Yeah there were a couple of reasons why I decided to "take on Renault UK".
1. I could have been killed!
2. The car (reg 53) was within the 3 year warranty.
3. I felt the issue was not of my making, and therefore felt it a maintenance, design or safety defect which should be addressed by the head-office.
4. My dealer was a franchise and therefore I felt that they would have no interest in the root-cause of the issue (and proof is they didn't!).
5. If I claimed through my insurance my non-claims would have been affected, lose my excess, premiums would notably increase and even if the insurance pursued the case on my behalf I might not get the results I expected!
After filing my case to Renault, it was rightly escalated to the Senior Customer Management Team (Alex Phelan
who then forwarded it off to Lisa Moxon
). (It was also escalated to Peter Tilbury (Lisa's boss) - a name which I believe I saw featured on previous postings too! This didn't make any difference in my particular quest to find the root-cause! (N.B. I also reported to my local Trading Standards, but since the issue is now "nationwide", they commented that VOSA are the organisation that should ultimately deal with this - so please file your cases with VOSA!) - try to speak with Stuart Jenkins!
I also found a website with some useful "contact" details -- http://rage-uk.info/Direct%20action.htm
- it seems Renault are notably cagey when anything seems to go wrong!
My personal opinion Ms Moxon was incompetent. She failed to deliver on her promises, she failed to "write anything down" (everything was over the phone - even though I summarised our discussions in writing and sent it off to Renault!) - she blatantly accused me of causing the issue, rather than accepting any blame for the root-cause.
I decided to escalate to the Renault UK MD - Mr Philippe. Talou-Derible, the Servicing and Quality Director - Mr Selisik Ergin and the Company Secretary - Mr Simon Tippet. Regardless, Ms Moxon (representing the above folks) continued to take the stand of accusing me of "not closing the bonnet properly", "leaving it on safety only" and commented that the "safety-catch is not meant to withstand speeds of excess of 40mph". Ummm....okay, so what's the point of the safety-catch then?
They also failed to grasp that as the catch mechanism works in a two-catch approach, BOTH catches failed to function! My dealer even mentioned that the "safety catch had not been lubricated recently and was found to be stiff. If the bonnet lock had not engaged correctly, the safety catch may not have worked for this reason". When I closed the bonnet, it was flush, there was NO WAY
I could tell that the safety-catch was not enabled!
Back to your question, yes I was part-exchanging the car to a new Renault Clio (new models - which do not feature the "design safety-defect"!!) on 31st March, some 4 days after the incident happened - how annoying to say the least!
Renault UK also gave me an ultimatum, sign a letter to close the case or they would withdraw the repair settlement 'gesture'. At no time when the gesture was initially made were any conditions noted. Only after I continued to pursue the root-cause did they add the conditions. Also, the gesture was linked to the "new car" purchase, rather than due to the incident. Ms Moxon actually confirmed that it would have been very unlikely that I would have received the gesture if I had not been buying the new car! (How insulting hey?) Obviously, as I wanted to get my new car, I had no choice but to sign the case away, but I believe I signed it under duress and under the pretence that mine was a "unique" case. Obviously this is not now the case, so gives me a reason to go back to them (which I have now done!).
Personally, I am after the following:
1. a frank statement that they admit some shortcomings in the way they dealt with my particular case - especially as they had not provide a full accurate account of past reports presented to them (they lied!)
2. Summary of the root-cause of the issue. Ultimately, they still have failed to identify this, and still push the blame directly at me for "not closing the bonnet properly".
3. Summary and acceptance of some remedial actions - i.e. improve their servicing checklist - and ensure ALL safety catches are checked as a mandatatory action (using VOSA to assist me in my quest on this point!)
4. Some support to cover the inconvenience caused (i.e. compensation) - and esp. to cover the fact that they had failed to provide a full and accurate summary of the history of the issue.
Hopefully some comes out of all of this, cos at the end of the day the repair settlement figure goes to the garage and not me! The consumer still loses out!!