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post #234 of (permalink) Old 7th December 2006
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Apologies if you are sick of hearing about this complaint but I need a bit of help to decide how I am going to proceed on this issue of the faulty bonnet clip.

I spoke to Stuart Jenkins from VOSA today who informs me that VOSA have decided there is no fault in the Clio bonnet clip but rather a maintenance issue. I posed a number of questions to Mr Jenkins and was surprised by the response. I have no great knowledge of what should and shouldn***8217;t be on a car so if you can expand on the answers I would be very grateful.

I asked if it was acceptable that the bonnet clip should be rusted on a car that is less than three years old ***8211;
SJ replied that as I live in Scotland the salt on the road will have led to it
rusting, he explained that the clip is in a vulnerable position so this is why it happened so quick.

I now ask ***8211; I understand it has to be in a vulnerable position by nature of its purpose but if it rusts so easily does that mean that it is not fit for purpose? Should it not have some kind of coating on it to stop it rusting? Should it be metal in the first place if the other two options are not possible? Could they not have some sort of cover on it? Thus, does this not mean that it***8217;s a design fault and not a maintenance issue?

I then asked if the primary clip is so susceptible to rusting is in not important that the secondary clip is fully functional, if this clip is prone to
sticking then surely this is also not fit for the purpose?
SJ ***8211; This clip should be maintained by lubrication.

Mr Jenkins told me that my bonnet failed as I had not closed it properly (there has been no examination of my bonnet clip by anyone at VOSA). I strongly disagree with this theory as I always ensure my bonnet is closed properly, I drop it and listen for it clicking then look to see it is flush, I am certain there is no way I did not close the bonnet clip properly. I informed Mr Jenkins that I had not had the bonnet up for about two months and asked if it had not been engaged properly would it not have started to vibrate or move a little in that two months as I drive 60 miles a day on the motorway.
SJ ***8211; If it was not closed properly because of the rust on the clip it could have taken time for it to open completely.

Do any other cars have an alarm if the bonnet clip is not fully engaged? What is the function of the safety clip? Should the safety clip work if the primary clip is not fully engaged?

If this clip NEEDS to be maintained by lubrication is it not reasonable to ask that Clio owners be told about this? Should this be something that is in the manual? I believe it should be as the average Clio owner would not automatically know to do this. If it should be maintained surely we need some guidance on how often etc.

I suggested to Mr Jenkins that Renault should be issuing a letter to Clio owners advising them to maintain there bonnet clip or even to the garages to make them aware of this issue if they are not already. Mr Jenkins stated that there was no way Renault would do this.

If Renault are as big on safety as they make out then why not issue information to their customers? It is not asking them to make a recall but merely to potential prevent a fatal accident on a matter they failed to include in there manual.

At the moment I am not happy at my response from VOSA, if others who are more mechanically minded than myself agree that this is not an acceptable response I will go ahead with a complaint to VOSA. I intend to make a Freedom of Information request to them over the issue to find out how many cars they examined, how many complaints they have received and what they are recommending to Renault on the matter. In the mean time my lawyers are on the case so hopefully might get somewhere with Renault!
Currently in Meesh's garage:
2003 Renault Clio Billabong
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