Jane Ruffell’s brand new Volvo V60 was her dream car, so she was super-sensitive to the hiccups in power that started two weeks after taking it home from Donalds Garage Ipswich in November 2012.
By the beginning of December, the Volvo was intermittently stalling, usually at the start of the day. Jane put it down to the cold mornings, but booked the car in for its three-month check early.
Her dealer installed a software update, and for a few weeks Jane enjoyed a smooth ride. Come February, the car was stalling again. Cue a second update.
Spring came and the problems returned. By May, the car had had two more software updates before going back to its old tricks. By July, Jane had difficulties generating enough power to pull out confidently from junctions.
It was now time for the car’s 12,500-mile service, and another software update, but the surging and lagging returned. In August, Jane called Volvo UK. It contacted her dealer, which updated her car's software and adjusted the diesel injectors.
A week later, she suspected the car was on the verge of stalling again, but Volvo assured her if this happened an engineer would be dispatched. After six failed fixes, Jane wasn’t convinced
and asked for a replacement car. She was told this would be considered if the stalling did indeed reoccur.
It did. Rejection was now the only option for Jane, and Volvo instructed her to take this up with the supplying dealer. Donalds Garage agreed that repeated software fixes weren’t a permanent solution, but Volvo wanted to determine the cause of the underlying fault.
Its engineer diagnosed a known software fault. Although a fix had been released in the spring, it had recently been discovered that part of the solution hadn’t been included. After yet another software update ‘the complaint is resolved,’ reported the engineer.
A replacement V60 was no longer an option, but Jane had tired of the software update saga. She got in touch with us.
A week later, her dealer offered to replace her Volvo with a higher-spec V60, with Volvo funding part of the difference.
‘I still have a bit to pay but the dealer is throwing in five years’ servicing and paint protection treatment,’ said Jane.
Volvo said: "We very much regret the experience Mrs Ruffell has had but are pleased that Donalds Garage was ultimately able to resolve the situation."
What if this happens to you?
- If a fault is fixable, give your dealer a reasonable chance to do this, but don't put up with repeated unsuccessful repairs.
- If verbal complaints are not successful, send your dealer and manufacturer an official letter detailing all failure and repair dates, and citing your rights under the Sale of Goods Act.
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 email@example.com with a few details and we'll be in touch.