%20-%20Apr%202006.pdf

 

so, my clio failed its mot on low rear braking efficiency. after arguing the above with them they didn't budge and advised i needed a new brake caliper. i paid the garage to fit a new rear brake caliper to save all the hassle of an mot appeal, not having car for a week, etc. and collected the car with a nice green mot certificate.

 

that was 10 days ago, and today i was under the car and noticed that they had used cable ties to artifically increase the efficiency of the rear brakes above the preset factory setting. they can do this by forcing a load sensing valve into the up position using cable ties.

 

so now i'm asking myself, did they change the caliper, realise there still wasn't alot of efficiency at the rear (as per factory setting from renault) and have to do this bodge to get it through the mot. did i need a new caliper in the first place? maybe not.

 

and they have made the car dangerous to drive. obviously not going to drive it without removing the ties, but at the moment it's evidence for whatever route i take dependant on replies to this thread :)

 

i called vosa, twice, who weren't interested and said i need trading standards. my experience of trading standards is that they are little help. what should i do? complain to the garage, threaten vosa action if they don't refund for work carried out?

 

thanks, kristian

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Hi,

I think this is going to cost you initially. Why not get an independant inspector to check the car for you. The AA and RAC do this and I'm sure a different garage would do so too. Why not contact the main dealer in your area.

I would take photos of the load sensor.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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This is outrageously dangerous. The fact that the LPS has been tied up does indeed indicate that they misdiagnosed the issue however they have the get out of jail card to a certain extent with the info sheet you have linked too.

 

Irrespective of that, the fact that they tied the LPS arm up and left it just beggars belief. I'd be inclined to write to the Head of VOSA and your MP about the fact that VOSA said they not interested. This is certainly not a TS issue apart from the fact that they fitted a caliper when perhaps not necessary.

 

By the sound of it though it could mean you actually do have a faulty LPS as they have had to do this to get it through.

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i decided to visit the garage in the end. i'd spoken to them earlier but didn't let on my thoughts. so i went to the garage and played it cool, asked them how the lever worked etc and got them to put the car on the rollers with the cable ties in place and it showed efficiency of 100 at both rear brakes. i asked them to cut the cable ties off and it showed 175 on the nearside rear and 50 on the offside rear. considering it only showed 40 on the offside rear before they changed out the offside caliper it didn't take much asking to get my money back from the garage. obviously i have a faulty load sensor to sort out, but still doesn't excuse the fact it was bodged to get it through the mot, and they never told me they had misdiagnosed the brake caliper.

 

they're going to contact me once they've got the old caliper (person not in today) to book it in to have the old one put back and head office have to issue the refund as it's £300.

 

i'll give them until close of business monday, then tuesday morning speak to them and then head office if i don't like their response.

 

funny thing is, the rear brakes are fine. i jacked the rear up and got someone to stand on the brakes and i could just about turn both wheels by hand, they both gave the same level of resistance when turning them. i also tried slamming the brakes on when driving and it doesn't drop on one corner or pull to the side. strange.

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No, No, No, the rear brakes are not fine. If you have someone standing on the pedal and you can turn the wheel then that is not acceptable. There are 2 issues here,

1. the fact they did what they did with the LPS valve and

2. the fact you still have a massive imbalance.

I'll respond to issue 2 first.

 

The figures you quote and the thread indicate that in fact there actually is an issue with the rear brakes. This is evidenced by the fact that the readings are substantially different after the repair with the difference between left and right with the LPS not "fudged". If they couldn't get a high enough reading initially and the fact they changed one caliper it would be safe to assume that caliper was indeed faulty. The subsequent reading shows it is operating efficiently. However, the N/S reading is still low and might involve the repalcing of the O/S/R caliper as well. Not only are they looking for front to rear efficiency as controlled by the LPS, there is also the left to right balance.

 

Now you might not notice this in the vehicles operation as the system is split diagonally i.e. left front to right rear and vice versa. The front to rear though is controlled by the LPS. My feeling is that they saw a low efficiency and imbalance on the right rear so went for the caliper which was a good thing to do. Having changed that the rear was still inefficient and realised the left rear was faulty as well or potentially realised that cars such as the Renault and others can give low readings. One way to prove this out if in doubt is to put a load on the back seat such as a person and the car would probably have got through.

 

Personally I would not have the old part put back on but to ask them to replace the rear FOC. The charge of £300 for one rear caliper is excessive as trade exchange is only around £87 plust vat and the labour should be around half an hour. I think they have charged full retail or MRP for the part which is just ripping off. For £300 if just the rear brakes I would have expected both calipers and Pads and discs including labour. Now that would amount to around £300.

 

Next to point 2.

 

I would say something was obviously wrong on the re test and they realised it. However to do what they did and leave the evidence there ..............well I am unusually lost for words that can be put in print. So serious what they have done is that the reporting needs to be taken seriously. To put it in context and not over exagerrating I'm surprised we are not reading your obituary.

 

It's an incredibly stupid, stupid, thing to do and I would urge you to pursuit this vigourously before that garage kills someone. I sincerley hope you report your own post so that if you need some official backing from CAG to get VOSA to listen you will such is the seriousness of what they have done.

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Get an opinion from another MOT garage, test the rear brakes, then contact vosa. tell them that you had a mot and paid for the rear brakes to be fixed. On jacking up the car the rear brakes are not working and dont believe the car should have been passed. Also get the opinion of the other MOT garage.

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I'd take it to a council run MOT centre... they charge £57 in my area for one but they carry out no remedial work. Therefore you know that you are more likely to get an MOT tester that isn't thinking about making some money with future work.

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  • 4 months later...

hi, i had a new steering rack fitted on 1st june as the garage (an independent specialist) diagnosed this as the cause of the issues i was having.

 

when i picked the car up it initially felt fine but after a week the steering gradually worsened again, albeit not as bad as before. i've kept in contact with the garage and advised that i have changed a couple of things (bushes), which the garage agreed too, to see if this resolved the issue but it did not.

 

there was an initial reluctance to take it straight back to the garage as it's 40 miles away and i need my car for work so couldn't leave it with them, but a month on the problem is still there so i've accepted it needs to go back.

 

i know i need to give them an opportunity to remedy the problem, but on the assumption the new steering rack didn't fix the initial issues i was having, could i reasonably expect a refund?

 

thanks, kristian

 

nb. the new rack isn't loose. the garage has a very good reputation.

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well have to see what they say; you want the car fixed? if you want money back they would be entitled to the rack back!

perhaps rack was only part of the problem?

discuss with them and see what else it maybe; would it pass MOT?

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hi, it's a '52 renault clio 172 on 80k

the geometry of the car seems to change when you hit a bump which causes the steering to point in a different direction. the best picture i can paint is that i was driving along a straight road (worn road, bit of a camber on both sides). it was pulling slightly to the right and as the road was clear i let it cross the cats eyes to the other side. when it got halfway across the road it hit a bump and then started to track left back into the correct lane!

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It won't be the rack at fault and am surprised they came to that conclusion from the way you describe the fault. More likely to be worn lower arm bushes or top strut mount but if it was this bad to cause the fault you describe then the knocking would be very apparent. In direct relation to your query, Ray is correct in saying no. You have the benefit of the new parts.

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I don't know the law but I would expect you could get a refund, some if not all, if it's found to be another fault.

From your description of the fault I would be looking for a stiff/worn joint, it could be: bottom ball joint, track rod end, suspension top joint, steering coupling/uj, "the rack",

I would also check: wheel bearings, binding caliper/pads,

I would also check wheels/tyres, as this is a 172, does it have sporty wheels/tyres? Are they original spec.

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pretty much everything else has already been replaced! when i picked it up a year ago it had very little service history so set about sorting out the minor niggles. in the past 6 months or so i've fitted new ball joints, wishbones bushes, rear shocks (they were leaking and have a tendency to upset the handling), tie rods, track rod ends, although the new rack came with tie rods and track rod ends), steering rack clamps/bushes, pas pump, pas pressure sensor, arb bushes. just this weekend i fitted 12k/1yr old front shocks and new top mounts (albeit pattern parts) and it hasn't improved it.

 

i'm leaning towards it being the top mounts at the moment so i'm going to order some solid top mounts with spherical bearings http://pure-motorsport.co.uk/details.php?itemid=143 and if it doesn't resolve it i can shift them for a little less than rrp on my club forum so it's not a big outlay with no return.

 

i'm sure it's not column related- the symptoms don't point in that direction. there's no play in the road wheels. i can't see bearings causing this sort of issue. it's got to be something to do with that triangle of components (rack, wishbone, top mount) but what?

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Interesting one, this is turning into an interesting "forum diagnosis" thread rather than garage bashing...

 

If the front geometry is OK as you suggest, perhaps the problem is with rear bushes. Also may be well worth having a proper 4 wheel laser alignment done. Are the wheels and tyres the right spec? Maybe aftermarket wheels have been fitted with incorrect offset. This will put much more load on the steering. Tyres may not have the correct load rating or a bit too wide for the rim. Fitting wider tyres to a rim may actually make handling worse as there can be more flexibility induced.

A lot of "sporty" derivatives of normal cars are often compromised in the suspension department and a particular set up of tyre-wheel-springs-dampers and bushes is needed for everything to work well.

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Nice one traffer!!.

 

If it was the top mounts then there would be some serious knocking going on which does not seem to be the case.

 

Yes the reaer end does need looking at and I should have posted this earlier. Pull/drift has a relationship to steering wheel angle only. Many garages get it wrong and the general perception is wrong as welle.

 

Pull or drift is caused by twwo things, the conicity of the tyres, only usualy exhibited in the first 3Kmiles of the tyre life or rear end geometry which dtermines the thrust angle of the car.

 

From the description of the original post, I have only ever come across a similar situation and that was with a cut and shut BMW. Impossible to fix.

 

Perhaps op should check history to rule this out.

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As it probably has v wide tyres, tyre pressures are important, try over inflating by a few pounds, should help. ( check all shocks sound ) gas struts best.

on some if not all low slung set ups with wide tyres will tramline and jump.

slight drift on road camber is normal.

had plenty of experience setting up lowered 300zx , MR2 turbo and now subaru legacy GTB limited.

geometry check may show up something ( camber? ); but they are only as good as operator; have used protyre before.

los of could be's

Could take it to a renualt sports dealer and ask their tech guys to take for a test drive?

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hi, ok let's have a go at answering some of these questions :-)

 

traffer...

the car has has been tracked/aligned on a hunter system. everything is within renaults guidelines except for one thing. the camber on the left is outside the parameters by 40 minutes of a degree. left is showing -1.06 and the right is showing -0.48. the maximum on the 172 cup is -0.30 +/-0.3 = -0.6 at the most. the max difference allowed between the two is 1 degree. i don't think 40minutes is enough to cause these problems.

 

wheels and tyres are correct spec. it was doing the same with oem wheels and tyres too before i swapped them.

 

heliosuk

when i hit bumps you do sometimes get a bit of a knock. typical worn ball joint symptoms but no play vertical play in road wheel. history was checked when i bought the car and nothing untoward, but it never use to do it. one thing to consider is that when i picked it up after having the rack replaced, it was spot on, bar a very very slight pull to the right. but this problem i have feels different to just tracking being off, like there's something a bit loose. it feels like something is shifting, sometimes it pulls to the right, sometimes it doesnt.

it's interesting what you say about the rear bushes. they are split but the specialist said he sees this alot on the clios and its not a show stopper. certainly not what is causing the issues here. based on the fact the handling was near perfect when i picked up from them i have no reason to doubt this.

 

raydetinu

tyres are 195/45/16 so not too wide. tyre pressures are fine, i think i've changed this a few times over time between 30 and 34 at the front and a bit less at the back. rear shocks are 6 months old, front shocks are 12 months old. geometry, left camber is out as mentioned. the rack was done by a renaultsport specialist who is very recommended.

 

 

after the rack was fitted, i swapped the wheels from front to back to see if this sorted the slight pulling to the right. it didn't, and when i swapped them back it never went back to how it was when i picked it up. i've no idea why. it's not anything simple like loose wheel bolts or tyre direction.

Edited by kp278
contradiction (forgot to delete ref: knocking)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I put my car into a garage at beginning of June to have a handling problem sorted (sometimes it would track straight and sometimes it would track to the right.) Their diagnosis was the steering rack as it felt "harsh and stiff" so I agreed to the rack being replaced.

 

I picked the car up a few days later and it initially felt great, although it tracked ever so slightly to the right. Over the period of a couple of days the problem gradually returned. I've kept in contact with the garage and it was decided I should try a couple of things (my idea) before bringing it back to them. (For the technical people out there, I replaced the wishbone bushes and suspension top mounts).

 

This was a vast improvement but the problem was still there. I mailed them recently and advised the initial problem was still unresolved and I'd like to book it in again. They responded saying they had booked it into the local tracking place, and this is all they could do as they had already checked it over when they fitted the rack.

 

I know the tracking isn't the problem so I'm not going to entertain this.

 

Their latest email:

 

Hi

OK, have re-booked it in with Pro-tyre for re-tracking on friday, I wont be able to do anymore with the car as everything checked out ok last time other than the steering rack being stiff and harsh.

As to plastic trim can only pass on what I know, bumper was not removed at all to fit rack. So sorry if you feel disapointed with us.

See you friday, you can either come to me or goto pro-tyre directly , as I will only be dropping car off to them. Choice is yours.

Thanks

Mike

 

My big question I guess is what should be my next step?

Is this email enough evidence that they have refused a chance to rectify the fault?

The bill for the rack was £543. As this didn't fix the problem, can I get my money back?

 

Thanks, Kris

 

ps. I've posted about this before but now with the indication that the garage appear no longer interested, the situation is vastly different.

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Mmm, not sure that you made the right move touching the steering/suspension yourself. If the garage's work hadn't cured the problem then you should have taken it back to them to rectify. By doing this, you may have compromised your rights under the SOGA. Is the garage aware that you had a go yourself? If not, I wouldn't mention it. My advise would be to take it to another garage who specializes in tracking/steering or maybe a mian dealer (of what ever make your car is) and get them to give their opinion. No doubt there will be a chrage for this but if they confirm that the previous garage have missed something, then you may have some ammunition to use to get them to sort it out. My interpertation of their email is that they have not refused to do anything, but they are saying they can find nothing wrong.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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you mean supply of goods and services act :wink:

i spoke to consumer direct. i was surprised at how helpful they were. it was basic "send a letter" and "repair at a second garage" stuff but all good.

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I would defo let pro tyre look at it and tracking checked etc. they are generally pretty good and can report all maner of probs, including any worn bits and on set up, camber, caster etc;

They can also set up as as well for optimum handling outside the manufacturers norm; increased camber etc.

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