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Clio Bonnet Catch Failures – Key Steps

If you are one of the unfortunate Renault Clio (Mark-2) drivers who have experienced an infamous sudden "bonnet-release" incident, here are a number of steps that we recommened you should undertake:

  1. Report the Incident to your Insurance Company
  2. Report the Incident to Renault UK
  3. Report the Incident to Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA)
  4. Obtain an Independent Inspection Report
  5. Report the Incident to BBC Watchdog
  6. Report the Incident to the Local Council Trading Standards
  7. Report the Incident to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
  8. Document Any Costs Incurred


1) Report the Incident to your Insurance Company:
  • There are two options to consider:
    • take forward the claim directly with the Insurance Company, or
    • advise them that you are intending to take the case forward directly with the Manufacturer (Renault UK).
  • Ask them if you could claim on the understanding that you are holding Renault UK Limited responsible for the damage but you need the car back on the road quicker than you can get the money out of Renault. Make sure that your insurance company will reset your premium if you get all the money back out of Renault and pay them back for the claim.
  • If you are undecided, advised the Insurance Company that you are considering your options, but wish to record the incident with them, they should be able to give you a case reference in any case. They might have to file a claim on the system, but you are within your rights to cancel this at a later date, with no impact to your Non-Claims. Obtain clarity on your Claim rights with the Insurance Company, and whether this option is available to you in this particular case.

2) Report the Incident to Renault UK
  • Report the case directly to Renault UK (not your dealership).
  • Telephone the Customer Services Department on Freephone 0800 072 33 72 Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 6pm. Please note not open at weekends or Public and Bank Holidays.
  • Advise them of the incident, with details outlining the following points:
    • when the bonnet was last opened.
    • the date/time.
    • whether any other motorists were involved in a RTA.
    • any injuries caused by the incident.
    • damage to the vehicle(s).
    • weather conditions.
    • whether any witnesses were present.
    • when the vehicle was last inspected / serviced by a Renault dealership.
    • you are aware of the discussions surrounding this issue, and know that Renault owe you a duty of care.
    • advise them that you would like an inspection on the car.
    • obtain the name of the Customer Service Manager that would be responsible for responding to your case.
    • obtain a Case Reference number.
  • Follow-up your initial telephone complaint with a Letter – outlining the case details you have just filed, so that a written audit trail exist with your case:
    Renault UK Ltd [add your Case Reference Number here]
    [add name of person here]
    Customer Services Management
    The Rivers Office Park
    Denham Way
    Maple Cross
    WD3 9YS
  • URL: Renault UK
  • E-mail:
  • Advise Renault that you consider that they are liable for the incident and you are requesting them to cover the repair costs and any lost of earnings (see separate point below).
  • Request that they (Renault UK) complete an inspection of your vehicle at no charge to you; ensure that you (and your Insurance Company representative) are present at this inspection.
3) Report the Incident to Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA)
  • Contact the Department of Transport Vehicle Operators and Services Agency (VOSA). They are responsible for looking into the potential safety defects on vehicles on the UK roads, and could recommend a recall to Renault.
  • Letter – always follow-up your initial complaint, so that an audit trail occurs with your case:
    Vehicle Safety Branch
    Berkeley House
    Croydon Street
    BS5 ODA
  • Tel: 0117 954 3300
  • Fax: 0117 954 3328
  • URL: VOSA corporate website
  • Email:
  • Request that a VOSA inspection and report is completed on your vehicle.

4) Obtain an Independent Inspection Report
  • Request that an independent report is completed on your vehicle, if you are claiming from your Insurance; this is something that is normally covered by your Insurance policy.
  • Your insurance company can also provide you a list of Insurance-certified inspectors that you can request this privately.
  • Ensure that you are present at any inspection completed on your vehicle.

5) Report the Incident to BBC Watchdog
  • BBC Watchdog has completed four on-going reports regarding this incident, first airing the incident on 25th April 2006, then a follow-up on 23rd January 2007, 6th March 2007, and more recently a Whistleblower claim on 28th March 2007.
  • Report your incident to BBC Watchdog
    BBC Watchdog
    Renault Bonnet Case
    201 Wood Lane
    W12 7TS
  • Tel: 020 8535 1000
  • URL: BBC - Consumer - TV and radio
  • E-mail:

6) Report the Incident to the Local Council Trading Standards
  • Look up your local Council’s Trading Standard Office @ Trading Standards Central - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection information for the UK
  • Report the incident to them, and ask them for any advice, or history of previous incidents in the region.
  • As it is now a Nationwide issue, they might simply advise you to contact VOSA, if so, advise them that you have already, but would still like the local Regional Trading Standard office to also look at it, to see whether they can take the matter up with the Local Dealership directly themselves.
  • Another useful site is Consumer Direct @ Consumer Direct which encompasses all of the Trading Standard offices in the UK – and provides general advice, tips and guidance to Consumers.

7) Report the Incident to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

8) Document Any Costs Incurred
  • Compile a log of any costs incurred due to not having the use of the vehicle in question.
  • Manage this in terms of:
    • Lost of Earnings
    • Public Transport Costs
    • Hire Car Costs
  • It is important to note that this is not a guarantee that you would be reimbursed by these costs, but if your case is successful, you could then make a claim, either to Renault UK or to your Insurance Company.


Aaron Brigatti
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