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Sun damaged steering wheel!

Ive moved this post from the interiors forum as it doesnt appear to be generating any replies.

OK, this is part rant, part request for opinions.

I got back off holiday a week ago after 10 days in Sardinia. My MKII Clio 172 Sport had been sat in Airparks secure long stay carpark in Luton for 10 days. After I had got the key from the main desk I went to the car, put the luggage in the boot and climbed into the drivers seat.

Much to my dissmay the rubber trim on the right hand side of the wheel looked like it had burst. The rubber was all ripped and sort of peeling off the wheel.

Now I think that this was caused by the sun, baking down on the car while I was away as I have heard there was a mini heat wave. Bear in mind that the car had sat stationary in a carpark, locked.

I booked the car in at Renault (it needed its 48k service anyway) and they are claiming it isnt a warranty issue as it hasnt broken due to a manufacturing defect. I argued if this was the case why had the otherside not split? Customer services said that they would recommend putting a sun shade in the windscreen if the car was going to be sat in the sun for a long time. Well then why did I buy a car with a heat reflective windscreen!

Anyway, to cut a long story slightly shorter, theyve charged me over £600 for a new wheel (no, they didnt think to make the rubber bit on its own).

Im still arguing with customer services because I dont think I should pay for it and wanted some feedback from other Clio owners.

Am I being unreasonable?
  Golf GTI 1.8T

DAMN RIGHT!!! surely thats a warranty claim. couldnt you have got one from a breakers, seems a lot just for a wheel, i know they got the airbag but arent they normally about 300 quid for a new one? pic would be good too.

By all accounts, those rubber bits are sh*te and fall apart quite easily. Luckily Ill never find out because my 182Cup has the rubbish steering wheel. However, if youre sure its the heat thats made them perish, then of course its a fookin warranty issue. Cars are tested in all extremes of heat, and the interior shouldnt fall apart because the suns come out to play.

Personally I would tell them to take a running jump, ditch the bus wheel, and just by myself a nice Momo for a couple of hundred quid (£600 my arse), which I intend to do when I can be arsed.

Thanks for the comments guys, thing is its a company car so I cant use an aftermarket wheel. And the £600 doesnt inclued the airbag, it really is just the wheel.

I guess I could have got one from the breakers, but thats a bit like admitting defeat. I have the wheel fitted to the car now and have told my companies accounts department not to pay anything until the dispute has been cleared up.

The garage has telephoned me and are starting to back down a bit now, so I hope that if I stand my ground then they will cave in.

Ill do my best to get a photo of the wheel, but they didnt give it back to me. I think I might ask for it back, partly to be a pain and partly because someone might want it on ebay.

Ill let you know how it pans out. Has anyone else suffered with this?

feck me - exactly the same happened to me in January at the same place. The rubber was scuffed on the right hand side of the steering wheel. I only realised what had probably caused it about two weeks after so I didnt really have a chance to call them and give them a bollocking..

I think that when they store the cars, they must put steering clamps on them or something which scuffs the steering wheel.

Pissed off now cause otherwise the car is mint

  Mk4 MX-5, Smart 451

definately a warranty issue mate, no way I would pay them any money. Worse case scenario I would be buying a new one elsewhere for a lot less than £600!! but that would be only after fighting with Renault over it.
  Mk4 MX-5, Smart 451

Quote: Originally posted by Martin_89 on 13 September 2005

phone up Renault UK and moan, i think you get further with them than a local garage, ask them what they think.
good idea this, they seem to be a lot more helpful and approachable about this sort of thing than the dealers.

matt the cat

ClioSport Club Member

sorry guys but i think its not a warranty issue

its like saying that the paint f*cked up cos i left birdsh*t on it for a week. or my tyres have worn cos i was on a trak day or my wheels are scuffed cos i drove along a kerb etc etc

i really feel for you mate as I would be gutted, especially given the price. but given the extreme heat it hard to call it a defect IMHO
  182 and 5 GTT

It has a heat reflectant windscreen though, to if its been damaged by the heat from the sun, its gotta be down to renault

Just for your info, we had one replaced under warranty for the same thing.

Tell em to get stuffed.

as for the above comment, its a steering wheel, it sits right under the windscreen its bound to get hot there, do you reckon they use a different steering wheel for cars that are sold to hot countries.

Its not like you left birdsh*t on the paintwork, its more like saying the paint has faded cos it was sat in the sun!

Thanks for all the comments guys. I missed a call from a guy at the Renault dealership saying he needed to talk to me as he had a contribution from Renault. Ill ring him later on and find out. Funny, they seem to be much more helpful now that Ive told them we wont be paying for anything until the steering wheel issue is cleared up.

I tried ringing customer service and they werent interested, saying I had to take it up with the dealership. It was the dealership which told me I had to ring customer service. Talk about passing the buck.

I am really dissapointed with the service I have had from Renault. I have had the car serviced there 4 times now (Im limited to where I can take it as its a company car) and every single time theyve needed to keep it for two days due to lack of parts. The car broke down on me once with a failed alternator and they had it for a week because they ordered 4, yes 4, wrong alternators before they got the right one.

The garage I take the car to is Dixon Renault in Lincoln and Im sorry to say I would not recommend them at all.

Its a real shame, I love the 172 and feel extremely lucky to have one as a company car. But I honestly think that when I get to pick a new car next year it will be something that isnt Renault. Shame really because I would have liked a 182 or even the Megane 225.

Well, they priced the wheel wrong in the first place. It isnt £600 its £370. Still pretty pricey if you ask me! Still Renault have agreed to pay for half of the cost, so it makes it slightly more bearable. They argue I have had 50k miles out of the old one. LOL

Anyway Im going to see if I can tap up the Airparks for the half I am paying, after all it happened when the car was in their care and as someone mentioned it could have been caused by a wheel clamp (or over enthusiastic valet).

Ill keep you posted.