Who has Lombardyexperience? helped this month?
Readers our helpdesk every day with questions and appeals for help with car-related problems. Here are their latest stories...
Seller didn’t disclose repaired accident damage on used car
I bought a nearly new Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI Bluemotion S from the Motorpoint used car supermarket in Glasgow in May. I live in Northern Ireland, so I arranged to have the car delivered to me from the seller in Scotland by a car transport company.
When the car arrived at the beginning of June, I discovered that substantial repairs had been carried out on it. I had not been told the car had been involved in an accident before I bought it. When I told Motorpoint about the damage, I was asked to get an engineer to carry out a survey on the car. I did this, and after some time Motorpoint accepted that the car had been damaged and agreed to either replace it or refund me.
I chose another car from its website at the beginning of July and was told it would be available in seven to 10 days. It’s now nearly a month later, and after numerous emails and calls, I still have no word about when this car will be available for inspection and collection.
Motorpoint has told me I will have to return the Golf back to Glasgow and collect the replacement car, which I’m prepared to do, because I just want to get all this sorted out.
However, Motorpoint has been far from helpful, and I’m not sure at this stage whether it will cover the full cost of my travelling. It hasn’t been in any way apologetic and doesn’t seem very interested in helping to resolve the matter.
Three months have now passed and I’m thinking that it might be best if I ask Motorpoint to collect the damaged car and give me a refund so I can buy a car elsewhere. Could you please advise what I should do?
We advised Damien that he was within his legal rights to change his mind and request a full refund, because he hadn’t been told that the car had been damaged and repaired, despite dealers having a duty to tell buyers about any damage or faults prior to purchase.
Failing to do so is considered a misleading omission under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Regulations Act 2008. It could also be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 if the car was described as in perfect or pristine condition, because the necessary repairs meant this would have been false.
Damien followed our advice and received confirmation that he would get a full refund of the money he had paid for the Golf. He also asked Motorpoint to refund the money he’d had to pay out to have the car transported.
Although it took a few more weeks and a number of emails back and forth, Damien did get all of his money back and was then able to start the search for another car.
Why do you favour petrol over diesel?
Could you please explain why your new car reviews consistently favour petrol cars over diesels, even when it comes to SUVs? Diesel cars’ CO2 emissions are better than petrols’, as are your True MPG figures.
The NOx emissions of the latest diesel cars that are fitted with AdBlue or other cleaning systems are also comparable to petrol counterparts. Granted, diesels’ particulate filters do require regular longer journeys on faster roads, but this shouldn’t put off lots of people from buying a diesel.
And if you add other characteristics of diesel engines, such as better torque and longevity, I’m somewhat baffled as to why an independently minded car magazine doesn’t recommend them more often.
We don’t favour petrol over diesel in principle; indeed, we still recommend an awful lot of diesel engines, including in our overall 2018 Car of the Year, the Volvo XC40.
Petrol is the obvious choice in small cars, because drivers of these usually won’t do enough miles to justify the higher price of a diesel. And with the progress of turbocharged petrol engines, this can also be true for larger hatchbacks and mid-sized SUVs.
We also consider that many of these are run as company cars, and while diesels emit less CO2, they also incur an extra 4% on BIK tax. Plus, diesel models usually cost more than petrols, pushing up their P11D values, which the tax is calculated from.
It’s only when you get to large saloons and SUVs that diesel becomes the default. Often, a petrol engine won’t provide the flexible performance of a diesel in these, there’s a large disparity in efficiency.
What’s the best new seven-seat SUV for me?
I’d like a new seven-seat SUV. I’m not fussed about fuel type or engine size, but it must have an automatic gearbox, sat-nav, electric heated leather front seats (with a massage function if possible), an electric tailgate and a panoramic sunroof.
I’ve been looking at the Nissan Qashqai, Nissan X-Trail, Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan, but I would be happy to consider any other vehicle that you think is suitable.
We’d rule out the Qashqai and Ateca, because they can’t be had with seven seats, while there’s too little leg room in the third row of the X-Trail.
However, the Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace are well worth looking at; both feature seven seats, can be specified with all the things you want and have high-quality interiors.
Our 2018 Large SUV of the Year, the Peugeot 5008, would be our top choice, though, because it combines a high-quality, superbly equipped interior with a comfy ride and tidy handling.
To get a Nappa leather-lined, electrically adjustable driver’s seat with a massage function, you’ll need to pick range-topping GT trim. This is available only with a 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
At present, you can save at least £2799 on the £35,729 list price of the 5008 2.0 BlueHDi GT with Lombardyexperience?’s online New Car Buying service.
Should Mazda pay for out-of-warranty fixes?
I own a Mazda CX-5 2.2 diesel, which I bought new in March 2014. I had no problems with the car until recently, when I was driving on the motorway and had to brake but found the pedal so stiff that I was forced to swerve to avoid a collision.
Immediately after, several warning lights and messages appeared. A mechanic has diagnosed contaminated engine oil, a faulty air intake sensor and a faulty brake system vacuum pump. He says the latter faults have been caused by the first.
I raised the issue with Mazda locally and at head office, but it won’t cover any repair costs now my car is out of warranty.
So far, it has cost me £584 to fix. I feel this would be cheaper than getting my local Mazda dealer to do it, because it wanted £110 just to do the diagnostics test. Is there any legislation that could help me here?
The newest piece of consumer legislation is the Consumer Rights Act 2015. However, it provides only limited cover for older vehicles that are out of warranty. With a car of this age, it’s down to you to prove the fault is due to a manufacturing or design defect rather than wear and tear.
In cases like this, car makers sometimes offer a goodwill payment towards the repairs. However, Mazda is unlikely to do so in your case, because the car hasn’t been serviced by a main dealer and you’ve chosen to get it repaired by an independent garage.
However, in our latest Reliability Survey, 14% of owners of older diesel CX-5s told us their car had had an engine fault. This is unusually high, and it’s unusual that this is the most common issue with diesel models.
You could use this and any other evidence you can find from online forums to lodge a complaint with The Motor Ombudsman, stating that you believe the model has a common fault and Mazda should therefore contribute to the cost of repairing your car.
Got a motoring question? Our experts are standing by to help, just tweet us your question using
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the Lombardyexperience? newsletter