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Steamdrivenandy

A sad litany

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I've posted before about some issues that I've had with my campervan and I post this just to see what members thoughts are. The campervan is a very, very rare model and alternatives just don't have the same capabilities, hence my determination to keep it.

 

Handover was Thursday 24th May and I stayed nearby overnight as the hot water boiler was being fitted on the Friday. Whilst checking out the van, which was on hook up, I realised there was no charge showing for the leisure battery. Investigation showed that there was no leisure battery fitted and late on a Bank Holiday Friday the dealer were unable to source a battery that would fit. It was arranged that I'd have a battery fitted locally and charge the dealership who were 70 miles from home. On the way home I realised that the cab aircon wasn't working, indeed the whole dashboard was very, very hot, no matter what how I set the controls. When I arrived home the dealer agreed that the van would have to return to have the aircon sorted.

 

Four days later (after the Bank Holiday) we went for a four day trip to Anglesey (210 miles round trip). As we returned and just 5 miles from home the rear exhaust pipe parted company with the rear of the silencer (under the cab). The dealer refunded the cost of replacement at the local ATS. In the meantime we organised a return to the dealer on the 11th June (17 days after hand-over) for the battery and aircon issues to be sorted.  The train fare home was £35.00, as was the return to collect on the Friday. On collection the battery showed a charge and the aircon worked following the replacement of a seized air distribution flap and a regas. This took us to 15th June.

 

Seven days later we went on a four day trip to North Yorkshire and on our return I took the Transit to our local Ford Main Dealer for a safety check, just in case. They reported that some brakes pipes were corroded and some suspension arm bushes needed replacing. In addition the cab aircon had stopped chilling, which at the very least meant there was a gas leak. I didn't want another round trip to Blackpool to the dealer and at this stage I didn't trust them to do a proper job. So I sought out a well regarded independent local repairer and the van went into them on 11th July (47 days after handover).  The aircon was tested and the leaking condenser replaced plus the suspension arms were sorted. They also reported that all four brake discs were badly worn and the brakes, overall, were risky and would not pass an MoT. Cost of aircon and suspension work £873.18.

 

The next day I took the van on a three day trip to Somerset and a couple of hard braking moments convinced me that the brakes needed sorting ASAP.  So on 20th July (56 days after handover)  it went into the same independent garage, whilst we had a week away in Mrs SDA's car. We collected the van on Monday 30th July and there was a bill for £1,256.85 for a complete brake rebuild and replacement of the corroded pipes.

 

During all this I've also replaced the waste drain hose and tap, which came loose and dragged on the road. I've tightened several of the Jubilee clips on the boiler system that were leaking. I'm replacing a downlighter that won't light, even with a replacement bulb. I've had several trim panel coverings re-glued as they'd lost adhesion and the kitchen worktop 'Formica' formed a large bubble in it's centre as, again, it appeared to have lost adhesion.

 

I now have a van that is almost as I would want it and I've emailed the dealer requesting a contribution, but guess what, I've heard absolutely nothing from them.     

 

     

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A keyboard lawyer will be along to advise shortly. :lol:

 

For tea and sympathy try The basement. ;)

Edited by DeeTee
added text

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My main thought is that you have shot yourself in both feet somewhat by having all that major work carried out apparently without reference to the seller when the CRA 2015 could have been used to good effect. You will have to contact them again (verbally and in writing) and give a fully detailed breakdown (pardon the pun) and account of what you did, what was found, what was repaired/replaced and why plus what it all cost. What happens next depends on their reaction. If negotiations fail there is always the small claims procedure to reclaim repair costs which can, sometimes, be done on line.

 

Providing you would be able to back it up with the technicians report, the vehicle defects you discovered with regard to brake discs and pipes could be a valuable ace up your sleeve. If it is the motor technician's view that the vehicle was incapable of passing an MOT because of it's condition then you may wish to point out to the seller that it is a criminal offence to sell or expose for sale a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition and that you are considering reporting the matter to Lancashire Police for them to investigate and prosecute.

Section 75 Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by Section 16 Road Traffic Act 1991). This legislation applies to both commercial and private sellers.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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1 hour ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

The campervan is a very, very rare model and alternatives just don't have the same capabilities, hence my determination to keep it. 

I'm sorry to say this second sentence may be at the root of your problem as you must have been blinded by the thought of getting this model.

By your description of what has transpired it seems you have bought a dangerous "nail" to use a motor trade term.

I'd  concur with legal eagle in saying the onus us on you to now gather all the evidence to prove you were sold a vehicle which was unfit for the road.

Rejection, money back and then buy something fit for purpose.

Good luck. :)

GB.  

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Legal Eagle

 

Quote

A keyboard lawyer will be along to advise shortly.

No disrespect intended to your good self and apologies if it was misunderstood. I was expecting a deluge of comments from the usual miscreants/trolls.

DeeTee

 

Edited by DeeTee
added text

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9 minutes ago, DeeTee said:

Legal Eagle

 

No disrespect intended to your good self and apologies if it was misunderstood. I was expecting a deluge of comments from the usual miscreants/trolls.

DeeTee

 

No offence taken. I knew what you meant! ;)

29 minutes ago, GB1309 said:

I'm sorry to say this second sentence may be at the root of your problem as you must have been blinded by the thought of getting this model.

By your description of what has transpired it seems you have bought a dangerous "nail" to use a motor trade term.

I'd  concur with legal eagle in saying the onus us on you to now gather all the evidence to prove you were sold a vehicle which was unfit for the road.

Rejection, money back and then buy something fit for purpose.

Good luck. :)

GB.  

Rejection would now be counter productive after SDA has spent so much money getting it put right and into the condition he expected/wanted. The seller would be rubbing his hands together with glee to get it back now with a rebuilt braking system and fully repaired aircon, let alone all the minor bits and pieces. It's no longer in the same condition as it was sold. ....it's far better!

Edited by Legal Eagle

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1 hour ago, Legal Eagle said:

My main thought is that you have shot yourself in both feet somewhat by having all that major work carried out apparently without reference to the seller when the CRA 2015 could have been used to good effect. You will have to contact them again (verbally and in writing) and give a fully detailed breakdown (pardon the pun) and account of what you did, what was found, what was repaired/replaced and why plus what it all cost. What happens next depends on their reaction. If negotiations fail there is always the small claims procedure to reclaim repair costs which can, sometimes, be done on line.

 

Providing you would be able to back it up with the technicians report, the vehicle defects you discovered with regard to brake discs and pipes could be a valuable ace up your sleeve. If it is the motor technician's view that the vehicle was incapable of passing an MOT because of it's condition then you may wish to point out to the seller that it is a criminal offence to sell or expose for sale a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition and that you are considering reporting the matter to Lancashire Police for them to investigate and prosecute.

Section 75 Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by Section 16 Road Traffic Act 1991). This legislation applies to both commercial and private sellers.

 

The 'technicians' said slightly different things and despite what they said SDA went on holiday with the vehicle and then only got it repaired one month after the first report.   He'll struggle wont he?

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2 minutes ago, DeeTee said:

Legal Eagle

 

No disrespect intended to your good self. I was expecting a deluge of comments from the usual miscreants/trolls.

DeeTee

 

 

I know it may not be of any help at the moment but a check of the previous years MOT's here :  https://www. gov. uk/check-mot-history may show up some interesting details, past failures, advisories,  mileage between MOT's, gaps in MOT's etc.

 

Of interest, when was the current MOT passed ? and was it by the supplying garage.

 

If you think that owing to the MOT defects found so far that the vehicle should not have been passed you can report that here, MOT inspectors are always interested in dodgy dealings. https://www. gov. uk/check-mot-history

 

I hope you retained all the replacement parts as evidence, an MOT is only an indication that the vehicle was road worthy at that time and date, you could travel 100 yards from a station, a spring could snap which is an unforeseen circumstance.

 

On the other hand, the items you mentioned and their condition could not be the result of a short term action, rust, suspension bush wear, brake pipe corrosion, brake component wear are all long term actions.

 

MOT testers have some leeway, so if the tester decided that the components in that condition weren't at the failure point, they should have at least been given advisory status, which should be on the present MOT 

 

Whilst everything is fresh in your mind, sit down and write a timeline of all that has been said and done in detail, collating all relevant paperwork, photo's, if you took any can be  a great source of info.

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Legalities aside - I know little and am qualified less to comment!

 

I am not surprised the dealer hasn't commented.

The battery and boiler were fixed, fair enough.

Probably they should have done a pressure test on the air con, but if it was a very minor leak, this may not have shown on a necessarily short test. An unscrupulous dealer may even say that the condenser was punctured on your way home.

 

You didn't buy a new car. You cannot expect it to be perfect- new ones often aren't!

The dealer may say that you paid a fair price for the vehicle commensurate with its condition.

Suspension bushes and brake pipes are all common wear items, and as has been said, the degree of wear or corrosion is subjective to an MOT tester or indeed general mechanic.

I would like to say that I am shocked and stunned that a Ford main dealer didn't comment on the seemingly dangerous condition of the brakes on a Safety Check. One would have thought that this is the first area to look at.

Did you have any form of inspection on the vehicle before you purchased, much like you would on a similarly aged caravan?

 

Presumably the jubilee clips etc formed part of the boiler installation, and this is indeed shoddy workmanship. Did the dealer do any other installations involving the Formica surfaces, or could it be that the vehicle hasn't been used for some time and is part of the aging process?

The downlighter should, of course, have been fixed at your repeat visit.

 

I realise your experience has soured your enjoyment of the van. I do wish you well in your quest for some sort of compensation. I don't have much confidence in you getting much though. Having worked in the motor trade, I know there are many rogues in the trade. Hopefully your dealer isn't one of them.

 

 

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Hi Sda. When was the MoT carried out on the vehicle ?

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I realise that I have probably messed up my own case by having the work done.

 

Frankly after my initial experience of the dealer's lack of capability and knowledge exhibited on the handover days and the ineptitude shown by their only partial repair of the aircon system, plus the cost/time of travelling  back and forth to Blackpool and the time constraints of pre-booked activities for the van I really didn't want to involve them again.

  1. It failed an MoT on 27 April because:
  2. Rear foglight not working
  3. Windscreen washers insufficient liquid
  4. Rear leaf spring eye defective 

These were all corrected and the vehicle passed on 11th May

 

Advisories on the fail certificate were:

  1. Brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened All brake discs 
  2. Brake pipe slightly corroded All visible steel pipes

However when it passed 14 days later the only advisory was:

  1.  brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened All brake discs

So the corroded pipe advisory had disappeared.

 

Added to that:

  1.  I had to buy new wiper blades immediately I got home because those fitted were noisy and badly smearing.
  2.  And, of course the exhaust pipe broke a week and 300 miles after collection. Inspection of the pipe showed that it had corroded all round, except about a quarter of an inch at the bottom of the pipe, which was bright steel, the rest was black from escaping exhaust fumes. 

Neither of those issues were picked up on the MoT.   

 

As a postscript the van went back to it's original builders last week. They checked over a number of items and found that:

  1. the dealer had fitted a 75a/h battery which isn't holding its charge for very long. They fit 85a/h as a minimum and recommend 110a/h.
  2. the split charge relay fitted to the leisure battery system was a standard caravan type for switching on 12v supply to a caravan when being towed. It was an incorrect type for using in a motorhome application. As a result the battery was not being charged by the Transit's alternator when motoring. They fitted the correct replacement and checked operation in all modes.
  3. they restuck the bubbled kitchen worktop surface.
  4.   they restuck several areas where floor felt had come unstuck
  5. they restuck the vinyl covering on two wall trim panels where it had come unstuck from the backing ply.
  6. they investigated a phantom water leak but were unable to replicate it under comprehensive testing.
  7. they supplied me with a large handful of new plastic furniture brackets as used in their conversions for me to replace those broken over the last ten years. 

That cost me another £80 and return travel to Tamworth, but I'm very happy that those guys know the van inside out and know what they're doing.

 

The Mot tests were certified by a test centre about 3 miles away from the dealership.

 

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1 hour ago, AlwynMike said:

Legalities aside - I know little and am qualified less to comment!

 

I am not surprised the dealer hasn't commented.

The battery and boiler were fixed, fair enough.

Probably they should have done a pressure test on the air con, but if it was a very minor leak, this may not have shown on a necessarily short test. An unscrupulous dealer may even say that the condenser was punctured on your way home.

 

You didn't buy a new car. You cannot expect it to be perfect- new ones often aren't!

The dealer may say that you paid a fair price for the vehicle commensurate with its condition.

Suspension bushes and brake pipes are all common wear items, and as has been said, the degree of wear or corrosion is subjective to an MOT tester or indeed general mechanic.

I would like to say that I am shocked and stunned that a Ford main dealer didn't comment on the seemingly dangerous condition of the brakes on a Safety Check. One would have thought that this is the first area to look at.

Did you have any form of inspection on the vehicle before you purchased, much like you would on a similarly aged caravan?

 

Presumably the jubilee clips etc formed part of the boiler installation, and this is indeed shoddy workmanship. Did the dealer do any other installations involving the Formica surfaces, or could it be that the vehicle hasn't been used for some time and is part of the aging process?

The downlighter should, of course, have been fixed at your repeat visit.

 

I realise your experience has soured your enjoyment of the van. I do wish you well in your quest for some sort of compensation. I don't have much confidence in you getting much though. Having worked in the motor trade, I know there are many rogues in the trade. Hopefully your dealer isn't one of them.

 

 

 

I'm fairly certain they are the type you describe Mike.

 

I forgot to mention that the van was supplied with the two original rear tyres fitted. Ten years old and with plenty of tread, so not an MoT failure, but sidewalls crazed like a broken windscreen and tyre industry guidelines for cars are a maximum age of ten years. They swapped them when I complained and initially returned the van.

 

I'm certainly not looking for the van to be 'perfect' but I do expect fairly obvious things to be correct, like basic safety, no shortcuts in repairs and a leisure battery in a leisure vehicle.

 

 

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Contrast my experience to a close friend who purchased a ten year old campervan from Fuller Leisure of Nottingham at about the same time.

  1. They attended to all the MoT advisories before handover
  2. They fit a new fire extinguisher as standard to all the vans they sell
  3. When the microwave oven failed they replaced it with a new one with no quibble.

 

 

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I fear you are going to have to put it all down to experience as you really have done just about everything wrong.  

 

The various expensive repairs were authorised by you without getting any form of written engineers report to show the supplying dealer,  you did not even give the supplying dealer the chance to either see what the alleged defects were, or have the work carried out. The fact that you had no confidence in them doesn’t negate the need for you to give them the opportunity to put things right BEFORE you had the work done.

 

If, as is alleged, there were a number of serious faults with the vehicle then, in law, if those defects came to light within 6 months of you purchasing it, they are deemed to have been present at the time of purchase and the dealer is liable for the repair costs. BUT you didn’t give them the opportunity so see those alleged defects for themselves, or get an engineers report, so they are now entitled to claim that the work was not necessary and, as they were not given the opportunity to see the vehicle with these alleged defects, they cannot be expected to pay out for them.  

 

I wish you the very best of luck but I would counsel you to read what LegalEagle has written VERY carefully indeed before committing  any more of your money towards trying to get some recompense from the supplying dealer.  

 

Maybe you should just put it down to experience and concentrate on enjoying your purchase rather than getting all stressed out over it.  

 

Andy

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2 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

I realise that I have probably messed up my own case by having the work done.

 

Frankly after my initial experience of the dealer's lack of capability and knowledge exhibited on the handover days and the ineptitude shown by their only partial repair of the aircon system, plus the cost/time of travelling  back and forth to Blackpool and the time constraints of pre-booked activities for the van I really didn't want to involve them again.

  1. It failed an MoT on 27 April because:
  2. Rear foglight not working
  3. Windscreen washers insufficient liquid
  4. Rear leaf spring eye defective 

These were all corrected and the vehicle passed on 11th May

 

Advisories on the fail certificate were:

  1. Brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened All brake discs 
  2. Brake pipe slightly corroded All visible steel pipes

However when it passed 14 days later the only advisory was:

  1.  brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened All brake discs

So the corroded pipe advisory had disappeared.

 

Added to that:

  1.  I had to buy new wiper blades immediately I got home because those fitted were noisy and badly smearing.
  2.  And, of course the exhaust pipe broke a week and 300 miles after collection. Inspection of the pipe showed that it had corroded all round, except about a quarter of an inch at the bottom of the pipe, which was bright steel, the rest was black from escaping exhaust fumes.  

Neither of those issues were picked up on the MoT.    

 

As a postscript the van went back to it's original builders last week. They checked over a number of items and found that:

  1. the dealer had fitted a 75a/h battery which isn't holding its charge for very long. They fit 85a/h as a minimum and recommend 110a/h.
  2. the split charge relay fitted to the leisure battery system was a standard caravan type for switching on 12v supply to a caravan when being towed. It was an incorrect type for using in a motorhome application. As a result the battery was not being charged by the Transit's alternator when motoring. They fitted the correct replacement and checked operation in all modes.
  3. they restuck the bubbled kitchen worktop surface.
  4.   they restuck several areas where floor felt had come unstuck
  5. they restuck the vinyl covering on two wall trim panels where it had come unstuck from the backing ply.
  6. they investigated a phantom water leak but were unable to replicate it under comprehensive testing.
  7. they supplied me with a large handful of new plastic furniture brackets as used in their conversions for me to replace those broken over the last ten years.  

That cost me another £80 and return travel to Tamworth, but I'm very happy that those guys know the van inside out and know what they're doing.

 

The Mot tests were certified by a test centre about 3 miles away from the dealership.

 

 

Hi again Sda. The MoT and the missed/omitted errors/issues can be reported to the appropriate department via The Citizens Advice Bureau. They can/will initiate a totally independent re-test and where appropriate the will cause for an investigation into the MoT Testing Station/Operative.

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2 hours ago, AWanderingLancastrian said:

 

Hi again Sda. The MoT and the missed/omitted errors/issues can be reported to the appropriate department via The Citizens Advice Bureau. They can/will initiate a totally independent re-test and where appropriate the will cause for an investigation into the MoT Testing Station/Operative.

 

But much work has now been carried out on the vehicle so it is not in the same condition as it was when the MOT was issued so any “re-test” would be totally pointless.  Where is the evidence that the original MOT was/could have been flawed now that many items have been replaced? 

 

Andy

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19 hours ago, DeeTee said:

A keyboard lawyer will be along to advise shortly. :lol:

 

For tea and sympathy try The basement. ;)

Is it now against the rules to offer advice based on one's own experience?

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Re the disappearance of corroded brake lines between one fail MOT and a pass a few days later, both at the same testing centre.

 

When I went under the van when the exhaust was replaced I noticed that the brake pipes were covered in a layer of grease. The guy who was fitting the exhaust said it was a trick used to get round the MOT rules, which require the corrosion to be ' visible' before it can be reported. Of course the corrosion is still there, though the grease might slow it's progress for a while.

 

Another reason that I didn't trust the dealership with further work. They always seemed to be looking to do the bare minimum, at the lowest cost and couldd be considered to be compromising my safety.

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Ouch, difficult situation, hope you get evertyhing sorted Andy. I can see where you are coming from and how Angry you must feel.  

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