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My Renault debacle... (A really long read!)



  Barge
It’s been a long 11months but I’ve finally managed to pin my local Renault down and get them to sort the numerous issues I’ve had with my R27.
  • Recaro’s were really ill fitting
  • Seat runners were rusting
  • Paint was coming off the door handles
  • Front bumper under passenger light popped out (wasn’t fitted correctly)
  • Glovebox didn’t align properly
  • Door seals ripped
  • Alloys bubbling
  • Clunky third gear
  • Poor performance from the engine from cold - I know this is a characataristic of the Sport’s, but limiting at around 3k revs and spluttering when it’s been running for 20 minutes shouldn’t be happening.
The whole debacle started in January this year when I took the car to my local dealer (Durham Renault) for them to look over the problem with the Recaro’s – which was initially just the passenger side. It’s hard to describe but the fabric covering the bolster wasn’t ample enough to tuck into the sides of the seat to hold them in place. Anyway, in the car went for a day... I’d made a note of the mileage and mpg and tootled off to work in a mate’s 172 Cup. I returned to the garage and got the car back assuming it’d been fixed. .. Oh it had been, and ragged all over the local drag strip (near the garage) whilst they were on too. 6 miles they clocked on it, and a mpg of 21!

An outtake from a letter sent to RUK:

In all respect, I drive this car everyday and to get the mpg figure to drop and the gauge to show such a drop in petrol, I know exactly how it has to be driven. Having just spent £46 filling it up that weekend, I was being more than cautious with the fuel consumption and had barely used it until taking the car to the dealership that morning.

In addition to this the employee whom was repairing the seat had left a CD in the car, which I realised when I turned the radio back on and found it was not the CD I had left in the player. It seems however that the person who drove my car did not share his colleagues passion for classical music as it was turned it off, which was why I didn’t notice this until I was half a mile from the dealership. I promptly took the CD back to the garage upon realising, and mentioned that I knew it had been driven.

I’m not sure since when it has been necessary for a car to be driven 5 miles erratically to fix a seat, however I am extremely annoyed that my car has been driven by a Renault employee when the problem which it was there to be corrected for had nothing to do with the mechanics of the car.

It had begun... I was contacted shortly after that letter by RUK Customer Services. The dealer agreed to reimburse me with fuel. :cool: Anyway, after all this, the seat wasn’t fixed anyway - the bloody thing came loose again, and it had started to happen on the driver side also. It was time to be a picky bugger. I went round the car with a fine toothcomb and found every single little fault there was on it, composed a list and wrote to RUK again thanking them once more for their assistance in solving my previous issue and launched into my list of problems...

I’m finding myself increasingly disappointed with the workmanship of the car. In fact, I would go as far as to say that my previous Clio Dynamique (at half the cost of the R27) was manufactured and finished to a higher standard. So far, I’ve identified the following problems – as well as the Recaro’s - but thought it wise to seek your advice and opinion on this before taking the car to the local dealership to have these problems corrected...

Some of these faults I’d expect to begin to occur with an older car, but as this is barely over a year and half old, these are most certainly not the kind of issues you’d expect to be happening! I appreciate that certain parts of this car are subject to a little more wear and tear than others, but in all honesty, I expected a lot more for my money and a lot more of a car that was so young. I can’t help but feel that standards have slipped incredibly in the manufacturing process, especially as this was not an inexpensive car initially.

I’d appreciate your comments, thoughts and ideas on how I might approach these issues before I take this up with a local dealer. I have included below my contact details, and I look forward to receiving your response.

I was swiftly contacted by a Customer Service Manager, as who I’d dealt with originally was on long term sick leave. They arranged for the car to be taken to Durham Renault to be looked over on June 1st. I arrived at the garage - none (as far as I could see/gather) of the details and paperwork had been given to the dealer, or simply has not passed to the Service Desk Team, as my appointment was not in their system. They did however honour it and provided me with a courtesy car for that day. From this the dealership had agreed with all of the faults I had found but I was told some of the faults would need to be approved by Renault UK before they could be repaired, so they took photographs, etc. to be submitted for approval.

The results were:

  • Recaro’s: Full new set and new runners
  • Alloys: Full refurb all round
  • Engine: upgrade of EMS
  • Seals: Full set to be replaced
  • Gears: To be checked further
  • Front bumper: Refit required
  • Door handles: Full set to be replaced
  • Glove box: Replacement
I chased the dealership for a number of days to let me know what was happening with the details, however I was told their Warranty Manager deals with a wide area so getting hold of him was pretty difficult. I contacted Joe several times during this period to discuss the situation, who in turn also chased the dealership – and escalated it with them. I received a call from the dealer to ask me to take the car back in again so they could take more pictures, as Renault UK could not see the problem with the previous images taken. I was given an appointment of 9th July. Upon collecting the car from them that day I was told that they had only managed to fix one of the faults that day (door seals), and that they would be in touch when they had ordered all the necessary parts and had approval from Renault UK.

This was all approved in early June/July, then things went quiet... and quieter...

On Monday (3rd August) I called Renault UK to speak with Joe, whereby I was told that Joe was also on long-term sick leave and that my case would be passed to a colleague who was at the same level as Joe – and that I would receive a call today (4th August) as most of the managers had gone or were soon leaving at the time at which I called. The next day passed and I received no call, so I called them again, which resulted in me leaving my details with a Customer Services Advisor, again, and being told I’d be called tomorrow (5th August). It was time for an email to the big dawg. I emailed Jeremy Townsend – Head of RenaultSport UK on the 4th August. I detailed every dealing I’d had, everything which had happened, attached pictures, previous letters and politely but firmly stated my case.

I appreciate these things take time, however, I’m becoming increasingly impatient with the length at which it is taking to get these faults corrected. This is not an old car, and having owned two Renault’s I did not expect to be writing such negative letters and emails to a company whom I believed had their customers’ best intentions at heart.

I write to you, as I seem to be having no luck via other methods. I thank you for taking the time to read this email, and I look forward to your response.

I received a reply that he was looking into my case.

RUK approved the alloy refurb and replacement Recaro’s – which were on back order. The other items could be ordered easily enough. More and more time passed, it got to 25th September and it was time to email Jezza again.

Dear Jeremy,

Since your last email, I'm afraid to report that we're no further forward with this. It's been over a month since I've heard from RUK, and the car has been into Durham Renault since, and we're no further forward with getting the problems fixed. My last correspondence with RUK was to be told that the replacement Recaro's were to be on a shipment from Dieppe arriving in the UK on 7th September, and that they should be with the dealers a couple of weeks after that.

My last visit to Durham Renault resulted in being told again that they were waiting for parts, that they could not repair the bumper – it had to go to a body shop (which is still waiting to be booked for a full wheel refurbishment), and that they’d speak to the technical side of RUK regarding a fault with the gear box. I left the dealer that day being told I’d be contacted and that they’d chase up the “ordered” parts and paint issues.

They did call me on Tuesday – after I chased them, to tell me they were still waiting on parts to arrive, and that they’d need an exact same model on site at the same time to test my gear box fault against that other model.

My dealings with RUK have always been pleasant, yet I seem to be getting no further forward. I feel I have been more than patient, and polite, regarding this continuous saga, yet this appears to have got me nowhere, and I get the feeling I’m being given the run around by the dealer. This may be stepping the mark here, but I feel that unless you’re lining their pockets with money from services, MOTs or a chargeable fault, they simply do not seem to care or have any commitment to actually fixing your problem.

I then listed the outstanding faults again and continued...

As you can see, the dealer is being ridiculously hazy regarding this whole thing. I never seem to get concrete answers, or that they even demonstrate that they know what they’re doing.

I’m quite disappointed to say that once the problems with the car are all sorted, I feel that I will be stepping away from Renault and selling the car. Which is indeed a shame as I do love the car, and I have always owned Renault’s since I began driving, having grown up around them as my father had several Renault 5 Turbo’s.

I have contacted xxxxx xxxxx at RUK this morning to discuss this further, and she has been given a message to call me. However, I thought I would update you on the current situation in the hope that you might be able to help out further.

Many thanks for your time.

I received another reply from Jeremy. He’d obviously applied some pressure as things really stepped up. My RUK lady called several times and finally confirmed in early October that the seats had arrived with the dealer, as had the other parts, and that they’d be calling me to book the car in. So they called, and it was scheduled to go in on Monday 19th October. In the Needwagon went in exchange for a 59 reg Clio with 298 miles on the clock. Slow to say the least, but I only expected to have it for a week. The days passed, and I’d heard my car hadn’t moved from the spot I’d left it in. I called RUK fuming and they got in touch with my early Thursday (22nd) morning to talk through my concerns. The dealer also rang that day – asking if they could keep it over the weekend – confirming my suspicions that they’d done f**k all with it for the first half of the week. I agreed to allow them to keep it.

The RUK contact rang me each day or every other day with an update which she got from the dealer on a daily basis regarding the wagons progress. I finally received a call yesterday (29th - almost two weeks on) to tell me that I could collect the car today. There are two issues they haven’t corrected yet... The full alloy refurb and they’ve ordered me a brand new gear box (on back order). So in a few weeks time, they’ll be getting the wagon back for the rest of the work. But for now, I’m happy, and they’ll be back in touch when they’ve sorted the next round.

I’ve had a quick look at it all in the little light there was upon getting it back and I’m happy with what they’ve finally done – the Recaro’s are awesome and are made of much more hardwearing material that their predecessors.

Again, apologies for the long read, but I thought I’d share this experience and that if you persist with them you’ll eventually get things that shouldn’t go wrong in the first place, sorted.
 

Gally

ClioSport Club Member
Good write up Needy and probably really helpful to folk struggling to get anywhere with Ren.

Oh pics btw.
 
  120d M Sport
Well done, glad you got the result in the end. It shouldn't have to take that should it, I bet Renault don't bank on people persisting so hard. I know Russ has had similar battles with RUK over his R27
 
  Cooper S
EPIC read!!!!!!!

I feel your pain, this is exactly why my 197 went! I'm glad your persistence has paid off, I lost the will to live with RUK.
 
  Barge
It's dirty, as they're not allowed to wash it. :eek: I'll take some of the new recaro's in better light. It's too dark right now.

Honestly, there was times I felt like giving up. But I'd gotten so far I just kept at it.
 
  Storm Grey 200
wow.

Good on you for being persistent, I certainly wouldn't stand for those issues on a car that young. And the warranty is there to be used eh...
 
  Cooper S
I just found them totally obnoxious and very obstructive/unhelpful.

Result for you though!

Good letters/emails!!!
 
  Barge
Got there eventually. So much for fixed intime for FCS tho! lol..

AFPMSL. I know. How naive. I'm hoping by the end of next month it'll all be sorted. I've got the mobile phone number of my RUK contact - LOL!

I just found them totally obnoxious and very obstructive/unhelpful.

Result for you though!

Good letters/emails!!!

Yeah, it's all about how you state your case. I could've been a cnut. But I'd have gotten nowhere.

Thing is I really love the car and after not having it for two weeks getting back into it and driving was awesome. I guess it'll be hard to come to terms with when I sell it but someone's going to get practically a brand new car.
 

Daniel

ClioSport Moderator
  Whichever has fuel
Jeremy is awesome.

Glad its all getting sorted. I'd have given up by now tbh.
 
  Barge
Yeah, just the two problems left now. Hopefully they'll be sorted within the next month - depends how long the back order is on the gear box.
 
  Barge
Yep, after the GB and wheel refurb. Or soon after. So someones getting a mint car - one in much better condition than when I bought it that's fo sho.
 

The_Pirate

ClioSport Club Member
  Golf R
Mild persuasion seems to be the only way to get anyone with and or associated with Renault to actually do anything.

In spite of your issues the general consensus seems the 197's seem to be fairing up a little better than the 172/182's in terms of reliability.

Well done for getting them to act upon though, ive been in the same position myself.

This is why i cut about in 5-10 year old cars, when they break i shed no tears lol
 
  Cooper S
Final straw for me was when ALL of the discs warped after only 20k miles onmy 197 and as some people on here will tell you I am not an erratic driver, I'm not hard on the brakes and I'd not tracked the car etc...

The rears warped because the rear caliper was sticking a tiny bit - I did the right thing, took it to Hereford Renault for the 15 or 16th time, when they cleaned the caliper etc they said on test drive front discs were also warped..

Not going in too Needster level of detail but essentially Renault wanted £350 for fronts and £390 for rears. I did not wish to pay due to the age, the fact the pads still had loads of wear left and the fact I had really looked after the car etc etc and in my view performance brakes should not warp that quickly etc..

Second opinions from independant mechanics said they would not expect to pay if they were me and so on... After several very polite calls to RUK they eventually agreed to pay for rears but not fronts. I was not happy so there was more debate and in all fairness the lady at RUK was as helpful as could be expected but got me no more assistance.

Eventually I said - "I will get rid of this car before I spend that sort of money on it at 20 months old" (also service and tax were coming up). RUK kept calling to say they wanted to get the car booked in etc... but whoops, the car was gone!!!

I do really miss my 197 and 182 for that matter but it will be a long time before I buy another new Renault.

A list of the things mine went in and out of Callowmarsh, Hereford for under warranty and still hardly any of the faults were fixed:

Glove box not closing fully.

Boot lid rattle.

Knocking noise when changing gear when cold.

Rear seats loose.

Oil Leak.

New speakers.

And more!lol
 
  Clio 1970000000
Yep, after the GB and wheel refurb. Or soon after. So someones getting a mint car - one in much better condition than when I bought it that's fo sho.

I know you have had a bad experience but if everything is sorted and you love the car, why are you selling it? What would you get instead.

It really does seem to be that you get a good or a bad car from Renault.
 
  Barge
I know you have had a bad experience but if everything is sorted and you love the car, why are you selling it? What would you get instead.

It really does seem to be that you get a good or a bad car from Renault.

Guess I've just had enough. It did feel mint getting it back today. TBH, I'm pretty keen on saving for my own place, the car at present is an expense which isn't really necessary and the money I spend on it I could build up a nice little deposite in very little time.

I'm quite tempted by an RB 182 with both cup packs. But we'll see...
 
  Abarth 500 Essesse
I've just bought a 200 and get the feeling now i've bought it that's it they don't care.

Already been back a few times in my first month with bits in the lacquer, this was sorted very quickly in all fairness. Also a slight paint defect on one alloy, they attempted to flat and polish this out, resulting in a spoke on the alloy being a polished finish (should be satin).

The dealer advised me the wheel would be replaced, having not heard anything for 2 weeks i phoned yesterday, i was told the wheel was on order initially (this wasn't the case), i was called later to be advised that warranty will not agree to replace the wheel.

So their grand master plan is to swap the wheel with one from a new 200 when one comes in, leaving the new owner with a shiney spoke in the hope they don't notice.

So i think i will be contacting RUK
 

Chris205

ClioSport Club Member
  Many Things
good read actually, sorted my otherwise Crap friday night out, glad you're getting it sorted though :)
 

Jason_E

ClioSport Club Member
  Golf GTI, Jap Tank.
Wow, just shows persistence works tbh!

Mine currently has a few small niggles. The glove box doesnt fit properly, and the fuse box lid is missing a clip. Also 1st and 2nd can be an absolute pain to get into some times! I hope they can sort them out better than they did with you :(
 
  182
Good write up...your emails/letters were really well worded and thought out!!

Well done for not giving up!
 
  R27
I pleased your persistence finally paid off.

Luckily i haven't really suffered from many of these problems, apart from the cold engine one. I keep checking the Recaros for wear and tear though as they aren't made of the highest quality of material :dapprove:
 
I took my R27 in to Hemming in Chichester about a year ago with rusty subframes and slight wearing on the Recaros. They told me to come back in two weeks time.
Two weeks later I 2x rust free subframes and 2x brand new Recaros.

Don't sell your car. Keep it.
 
  Barge
I pleased your persistence finally paid off.

Luckily i haven't really suffered from many of these problems, apart from the cold engine one. I keep checking the Recaros for wear and tear though as they aren't made of the highest quality of material :dapprove:

Mine weren't worn either, dude - they just didn't fit. Weird! Seriously though get the new ones if you can, they're loads better!
 
  Astra SRI/ Hornet
I wonder who'd be nice enough to lend you a 172 cup. ; p. 197s better built pfffft never had a bother with my 172/182 which sugests other wise.

Ya say ya fancy a 182, they take alot more skill to drive than your 197 bullwah. Just be carefull if ya do.
 
  It's A Reno
I wonder what else they will fcuk up when they change that box? :eek:

Great result, but it's digusting how much effort it took.
 
  White clique
wow thats an excellent result!

I'm amazed that they are putting in a new gear box though, as my understanding was the 3rd gear crunch was a characteristic of the earlier boxes, and the R27s had both the revised gear boxes, and also the improved software map. Maybe yours was just a genuine faulty one rather than the older style box, fingers crossed your new one will be an improvement!
 
  182+1.5DCI+S2000
NeedsterOh it had been said:
Indeed i had this done to mine, i had close to 100 miles on it... and they had it for 2 weeks. Now i just take the car and wait so they cant mess about :mad:
 
  182+1.5DCI+S2000
Needster;6041514[FONT=Verdana said:
] Oh it had been, and ragged all over the local drag strip (near the garage) whilst they were on too. 6 miles they clocked on it, and a mpg of 21! [/font]

Indeed i had this done to mine, i had close to 100 miles on it... and they had it for 2 weeks. Now i just take the car and wait so they cant mess about :mad:
 

Chuckles

ClioSport Moderator
Jesus, sounds like you've spent enough time emailing them to get what you wanted. Shows that buying a new car doesnt always have so many ups. Glad to hear its getting fixed though.
 
  alien green rs133
well done needy, wanna get me a new steering wheel mine has melted.

working at a renault specialists, your the type of customer we hate, but TBF we work on cars when they are booked in!!!

see if you can send some forcefull emails to the mods, you need to be a rep!
 
  GW RS200
Excellent! You really are organised! Just a thought though - wouldn't your car have achieved 21mpg if it had been left ticking over without being driven anywhere during the usual movement/rearranging of cars in a dealership, especially over such a short period of 6 miles? :-S Sounds like you were expecting it to have been ragged judging from you resetting the computer and that you might have jumped to a bit of a conclusion? :-S Not arguing with you about the other incredibly annoying issues though!
 
Last edited:
It’s been a long 11months but I’ve finally managed to pin my local Renault down and get them to sort the numerous issues I’ve had with my R27.
  • Recaro’s were really ill fitting
  • Seat runners were rusting
  • Paint was coming off the door handles
  • Front bumper under passenger light popped out (wasn’t fitted correctly)
  • Glovebox didn’t align properly
  • Door seals ripped
  • Alloys bubbling


  • any pics of these problems? in other threads etc??

    seems like a hell of a lot of problems you landed with this one..see they havent got any better with the durability of anything..
 
  Barge
There's a picture of the bumper, the majority of the other problems are well documented in another thread some guy did. Decided against doing a 'rant - my Renault is s**t and they've not fixed it' thread. Thought I'd wait to see if they actually fixed anything! All seems fine, except the bumper - which seems to this morning of 'unfixed' itself! LOL. So I'll mention it when it goes in for the gears and wheels.
 
  Black 197
I had similar issues when i had my 182, The cam belt decided to do a runner at 20k (2 yrs old) and left me with a broken engine... Renault were trying to get out of putting a new engine in for 6 weeks ! Renault UK are ok but as needy has said they are slow as fcuk at getting anything done, In the end they agreed to fix after i said i'd pull my car out of the workshop, push it infront of the dealers entry and raise my bonnet with the head off to show customers how crap renaults are... needless to say they started work the next day and i had it back within 7 days with a spanky new engine !
 

ForceIndia

ClioSport Club Member
  Gentlemans spec 200
Does amaze me. A lot of 197 owners would have you believe that the car's a quantumn leap over a 1*2 in terms of build, but more and more of these stories are surfacing.
 


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