Who has What Car? helped this month?

Readers contact our helpdesk every day with questions and appeals for help with car-related problems. Here are their latest stories...

Julie and BMW 1 Series
Julie and BMW 1 Series

BMW dealer refuses rejection of faulty car

I bought a 2018 BMW 1 Series with 2200 miles on the clock for £22,000 on 31 August. This was the third car I’d purchased from BMW dealer Marshall of Bournemouth; indeed, I’ve spent more than £80,000 there in the past five years. 

To my horror, after just five days and 93 miles, my new car broke down. It shuddered, misfired and then lost all power. The oil warning light came on and the onboard computer stated there was a problem with the drivetrain. The car broke down in a dangerous place, but I managed to limp it to a safer position before making a long walk back to a friend’s house. 

The following day, I had to collect my sister from the railway station 15 miles from my home. It took many hours on the phone and some expense to arrange a hire car for this purpose. 

On 6 September, my car was recovered to Marshall’s service and repair shop. The following day, a service agent called to say they had driven it for 60 miles but couldn’t find any faults, so I could collect the car. Since then, the car has continued to have sporadic electrical problems, causing me to lose all confidence in it. 

Reliability and safety are of paramount importance to me. This is why I buy new or almost new vehicles. I am alone in my car on most journeys, so I want to feel safe. 

I believe I have the right to reject the car in the first 30 days and get a full refund, so I informed Marshall of this decision in writing. However, I was told I couldn’t have a refund because nothing was wrong with the car – an assertation that I believe is wrong.

As a gesture of goodwill, the dealership has offered to exchange my 1 Series for another car. However, it only has one car in stock and accepting this would mean a financial loss for me, because the dealership has refused to refund me the price difference. 

I believe I have been treated in an appalling manner by Marshall and would be grateful for your assistance in the matter. 

Julie Clifford

What Car? says…

We told Julie that she was correct about her right to reject a car within the first 30 days if it’s faulty or not fit for purpose and receive a full refund. This is set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. 

The fact that her 1 Series suffered a problem that has not been remedied makes it of unsatisfactory quality, and the fact that it appears likely to break down again, possibly leaving Julie stranded on the road alone at night, makes it unfit for purpose. 

We advised her to go back to the dealership and reiterate this, which she did. However, she contacted us later the same day to say that Marshall had maintained that she was wrong about her consumer rights and could
not reject the car. 

We then contacted BMW’s UK head office to ask it to intervene, which it duly did. The following day, Julie received a call from Marshall to say it would fully reimburse her for the car.

Audi Q2 interior

Audi’s bizarrely broken button

My wife bought a new Audi Q2 in February last year. Twelve months later, the button on the steering wheel that toggles between the radio and CD player started intermittently not working.

Since then, the car has been to our Audi dealer four times, for a total of eight days, to resolve the issue. The related software has been reloaded, but that didn’t fix it. It seems the button is correctly set up but the system has a memory problem.

Last time the car was at the dealership, the assistant service manager recorded a video of the issue and sent it to Audi. I’ve also sent several emails to Audi.

While it’s a minor fault, it’s frustrating, because there is no logic as to when the button will work. Have you heard of other cars with the same problem? And what can I do to get a satisfactory conclusion?

John Affleck

What Car? says…

We are aware of the issue, having seen it reported by some Q2 owners in our 2018 Reliability Survey. 

Since receiving your email, we’ve contacted Audi to see if it’s likely to come up with a solution soon. We received the following response: “Audi is aware of this software issue and is working on a solution. We apologise for any inconvenience while this work is ongoing.”  

Although it’s good to hear that Audi is trying to find a fix, unfortunately it can take time to come up with workable solutions for issues like this, so for now all you can do is wait.

If the car is on a lease or PCP finance deal that ends before a solution is found, make sure that no value is deducted from the car due to the fault.

New Volkswagen e-Golf vs BMW i3

Costs for petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric cars

I'm thinking of buying a Volkswagen Golf and wonder what are the differences be in cost per mile and day-to-day realities between the GTE (plug-in hybrid), e-Golf (electric), 1.5 TSI (petrol) and 2.0 TDI (diesel) versions of the Volkswagen Golf? Much of my driving involves 100-mile-plus trips on motorways and dual carriageways. 

Casper Gorniok

What Car? says…

This is becoming a common question, so we’ve examined the cost of ownership of a range of petrol, diesel, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars at whatcar.com. 

The petrol Golf would be the cheapest to own for three years, but there’s not much in it; the e-Golf would cost just £621 more. Provided you’ll have enough juice to get to work and back or can charge there, it’s an appealing option. In fact, if you can charge at work for free or on a cheaper tariff at home, it could cost the least overall. 

Your high mileage and large proportion of motorway driving make the plug-in hybrid the priciest, because it won’t manage more than 30 miles before its batteries are flat, and then you just have an overweight petrol Golf. That’s why the GTE got just 34.1mpg in our True MPG test.


List price Target price Depreciation Ins Servicing Car tax Fuel  Total

Golf 1.5 TSI GT

£24,200 £21,979 £11,815 £1305 £451 £445 £5454 £19,431


£28,230 £28,230 £16,091 £2157 £511 £0 £1293 £20,052

Golf 2.0 TDI GT

£25,500 £23,159 £13,469 £1740 £455 £485 £5539 £21,688

Golf GTE*

£30,100 £30,100 £16,555 £2157 £706 £260 £3567 £23,245

* Orders for new Golf GTEs were indefinitely suspended in January 2018 due to production bottlenecks

Ford Mondeo

What’s holding up delivery of my new Ford?

I ordered a new Ford Mondeo 1.5 Ecoboost Titanium auto from my local Ford dealer in Leicester in mid-May, with a predicted delivery date of late July or early August.

I waited until July and was then told the car wouldn’t arrive until late September at the earliest. The dealer said this is because the Mondeo needs engine work done to comply with EU emissions regulations.

I have searched the internet but haven’t found anything relating to the engine and emissions issues. Has What Car? heard of any delays in production of this model?

Barry Spencer

What Car? says…

We have heard about production delays on a number of models from a variety of manufacturers. This is nothing to do with any problems concerning the engines, but because EU law dictates that all new cars registered from 1 September 2018 must have been efficiency tested under the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which has been designed to make official figures more realistic. 

On average, cars will be officially rated as around 22% less efficient than previously, because the old NEDC system almost invariably yielded highly optimistic results.

If you need a new car soon, it’s worth asking the dealer what used or nearly new cars they have in stock. Many dealers will have been forced to pre-register a number of cars before the WLTP deadline, and they will be keen to sell these, so you should be able to get a good discount. 

The dealer called Barry again in August to tell him that his new car was still delayed, possibly now until late November. The dealer offered Barry a manual Mondeo model from stock, which he took up.

He told us he was disappointed that he hadn’t been able to get any information on the delays from Ford’s customer service department, but also that the dealership had been fantastic throughout.

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