Helpdesk: October - Binding brakes
Name David Wood
Car Hyundai i20
Problem Brakes binding
The faster you act if your new car has a problem, the better your chance of having that problem resolved. Fortunately, David Wood moved quickly when his Hyundai i20 wouldn’t.
David bought his car from Lincoln Hyundai. ‘It never worked properly, with the brakes sticking on journeys of more than 10 miles or so,’ David told Helpdesk. He twice took the car back to the dealer, but the sticking brakes wouldn’t go away.
Less than two weeks after buying his new car, David decided it wasn’t safe to drive and left it with the dealer. Lincoln Hyundai told David it was waiting on a replacement part from Korea that was unlikely to arrive for nearly a month.
Angry that he had bought a new car with faulty brakes, David wrote to the dealer and Hyundai customer services asking for a replacement or a full refund.
David also wrote to Helpdesk asking for our advice. We told him that because less than a month had passed since he had bought the i20, rejecting the car was still an option. Although not rigidly defined in law, rejection must usually take place within four weeks or so. However, Helpdesk has found that manufacturers and dealers prefer to find a way to keep a customer rather than refunding their money and parting ways.
We wrote to Hyundai, asking the company to respond to David’s concerns and if any other owners had reported a similar fault.
While we waited for an answer, the dealer told David the brake component it had been waiting for had arrived and his car was fixed. However, just one day after collecting the car the sticking brakes returned.
We updated Hyundai. A few days later we heard back: ‘We are now aware that Mr Wood has given us reasonable opportunity to effect a final repair, and as a result we have made the decision to acknowledge the customer’s concerns and we will be contacting Mr Wood to discuss the options with him regarding changing his vehicle.’ Hyundai told us the sticking brakes had been caused by incorrect fitting of a component rather than faulty design, and that it was not aware of other owners with the same problem.
The next day David spoke to Hyundai and was offered a replacement new car.
If this happens to you
1 If you want to reject a faulty car, do so in writing within a month
2 Contact both the dealer and manufacturer. If the car is on finance, write to the lender, too.
3 Remain polite and take legal action only as a last resort.
Featured in this story