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Multiple repairs of the same failure on a new car

  • 26-03-2022 11:46am
    Registered Users Posts: 45

    I purchased a new car 13 months ago from a main dealer. Since then the car has broken down three times – as in the car refuses to move and needed to get flat-bedded back to its service centre. For some of the breakdown's it happened when I was driving in other European countries – which makes repair and recovery more complicated.

    Anyways, each time the fix was the replacement of an expensive part – under warranty – its has been the same part that has failed repeatedly. I am now on my 4th install of the same part. 

    The car has two years remaining on its warranty – but if this part keeps breaking after three months – the car will be very expensive to keep on the road once it runs out of warranty. I believe it's around €8k in parts and labour for each repair – but obviously thats covered by warranty at this stage.

    The first breakdown happened when the car was around 8 weeks old and its been breaking down roughly every three months since then. Due to parts availability and general supply chain issues – each breakdown tends to take a few weeks to repair. I'd estimate the car has been with the service centre probably for three months during its first year.

    The part that keeps breaking was an option I selected on the vehicle when I ordered it and at least at the time of ordering – I was the only person to spec this part in Ireland. I think my experience with the unreliability is not typical of the car in general. 

    The car is an EV and the part that keeps failing is part of the electrical charging infrastructure within the car.

    My trust in the overall reliability of the car is somewhat diminished due to the number of times the car has left me and family stranded.

    My preferred outcome would be for me to get my money back and re-order the car without this troublesome option – however, as I have the car for over a year – is that a realistic outcome or demand I could make ? 

    Could I make the case that the car does not meet "merchantable quality" standard in the Sale of Goods act and this has only become apparent over the course of its first year?

    Or do I have to just accept continuous repairs while under warranty?

    I will of course be getting proper legal advice – as the costs involved warrant it – but I'd like some guidance on what my realistic asks/expectations should be at least as an opening – in terms of consumer rights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,250 ✭✭✭Damien360

    Porsche Taycan Turbo S with 22kW AC charger ? Based on the price of car before the quick edit.

    I would have thought the dealer network would give you goodwill even outside of warranty for that.

    As for merchantable quality, it’s the option that is the issue and not the main item (the car), so you are not winning that one.

    what is the dealers opinion on this. Are they approachable ? Nobody likes constant repairs of the same item in service on the same car. They won’t tell you if it’s a known failure on these. I’m sure they would prefer repeat business in the future and it would be in their interest to keep you happy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 tigerbalm_eu

    Porsche Taycan Turbo S with 22kW AC charger ? Based on the price of car before the quick edit.

    It is indeed the 22 kW AC option that I am having a challenge with. Removed price as on re-reading didn't think it was particularly relevant to overall situation.

    As for merchantable quality, it’s the option that is the issue and not the main item (the car), so you are not winning that one.

    That's an interesting perspective – wouldn't mind teasing that out. The option is an integral part of the car – when it fails, the car becomes a very heavy brick. The option cannot be reversed or removed at this stage – the car is stuck with it. Would it not be considered part of the overall car – as its part of the drivetrain – as opposed to an accessory.

    what is the dealers opinion on this. Are they approachable ?

    I have a good relationship with the dealer but we haven't started this particular conversation yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,250 ✭✭✭Damien360

    Get this thread moved by a mod to motors and you will get more traction

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,872 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Motors will tell the OP tough luck it's how cars work. Luckily consumer legislation doesn't agree with motors, under consumer law there's 3 options repair, replace and refund. Since the 1st repair wasn't permanent then the other 2 options come into play, it's replace or refund time OP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 716 ✭✭✭macvin

    Beautiful Car but it does seem to have known issues for some owners.

    As you are not taking about a pair of shoes you need to almost team up with the dealer to get the best outcome from the marque. If you've been a previous customer, that is even better.

    Do some research of the issue. There's plenty about it online. Put it into a concise form and present it to the dealer and say that it is likely that this issue will persist and it's now the time to look at the alternatives of a replacement car or a refund.

    Part of the argument will be the number of weeks you have been without the car. The depreciation value as it will be a version / model year that people will avoid and of course the time lost and aggravation over something that should not be happening.

    At the end of the day, the marque will not want a drawn out dispute and neither will the dealer (I can guess who it is), but you will need to have it escalated to director level and to Germany.

    I don't think there will be a need for any legal intervention

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,097 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    I wouldn't like to be relying on goodwill outside of warranty for possible expenses of 8k+. What if it happens late in the year when the goodwill budget is spent?

    I'm 20+ years in this industry and I know first hand the difficultly of getting a complete vehicle replacement, as long as the dealer responds and repairs the fault as it happens then legally they are fulfilling their obligations. (And its not the same fault every time, charger A failing is not the same failure as charger B failing, from a warranty perspective they are 2 different chargers even if they are doing the same job).

    But in this instance I think you can make a strong case. 3 expensive failures within 13 months and a reasonable suggestion offered (replace the vehicle but without the contentious item), that is a case that will play well in court. I think the only defence the manufacturer will have is to demonstrate that they have identified the design flaw, modified the part and as such can state that the failure is now repaired with a reasonable expectation that the repair will last.

    Of course speak to the dealer, but I would be taking legal action regardless of what they say, because what they say will have little relevance should the fault still be occurring outside the warranty period.