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Incorrect part fitted only recently noticed

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Our car was involved in an accident a few years ago to the front of the car. Other party admitted liability and was repaired, that part is all settled and no problem. However during the collection of the car for the repair to be carried out, the recovery vehicle driver had to fit the tow bar on the car (it has no tow hook and was stuck) and was very vigorous in his attempts to put the tow bar in place.

 

On return of the vehicle, it was noticed that there was a hole in the panel above which surrounded the access cover to fit the tow bar. I took photographs and said that the car was not like this before it went to the garage. So the attempts to fit the tow bar resulted in cracking of the panel and subsequent falling off. They agreed to replace the parts. And the car came back with a rear bumper with no holes in.

 

However, now comes my problem, I have had no need to tow anything (I don’t have a car trailer) and the car hasn’t been stuck anywhere necessitating use of the tow bar to pull it out of anywhere. Today I did need to fit the tow bar and cannot because the aperture to put the bar in is partially covered by the new surrounding and it is not possible to open the electrical cover for attachment of a trailer.

 

To use the tow bar now requires the dismantling of part of the bumper which is very difficult and time consuming and so far have not been able to do it. So the part they used is not the right one to use with the tow bar that is on the car and the small access panel is useless to access the tow bar fixings

 

Unfortunately my insurance company says they have limited details of the repair as it went through the other party’s insurance but would have been 5 year warranty (within this time scale) if we had gone through our insurance. I have looked up the repair warranty details and it says 3 years and not within time scale.

 

But this wasn’t part of the accident claim, it was damage the repair company’s driver did to the vehicle, so I am a bit unsure if it has been left too long to claim?

 

I am familiar with small claims procedure.

 

Any ideas?

:???:

Thank you

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The warranty is secondary to the Sale of Goods and the supply and sale of goods to consumers regulations. These cover you for six years, so if you have all the details of the repair workshop, then send in your claim.

 

I would first go to another garage that fits towbars and ask their opinion so you are in the know when you write to them requesting they put right a 'not fit for purpose' service they undertook.

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The warranty is secondary to the Sale of Goods and the supply and sale of goods to consumers regulations. These cover you for six years, so if you have all the details of the repair workshop, then send in your claim.

 

I would first go to another garage that fits towbars and ask their opinion so you are in the know when you write to them requesting they put right a 'not fit for purpose' service they undertook.

 

6 years, that's good to know. Thank you

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So how is it going, any solution yet ??

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So how is it going, any solution yet ??

 

Have emailed insurance company and garage with photo of "access panel" being not an 'access panel'.

 

Now have email from 'at fault for the accident' insurance company wanting to inspect the vehicle and I have given contact details and location for it.

 

So waiting for that, and will update on progress as it some time since the repair and thought other people will want to know about the 6 year limit situation!

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Thank you for that ssett. It really is a godsend for others to see an outcome good or bad so they can decide which way to go.

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A quick update. Garage have phoned and agreed that the part looks like the wrong one from the photo I sent them (and now have email with that in writing). From tone of conversation, talk about 'want to order the right part' and need to see the vehicle it seems that this should hopefully be replaced by the garage.

But still have to have it actually done.

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That's good news. Admission is half way to settlement.

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Another update:

Garage have agreed to replace part :)

 

But, personally, I don't think it will be easy to find a part to replace the one that is currently on the car without changing the towbar set up. The garage has partly found out that there may be a complication by looking at parts specified for vehicle. Maybe sorted easily, I don't know.

 

They are aware of at fault party insurance involvement, even though not part of the accident damage, so hopefully they are on their toes!

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Another update. They have agreed to replace the part but can't get one. They are now implying that it is my problem and and not theirs because they can't source a part because one is not available to put in place to go over the tow bar that is on the car.

 

I believe there is a different tow bar available and bumper cover to match for the car but that would mean replacing the tow bar as well. Would I be within my rights to ask for that to be done because replacing the panel option on its own is not now a possibility?

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Take a look in yellow pages or online and find a local trailer center and take a drive down there and ask their opinion. They will know how to get around it and if the required parts are available.

 

Is the car now in the condition it was in when you bought it ie, could you have towed a trailer when you first bought it ??

 

Any chance you could post up a couple of photo's ??

Edited by Conniff

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Hello Conniff,

 

Sorry to not able to update sooner

- I have had other things that have taken much more priority over this matter.

 

 

But they have now been sorted to a great extent and I have taken up the battle again!

 

 

Contacted the car manufacturers and got assessment for alternative arrangement for the back bumper and towing panel that is available.

 

 

Current situation:

the car hasn't got any way to use a towing eye at all but had tow bar option to pull but not towing eye because of the removal of the crash beam (that had the tow eye screw in fitting) but now hasn't got either because of the set up that the garage who did the repair made.

 

 

Can't find a replacement panel that the garage could use, but have got a replacement new tow bar fitment option and a quote for parts as a solution instead of panels/bumper parts not available.

 

Thoughts?

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I know this has been ongoing for a long time..

. but I will update as soon as I can and hopefully resolve it!

(I had medical and other issues that delayed me)

 

Took it to independents as advised

on inspecting they could not fit the tow bar in current set up at all because of the new parts the body shop fitted.

 

 

they suggested that main car dealer was the only option for a replacement tow bar fitting so it could be used.

 

Say all this to body shop repeatedly

but I feel I am talking to a wall of idiots that say that the situation existed before the car was collected Arrrrghhh

 

How can a car that now cannot have a tow bar used because of the new panel be the same as it was when it had to be towed by a towing bar that was used with the panel it had???

 

This is completely doing my brain in.. people see the car, say the tow bar can't be fitted, yet later when the car is in their mind it is suddenly becomes as it was before it was damaged.........

 

I am well aware of 'letter before action' etc., but I find this so so frustrating in logic terms! How can so many people see it doesn't work and be swayed by someone who says it must have been like that before........

Yes I know why...

... Milgram

...Bystander effect

 

At least I know and realise that and what to do and have succeeded before!

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Another long time later, and phoned manager and sent a follow up email with document about complaint. The company even advertises on their website and states:

“guarantees our quality of workmanship for the lifetime of your ownership of the vehicle.

 

Huh! Seems not..... it is a BMW dealership in the South West

 

But I am still going to persist in this as I need a rear tow bar/towing eye on a car in case of getting stuck for where I live - have pulled out many vehicles over the years so I need something on my car to do this just in case!

 

Going to wait just a bit longer and then Letter Before Action will be sent and I will then prepare Court documents

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This issue has been going on for over a year and you are "Going to wait just a bit longer" before you send an lba? why?


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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This issue has been going on for over a year and you are "Going to wait just a bit longer" before you send an lba? why?

 

A very valid point ssparks. I spoke with the manager recently and he said he would respond to my email. But either he is taking advice about it or can't be bothered. I have some other things that are important over the next couple of weeks, when they are out of the way then a lba will be winging its way to them.

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Personally i would be issuing the lba by the end of this week with a 7 day period, however if you can't support it for a couple of weeks you will have to wait.


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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Another update:

I have been looking at details of the company in order to submit a LBA and then proceed quickly with a claim. However the matter has become clouded as is typical with car dealers/garages!

 

The original body shop company was part of another company that was the repair side of a BMW dealership and has now been wound up.

 

However I have a document which states it is a 3 year warranty for the original damage (the reason it had to be taken for repair) that was repaired and names a company that is still trading and has a signature on it and reference number. So I believe that this links the still trading company with the accident repair and the associated damage done.

 

The garage is now adamant that because it was an aftermarket tow bar and not a BMW tow bar they have replaced the part that was damaged with a BMW part and couldn’t replace it with anything else. Also because they didn’t damage the tow bar that they are not responsible for that! To which I say ‘but the tow bar can’t be used now because of the panel that was fitted’ and they wash their hands of it and say it isn't their problem!

 

I really want to get them for this as I am left with a car that will cost over £1000 of BMW tow bar to be fitted to rectify the problem. I can’t buy any other panel to fit the car as none is available to make the current aftermarket tow bar useable – I have spent a long time checking!

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