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I think this needs a good face-saving exercise all-round. They have now picked on an item they had not picked before, and in truth, they are partly correct. But it is still a design-fault that makes the body-part susceptible to damage that is difficult to notice. Other criticisms, discussed throughout this thread, remain valid.
VSB engineers often participate in the investigation of safety defects and the inspections of the actual or types of vehicles involved. [Aaron >> good to know but... (read the next point)?] That's what they are paid to do n'est-ce-pas?
VOSA has only received two official reports of Clio bonnet release - one of which was repaired before it could be inspected. The other was yours, which the manufacturer comprehensively inspected on 12 April 2006 and consequently we saw no reason to re-inspect the vehicle. [Aaron >> Okay lets put this into context, I know more than 2 cases have been filed to VOSA VSB - only two have subsequently involved a technical report!???? What about the other cases filed to them - no evidence collated - of course VSB can't make a stand without evidence - isn't this plain incompetent?]Soooo... Renault are accused of creating a problem... a complaint is made to the national watchdog VOSA/VSB who are asked to inspect the vehicle... VOSA/VSB replies that because the accused has inspected the vehicle and said there is nothing wrong, they are prepared to accept their word for it. but we did randomly inspect three unprepared circa 1998/99 Clio vehicles which were in for service, mechanical repair or part exchange at a local dealership. No design or construction deficiencise were found. [Aaron >> Again, in context there have been 2 technical reports reviewed, and 3 cars - what on earth is this?????]
Additional, Renault, having conducted many inspections - and more following the most recent BBC Watchdog programme - still maintain, following extensive tests of the bonnet catches and their inspections of vehicles where the bonnet became unlatched, that there is no evidence of a design or construction defect. They assert that the most likely causes are either that the bonnet may not have been closed as prescribed in the handbook, or there was previous damage to the body and catches, or the catches were partially seized and not maintained. [Aaron >> In my case I know my bonnet was closed properly (else it would have released far earlier in the journey and not after 4 weeks! Damange to the body / catches - well Renault indicated that this was no the case (although the bonnet was damage post-incident (obvious, reasons!), so the only thing left is "maintenance"....the irony is that Renault choose the first one in my case - not closing the bonnet properly - dunno why though!? Esp, since I know this was an untrue scenario! I have confirmation that actually the last one is in question - as the mechanism was found to be "stiff" - when the Renault dealership inspected the bonnet catches post-incident!]They are being very clever here by saying that there may have been previous damage TO THE BODY AND CATCHES. They are now getting to my assessment of the fault but not quite there yet. I would go to court and prove that it is foreseeable that minor damage to a body part will result in this type of incident at which point they would be facing "Tort Law" and punitive damages. The damage they are talking about can actually result from the "prescribed" method of closing the bonnet by dropping it.
In the matter of the Renault Technical report completed on you vehicle - and for the matter any such report - this could only be released with the permission of the manufacturer or, if ordered to do so by a Court. VSB did request the manufacturer to authorise release of your report but this was refused. Stuart Jenkins informed you of this by e-mail on 25 May 2006. Should you wish to pursue this you should contact Renault direct.
[Aaron >> What can one add to this??]This would not be the case if VOSA had conducted their own investigations. Were they notified in time?
Currently, we understand, from the evidence that they have obtained Renault's position has not changed. Who the heck taught this author how to punctuate? I had to read it three times to understand what he is trying to say.
What more can one say? Your views?
Currently in vass20's garage:
Citroen Relay 2.2 HDi + Citroen C4 1.6 HDi EGS
Last edited by vass20; 12th February 2007 at 11:19 AM.