When Owen Roberts’ new Mazda CX-5 started to jump out of gear, he took it back to his dealer, Rockingham Cars of Corby. The SUV was well within warranty so Owen wasn’t worried about repair bills.
The first check, however, revealed nothing untoward. Neither did a further three workshop visits over the next 11 months. His dealer was sympathetic to Owen’s predicament, but couldn’t replicate the fault, never mind find the reason behind it. They tried everything, from checking fault codes to draining the gearbox oil and examining it for anything strange.
Understanding Owen’s frustration, but unable to do anything more, the dealer carried out the car’s first service free of charge, and called Mazda UK for help.
Unfortunately, though, while the gearbox’s erratic behaviour had become painfully obvious to Owen, Mazda UK’s senior technician could not reproduce the problem, either – despite taking the car for a 30-mile test.
The technician’s verdict was that the car should remain in service, and that unless a fault could be proven, neither Mazda UK nor the dealer would be prepared to invest any more time investigating.
Back on the road, the intermittent bouncing out of gear persisted, so Owen got in touch with Helpdesk, and we advised him to take video footage of the erratic gearlever and make a note of what speeds and in what gears the problem struck. If he could provide evidence of it happening, we’d be able to help him make his case.
Owen invested £300 in a special camera used mainly to prove ‘crash-for-cash’ insurance scams. The Mi-Witness HD device can be configured to film the gearlever from above and the road ahead, while simultaneously recording speed.
Camera installed, it didn’t take long to catch the gear-jumping in action, and once Owen had it on record, we called Mazda UK, which prioritised Owen’s case and arranged for his car to be booked back into the workshop for a full strip-down investigation – at no cost to him. Rockingham Cars and Mazda UK have pledged to resolve the problem or provide Owen with a new car.
After a full investigation, Mazda UK and Rockingham Cars have offered to provide Owen with a brand-new CX-5 and to pay Owen for the camera and its installation. The two companies will be footing the majority of the cost of the change, with Owen also making a contribution. He has decided to have the camera fitted to his new car as well.
What if this happens to you?
In the first six months of ownership it is up to the retailer to prove a fault doesn’t exist. After that, it’s your responsibility.
If the dealer can’t replicate the fault you describe, ask for the car to be taken on a test drive, with you present.
If possible, make an audio or video recording with a smartphone to prove the problem exists
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