We want to reject our leaky Peugeot 308

After discovering their new Peugeot 308 had a hole in the roof that let the rain flood the boot, a couple ask it they have the right to reject it...

Who has What Car? helped this month?

We took delivery of a new Peugeot 308 GT Line from Wilsons of Epsom on a sunny, dry day in June 2017. After leaving the car exposed to the British weather in a Gatwick Airport car park while we were on holiday a month later, we discovered that its boot was wet.

We took the car to our local Peugeot dealer, Hughes of Beaconsfield, which replaced a faulty rubber grommet. However, the problem persisted, so we took the car back and were told that there was faulty welding on a roof seam. The proposed solution is to weld and respray a large section of the car. We believe that doing so much on a new car that has done just 1200 miles is wholly unacceptable, so we tried to reject the car.

Peugeot 308 leaky roof

However, Peugeot Customer Care has stated that it will not accept the rejection because the claim is outside the 30-day period for automatic acceptance. We feel we’re being penalised because of the good June weather.

Our experience of customer care from Peugeot has been extremely poor. We’ve found it close to impossible to speak to anyone with the authority to say anything aside from carefully scripted responses.

When we reached a stalemate with Customer Care, we wrote to Peugeot UK’s CEO. We received a disappointing response from his senior customer care manager stating: “As the manufacturer, we reserve the right to repair the vehicle.” It went on to explain that Peugeot expects the repair work to fix the problem, so it can’t support our rejection.

Peugeot 308 leaky roof

We understand that after 30 days the dealer should be given one attempt to repair the fault. We gave them the chance to do this, but their repair didn’t work.

We no longer have confidence in the car and want to reject it because it’s not of satisfactory quality. We’re very disappointed that Peugeot won’t agree and admit that it’s morally obliged to accept our case. It should stop hiding behind the Consumer Rights Act.

Jeff and Jane Roberts

What Car? says…

We agree that Jeff and Jane have the right to reject their 308, so we contacted Peugeot on their behalf to ask the company to reconsider.

We received the following response: “We’re sorry to hear Mr and Mrs Roberts have had an issue with their vehicle. We appreciate that this can be frustrating and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“Due to the circumstances surrounding this case and given that Mr Roberts has been a loyal customer of Peugeot for many years, we’ve agreed to support his dealer to accept rejection.

“Mr Roberts is considering the purchase of an additional car from us, and we have also offered a gesture of goodwill to help him achieve this.”

When Jeff heard about Peugeot’s change of heart, he said: “I’m glad Peugeot has finally exercised the discretion it should have done some considerable time ago. We’ve been car-less for more than five months at no small inconvenience while the situation was being resolved, including having to wait for the manufacture of the replacement car.”

The new car arrived in June 2018, a year after the Roberts' took delivery of the original model. It’s a like-for-like model with two additions: heated leather seats, courtesy of Peugeot, and a five-year service plan from Wilsons of Epsom.

Upon receiving the car, Jeff said: “We’re very happy with it and with the support from Hughes of Beaconsfield and Wilsons of Epsom. Wilsons’ aftersales director was outstanding; his determination not to resell the faulty car to a Wilsons customer was commendable.

“In my opinion, Peugeot Customer Care needs to more readily support customers and dealerships in finding solutions to unfortunate circumstances.”

Best family cars for reliability and the ones to avoid

Family cars have to cope with the stresses and strains of the school run and endless trips to get children to sports and activities on time. As well as a robust interior and a sizeable boot, they need to be reliable; being stranded by the roadside with budding David Beckhams who really don't want to miss their next match is something no parent would wish for.

That's where our Reliability Survey comes in. We asked more than 18,000 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered in the previous 12 months, how long each problem had rendered the car undriveable and how much they'd had to pay to get it fixed.

The car models that had the fewest problems and were cheapest to fix gained the top ratings in the study, while those that spent days on end in the garage and landed their owners with hefty repair bills gained the lowest scores. The cars in this round-up are all aged between one and four years old.

Here's our run-down of the top 10 most reliable family cars - and three least dependable models.

Tell us about your car in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey and you could win a £250 Amazon voucher

The most reliable family cars

10. Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid

Score 95.3%

Nearly 20% of Rapids and Rapid Spacebacks had a fault, with the engine and engine electrics the most common area of concern. There were also some reports of problems with the bodywork, sat-nav, other non-engine electrical systems, the gearbox/clutch and the steering. All cars remained driveable and, although some were off the road for more than a week, all were fixed for free under warranty. 

Read the full Skoda Rapid review, and see the latest deals and leasing offers 

9. Skoda Octavia (petrol) 

Skoda Octavia

Score 95.5%

Owners of petrol-engined Octavias reported slightly more problems than diesel owners (12% compared with 10%). The biggest area of concern was the gearbox/clutch, followed by the air-con and interior trim. All cars could still be driven and only a small percentage lingered in the garage for more than a week. Some owners paid bills of up to £50. 

Read the full Skoda Octavia review, and see the latest deals and leasing offers 

8. Ford Focus (petrol) 

Ford Focus ST 2019 LHD launch car front cornering shot

Score 95.7%

Petrol-engined Focus models suffered fewer faults than their diesel counterparts; 13% of petrol car owners reported a fault; compared with 17% of diesel owners. Bodywork was the most common problem area, followed by the engine, gearbox/clutch and interior trim. Virtually all cars were back on the road the same day, though, and all were fixed for free under warranty. 

Read the full Ford Focus review, and see the latest deals and leasing offers 

Next: more of the most reliable family cars >

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