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Caravan Build And Quality Checking


Brecon

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Last September I bought a new Abbey GTS Vogue 420, and only had 3 days to try it out before the sites closed for the winter. From day 1 the electric water heater would not work, but it was ok on gas, so we did have hot water. When we got home again I phoned the dealer, who promptly arranged for a local Truma agent to look at the heater, and he determined that the electric side of the heater was not working,,,,,,,,,,,we already knew that!!!!,,,anyway, he decided it needed a new element and would get back in touch when he had it,that was mid October. Allowing for Christmas and the New Year I contacted him again at the end of Jan and after not getting the answer I was expecting, I contacted Truma, and they kindly sent a new element to me. I went to fit the element today, and this is the point of the post,,,,I found the reason for the original heater not working,the fitter had stapled the mains cable to the floor of the van,,,THROUGH the cable!!!!

What is amazing is that the mistake was not noticed by the fitter, any quality control, the dealer on PDI, and in fact was not picked up by the Truma agent.

Having parted with a not inconsiderable amount of money for the van, and accessories, which, incidentally, we love and cant wait to use again I wonder if any quality control exists at all.

 

Sorry for the long post,just HAD to have a moan!!!!!!! :unsure:

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A very strong letter to Swift is in order!

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

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Not long ago i saw a photo of the swift groups new pdi inspection bay where all the makes were supposed to be inspected, it was like a mini warehose so no excuses there. Maybe they have got their fingers in too many makes!

The dealer also should have picked the fault up.

As for the engineer, surely the first test would be to see if there was power going to the heater?

Having owned Abbey vans for 15yrs the Quality has improved considerably.

Good luck with the van, hope you enjoy it.

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Mmmm!! quality control in British manufacturing industry sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. I can remember when I worked at a certain Midlands Car conpany thier first combined project with Japanese engineers. The Japanese quality control engineers had to be shipped home to Japan every few weeks, they were so upset about our quality inspection. The fact remains that should an Importer decide to import caravans on a mass scale and the design and quality was better than ours, the same thing would happen to British Caravan producers that happened to the M/Cycle and Car Industries.

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Guest Hobbybod
A very strong letter to Swift is in order!

15542[/snapback]

I, along with others, have done that for many years. :o Absolutely hopeless 'shower' (c. f. Terry Thomas). Hence my 'doing the continental'.

 

PDI = Pretty D@mn Inadequate

 

ricpop, I totally agree and have posted similarly for some years. I lived in the Midlands, and watched the decline of both the M/C and car industries, due to appalling quality control.

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A very strong letter to Swift is in order!

15542[/snapback]

I, along with others, have done that for many years. :o Absolutely hopeless 'shower' (c. f. Terry Thomas). Hence my 'doing the continental'.

 

PDI = Pretty D@mn Inadequate

 

ricpop, I totally agree and have posted similarly for some years. I lived in the Midlands, and watched the decline of both the M/C and car industries, due to appalling quality control.

15592[/snapback]

 

I have recently purchased a Swift product - Abbey Freestyle - and because I was upset that there were NO shelves in the overhead lockers and that they require a special plastic moulding to fit I was reliant on Swift supplying these - A very strong e-mail worked wonders.

 

BTW PDI in the automotive world is carried out at dealer level - I would have thought the same applied to caravans.

 

And as a second BTW half of my family is in Germany and they complain just as much about German Industry - the grass isn't always greener the other side :o

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

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I knew some of the electricians who worked for Swift, and am not surprised at hearing about the staple through the wire episode!!! They actually worked for a contractor who did all the electrical work on the production line. Didn't even work for Swift. .. They were on a bonus scheme, the more caravans they completed, the more money they recieved, QC, whats that?!!

Munster Leisure Services.

Caravan & Motorhome Sales, Servicing & Repairs

Official Service Agents for: Dometic :: Thetford :: Truma :: Whale

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Last year I purchased a brand new 2004 Challenger 550LSE in june 04. Unfortunately the standard of van was poor I had 22+ faults with the van which included:- windows out of line, cracks to the front and rear panels, shelves fitted wrongly(cut too short), Exterior lockers wouldn't open unless extreme force was used, drinks cabinet door scraping on skylight - It still does in the new 2005 model which I pointed out to the Swift rep at the recent manchester show, his comments design fault.

I complained to Swift with the list of faults and their reply was we are sorry but its between myself and the dealer to ressolve the problem, my dealer wanted to repair the van which included a new front panel, I'd had the van 1 week and spent nearly 15k I was not happy. I was finally offered a replacement which we will pick up in may 05 but without myself rossloving the problem with the CC legal team, swift/dealer would only offer a repair.

As for Pdis- not one fault was found on my van i can only guess it was not carried out, or if it was the person who did the pdi was unqualified.

Last year i spent more of my time/money returning the van to the dealer just hope this years better. My advice is spend as much time as you can looking for problems before accepting it, I definitely will in may. Just hope I was unlucky and it was a one off.

Swift Challenger580

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Don't knock British manufacturing standards in general.

 

Until the '70s, quality control in the motor industry was legendary - bad - but it's been better than it's European counterparts for some time.

 

When Ford took over Land-Rover, they were appalled how low the BMW quality control standards were and set about improving them. BMW had already imposed there own standards so they can't blame the old L-R regimes.

 

The British caravan industry has an attitude problem, the customer isn't important enough. While they're selling all the caravans they can make, things won't change very fast, if at all.

 

Similar to the car industry of the '70s, the dealers must take some of the blame. The good ones are fine but the bad ones just compound any manufacturing errors.

 

I hope by the time I buy another caravan that quality control will be finally sorted out, but I'm not holding my breath!

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  • 4 weeks later...

That really really sucks, egcc

 

How long have you wasted with them now? Nearly a year and you still havent got a van yet. ..

 

They should be giving you some compensation, surely?

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We purchased a new Swift / SterlingEuropa in July 04 after 250 miles on the 30th September found one bad crack right through the fibre glass moulding in the front panel at waist hight on the front corner

6th november repaired . .. 20th December crack is back !!!

6 April Dealer fits new front panel on inspection find 10 crackes in the panel above the front hatch now waiting to hear what Swift has to say Has ayny one any ideas on how to get a replacement caravan

 

Howard in Rutland :unsure:

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That really really sucks, egcc

 

How long have you wasted with them now?  Nearly a year and you still havent got a van yet. ..

 

They should be giving you some compensation, surely?

19580[/snapback]

 

Compensation. ......... yer right!! I had too fight for a replacement. .. swift/dealer were passing the buck, But after a meeting with the big boss and advice by the caravan legal team. .YIPEE. . The dealer has promised me a replacement, the new van is being built in may. .so hopefully i should have a van soon. If they mess me about again it will be money back time and this time round some compo should be coming my way.

 

 

 

 

Howard are you in the caravan club, if you are contact their legal team they will advise you better.

Swift Challenger580

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