Stephanie had read the reviews, taken the test drive and was thrilled to pick up her new Volkswagen Golf. After trading in her trusty VW Polo, she was looking forward to another reliable runabout.
If only. Over the next 12 months, the Golf suffered three breakdowns, and in August 2012 Stephanie found herself on the hard shoulder for a fourth time. She called the RAC and was told by the attending engineer that the Golf was misfiring. A temporary connector was fitted and she was advised to drive back to her dealer for a full repair.
Stephanie arrived back at Peter Cooper Volkswagen in Southampton at around 5pm the same day, only to be turned away. Leaving the Golf at the dealership, Stephanie returned in the morning and the car was eventually examined and a new part fitted.
Almost as soon as she left the dealership, however, the misfiring started again. She put in another call to Peter Cooper, but before she could get the car seen it broke down.
It turned out that during a routine service carried out by a local independent garage, Best Autocentres, the Golf’s spark plugs had been changed. VW maintained that the plugs weren’t approved for the car and so it refused to work on the Golf. Worse, Stephanie was told the Golf’s warranty was now void
as a result of the situation.
Stephanie contacted Helpdesk. ‘I’m completely baffled about what to do next, because no one is taking responsibility,’ she said. Then, armed with our advice and renewed confidence, she went back
to Peter Cooper.
The dealer listened to what she had to say, reconsidered her claim and accepted that the new spark plugs were in fact compatible with her car. On further inspection, it was found that a transformer was to blame. Peter Cooper fixed Stephanie’s Golf free of charge and a week later she was back on the road, her misfiring fears finally over.
What if this happens to you?
- If an independent garage carries out work, insist that original parts or parts of matching quality are used and ask for all invoices.
- Keep a detailed log of every time your car has a problem.
- If your dealer tells you a replacement part has voided your warranty, ask for this in writing, with the part brand and number.
We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.
If you need our help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a few details and we'll be in touch.