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Like many users on this forum we have experienced very poor and unfair practice from CarCraft

and wondered if anyone had advice on how to proceed against CarCraft.

 

We purchased a 59 plate Volkswagen Passat from the Lakeside branch for 10k, 45k miles on the clock.

 

10 months later in early November last year the car broke down on the m25 with my 5 year old daughter in the car.

The car needed almost a complete new engine (after many investigations) to repair at a cost of £3600.

We had serviced the car according to Volkswagen schedule between the purchase and the breakdown.

 

CarCraft have declined both my initial claim and subsequent appeal to the 'review manager'.

 

The key point car craft are putting forward is that the original cause of the breakdown was a failure of an alternator belt which is not covered within the guarantee.

 

My point is that it cannot be right that a car that new, that is supposed to last to 250k + can breakdown so badly in such little time.

Car Craft have sold a car that is not of usable quality, regardless of any narrow guarantee scheme they try to hide behind. We are left with a huge bill.

 

We have a young family and wanted a reliable car, safe car, that would last us for years.

We got none of that from car craft, we don't even have an apology.

The cost of the repair is huge and car craft appear to be simply hiding behind the useless guarantee scheme.

 

A £10k, 3 year old, Volkswagen simply should not have failed so badly.

 

After two rejected claims attempts from the company I don't see any other option but to try the small claims court and I am looking at the process now.

 

We had to use all our savings to repair the car so are desperate to try to recover the unfair costs.

We have also been advised that due to the size of the repair the car us likely to also develop faults later on despite the best efforts of the repair garage.

 

Any advice or does anyone have similar issues?

 

Any advice on the small claims process or car craft responses.

 

Would really appreciate any help.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. We happen to have a resident Customer service rep for Carcraft on the site called Linzi.

 

I'm struggling to understand how an alternator (or auxiliary) belt could cause a massive engine failure. What were the symptoms of the breakdown?


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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Sounds to me like the car has been "clocked". Any service history? Check MOT online, might give you a clue. Ask the repair garage their opinion of the estimated mileage.

Is the alternator belt also the cam belt?

Could pay AA or RAC for their opinion

You can do small claims on line.

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Let's get one thing straight from the outset.

 

Cars designed today have a designed service life of 150k miles or 10 years and are engineered to this.

The reason behind this is that there is a regulatory requirement to require manufacturers to support vehicles

built up to 10 years old with spare parts and potential technical support.

This is based on world wide warranty data which is required to be fed back to individual countries regulatory authorities

though generally all agree the limit is 10 years or 150k miles.

So forget the 250K you quote, not any more.

 

Now in your case as Sam has pointed out, it's hard to believe the alternator belt has caused this damage.

It's probably more likely to be the Cam belt. The two are very different.

 

As you have had the car for in excess of 6 months, under SOGA rules you need to prove the fault existed

as opposed to it's assumed it was present at the point of sale.

 

You also do not state the mileage at the time of failure.

 

I used to do 1000 miles a week so in 10 months this would have pushed the car possibly 90K mileshad I been in the same situation.

 

I don't think based on current info supplied you have anywhere to go with this at the moment until you clarify when the failure occurred and exactly what it was.

 

It might be that you have an avenue open to explore with VW but without a full dealer service history this will be difficult.

Just remember the regs regarding servicing outside of the franchised network only apply during it's warranty period

and whilst it might have a full service history, if VW have never seen the car then you will be on a hiding to nothing as well.

 

Any contribution from VW is deemed as goodwill and if the car hasn't been into a dealer for service then there is hardly any goodwill is there.

 

However, you could try the goodwill avenue with carcraft which would be interesting.

 

Just remember, cars wear out quicker now.

 

It's called Value Engineering.

 

Most professional engineers here will grimace at this as it's a contradiction in terms but unfortunately is fact..

 

...a fact that soga fails to take into account.

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I would agree with #4 regards mileage from purchase date to time of breakdown. Was a new cam belt fitted while you had the car?

With regards to Car craft guarantee. If the cam belt did not need changing prior to purchase and you did not have it changed on a service you paid for because it was not required at that particular service interval, you may find that the cam belt drives other items; such as air con. water pump etc. If one of those seized it could "strip " the cam belt or cause it to break.

Did the repair garage change water pump etc?

If so does Car Craft guarantee cover that?????

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Sorry to add another post...... Google VW Passat common faults. Scroll down to WWW.usedcarexpert.co.uk

Check out the bit about Bearings, tensioners and guess what...Water pump. Quote. "failure of any of these can cause the cam belt to break"

All you have to do is word the guarantee claim accordingly with the help of your repair garage.

 

 

PS. I drive a 1990 300TD Merc with 280000 miles (bullet proof engine) so I'm on your side re. your comment "good for 250000 miles"

 

 

I hope I've helped

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Thanks all for replies.

 

In answer to some of the questions the mileage at breakdown was 54k according to the repair garage (and Volkswagen who looked at the car but didn't do the repair) was that the an 'auxiliary drive belt' failed but the way it failed disrupted the cam belt which through out the timing. I think basically that resulted in the engine eating itself somewhat. In the breakdown itself the engine simply shut off on the Mway, no noises, just quiet, zero power, coasted to the hardshoulder and stopped. No smoke etc. Towed to repair garage.

 

 

Cam belt was not due to be changed at the service done between purchase of the car and the breakdown.

 

Does that make a difference?

 

Volkswagen basically say that if the car had been bought or serviced by them at any point then they would look at goodwill aspect but since it hasn't then they insist they wont cover anything. Which sort of seems fair enough really.

Edited by rubbishcarowner

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Re the above i meant to also add that the car craft reply letter states that they will not overturn the claims rejection as 1) the auxillary drive belt is not covered but also 2) even though the car has been serviced according to manufacturer schedule we did not put it in for a minor service with carcraft within 6 months (part of the guarantee apparently). We had a major service done between purchase and the breakdown but that was 8 months from purchase and not with carcraft.? I still cant get past the fact that the car should not have failed so badly in such a short time frame. Repairs garage have advised that even a major service would not have covered the drive belt (def not a minor service) anyway and it does not normally need to be changed at that level of miles etc unless faulty.

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Nah, I don't buy this "the auxiliary belt breaking affected the timing belt" diagnosis. Now I don't know much about VW engines so I could of course be wrong but I would find it very surprising if indeed this was the case, especially resulting in destroying the engine.

 

So according to you then, the car hasn't been serviced by a VW dealer? And has the car already been repaired or what is the state of play there?

 

I think we need to hear from Linzi on this!


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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Guest Carcraft Customer Service Manager

Hi TherePlease can you confirm the date you purchased your vehicle so i can make sure i am looking at the correct account?thanksLinzi

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Ah, here she is! Normally Linzi manages to get things moving so fingers crossed!


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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Linzi, thanks for responding to this quickly. Appreciated. Purchase date was Dec 2012. Just had the reply/decline from the review manager.Sailor sam, thanks for the post. The car has been repaired and is back on the road. We just had to max a credit card to pay for it. I will check on whether the car was serviced by volkswagen pre purchase from CarCraft, certainly I did'nt use volkswagen for the service after we bought it. Will come back.So is it unlikely that the aux belt failure would normaly cause the damage?

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I think that the VW "goodwill" option would be a non-starter then. I think it will boil down to the warranty and how the fact it can be established that indeed the auxiliary belt WAS the cause. Personally, I very much doubt it although I have to admit that it wouldn't be impossible. As I say, not knowing the engine, it would depend on whether there is any overlap/conflict in the "routes" the auxiliary and timing belts actually take. I would of thought in most engines, this should be factored at the engineering design stage thus making it highly un-likely to occur.


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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Guest Carcraft Customer Service Manager

Thank you for making me aware of the above.

 

When a customer purchases a vehicle from Carcraft, we inform you that you must have your car serviced within 6 months or 6K miles, whichever is sooner if you are unsure of the last service, or have partial or no service history. Failure to do so may result in a claim being declined.

 

We have never been made aware that you have previous service history, even though this was requested from you when you wrote to the Review Manager in December 13, so we have to assume that you do not have any and therefore you needed to have your first service carried out as noted above.

 

You state that you have followed the servicing according to the manufacturers guidelines, but without you providing previous service history to show this, we cannot, unfortunately, take your word for this. You had sent us details of the service you had carried out, which was 9 months and 9.2K miles since purchase.

 

You reported the fault with the ancillary drive belt over 11 months after purchase, at this time, you had exceeded the mileage limit (you had covered just over 11.5K miles) that is noted in the 12 month guarantee booklet: “The maximum mileage during the guarantee term must not exceed 10,000 miles”“ If the maximum mileage is exceeded during the guarantee term your guarantee will no longer be valid”

 

The failed part of the ancillary/auxiliary belt is an exclusion of the Drive Happy Guarantee.

 

As noted in the response from the Review Manager, it is essential that the terms and conditions of the DHG are carefully followed in order to provide and efficient service and to provide value for money for all guarantee holders. Your claim and review was declined due to:

•The failed part is an express exclusion of the DHG

•There has been failure to comply with the servicing requirements which are a pre-requisite to any claim being authorised

•The maximum mileage limit under the 12 month guarantee has been exceeded

 

We can fully understand your frustration over this matter and if you can provide the previous service history which you state you have adhered to and any other documents in relation to the repair, then by all means we will happily re-look at this to see if we can help with the situation any further.

 

Unfortunately, if you cannot provide this then the response by the Review Manager still stands.We apologise, but hope you can understand the reasons behind this.

 

Thanks Linzi

Edited by Conniff
tidied up

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Guest Carcraft Customer Service Manager

Apologies if the format of the above has squashed it into one paragraph, hopefully this will correct itself!

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Linzi there was no mention that you required further information on the service history in the letter from the review manager. This is easy to send and i would be more than happy to send it. As I had sent carcraft the service history since I bought the car from you (in line with the manufactuere warrenty) I had assumed that this would be sufficient since the presumption is that CarCraft would know if a car had not been serviced properly before sale and would have made me aware of it, hence sending the service history post sale? I presume that CarCraft does not sell cars without a full service history in the first place so you would have confidence that would be the case without requiring me to send in the full documents. However, as above happy to do so and if that had been highlighted as still being outstanding (or that the service history post sale was not sufficient) I would have done so already.You also ask for 'any other documents related to the repair' I have already sent in all the documentation from the repair garage ie invoice and repair details. The claims department has also contacted the repair garage directly for information in the original claim. I also contacted CarCraft and asked if they would like to view the car and damage before the repair was carried out, which was declined. What else would there be from me on that?More generally you seem to have replied with almost a direct copy of the decline letter from the review manager and from my perspective are a) downplaying this somewhat b) missing the point. You refer to a 'fault' with the drive belt. I did not report a fault, I am trying to get fair compensation for the fact I bought what should be a high quality car from CarCraft that required £3.6k of repairs within 11 months of purchase and only 11k miles. I dont think it is unreasonable to be able to rely on what should be a high quality car from car craft for that period of time/usage without incurring that level of costs, regardless of any wording of your 'guarantee'. I did'nt get a car of reasonable/usable/servicable quality. I appreciate you looking into this. Can you advise of an appropriate email address and I will provide copies of the (pre sale from car craft) service history this evening.

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Guest Carcraft Customer Service Manager

The letter that was sent to you dated 9th December 2013 stated:“For this matter to be given further consideration I would be grateful if you could forward a copy of service history you have on your vehicle, the repair invoice in question and any other documentation relating to this repair”Please do send this to the Review Manager for further investigation to theclaimsmanager@carcraft.co.uk.Carcraft do not service cars prior to sale, nor do we advertise this fact. We can only hand over at the point of sale what we have received from the previous owner. Therefore we may not be aware of the previous service history and as such this is why we include servicing within the 12 month guarantee that we offer at no cost to the customer on every car.As mentioned above, we will look forward to receiving a copy of the full service history, please do bear in mind that sending the service history may not impact on the decision already given, as they will still need to take into account that this specific part is excluded and the mileage limit on the guarantee has been exceeded. However we will happily look into this again for you.

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Linzi, since you have basically just said the service history wont make any difference can you just tell me an email address to send it to rather than post and at least I will get your confirmation quickly and move onto next steps. Please also confirm that the documentation you hold on the repair, as per the above, is sufficient as your previous post suggests it is not.As an aside, are you honestly saying that car craft does not check service history before a sale? I know you do not service the car before sale but you would have though that a company as big as CarCraft would at least give the customer some reassurance that it is not selling them a car that has not been serviced properly and have checked that fact before it sells a car. If a customer wanted to take that gamble they would go on ebay to buy a car at 2/3rds of the price of CarCraft.... Sounds v odd to me and quite illustrating of the CarCraft approach.Also could you confirm exactly what would have been included in the free service so I can judge, what, if any impact that would have had on the failure. I doubt any as it is a standard service and would not have got to the underlying fault that the car obviously had. In particular can you confirm in writing that the service would have looked at the auxillary belts and relevant equipment related to their operation etc. If anyone else on the forum has expertise on the point above i would really appreciate any input.Thanks

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APologies, I missed the email address you have already put above Linzi. That is helpful. Thanks

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Guest Carcraft Customer Service Manager

The documentation we have on the repair is the invoice from the garage, however this is partially obscured by the card receipt. My question in sending anything else that may assist was if perhaps you had an inspection etc that may not have been sent over. All our vehicles have a 120 point check prior to sale and an HPI check, the 120 point check is there to detect whether there may be any issues prior to sale. if there had been an issue with the auxiliary belt at the point of sale, it would have been impossible to drive over 11k miles like you have done. Please do send over the FSH and the review manager will re-investigate

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Thanks. I will send the service history this evening. But to point out that following the logic in your post above, that if it is correct that any belt fault would have been identiftied by your 120 point inspection pre sale then, since the engine still failed in such a significant way, there must have been a more substantial/different fault that was not picked up.Perhaps that is covered by the guarantee??? The auxillary belt was not due to be changed according to any schedule so it is not reasonable to say that is simply wear and tear on that post sale. I think it is clear that it would not be reasonable for an engine to eat itself 11k miles after purchase.

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Is it a diesel engine?, it's not unknown for the fuel filters to leak, contaminate the auxiliary belt which breaks up and bits of it get caught in the cam belt, causing that to fail. The fuel filters are especially prone to leaking after the element has been renewed and the lid needs to be refitted with great care so that the seal doesn't get snagged.

Edited by j66

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Guest Carcraft Customer Service Manager

Just to let you know, we have received your email, thank you for sending this and it will be re-looked into thoroughly, once a decision has been made we will be in touch.

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Apologies if the format of the above has squashed it into one paragraph, hopefully this will correct itself!

 

 

It didn't, but I did. I'm not doing all the others though :)

 

Are you using a tablet Linzi ?

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Are you using a tablet Linzi ?

 

That's a bit personal Conniff isn't it? The same could be asked of you :lol:

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