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Vauxhall Tyre Issues

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Beware about Vauxhall's warranty coverage. Tyres are not covered by them on new vehicle sales even if it is proved that the tracking was set up outside the approved specification that caused abnormal wear. There is a specific action group dealing with these issues

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It's common practice in the tyre industry to have to buy new tyres and return the old ones for inspection. Vauxhall do not manufacture tyres but fit Continental branded units. Therefore, any tyre has to be returned to Continental for inspection and assessment before it can be refunded or replaced.

 

A vehicles tracking is something that can be affected by any number of things and I doubt that VX would purposely set them up badly just to get you to buy new tyres.

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What "approved specification"? It may not be Vauxhall's...

 

For example, Vauxhall's spec for camber on the Omegas was a range of about 2.0°. At -2.0° inner tyre wear was significant. Someone else's spec for the same car was -1.1 to -1.2 °.

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The comments are of course valid but it is only when you see the full fact that it is realised there is problem out there. Manufacturers of course do not deliberatly setup their vehicle's geometry out of spec but in todays mass production a number of vehicles do slip into the market with out of spec settings. Because motor vehicle manufacturers do not provide any warranty to their tyres if a problem occursit is left to the owner to prove his case. In this instance the owner had Vauxhall check the vehicle and THEY authorised adjustments that cured the problem but refused to accept liability of contributing anything to the cost or replacining the tyres. They intimated it was faulty tyres. The owner did send the tyres back to the manufacturer which was Bridgestone who initially gave their findings and on receipt of the geometry report confirmed that the tyre wear was down to an incorrect geometry setup. This is what Bridgewater stated.

 

Bridgestone's technical team reported as follows.

“Two engineers have carried out inspections on these tyres, ‘listing a possible error in the vehicles suspension geometry’ due to the wear evident on the tyres.

The report you sent agrees with this findings showing the ‘toe in settings’ 00.6 minutes out from requested.

After the adjustment the settings are within the recommended guidelines”

It should be pointed out that after the adjustments were undertaken the abnormal tyre wear ceased yet Vauxhall refusedacknowledge these facts stating they are not prepared to accepts any liability as they do not provide warranty to tyres.

 

More on this can be found on the Vauxhall Tyre Action group on the web.

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I'm sorry, but without any proper details, there's no way that anybody can provide a relevant input.

 

As soon as the car was driven off of the forecourt, the geometry can be unset, by hitting a pothole or even a completely textbook speed bump. There are so many factors that can contribute to the premature wear and tear to the components that'll cause the tracking to be out, that a dealer and Vx UK themselves cannot be held accountable?

 

I've visited the Vauxhall IBC building in Luton and watched them making Vivaro/Master/Nissan vans there and everything is done to the last mm. I can't see that one car will leave on the crab and one wont.

 

Do we know the history of the car, every pot hole it ever hit or each time it was kerbed?

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Thanks Yukiko for your response always good to experience others point of view and there is of course two sides to every argument

 

As previously stated however one has to be aware of all the facts and I hope the following is of interest and sheds a little more light on things..

The vehicle actually belongs to me and is being used as a test case. The car was not manufactured in Luton but in Germany and transported to the UK by the manufacturer as per normal. What you might not realise is that when transporting cars, chains and straps are applied to wheels and axles to prevent movement during transit. If these are incorrectly applied then it can affect the geometry settings of the vehicle. However, the purchaser should not be penalised and made to pay for something which is not of their making and incidentally an issue known to manufacturers for some time.

When the car was first delivered the supplier was advised about excessive road noise (an indication something was not quite right) but the supplier put it down to the tyre tread. Whilst it is straight forward for dealerships to check front wheel tracking, rear wheel geometry alignment has to be checked invariably by outsourced specialists and as it costs money dealers are reluctant to use them.

Having driven for over 40 years and being an advance Motoring Driver I can assure you that the new car was treated and driven carefully. Because most travel was done between the UK and France 90% of miles travelled was on motorways. If you would like to see the pictures of the tyre wear just locate the Vauxhall Tyre action group site on the web and look at case study 001.

From the information gained from Fleet lease companies, rental and finance companies this particular problem is well know but as most manufacturers disclaim any liability for tyre damage and refuse to warrant them, they do not have to take extra care in ensuring the vehicle is delivered to the same spec as it left the factory.

To put this another way ,imagine you have purchased a brand new vehicle and the inside of the rear wheel happens to have a slight distortion and not enough of a problem to identify itself. This is something that happens with low profile aluminum wheels that have been incorrectly locked during transport. You drive your brand new car only for a couple of thousand miles and by chance notice that the rear tyres have abnormal wear to the inside ribs and that canvas is starting to show but the tread pattern shows little wear. You drive back to your dealer who informs you that you must have gone over a speed bump or hit the curb to distort the wheel and hence cause the tyre damage. You know you have not but the manufacturer tells you it’s your problem in any event as they do not warrant tyres they just ignore your complaint. Having perhaps parted with 25K or so and now being informed you have to pay for the replacement wheel and tyre would you be happy. Remember you know you have driven carefully, not contributed in anyway to the problem identified but have to now fork out several hundred pounds to rectify. If of course you feel the manufacturer is not to blame you can sue the supplier under the sale of goods act. BUT in this instance I am referring to even though the supplier of the car accepted all the independent consultants assertions that the abnormal wear was due to a major incorrect geometry setting and even though the supplier of the car was willing to meet the cost on a fifty fifty basis with Vauxhall, Vauxhall declined . The cost to Vauxhall would have been only £100.00 yet they have chosen to defend their position . Many believe it is because Vauxhall are concerned at setting a precedent as I am sure for the sake of 3100.00 on any other problem payment would have been made under a customer gesture.

I opened up the reply to you that you should be aware of all the facts and hopefully I have assisted you in reviewing the issue objectively.

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Yes, I completely understand the above, and you've shed some light on the situation for me.

 

My point is, there's not much proof that the vehicle has been mistreated in transit. I hope that you get some sort of good will, but VxUK have taken great care of my car when it's been in and out of various centres, all barr one, and I've always been satisfied.

 

It's a tricky one, but just remember, starting a crusade with everyone that's bought a Vauxhall in the last 20 years isn't a good thing... Look at LTi and their taxi company... Genuine people should have their geometry sorted and free of charge, but opening up the issue to everyone is going to have every chav in a Corsa down at the dealership demaning half their suspension be replaced, FOC, then we'll end up losing Luton and Ellesmere Port, just like Ford Dagenham, Rover in Longbridge and LTi in where-ever they were.

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Sorry folks an error in the above text should have read

 

the sake of £100.00 on any

 

and not

 

he sake of 3100.00 on any

 

Also please note the example relating to the low profile rim distortion is just one of numerous complaints being received following my tyre complaint going public.

 

 

Manufacturers can often get that awkward customer who just wants to be difficult. But in my case I offered to work with them to find a solution. You can see the supplier also wanted to resolve the matter amicably but Vauxhall just refused to even treat the matter as a customer service relations exercise. There are those who might wonder why, and those who know the potential problems of creating a precedent

 

 

I am carrying the flag for those who may well have an issue but are hitting their heads against large corporations who feel they are a law unto themelves. Oh!! and a couple of things. I too have visited Vauxhall, as well as Ford's, Renault and Volvo as in my past years I was a senior European consultant to the motor trade with over 25 years industry experience and very qualified to objectively appraise the facts.

 

There is a problem and we can either roll over or save the consumer costs that are frankly unreasonable to be passed onto them.

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demanding half their suspension be replaced, FOC, then we'll end up losing Luton and Ellesmere Port, just like Ford Dagenham, Rover in Longbridge and LTi in where-ever they were.

You are quite right and I for one would not wish to open a can of worms for Vauxhall.. All they had to do was contribute £100 to the £200.00 the supplier of the vehicle proposed to settle the matter.

 

Although this would not have actually covered my costs I was more than prepared to accept.

 

However, when a large corporation digs their heels in over a measly £100.00 there has to be more important issues at stake or someone has just decided to be difficult. Either way says little for their commercial accumen.

Vauxhall have advised me that their decison not to contribute was taken at the highest level and as their MD has been kept appraised of the whole matter you can now see why I have started to bring the issue into the public domain. And yes you are absolutely right it will no doubt encourage those who have no genuine issue to raise matters but this so easily could be avoided by Vauxhall.

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I'm very miffed by this as is my area of expertise and I haveto say I've got to go with Vauxhaul on this one. I've had a look at your case study the best bit being all the claims and evidence you have does not seem to exist. Further, the reports refer to rear tyres and wear. In addition you have an independant report on the geometry it seems both of which are described as Vauxhaul reports.

 

The wear patterns shown also do not correlate to a geometry issue either unless the car had a severe pull issue and the data you supply supports this along with the original complaint description.

 

The patterns do correlate to excessive contact with something and that is what you should be looking at. A clue might be in what you have said with your trips to France!!

 

Further, the way the car is tied down will have no effect on the geometry unless it not given 24hrs to recover when it is measured at which point it will revert to factory setting.

 

The toe figures on the front would not cause this type of wear as well and the fact it shows out can easily be challenged as the independant probably has not had their rig calibrated in years for a start.

 

I'd be very carefull with trying to persue this as you could end up very embarrassed and seriously out of pocket.

 

Home in on the noise you complained about!!!

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Thank you helliosuk for your observations and recommendations. We are sorry this reply is so lengthy but the more information you have the better it is to be able to make a judgement.

We have passed your comments across to Bridgestone Tyre Company technical team for a response. Bridgestone of course, had the opportunity of not just taking a number of pictures showing all wear characteristics of both rear tyres but importantly had the actual tyres for thorough investigation.

Of course your expertise may well be greater than theirs and if you believe they have misinterpreted the geometry test report undertaken and supervised by Vauxhall, then we would welcome more information.

 

Autospehere Consultancy some years back investigated problems associated with the transportation of vehicles on car transporters in conjunction with a major vehicle leasing company due to the fact they had incurred significant problems. The factors were found and the manufacturer (not Vauxhall in this instance) took remedial action to prevent future occurrences. Therefore there is actual evidence pertaining to this possible factor.

Interestingly we are not stating the abnormal tyre wear was attributed to a possible load induced factor on the geometry of the vehicle but allowing for no more than a possibility.

 

Again just as a mute point after the adjustments were made and new tyres fitted the vehicle was monitored over a 2,000 mile return trip to the South of France to replicate the average mileage and roads previously run. The monitoring company reported that no abnormal tyre wear was seen similar to that of the removed tyres.

As the geometry adjustment and new tyres only had been just made and the problem was no longer experienced the obvious conclusion drawn was that either the geometry settings that did show error and incidentally was adjusted, contributed to the abnormal wear, or that the tyres were at fault.

Bridgestone undertook a batch tracking investigation and established that there were no issues with the tyres also supported by their technical team at a very high level.

The replacement tyres were of the same brand and make thus the conclusion drawn was that the geometry settings as indicated in the report had been disturbed and since adjustment , the problem had been rectified.

 

In normal situations a complaint of this nature and of such low cost would be looked upon favorably by most manufacturers. However, motor manufacturers do not wish to be forced into applying any warranty to tyres thus leaving genuine complainants who experience a genuine loss in major difficulties of recovering their costs.

So, in this instance we have a number of important issues that are totally ignored and have been deliberately swept aside by Vauxhall.

 

1) There was an apparent problem from day one of taking ownership of the vehicle but the high road noise was attributed to being normal.

 

2) Because the abnormal tyre wear was specific only to the rear wheel tyres and in particular to the inside top wall it was not easily visible on a normal walk round and routine tyre pressure check. It was during the first service with the vehicle on ramps the Vauxhall main dealer’s engineers identified the matter.

 

3) The main dealer stated that if the tyer wear had been on the front wheels then they would have done a tracking check and adjustment free of charge but as they did not have the appropriate equipment it was down to the customer to have the car checked by a specialist at their own cost. (If you had paid some £25,000 for a new vehicle and undertaken less than average mileage and was bluntly informed 'We do not accept any liability for tyre damage whatsoever' and are happy to accept that, then you are in the minority.)

 

4) The main dealer checked for wheel alignment (ensuring no buckle) and established that the rims had no abrasions or damage associated with curbing. They did check to ensure that there was no item rubbing the tyre as correctly commented by you.

 

5) Yes of course it was necessary to ensure the Vauxhall approved and appointed specialist’s equipment and technician had read the figures correctly, hence the reason the vehicle was taken to another independent specialist to verify that the new settings that had been applied corresponded to the revised settings.

 

6) The issue is not what has caused the problem but how the manufacturer deals with its customer. Vauxhall has spent money and time in having the car checked and geometry settings adjusted. They even gave a courtesy car (renta) during the few days they had the vehicle. Excellent customer service and the expense was covered by Vauxhall.

However all the time, expenditure and correspondence has been in an effort to protect their non warranty stance of their products tyres and even when the supplier offered a solution of providing a fifty -fifty settlement as a gesture that would have cost Vauxhall no more than £100.00, Vauxhall just hardened their position of non cooperation.

 

From the above it can be seen that something was wrong at time of delivery of the vehicle and corrected after Vauxhall were subjected to customer complaining.

The only correction made (apart from new tyres) was the adjustment made. Bridgestone have confirmed that the tyre wear was induced by the incorrect setup.

 

So, we have an industry consultant, the tyre manufacturer and an independent geometry specialist all who state the problem was definitely attributed to the incorrect setup of the car as inspected by Vauxhall's nominated specialist and readjusted.

 

If the vehicle was to specification as alluded by Vauxhall, why was it necessary for an adjustment to be made and is this pure coincidence that the abnormal tyre wear problem was eliminated after such adjustment.

 

And one final point the wheels with the offending tyres were independently checked for balance with no problems found.

 

We would be interested to know your own experience and qualifications as we would welcome additional specialist and technical views on this subject.

And one final point put yourself in the position of a large organisation’s MD faced with a customer who has spent thousands on one of your products, has experienced a problem that your supplier agrees is well worth being dealt with on a fifty- fifty customer good will basis that would cost you less than £100.00 .

Your decision, stick your heels in and upset the customer on the basis you are 100% right and the product is infallible or make the customer feel they are important enough for them to continue to purchase your products and not tell the world about their grievance.

If a company takes an intransigent stance then it would deserve to lose sales. Remember this issue started out as a problem not of the customer’s making and a customer who just wanted to know what had caused the problem to ensure future replaced tyres would not suffer the same problem and to gain some contribution towards the cost of replacing their abnormally worn tyres. Not an unreasonable customer approach.

 

Thank you for responding

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We note you have read the case report 001 You might not have seen the latest response from Bridgestone item 22.

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Thank you helliosuk for your observations and recommendations. We are sorry this reply is so lengthy but the more information you have the better it is to be able to make a judgement.

We have passed your comments across to Bridgestone Tyre Company technical team for a response. Bridgestone of course, had the opportunity of not just taking a number of pictures showing all wear characteristics of both rear tyres but importantly had the actual tyres for thorough investigation.

Of course your expertise may well be greater than theirs and if you believe they have misinterpreted the geometry test report undertaken and supervised by Vauxhall, then we would welcome more information.

 

Ask Bridgestone to point out what is wrong with the rear geometry readings.They are all within spec and thrust angle is correct. The front readings indicate an error on the left individual toe of 0.06'. The total toe however I.e. the straight ahead position would appear to be within spec. What this means is that the error state and detection mode will be exhibited by the steering wheel being off the horizontal. Your complaint refers to rear tyre wear only. On another note, the independant reading given does not show a caster measurement and there is a direct correlation, always has been and always will be, between that, camber angles and toe set.

 

Also, who is "we" as I can only see one reported instance the so called action group has and the info is sparse to say the least.

 

Autospehere Consultancy some years back investigated problems associated with the transportation of vehicles on car transporters in conjunction with a major vehicle leasing company due to the fact they had incurred significant problems. The factors were found and the manufacturer (not Vauxhall in this instance) took remedial action to prevent future occurrences. Therefore there is actual evidence pertaining to this possible factor.

 

Actually that is not the case. You have no quantative evidence, or qualitative evidence that the way Vauxhall transport cars today can have an effect. What you do have is annecdotal evidence of a study done by another company which you admit is not on Vauxhalls so is a wild assumption that one manufactuer from years ago had an issue so therefore all manufactuers must be the same. If you look at the way they are transported around the country you will probably note that they are secured with wraps around the actual wheel and use other securing methods such as the tow eyehook as additional security.

Interestingly we are not stating the abnormal tyre wear was attributed to a possible load induced factor on the geometry of the vehicle but allowing for no more than a possibility.

 

Again just as a mute point after the adjustments were made and new tyres fitted the vehicle was monitored over a 2,000 mile return trip to the South of France to replicate the average mileage and roads previously run. The monitoring company reported that no abnormal tyre wear was seen similar to that of the removed tyres.

 

Who is monitoring what? Your web site does not state this or have you supplied evidence as to what the monitoring is.

 

As the geometry adjustment and new tyres only had been just made and the problem was no longer experienced the obvious conclusion drawn was that either the geometry settings that did show error and incidentally was adjusted, contributed to the abnormal wear, or that the tyres were at fault.

 

They only adjusted the front left toe and did not touch the rear. The change in the rear values seen will be as a result of the front adjustment. Your issue is with the rear.

Bridgestone undertook a batch tracking investigation and established that there were no issues with the tyres also supported by their technical team at a very high level.

The replacement tyres were of the same brand and make thus the conclusion drawn was that the geometry settings as indicated in the report had been disturbed and since adjustment , the problem had been rectified.

 

You have fallen for this hook line and sinker!! How do do a batch tracking investigation for tyres made in week 35/2010. All they will have supplied you with, if at all, is a report saying that X number of tyres were checked for uniformity and spec compliance and found to be OK. No way on earth would they release details of any other complaints they might have with the batch. That is just commercial suicide!! Ask them for the test criteria, sample size, batch size and sampling timing. If you've got that then good, if not I don't think you will get it.

 

In normal situations a complaint of this nature and of such low cost would be looked upon favorably by most manufacturers. However, motor manufacturers do not wish to be forced into applying any warranty to tyres thus leaving genuine complainants who experience a genuine loss in major difficulties of recovering their costs.

So, in this instance we have a number of important issues that are totally ignored and have been deliberately swept aside by Vauxhall.

 

They have not been swept aside. All manufactuers operate on the same principal. Because of the nature of the item, the warranty is given by the manufactuer of the part. The geometry issue you "believe" you have is again covered by specifice terms and conditions in the warranty and service agreement. If there was an issue with the geometry then it would be apparent within 3000 miles generally and certainly within 6 months. That's what you signed up for when buying the car. Again, in the manual it will detail checks required and when, and I would think tyre condition figures pretty highly.

 

1) There was an apparent problem from day one of taking ownership of the vehicle but the high road noise was attributed to being normal.

 

Perhaps, but very difficult to prove 18 months or 2 yeares down the line and only because YOU think it was. Vauxhall can prove that it wasn't and you have detailed this publicly.

 

2) Because the abnormal tyre wear was specific only to the rear wheel tyres and in particular to the inside top wall it was not easily visible on a normal walk round and routine tyre pressure check. It was during the first service with the vehicle on ramps the Vauxhall main dealer’s engineers identified the matter.

 

Well actually I think it is and one of the pics clearly shows this.

 

3) The main dealer stated that if the tyer wear had been on the front wheels then they would have done a tracking check and adjustment free of charge but as they did not have the appropriate equipment it was down to the customer to have the car checked by a specialist at their own cost. (If you had paid some £25,000 for a new vehicle and undertaken less than average mileage and was bluntly informed 'We do not accept any liability for tyre damage whatsoever' and are happy to accept that, then you are in the minority.)

 

4) The main dealer checked for wheel alignment (ensuring no buckle) and established that the rims had no abrasions or damage associated with curbing. They did check to ensure that there was no item rubbing the tyre as correctly commented by you.

 

5) Yes of course it was necessary to ensure the Vauxhall approved and appointed specialist’s equipment and technician had read the figures correctly, hence the reason the vehicle was taken to another independent specialist to verify that the new settings that had been applied corresponded to the revised settings.

 

6) The issue is not what has caused the problem but how the manufacturer deals with its customer. Vauxhall has spent money and time in having the car checked and geometry settings adjusted. They even gave a courtesy car (renta) during the few days they had the vehicle. Excellent customer service and the expense was covered by Vauxhall.

However all the time, expenditure and correspondence has been in an effort to protect their non warranty stance of their products tyres and even when the supplier offered a solution of providing a fifty -fifty settlement as a gesture that would have cost Vauxhall no more than £100.00, Vauxhall just hardened their position of non cooperation.

 

Yes you are probably right and if this had come across my desk I would have said just pay him out to keep him happy however Vauxhall are in the pooh at the moment so will probaly not pay for anything they can prove are not responsible for. In the bigger picture it probably costs more to talk to you than rolling over and keeping you happy but a policy is a policy and must be stuck to.

 

From the above it can be seen that something was wrong at time of delivery of the vehicle and corrected after Vauxhall were subjected to customer complaining.

The only correction made (apart from new tyres) was the adjustment made. Bridgestone have confirmed that the tyre wear was induced by the incorrect setup.

 

So, we have an industry consultant, the tyre manufacturer and an independent geometry specialist all who state the problem was definitely attributed to the incorrect setup of the car as inspected by Vauxhall's nominated specialist and readjusted.

 

You don't have anything of the sort, all easily discredited as I hope has been shown how easy it is.

 

If the vehicle was to specification as alluded by Vauxhall, why was it necessary for an adjustment to be made and is this pure coincidence that the abnormal tyre wear problem was eliminated after such adjustment.

 

Vehicles do go out of adjustment and you cannot prove it was out. Ask for the Vauxhall agent and independant agents last calibration certificate and against what was it calibrated. For info, the amount it was out, if you went off and did 50 miles buring fuel up the car would be lighter. Put it on the rig again and it would probably show green. Take it off and put it on again with a different operator and it could show red with a totally different reading. 4 wheel alignment rigs as seen in dealers are far from accurate, have no capability and frequently not calibrated whereas manufactuers rigs are.

 

And one final point the wheels with the offending tyres were independently checked for balance with no problems found.

 

The wear patterns show no evidence of this being an issue

 

We would be interested to know your own experience and qualifications as we would welcome additional specialist and technical views on this subject.

 

Obviously more than what you have been getting. Lets put it this way, when I talk to tyre manufactuers and say I think there might be a problem they tend to need a change of underpants. Unfortunately Icannot help you directly on this as there is nothing to help with and I am not allowed to work for other organisations or act as consultant or expert witness.

And one final point put yourself in the position of a large organisation’s MD faced with a customer who has spent thousands on one of your products, has experienced a problem that your supplier agrees is well worth being dealt with on a fifty- fifty customer good will basis that would cost you less than £100.00 .

Your decision, stick your heels in and upset the customer on the basis you are 100% right and the product is infallible or make the customer feel they are important enough for them to continue to purchase your products and not tell the world about their grievance.

If a company takes an intransigent stance then it would deserve to lose sales. Remember this issue started out as a problem not of the customer’s making and a customer who just wanted to know what had caused the problem to ensure future replaced tyres would not suffer the same problem and to gain some contribution towards the cost of replacing their abnormally worn tyres. Not an unreasonable customer approach.

 

Yes you are probably right. As I have pointed out £100 to keep you happy is essentially pettycash money so do it to keep the customer happy. However organisations work in different ways. What I would say though is don't even consider legal action as you might get advised on here under the SOGAis your friend guide..........you will get slaughtered. Just hope you have the 10's of thousands to waste for £100...........but then if did itwould be unlikely you'd be driving a Vauxhall!!

 

Thank you for responding

 

See response in blue (i hope)

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Tyres (and batteries) fitted to new cars are normally not included in the car manufacturer's warranty as they are not manufactured by the car manufacturer. This is normally pointed out in the vehicle warranty booklet/documentation.

 

Having said that, to make a claim against the dealership for a damaged tyre, you would need to show that it was damaged as a direct result of a problem with the car resulting from a manufacturing/delivery problem. All new cars should go through a PDI at the dealership which will include geometry settings for the very reasons that you have given.

 

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.


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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Thank you both for your excellent input. Sailor Sam is correct that at PDI the dealer is obliged to carry out a number of checks. However and this is an issue nearly all dealers do not have the equipment necessary to check rear geometry settings thus problems will only be seen by the user after some mileage has been run. It is during this mileage the manufacturer can say any out of alignment was caused by the driver. What is of course is weird in this instance is why would a manufacturer of Vauxhall' s size and reputation refuse to meet the supplying company's recommendation of each paying £100.00 towards the costs. As form the end of this week I will be unable to respond to any more replies as the mater will be subject to legal as court proceedings are being issued. But all your comments have been welcome and objectivity appreciated.

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No no no. Yes the dealer at PDI is required to carry out checks , suspension geometry is not anymore considered one of them. The settings from the facory are very accurate and the cars cannot leave the rigs unless within spec. If they are not, then they are rejected and sent to find out why, rectified and put back through.

 

If you take this legal and try to pursuit Vauxhall I sincerley hope you have very deep pockets and are able to eat lots of humble pie.

 

What do you think your odds of winning are as I might put quite a few bob on you losing this one and hopefully being able to retire earlier than planned!!

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Oh........by the way, good luck as you are going to need it.

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Thank you Heliosuk once more for your observations. We provide the following but as we have now served papers please wait for our result update that will be published prior to responding.

 

We respond to your observations just for clarity.

 

Your assertions that we have no chance is interesting as a litigation specialist together with a major motoring consultancy expert witness and the technical team of Bridgetone all believe that our case is watertight, as any case could be.

To avoid any misunderstanding the issue as far as we are concerned is not what caused the vehicle's influencing factors that led to abnormal tyre wear from date of delivery purchase, but the fact that even when it can be proved the customer was provided with a product not fit for purpose the manufacturer refuses to admit any liability.

Under the sale of goods act a supplier cannot cherry pick from a supplied item what items or equipment will be deemed as merchantable quality and fit for purpose, so the dealer or supplier of a new vehicle is placed in a difficult situation. Claims can be quite easily be made against them.

However the supplier of a product will be influenced by the manufacturers support programme. In our instance the supplier made what was considered a reasonable and acceptable offer but rejected out of hand by Vauxhall.

 

Look at it this way. You purchase a new car and notice something is not quite right. You notice the tyres have worn at a an angle across the tread on the rear wheels (this is only an example not relevant to this case). You quickly pick up the problem fortunately, because your mileage is high and after only three months of driving return to the dealer as the tyres are illegal to drive at 6,000 miles run.

 

Here is the issue. Although you have not, the dealer informs you that you have driven over speed bumps at high speed or hit a curb and caused the problem. They smile shrug their shoulders and tell you that they recommend you put new tyres on at your cost as they provide no warranty.

 

You are not particularly happy (obviously) as you would expect the tyres to perform to a reasonable life expectancy. Your concern however is that you want to know what caused the problem and have it rectified before you fit new tyres. The dealership informs you that it is possibly the geometry of the vehicle but as they do not have the specialised equipment (rear wheel geometry) you will have to find a specialist and at your expense have it evaluated.

 

OK Heliosuk, you are a careful driver and know that you have driven your brand new car correctly and have not contributed in any way to the out of spec geometry setting that your specialist finds. You have the geometry brought back to within spec have new tyres fitted all at your expense and after a couple of thousand miles establish no more abnormal wear.

So are you happy, do you believe that as you have not been the cause of the problem and that the vehicle was supplied in a condition that without adjustment would go through tyres a third or half the normal life expectancy, that the manufacturer should provide you with some compensation?

In my opinion customers should not be treated this wa. Oh, and their is another issue. Under the sale of goods act a simple claim can be made against the supplier and in our instance we began this route but the dealer who was very professional and who recognised the problem as being a genuine (his words) claim suggested to Vauxhall to offer a contribution of £200 on a fifty fifty basis. Vauxhall refused to pay their £100.00.

Now let us make something very clear. We are not really interested how out of spec geometry was caused but that on delivery it was out of spec and we have fortunately some proof to support this.

Secondly after geometry tests undertaken, paid for and supervised by Vauxhall were carried out they reported that (contrary to the report) no error had been found.

We also agree with you in respect that at PDI different manufacturers have differing procedures and we also agree with you that with modern day manufacturing techniques and computer quality controls vehicles leave the factory usually 100% to spec. But and this is important some errors do occur they are not 100% quality 100% of the time. With respect your observations regarding transportation. Our expert witness apparently worked with GM on the problems associated with vehicle transportation and their effects. Much of their report was taken up not only by GM but also by Ford. One issue (and we are not relying on this fact) is that some recently introduced vehicles no longer have tie down brackets traditionally used to lock movement.

 

There of course is always two sides to an argument but when you have a David and Goliath situation its's the little guy who needs a little support. If we win or lose the issues will be brought into the public domain and finally one last point. It is unreasonable for a manufacturer or vehicle assembler to cherry pick what they will and will not warrant. The assembler of any item or product manufactured and sold at retail is responsible for their total product irrespective whether or not they made some or all of the component parts. The motor industry has managed to avoid this by issuing warranty statements that DO NOT and should not override the consumers rights.

 

We also go back to the question why has Vauxhall taken a stance over a £100 claim causing even more costs and possibly ruining their customer care reputation? Is it because they really do need to prevent precedent taking place, if so what is the significance?

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I think "we" must be the Brothers Grim reincarnated as you are most definately in fairy tale land with this.

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Vauxhall is a brand close to my heart and I have to say that the odds are stacked against you on this one, in my humble opinion. Please note, I'm not bitter that you're taking action against one of my favourite companies, nor' do I work for neither am linked with Vauxhall in any way, but I genuinely believe that geometry is a servicable item. Hence, KwikFit and ATS offer it for £25-30 or £100 for a proper 4 wheel alignment. It's the same as having a service done, a service covers the engine (Oil, coolant, filters, plugs and leads), a tracking check (Which is free) and remedial work is no less important to the cars longetivity and safety.

 

Therefore, as much as servicing is a 6000/10000/20000 mile occurance, there are clauses in the handbook that state that if the vehicle is not used in perfect conditions (Dry days, 56mph constant speed etc), that this interval will differ. Tracking is the same. If you drive up and down a runway all day, you'll not knock it out of spec, but if you use a humble Corsa to go green laning in or something, you'll end up knocking something out of kilter. This is my point, the tracking can be fine from the second you pick it up, but take a speed bump too fast, and you'll knock it out. Hit a kerb, you'll knock it out. Potholes, etc... They're all in the same league.

 

And remember, a 114 point PDi check has to cover all bulbs of which there are 20 or so, fluids, each tyre, exhaust, 3 x wiper blades, 2 x washers... That 114 doesn't accomodate for wheel alignment or settings as the factory do all this before it's allowed off the production line.

 

(I've seen the production line at Luton, and if one indicator is less bright than the other, it gets sent over to a seperate section for remedial work and sent through quality control again. 10 vehicles a day are disassembled and rebuilt to ensure that EVERY single item on the vehicle is perfect and if it's not, say, there's a loose stitching on the drivers arm rest, the person responsible for fitting that arm rest (There's a station for fitting of EVERY single piece along the production line) is removed from his station and retrained on fitting only the best parts).

 

So, as much as I do not will ANYBODY to fail, remember that Vauxhall is a great British Brand (One of the few left) and I can't see VxUK allowing GM to send a bunch of old chod over on a boat that is in theory, unsafe.

 

You say you drove abroad, too. Remember, that the roads abroad are NOT the same as ours. There was a big thing with Opels (Foreign Vauxhalls) being imported for cheapness through french dealers that would eat through tyres as they're cars designed for the opposite side of the tarmac. So, you driving on those roads could well have done monumental damage to the tyres.

 

So, please, give it your best, but don't count on winning.

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I realy don't know what malibu99 is trying to prove. He/she or what ever entity malibu99 is or is masquerading at, seems to be going down the route of "im going after them for £100".

 

The so called Vauxhall tyre action group has only one case study, standard reports not from Vauxhaul, but subcontractors, forgets that Vauxhaul Dealers are not Vauxhaul, etc etc etcetc etc etc etc .

 

If malibu wants to go ahead then get on with it but don't come back here when Vauxhaul ask for costs. I think malibu is relying on a small claims court submission for £100 hoping that it will go through undefended, which it probably will, and then claim victory.

 

Malibu tries to give the impression it is a class action.............er wake up. I don't think so.

 

If it is then get on with it but frankly I think we have a joker here. The posts are somewhat absurb.

 

But of course there are people who know and people who think they know, especially those who are advanced motorists as of course these are the people who know how a car goes together, understands lean manufacturing processes, understand the difference between a deal and manufactuer, understands CPk figures and Gauge R&R within dealers.

 

Give it a rest. If this had been posted on April 1st it would have some credibility and be a rather good joke.

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I must say Helios, I think you're spot on.

 

If it does go through undefended, and the case is won... Will it be big enough to ruin Vauxhall? No.

 

Will it be big enough to destroy customer loyalty? No.

 

Is having your tracking checked free? Yes.

 

Is it a servicable item (just like checking the carb settings on older motors?)?? Yes.

 

I really don't know what to think... Although, it is December 1st now, maybe this is our pre-christmas attempt at being funny?

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Hi guys, I really must smile at the remarks made as indirectly most of your comments are well founded and quite understood. No I am not attempting to be funny. Because proceedings have now been served I am no longer able to specifically refer or now make further comment to the actual case and technically the related threads should be closed until the court has made a judgement. However.

 

What I would like to do is try to focus on a specific scenario in order to try to establish where I personally stand regarding guarantees and warranty's and by all means respond if you wish to.

 

Also please understand that the issue now being discussed just does not pertain themselves to motor vehicles but any manufactured product.

 

In todays Global Market products are in the main assembled from parts brought in. Very rarely will you find a complex product with all its component parts manufactured by the branded product company and this is important. If we ever got into a situation where you purchase an item and had to claim for defect from the actual manufacturer of the assembled parts and not the assembled branded product manufacturer, then any claim for restitution would be made extremely difficult. Of course most manufacturers of branded goods stand by their assembled product BUT will wish to reduce their liability on those areas where higher risks of failure or difficulty in measuring cause, poses greater financial risk. And I understand the commercial logic of this.

 

However there are instances (and these are numerous if you look at the various consumer complaint research data available) where a final product has come to market and there was a fault not necessarily first picked up at point of delivery or purchase. In most cases the retailer rectifies the problem by a replacement part or the product itself. This is considered good commercial practice.

 

Of course the larger and higher the value, the greater the cost thus the greater the risk and hence certain known items that have greater frequency of experienced problems are excluded from warranty. So far I am sure you will agree this is all fact. OK here is a scenario

 

Scenario

 

Assume, just for a second that a new motor vehicle (any make) has been delivered to you with a problem not picked up by your retailer. In this scenario it will be any problem not covered by their warranty program.

 

Indeed let's take the issue of a Battery. In this scenario one of the cells is said by the dealership to be defective (drop test) as after 17 weeks the battery is dead requiring a new battery at a cost to you of £106.00. Three months earlier you paid £32,000 for your new car. However returning to the dealer to collect your vehicle with the new battery in place he informs you that they can do nothing to refund any or all of the cost as they do not warrant the battery. This incidentally is taken from an actual case . And before anyone raises the fact that batteries carry a 12 month guarantee, the dealership in this instance claimed that there were signs the battery had been damaged as it was distorted at its base and this would never have been allowed though the quality checks. Thus they were reluctant to accept responsibility.

The owner (you) unhappy, contact the vehicle manufacturer and he tells you the same but that they are prepared to send the battery to the manufacturer for evaluation. The response from the battery company after a couple of weeks is received. In their opinion they report the battery was found to have been possibly overcharged resulting in damage to internal cells and that the cause could be a defective consumer battery charger having been used and or the vehicles power generating systems and voltage regulators should be checked. They provide an impressive data sheet and technical report to establish that the battery has been damaged since manufacture.

 

You drive back to the dealer who is ready for you having received a copy of the report and are more than willing to undertake checks. They report that nothing was found and that you have to make a claim against the battery company for a refund. You of course never had reason to charge the battery and when it did fail you had called the AA to get you moving back to the dealership.

 

OK the scenario above is using actual case information but put yourself in the customers position. Firstly is it your fault? Secondly having spent £32,000 would you expect the £106.00 to be refunded as a customer good will gesture and thirdly would you feel aggrieved that you are now in the middle of two large multimillion turnover companies each protecting their position. The actual outcome was that the owner in this instance was a solicitor and he made a fully recoverable claim through the sale of goods act. Sold his car at the end of the year and stated that was the last car of that manufacturer he would purchase.

 

Yes I of course I accept that tyres and batteries are non warrantable items and I am fully willing to accept that in 99.999% of cases the manufacture supplies a vehicle meeting the highest of quality control. But I am sure you will agree that sometimes things can and do go wrong and when it does it should not be the purchaser who has to foot the cost. Oh and one very last point the scenario above.

An engineer reported to the owner purely by chance that they had replaced the voltage regulator when in fact they had originally claimed had found no problem during tests. The replacement battery continued to perform well up to the time of the vehicles sale. Was it a faulty regulator, was it a faulty battery/ Did the owner actually leave his lights on necessitating a recharge and was the charger used faulty. No one knows or cares but would it not have been simpler for someone to just say. “Sorry for the inconvenience, this is a rare occurrence but we have replaced it at no charge, rather than everyone defending themselves from liability. Like the solicitor in question I personally believe when you purchase an item the whole item should be guaranteed.

 

Of course there may be some who will just say well one of those things but until it happens to you and you know you have been unfairly treated it may be difficult to appreciate the annoyance and frustration experienced.

I shall let you know how we get on and for those who genuinely wish us luck thank you, and for those who genuinely support the manufacturer well done, as any argument should be a balanced one with emotion removed in order to determine its validity.

Great forum folks

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malibu99, Can I say one thing, your posts are difficult to read because you are not putting them into paragraphs so most people will not bother reading them. I myself have only 'scan read' them so you will have to forgive me if I have missed something.

 

Looking at your original post, I can say (as I have previously pointed out) that most if not all car manufacturers indicate in their warranty conditions that tyres and batteries carry their own separate manufacturer warranties and as such, their car warranty excludes them. One of the main reasons for this is that sometimes the car manufacturer will use different makes of tyres/batteries.

 

As I also pointed out, if your tyre(s) were 'damaged' due to the car manufacturer's fault (which is a rare occurrence, especially the rear), you would need to show this. I must admit that when I first commented, I didn't realise that we were talking about the rear tyres and it follows that I find it hard to understand how the geometry can be that far out on the rear wheels to result in damage to the tyres. Now I'm not a fan of VX at all but I would think that even they would know if there was an issue here because I can't imagine a rear wheel issue to be confined to just one car.

 

Another thing I didn't pick up on is how many miles from delivery this problem became apparent? If it was say within the first 500 miles, then I would think your argument would be fairly strong PROVIDING there was no evidence of owner miss-use.

 

But as it stands, it seems to me that you are looking for a good will gesture in which case the SOGA will not be much use to you. But as I say, I may of missed something.

 

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.


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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Thanks for all the great comments even if some are perhaps becoming a bit personal, please try to keep them objective and professional.

 

I am unable for obvious reasons now to comment about my actual case.

 

 

My previous posting laid out a scenario for your consideration.

 

Just put yourself in the (scenario) new vehicle owners position and consider what your response would have been.

 

If you are totally happy to accept that personally you would not be bothered at the additional expense for a product failure not of your making then fine. But there are those who might feel differently.

 

Also consider this please. A problem is identified by you on a brand new item (and use any product as an example) as such a part needs replacing.

 

Would you pay and fit a replacement without ascertaining what caused the failure in the first place?

 

No sensible person would because it could result in the same problem occurring again if the cause could not be established.

 

And if the product is within a guarantee period why should you foot the bill.

 

Remember, in this instance the product failure is happening to you be it a new washing machine, fridge, TV or motor car purchased.

 

If and when it does go wrong for you and the dealer tells you sorry but the moving part inside is not covered by warranty and to replace it will be a few hundred quid let me know how you handle it, I am always willing to listen and learn.

 

Again thanks for the interest and lively comments they are all welcome. The cost in my case is not the issue it is the principal.

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