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Halfords refusing to replace warped brake rotors


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I have a 2012 Chrysler 300C which developed a rumbling in the front brakes in September last year.

I took it into Halfords Auto Centre Nottingham whom diagnosed warped rotors. The car at this time had done 25K miles.

 

They changed the rotors and pads, my warranty covered the cost bar the first £100. My outlay was circa £100.

 

Roll forward to last week, the issue raised its head again. I took it back to Halfords asserting that although the replacement was 1 month outside their warranty, the car had only done 9K miles since the new rotors were fitted and asked that they replace them FOC.

 

The manager refused and pointed me to their guarantee where it states that all parts and labour are covered for 12 months or 12K miles.

 

I did try to get him to understand that although they have their guarantee it does not supersede my statuary rights, and as per the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Regs 2002 the rotors should have been of merchantable quality and lasted for a reasonable time, and 9K miles is not a reasonable time.

 

It all fell on deaf ears, so I contacted customer support who came back with the same reply. I did escalate it to a more senior team member but I am afraid that they are digging their heels in.

 

My question is really where do I go from here?

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Well you are certainly right that you have statutory rights – and I can tell you that we have had previous experience of Halford's and they can seem to be pretty reluctant when it comes to respecting consumer rights. I'm sure there are lots of times when they are fine but we know they can be difficult.

 

You haven't told us what the value of the dispute is – in other words what would be the cost of replacing them again – unless you're £100, of course.

 

I'm quite troubled by the fact that discs seem to be able to fail twice on the same vehicle each after such a relatively short period of use. It makes me feel that there may be some other explanation. If we are lucky, somebody with some good mechanical knowledge might be up to come along and make some suggestions. I've driven cars for many tens of thousands of miles and I've never experienced a warped disc yet. It might repay you to do a bit of research on the Internet to see whether this is a known problem with that model of car – or maybe whether there was a bad batch. Although I'm doubtful about a bad batch because to find one set which was probably fitted in 2012 and then another one which was fitted in 2015 both developing the same problems, doesn't speak to a bad batch, in my view.

 

I think also you need to get a bit of research to find out what would be the reasonable expectation for a set of rotor discs. I'm quite sure that it would be many tens of thousands of miles, but you better get some writing on it to back you up.

 

If you can show that rotor discs would be expected to last more than 9000 miles then I think that you have to tell Halfords in writing that you are prepared to take it further – as far as County court – if they will not respect your consumer rights under the Sale of Goods Act (I'm assuming that this is a pre-October 2015 contract). If you want more information on this, you can read around the forum or you could have a look at our new Consumer Survival Handbook where this aspect of consumer rights is dealt with in a fair amount of detail.

 

If you are prepared to take legal action, then you need to prepare for it by understanding the procedure. It's not difficult and there is lots of information on this forum. There is also good guidance, once again in the Consumer Survival Handbook.

 

If you are not prepared to take legal action then there is no point in threatening it to Halfords. Don't bluff. They will simply call your bluff and you will lose all credibility. If you decide to threaten legal action then make sorry that you understand the steps before you begin the action. The pre-action protocol requires that you give them at least 14 days notice, and an opportunity to come to their senses.

 

You might want to tweet a link to this thread to Halfords - @Halfords_uk

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Well you are certainly right that you have statutory rights – and I can tell you that we have had previous experience of Halford's and they can seem to be pretty reluctant when it comes to respecting consumer rights. I'm sure there are lots of times when they are fine but we know they can be difficult.

 

You haven't told us what the value of the dispute is – in other words what would be the cost of replacing them again – unless you're £100, of course.

 

I'm quite troubled by the fact that discs seem to be able to fail twice on the same vehicle each after such a relatively short period of use. It makes me feel that there may be some other explanation. If we are lucky, somebody with some good mechanical knowledge might be up to come along and make some suggestions. I've driven cars for many tens of thousands of miles and I've never experienced a warped disc yet. It might repay you to do a bit of research on the Internet to see whether this is a known problem with that model of car – or maybe whether there was a bad batch. Although I'm doubtful about a bad batch because to find one set which was probably fitted in 2012 and then another one which was fitted in 2015 both developing the same problems, doesn't speak to a bad batch, in my view.

 

I think also you need to get a bit of research to find out what would be the reasonable expectation for a set of rotor discs. I'm quite sure that it would be many tens of thousands of miles, but you better get some writing on it to back you up.

 

If you can show that rotor discs would be expected to last more than 9000 miles then I think that you have to tell Halfords in writing that you are prepared to take it further – as far as County court – if they will not respect your consumer rights under the Sale of Goods Act (I'm assuming that this is a pre-October 2015 contract). If you want more information on this, you can read around the forum or you could have a look at our new Consumer Survival Handbook where this aspect of consumer rights is dealt with in a fair amount of detail.

 

If you are prepared to take legal action, then you need to prepare for it by understanding the procedure. It's not difficult and there is lots of information on this forum. There is also good guidance, once again in the Consumer Survival Handbook.

 

If you are not prepared to take legal action then there is no point in threatening it to Halfords. Don't bluff. They will simply call your bluff and you will lose all credibility. If you decide to threaten legal action then make sorry that you understand the steps before you begin the action. The pre-action protocol requires that you give them at least 14 days notice, and an opportunity to come to their senses.

 

You might want to tweet a link to this thread to Halfords - @Halfords_uk

the total cost of replacement is around £200 including new pads which would be required if new disks are fitted.

I have had 3 incarnations of this car and it does have some foibles, one is pressure on all of the front suspension/rack/joints. It's a heavy car, some 3,700 pounds, but it does not seem to suffer from warped discs as far as I can see from forums I have belonged to.

I have replied to them in email stating that they have 7 days in which to repair my car after which I will have the work done and start a MCOL to recover the costs.

I just got a one line response saying that their decision is final and they will not be paying anything if I do have the work done.

I sent this to judge their resolve.

I am now going to write to them a letter before action giving them the 14 days.

 

As far as I can see rotors should last between 20-40K miles before changing, but that is for wear. As for warping there doesn't seem to be any length of time, IE they should just not wear.

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If they are after market brake discs and not OEM discs then you probably have a good argument as regards quality. Brake discs should not warp and generally only do if they are poor quality or a caliper is sticking? You should notice this while driving and in fuel consumption? If both discs are warped I would be inclined to conclude that the discs are poor quality.

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So you have already effectively written them a seven day letter before action and now you are following it up with a 14 day letter before action. I don't think that that is the kind of approach which will inspire much fear in the hearts of the Halfords's lawyers.

 

I think that you need to start going more carefully and understand all the steps before you start going forward. A good thing to do might be to start off by getting account with MoneyClaim and then you can start to have a look and feel your way round. You can even start to prepare your claim form there and save it until you are ready to fire it off.

 

I suggest that you give Halfords an opportunity in writing to inspect the discs. If you feel that the work needs to be done straight away then make sure that all parts are kept. You need to be very clear about this with the garage that does the work because you will be amazed how often they don't pay attention when you go to pick the car up, you find that despite your instructions the parts were put in a skip and have been taken away.

 

It still concerns me that this is the second set of discs which has warped on this vehicle. Warped discs are unusual enough but twice in the same vehicle makes me think that there could be something wrong with the vehicle. The only thing which produces warping, to my mind, is heat. Have your brakes been binding? Do you live in the West Country in a very hilly area where you may have been using a lot of brake on long downhill stretches?

 

I think you need to be very clear about these issues – because if Halfords realise that this is the second set of warped discs, they may (quite reasonably) want to say that the warping has been caused by some outside influence for which they are not responsible.

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I'm quite troubled by the fact that discs seem to be able to fail twice on the same vehicle each after such a relatively short period of use. It makes me feel that there may be some other explanation.

 

Brake discs/rotors can become warped if they become hot through prolonged braking and then cannot cool evenly. Such as, after braking keeping the brakes applied when stationary, so the area in contact with pads remain hotter than the other area of the discs that are cooling evenly in the surrounding air.

 

This could explain why it happened to both discs at the same times.

 

As it has happened twice, suggests a regular driving/braking style such as I described above, exacerbated by it being a heavy car.

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My Volvo T5 will turn a cheap disc into a Pringle in about 1000 miles. When you do come to replace them fit either OEM or Brembo/EBC. It's made worse in automatic cars as we often then hold the car on the brakes after long braking runs meaning that they don't cool evenly.

 

Good luck getting it sorted.

My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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  • 2 months later...

I bought a brand new Fiat Punto, and within a short space of time the discs warped. I am a fully ( highly ) qualified motor vehicle engineer myself. I took the car back to the dealer and they changed them under warranty. After another equally short space of time they warped again. I replaced them myself this time - with aftermarket brake discs. I've had no issues since. There are plenty of aftermarket car parts out there, some good, some bad. It depends on what parts supplier Halfords are using, and where that supplier is getting it's parts from.

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I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I think it shares the same platform as the 300C. I had the rotors and pads changed on mine at about 75000 miles. The correct pads need to be fitted as budget pads will warp the rotors again. I must admit that £200 for both seems a bit cheap as I am sure that I paid a lot more than that and I am now on 100k with no issues and I tow a caravan.

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Some cheaper discs (why do people insist on calling them rotors; do we always have to end up going American?) especially those from China are not heat treated and have to be handled carefully when new so as not to overheat them while bedding in. There are procedures for doing this which can be found on the internet so I won't reproduce all that here. Better quality discs won't need this bedding-in time as they are already heat treated but are more expensive as a result.

 

Do you know what brand of discs Halfords used?

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