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Errors with used electric VW from Big Motoring World Peterborough bought 3rd February 2024

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we bought a used VW ID3 from Big Motoring World, Peterborough on the 3rd February. Registered December 2020 so just out of VW warranty. 

Were given a three month Big Motoring World Warranty that only covers £500

We took it for a 5 minute test drive and everything seemed fine.

We were offered a rubbish price for our VW Golf, but as we had driven two hours from Great Yarmouth, and needed to change the car before its next MOT in March, we agreed a deal in which they 'threw in' a fancy paintwork protection supposedly worth £700.

We paid for the car by debit card £18600 after deduction of a £99 reservation fee and including a £300? admin fee. This figure included £1500 which they gave us for our VW Golf (although I've just noticed it says £2500 on the order form and doesn't even mentioned the paint guard.)

After they'd taken the money they showed us through to a handover area where we were then told it had an outstanding recall on it. I had called them the day before we went to check if the car had any recalls and was told it had not.

I called our local VW dealer on the 5th February 2024 to book it in for the recall to be actioned on 13th February 2024 to be told it actually has three outstanding - not one, and that they would all be looked at.

Meanwhile, 5 days after purchase on the 9th February 2024 some errors appeared on the display saying

  • 'Electronic Engine Sound Module error' and
  • further displays of 'right turn indicator error,
  • 'left turn indicator error',
  • 'dynamic cornering light' error,
  • no dipped headlights available
  • plus we couldn't get the lights to switch off and had to leave them on all night.

The next day we emailed BMW to highlight this issue and mentioned we were considering returning the car for a full refund under our consumer rights. 

They took 3 days to respond and on the 16th February replied saying they would look into it and get back to us within 5 working days.

On the 21st February they emailed my husband who is the owner of the car (I am a named driver) requesting authorisation to deal with myself if need be , which he replied to giving me authorisation if required.

He also stated that the Engine Sound Module being defective is a safety concern because it is now law for electric cars to make a sound when travelling below 12mph, and that if the indicators and lights are not functioning correctly it is also a safety risk. While investigating the recalls our VW garage also quoted for repairs to the Engine Sound Module coming in at £1200 approx.

He asked for BMW to accept a repair quotation from VW and to pay for the full cost of getting the error rectified at our local VW dealership. If they were not prepared to pay for the repairs we wanted a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Big Motoring World replied 22nd February and asked for a report of the outstanding recalls, claiming ignorance of them due to the government website not being up to date. They also said with regards to us getting a local VW garage to fix the errors 'we would not look to assist with these costs from a local garage and therefore request for the vehicle to return to one of our Big Assist Service Centres. In line with the Terms and Conditions of the warranty we have the right to examine/inspect the vehicle which is why we require the vehicle to return to our Centre'. 

They also went on to say that within 6 months of purchase they have a right to repair the car at one of their service centres who will diagnose it and rectify the error. And they adhere to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015 ... without there being a genuine, confirmed fault, they would be unable to accept our request for refund. They also asked for the report from VW detailing the faults and findings,  but this would cost us £240.

We have taken photo evidence of the errors being displayed and video evidence with the error on the screen, getting out of the car and recording the number plate to link the video to the car.

They confirmed they've booked our car into the closest Big Motoring World service centre at Fengate in Peterborough 16th April 2024! This is a 2.5 hour round trip for us with a one and half month wait for something that is a safety concern! And they cannot provide a courtesy vehicle so my husband would have no car to get to work in.

We emailed our reply to this on the same day questioning how they would be able to diagnose something that is specific to the VW ID3 and would need specialist VW diagnostic equipment in order to do so, and also highlighting the fact that its a 2.5 hour journey for us. We asked - again - if they would authorise our local VW dealership to diagnose and fix the fault, and BMW would pay for it. We are awaiting their response.

However - on the 24th February 2024 another error appeared on the screen with an amber warning light - Electronic Drive Not Working Correctly - take to nearest VW Service Centre.

My husband therefore emailed them immediately again with details of this new error and demanding they collect the car and refund us in full for it having only bought it on the 3rd February and incurring so many faults with it.
At Again we took photographic evidence of the fault on the dash, and the number plate.

We told them they cannot insist on their company diagnosing the errors, and have rejected their appointment of the 16th April 2024 at their Fengate service centre due to it not being within a timely manner, along with the distance we would have to travel.

We have offered them the option to allow our local VW service centre to diagnose it and repair it at BMW's expense as an alternative outcome to this matter, and asked for a manager to phone us today (26th February) and put anything agreed by phone into writing as confirmation.

We would like to know:

Is it their responsibility to collect the car if we decide to reject it?

Can they deduct mileage for the amount of miles we have used the car for as its within 30 days of purchase? We've done 850 miles in it and 110 was the drive back to our home after purchasing it. Some websites say then can and others say they can't within the 30 day rule.

Can they insist on inspecting and diagnosing the errors if we have provided photographic evidence of the errors?

Should we literally just drive it back to Peterborough and leave it there seeing as the 30 day period ends after this weekend or does the fact we have stated our intentions within 30 days buy us more time?

I think, at this point, we would like to return the car and start to look for a different one due to the number of problems we are having with this particular vehicle.

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Please monitor this thread for a reply later on today.

However it would be helpful if you would space your posts out more because a solid block of text is very difficult to read especially on a small screen such as a telephone

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Hi Yoda_Ferrari.

Welcome to CAG.

Typical BMW again. 

You state that you paid for car by Debit Card.

Were the claims regarding the Paint Protection and Warranty made in writing?

You should be looking to write a letter immediately asserting your right to reject the vehicle within 30 days and demanding a full refund. Even should you decide later you want to keep the car, you should do this now and get the ball rolling.

Get reading up on various other BMW threads. There are loads as of late. That should give you an idea on the process that is going to take place. I'm sure my colleague @BankFodder will be able to advise you further on any queries.

We could do with some help from you.



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Sorry, I didn't consider people trying to read my lengthy report on a mobile! 

We have a 'Customer Checklist' which my husband signed whereby the tick box for the three month warranty is ticked as 'taken' and the Gard X £700 is ticked as 'taken'.

Gard X is the paint protection. We opted to take this as it made the deal they were offering slightly better seeing as they were not going to budge on the trade in value they had given for our car.

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Firstly, in response to your questions:

If you are rejecting the vehicle for defects then it is certainly the responsibility to cover all of the expenses incurred in returning the car to them and frankly they should be responsible for the collection.
The consumer rights act does not refer to this and so we have to resort to the common law of contract in respect of which, the seller will be responsible for all of the losses/expenses incurred as a direct result of their breach of contract.

In terms of recovering a rate per mile for the use of the vehicle which you have had in the first 30 days – the wisdom seems to be that no they can't. After 30 days it's a different matter.
However, once again the consumer rights act is silent on this but the motoring ombudsman seems to say that they are not entitled to recover anything for the usage of the vehicle during the first 30 days if it has been rejected for defects during that period.

Once again the consumer rights act is silent. However, it will be prudent for you to provide your own inspection. If you haven't understood yet, Big Motoring World is a car dealership which is self-serving in its interests and is not customer facing and is turning out in respect of customers who buy defective vehicles, to be pretty untrustworthy and very defensive.
I have no doubt that lots of customers by vehicles very successfully and are happy but what we are seeing here and also on the Facebook complaints page is that when things go wrong – Big Motoring World are totally unsupportive.

You could try to back if you want – but referring to the above point, you should get your own independent inspection from a reputable source. A VW specialist dealer.
The information we have is that if you simply return it to BMW, they may carry out some kind of inspection and they may then report back to you that there was no such fault or else they will say that they have discovered a fault but they repaired it and that you are not obliged to take the car back.

It would not be a good idea to take this vehicle back. You absolutely need to get rid of it and give your business a some other company which is apparently more reliable – although you need to do some solid research.
To add to this – and I suppose you won't be happy with this criticism – I never understand anybody who buys a vehicle a hundred miles away or so.
It is asking for trouble. So many people do this and a lot of them come a cropper simply because of the mileages involved in returning the car even for a minor repair.
Here is a video for you to watch. It may be too late for you but others will visit this thread – hopefully before they buy their vehicles – and they will learn something about how to survive the trauma of a used car purchase.

also, make sure that you have read and understood our used car guide.
You won't really enjoy what you read, very much that you can consider that they are lessons for the future – and of course anybody else who visits this thread should benefit from your unfortunate experience.

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To turn out to the action that you should take.

You should not stand for any nonsense. You should decide absolutely that you are going to return the car.

Of course you made a big mistake by paying for it by debit card. Although slightly better than paying by cash or paying by bank transfer.

Is the vehicle currently stored off-road?

The first thing you must do is you must get an independent report.

You must write to big motoring world immediately. You still are within your 30 days.

Write a letter of rejection. Tell them that you are rejecting the vehicle for a full refund. It is defective. Give them a list of the defects which have occurred so far and explain to BMW that as they apparently refuse to accept your own account of the defects on the vehicle even though they are supported by photographic evidence, you are now booking in for an independent inspection by an authorised VW dealer.
This inspection will cost £XXX and you will be seeking to recover that sum from them when the vehicle is returned.

Tell them that your decision to reject the vehicle's absolute. You're not interested in any repair offers. You have read sufficiently about them on the Internet to understand that they are not to be trusted.

Tell them that as soon as you have had the independent inspection which you fully expect will confirm the faults, you provide them with a copy of the report together with a bill for the inspection and if they will not make immediate arrangements to recover the vehicle, to refund you the cost of the vehicle and the cost of the inspection – together with any other expenses reasonably incurred [list out any expenses such as insurance, road fund tax – et cetera et cetera], then you will start an action against them and without any further notice.

Tell them that you are currently storing the vehicle off-road and unless they make immediate arrangements to collect it at their expense will also start adding a daily storage charge of £10 per day and this will be added to the court claim which you will be making against them.

If you're happy with this approach then book the inspection immediately. Come back here when you have a date for it and we will then complete this draft letter and send it to them and the draft letter will also contain a deadline after which you will begin a legal action.

Let me tell you now that if you aren't prepared to go this route, then you may as well give up because we are all wasting your time and you better accept the slap and be more careful in future.
I see that you are griping a bit about £240 cost of an independent report. As I have said, you will in all likelihood recover this although it will take a court action. However, I'm afraid that this is the kind of thing that you will have to accept when you buy a vehicle without first researching the dealer and also you buy it at a considerable distance from your own home.

Although you are well within the 30 days, today we are pretty well at the end of 26 February. I suggest you get a move on

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Thank you for your advice. I did take a look at the reviews on their website, which were mostly glowing reports of satisfied customers, as I'm normally suspicious of anything and everything. I didn't think to just 'Google' the company as it would have thrown back many reports of their bad service. The car we bought is difficult to find in that model hence the distance but we will never do that again. We haven't driven it since Saturday, when the latest error was reported.Its stored on our drive.

They called us today in response to our request for a phone call and have taken our request to reject the car. We have received an email from them confirming this along with another asking for photographic evidence of the mileage as at today which we have supplied. We will now put this into writing and post it to them by Special Delivery along with the points you have included.

We have a VW diagnostic inspection booked for this Thursday 29th Feb but BMW may reply to us before then with their refusal to accept our rejection without certain terms being met - we are bracing ourselves. I will post any further updates as soon as I hear.

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Okay in that case – in order to hurry it along, if you have a diagnostic inspection book for the 29th then I suggest that you send a letter before action on Wednesday.

Tell them that you confirm your rejection. It is absolute and you will not accept any offer to repair. You have booked an independent inspection at a VW authorised garage on the 29th.
If the inspection confirms that the defects exist then you require BMW to make immediate arrangements to refund your money and to collect the vehicle and also to refund you any of your out-of-pocket expenses – list them – including reimbursement of the inspection.

Tell them that if they fail in any of this that you will issue proceedings in the County Court and without any further notice on March 13.

I think that is day 15 – you do the calculation.

Only send this letter if you intend to go ahead. Don't laugh because you will lose credibility and these people will be very quick to seize upon any weakness that you demonstrate.

Tell them also that you will be claiming interest at 8% per annum from the date of the rejection.

Make it clear to them that you will not be prepared to pay any rate per mile in respect of usage and that if they attempt to withhold any of your refund for any reason then you will proceed in the County Court for the remainder of that plus interest plus costs.

I suggest that you post the draft letter here so that we can check it.

If you think that you aren't prepared to do this – then don't bother.

Check the County Court fee scale for issuing the claim of this size – I think it is about 5% of the value of the claim. On the basis that you win – which you most likely will – you will recover this as well. Plus the hearing fee if it goes to that – which it probably won't


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Don't forget to add the storage fee which will begin seven days after you provide them with the inspection report. This will give them more than adequate time to arrange collection of vehicle and removal from your property.

By the way, you cannot drive the vehicle any more after the inspection. You must understand that

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I’m just wondering, as they asked us for a photo of the mileage and told us not to drive it anymore, how do we take it for a diagnostic inspection? Will we need to get it towed? 

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Very good point.

You have it in writing that they told you not to drive it?

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We have a positive update.

I was overjoyed to receive an email today from Big Motoring World accepting our rejection of the car and saying they will collect it and refund our money.

The agreement states we will have to pay £250 prior to collection which will be refunded as soon as they get the car back.

We have not needed to proceed with a diagnostic test, it seems our photos were enough proof of all the electrical failures.

It seems that remaining calm and providing plenty of evidence does work! 

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Well done. This is great news and thank you for letting us know.

I'm sure that they have lots of very satisfied customers but certainly the stories that we hear of the customers who do become their victims are extremely bad.
I have no idea why they want to levy £250 prior to collection. They are certainly not entitled to do this – but if it smooths the way then of course you should go ahead and do whatever is necessary.
Any problems – any glitches – and be sure to let us know.

Big Motoring World monitor the threads on this forum. Maybe they are simply acting responsibly or maybe they were aware of what was being advised here and they knew what was coming.
Anyway, please do update us as to the final result.

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