Steve and Jill Aspery chose the Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi 4x4 SRi Nav for its power, towing capacity and comfort. When an ex-demonstrator with 10,000 miles on the clock came on to the market at Marshall Vauxhall in Peterborough, they decided to buy it.
Their troubles began just 1000 miles later. While on holiday with their Insignia, they couldn’t believe how sluggish it felt; they were also surprised that the gears kept crunching.
A visit to the local dealer in Rugby resulted in the gearbox, flywheel, transfer box and drive shaft being replaced.
Two months later, the Insignia went in for its first service and the clutch and thrust bearings also had to be replaced.
Unhappy, Steve called Vauxhall Customer Services, who advised that the Insignia should go back to Marshall Vauxhall so they could fix it or offer a refund. Back the car went, only for the flywheel to be replaced again.
Unfortunately, after another couple of months the symptoms had returned, so the Insignia went to Vauxhall’s inspection centre in Luton to be looked over – in addition to having its third flywheel and second transmission fitted.
Again, the problems resurfaced, and again the flywheel was confirmed as damaged, yet no one could say what was causing the problem.
After 1600 miles, the fourth flywheel failed. A fifth flywheel was then fitted, together with a completely new engine, in the hope this would resolve it. However, just 344 miles later, the problems returned. In quick succession a sixth, then seventh flywheel needed to be fitted. Vauxhall then suggested that the Asperys get an independent inspection – which they would have to pay for out of their own pocket – to see what was causing the problem.
Enough was enough. Steve got in touch with Helpdesk. He told us, ‘I’m at my wits’ end with this ongoing nightmare. The Insignia has covered less than 25,000 miles and has had seven new flywheels and been off the road for over seven months.’
A conversation with the technical services manager for Schaeffler, a flywheel manufacturer who supplies parts to Vauxhall, confirmed that there was ‘something major wrong’. He told us that ‘a flywheel on a well-maintained vehicle should last in excess of 100,000 miles.’ We asked him what the Asperys could be doing to cause this issue. ‘Doughnuts and trackdays,’ he said.
Steve assured us that he had done neither. The caravan he’d been towing occasionally was well within the Insignia’s capabilities, too.
We got in touch with Vauxhall, which was keen to find out what was causing the wear. It agreed to inspect and repair the Insignia to a standard the Asperys were happy with before having DEKRA, an independent inspection company, check that the car is running optimally before it is handed back.
What if this happens to you?
- Document every trip to the dealership and ask to see faulty parts when they are removed.
- If the dealer can’t solve it, get an independent inspection company to diagnose the fault.
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