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2010 Vauxhall Meriva 65,000 miles intermittent immobiliser problem

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Meriva purchased three years ago, good little car. Started developing an intermittent immobiliser fault three months ago. Failed to start at home RAC called. RAC could not diagnose problem as car would not "communicate" with their diagnostic system, apparently common fault with Vauxhall. Had it looked at by our usual mechanic, again could not be diagnosed. Car started intermittently.

Contacted Vauxhall garage had to wait until the immobiliser came on but also had to book an appointment to co-inside with it breaking down!

 

Eventually car again refused to start at home, contacted RAC taken to Vauxhall garage, which is another story!

 

Apparently no fault recorded on system. VG removed immobiliser and Engine Management Unit and checked wiring. Put back together and car started. However could not find the fault. I was told that they could change both the immobiliser and the EMU at a cost of around £800 + VAT but there would be no guarantee that it would cure the problem.

 

Explained to them that the immobiliser would come on again as this was how it had been. They insisted that I collected the car and that I paid £42 for the diagnostic test. I insisted that I should leave the car with them until the problem was sorted. Apparently the fault could not be diagnosed until the immobiliser came on again.

 

I contacted Vauxhall customer complaints and posted on Facebook. Absolutely useless.

I contacted the Managing Director who passed me to the Complaints Director. The eventual suggestion was that I return the car to the VG and a team would be sent to look at the car....at my expense!

I collected the car and needless to say it is now stuck outside my home with the immobiliser coming on and for no reason intermittently starting.

I am unable to drive it anywhere for fear of not getting home and I can't keep calling RAC.

I say that the car is not fit for purpose as the inbuilt system to diagnose the fault has failed. I have legal insurance should I sue Vauxhall or has anyone else had the same problem? Help please?

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You need to contact the seller first off and see what he has to say.

 

If you sue Vauxhall, you are going to have to prove that the problem is inherent and you will have to pay to get that proof. Should you get it, then yes, you can sue them and also claim back not just the cost or a repair, but the cost of the diagnostics that gave you the proof.

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You need to contact the seller first off and see what he has to say.

 

If you sue Vauxhall, you are going to have to prove that the problem is inherent and you will have to pay to get that proof. Should you get it, then yes, you can sue them and also claim back not just the cost or a repair, but the cost of the diagnostics that gave you the proof.

 

I know its been ages but I contacted the dealer I bought it from who said try a new battery, which we had done and didn't work. Contacted a solicitor who said that it is probably an inherent problem as car not talking to the unit, no recorded faults. He also said that the dealer is responsible and that if the fault was inherent would still be the dealers fault as our contract was with them. Of course the dealer said that we were too late to claim but the solicitor advised that there would not be a time limit so it looks like we have to take the dealer to Court as we have a 2010 Vauxhall Meriva parked in the garage and not going anywhere! Anyone interested going cheap :)

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The solicitor is right. But it is only an inherent fault if proved to be. During the first six months after purchase, should anything go wrong, it will be deemed to have been there at the time of purchase and it will be up to the dealer to prove otherwise.

 

After the six months, it is up to the buyer to prove the fault must have been there at the time of purchase. This is usually done by taking it to a specialist who can diagnose the problem and using his professional knowledge and experience make a written statement, one that will hold up in court, that the fault must have been there at the time of purchase and the reason why.

 

A solicitor cannot give you that written statement only an expert can do that. Any report must be on proper company headed paper and from a vat registered garage with the experts qualifications noted on them otherwise it will do little to pursuade a court and it could just be a mate that done the report.

 

Make sure you have a watertight case before you issue court papers.

Edited by Conniff

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The solicitor is right. But it is only an inherent fault if proved to be. During the first six months after purchase, should anything go wrong, it will be deemed to have been there at the time of purchase and it will be up to the dealer to prove otherwise.

 

After the six months, it is up to the buyer to prove the fault must have been there at the time of purchase. This is usually done by taking it to a specialist who can diagnose the problem and using his professional knowledge and experience make a written statement, one that will hold up in court, that the fault must have been there at the time of purchase and the reason why.

 

A solicitor cannot give you that written statement only an expert can do that. Any report must be on proper company headed paper and from a vat registered garage with the experts qualifications noted on them otherwise it will do little to pursuade a court and it could just be a mate that done the report.

 

Make sure you have a watertight case before you issue court papers.

 

You are absolutely right and so glad to have legal insurance which is where the advice came from......but in the meantime a few interesting facts have come to light. Apparently the immobiliser unit always communicates any faults to the engine management unit but there are certain parts of the car that do not, one of which is the fuel system which the immobiliser is connected to....so why hasn't anyone from Vauxhall mentioned this fact as it could be the fuel pump!

 

However I suppose its difficult to admit to this when Vauxhall advertises the fact that they can diagnose faults swiftly. Not very swift in our case :)

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Had same problem on my Astra years ago.

Eventually I had the immobilizer permanently disconnected so the car would start all the time.

Vauxhall won't do this, so you have to find a knowledgeable mechanic that knows about Vauxhall.

At the time I paid £50 and he kept the car for 2 hours.

Just another avenue to explore if you want to avoid a legal battle

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Had same problem on my Astra years ago.

Eventually I had the immobilizer permanently disconnected so the car would start all the time.

Vauxhall won't do this, so you have to find a knowledgeable mechanic that knows about Vauxhall.

At the time I paid £50 and he kept the car for 2 hours.

Just another avenue to explore if you want to avoid a legal battle

 

Apparently have been advised by mechanics, not Vauxhall, that this can not be done with the newer cars. Would love to have by-passed the immobiliser but no go. But would probs affect insurance too. RAC also said that Vauxhalls are a terrible nuisance as they can not diagnose problems so can't get be going roadside. Thanks for the thought though TAG

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