What Car? Helpdesk - June 3: VW Polo has a leak

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Name Sarah Gordon
Age 26
Lives Marlow, Bucks
Job Teacher
Car Volkswagen Polo
Problem Water leak

Sarah Gordon’s VW Polo was serviced at an independent garage, three years to the day after it was first registered. The garage pointed out that water was getting in and ruining the carpets on the passenger side, and that the leak had been there for some time.

The next day, Sarah booked the car in to her local VW dealer, Citygate Volkswagen in Wycombe. Citygate charged £30 to inspect the car and told Sarah the repairs could cost £850.

We contacted VW on Sarah’s behalf and pointed out the car was only just outside the warranty period. However, a subsequent inspection, carried out for free by VW, found that two bolts were missing from the wing of the car, which was where the water was getting in.

• Keep an open mind as to the cause of a leak.
• Ask the manufacturer to consider a goodwill payment on a car just out of warranty.
Two years before, the front wing of the car had been repaired under Sarah’s insurance. It seemed likely this repair hadn’t been up to scratch.

Sarah contacted her insurance company, Churchill, which agreed to pay for the leak to be repaired provided it could see VW’s report. Churchill has been sent the report and the repair bill. Sarah’s Polo is now leak-free.

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Colour problems
Roy Broad placed an order for a new Toyota Auris under the scrappage scheme, but two days after placing the order he was told the car couldn’t be supplied in the colour of
his choice in time to qualify for the scrappage discount.

To have the car in the colour he wants will now cost more than expected. Is there anything Roy can do?

Unfortunately Roy can’t insist the original contract is honoured, but he can expect his deposit back in full. His best bet now may be to get a good discount through a broker and sell his old car privately.


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