Brand New CITROEN DS5 with miss-coloured bumper and steering problems
Hello and thank you for your time
First of all I would like to thank you in advance for your eventual support, advice and your honest opinion. What follows is a true story, my story. This is not an attempt to badmouth Citroen or any other manufacturer. This is about how some car dealers choose to treat their customers, about gross negligence and, why not, fraud. Everything that follows is supported by, I believe, strong evidence - phone conversations recordings, e-mails, pictures and video recordings.
Some of you will probably say that this expected when you buy a car from X manufacturer instead of Y manufacturer. Sorry but you are wrong and there are enough stories to prove that this is not the case.
This kind of Car Dealers are hurting the entire industry by denting consumer's trust and this is not acceptable.
Here is my story:
After much consideration and a crazy amount of courage I have decided not to buy a Seat Leon Touring FR but a brand new Citroen DS5 2.0 HDI manual. Very soon this proofed to be a huge mistake.
The car was purchase by finance, PCP. The OTR price of the vehicle was 17000 pounds, heavily discounted from 25000 pounds. This big discount of 8000 pounds made me choose this car. Big mistake. This kind of discounts are not something out of the ordinary in the industry, specially in March.
Also relevant is the fact that this was a distance selling purchase. This vehicle was advertised via AutoTrader home page and all the correspondence between me and the dealer (Sutton Park Motor Company Ltd - Stourbridge) was via phone or email.
I have recorded each phone conversation with dealer representatives, I kept the email correspondence between us and also I have detailed and relevant video recordings about how the car behaves.
Friday (21.03.2014) I took delivery of a brand new Citroen DS5 which I bought with finance by PCP provided by Barclays Partner Finance. As soon as I drove the car from the dealer I've noticed Steering and Braking faults with the car. The most obvious defect was the fact the car suffered from a bad wheel alignment, the steering wheel stayed all the time lean to the left and the car was pulling constantly left, no matter of the camber of the road.
I immediately turned to the dealer to report the issues with the car. The dealer briefly inspected the car and they told me that they used some kind of brake spray to clean the brakes and also test drove the car and informed me that the car is fault free. This seemed very weird to me because no spray cleaner in this world will cure a bad wheel alignment but I was too tired to argue (been travel for 4h by train to reach Dealer's location)
I've set up again on the road and I noticed that nothing has really changed with the car's issues, obviously.
When I arrived home (more than 140 miles away) I have contacted the dealer by phone explaining that none of the problems with the car have been fixed. I've been told that on Monday (24.03.2014) I will be contacted by the Dealer's Service Manager who will discuss with me this matter.
Nobody contacted me and I decided to take the car to an independent tracking specialist. The wheel alignment job print out clearly shows that the car's tracking was off.
This was not the only problem with my brand new car.
Here is full list of faults:
1. Bad wheel alignment and tracking causing the vehicle to constantly pull to the left.
2. Steering wheel was off centred, it stays leaned towards passenger side.
3. Steering wheel vibrates at motorways cruise speeds 60 – 70 mph.
4. Steering wheel shakes under braking.
5. The car is very unstable on uneven and slightly bumpy roads, especially when braking, causing the car to change trajectory towards incoming traffic or pavement.
6. The steering wheel is twitching and jerking back and forth every time the front wheel goes over small bumps and cracks on the surface of the road, also causing the car to change trajectory towards incoming traffic or pavement.
7. Miss coloured front bumper – painted in a different shade of grey.
8. Rattling noise coming from the right hand side rear passenger door.
Tuesday ,25.03.2014, morning I've contacted the dealer and told them that I'm willing to return the car to them so they can have a full check of the car. They agreed to bring the back to them, which I did.
They kept the car for one and a half day before calling me to come pick up the car. They did offer me a courtesy car with almost identical mileage, a Citroen C3 which drives flawless.
I went back to the dealer to pick up the car and noticed that there was an improvement to some of the issues but most of them were still not fixed. There was no more steering wheel vibration at motorways cruise but still the steering wheel was shaking under braking sometimes.
The steering shake under braking was pointed out by me to dealer's Service Manager when we test drove the car together but he informed me that this was normal because of the road condition which I strongly rejected. He also tried to convince me that the steering wheel jerking and twitching from left to right was absolutely normal. I've explained to him that maybe this is normal with an used car with many miles on the clock but not with a brand new car with 3 miles on the clock.
Every time my car goes over small bumps and cracks on the road the steering wheel is abruptly twitching and shaking back and forth, making the car to suddenly change direction to the left or right very rapidly. I have tried to explain to the dealer that this is not normal or safe but he disagrees with me.
On 31-03-2014 I phoned the Dealer and Informed him that I want to reject the car. I’ve been informed that they have to speak with Citroen UK. Later that day they come back to me and told me that they opened a case with Citroen and also informed me that I have to book in the car with another Citroen dealer for an independent opinion, if this can be considered independent opinion. I agreed with that and on 01-04-2014 the car was with my local dealer Freeborn Garage Ltd.
One of the mechanics has test drove the car with me and immediately noticed that the car was pulling left in a very strange way. He also noticed that the steering wheel is twitching and jerking every time the front wheels go over small bumps and cracks on the road. He told me that they have to check the air pressure, disk brakes and something like connecting the steering rack to a device that will tell if the wheel alignment of the car changes while driving the vehicle. This part is very technical for me.
Later that day they called me to tell me that I can take the car back. They gave me a job report that says that while the car was pulling left when during the test drive, they couldn't find anything wrong with any of the steering and suspension components so the car is OK at the moment of the testing.
On the evening of 01-04-2014 I emailed a formal Complaint Letter to the Dealer. On 02-04-2014 I have received an email confirming that they have received the letter.
On 03-04-2014 I have noticed that the front bumper is painted in a noticeable different shade of grey then the rest of the car!!!!!
06-04-2014 === Officially rejected the car and returned to the shocked Dealer, who didn't want to touch the keys. I've left them on the reception desk. Also left them a letter explaining them my actions and the reasons behind them. Everything was video recorded by my trusted phone.
=== Later that day I've posted on Citroen’s Facebook pages and on Tweeter.
07-04-2014 === Citroen UK Head Office has been contacted me, aground 11 AM. I've been told they are working on my case.
Here are some links to YouTube and Flickr:
This is the story so far.
Is the steering behaviour normal for a new car or I'm just crazy ?
Is there enough evidence to support my case ?