Jul 112017
 

At Warranty Direct we know a car can be a big, financial investment. That is why we started the Reliability Index in 2005 to give consumers insight into some of the best performing models and manufacturers. However, even the most reliable manufacturers can sometimes discover faults with certain vehicles.

Earlier this year, the DVSA revealed 2.2 million models were affected by recalls involving faulty airbags, fire risks and steering failures, but just 47.7 % went back for repairs. This suggests there could be potentially dangerous models still operating on UK roads.

Whilst these figures do seem worrying – how concerned should consumers really be and what can we do to ensure we comply with car recall procedures?

So, what exactly is a car recall?

Even after a car model has launched, manufacturers make continual tweaks to new releases. If a problem is identified, a recall could be issued if it’s serious enough. Recalls can also be triggered by customers experiencing issues caused by a car defect. These include problems such as brake or airbag faults, which compromise safety –  but they can be for less worrying concerns like faulty sunroofs.Recalls are issued by ‘service measures,’ which means work is carried out when a customer next brings their car in for a routine service. Alternatively, if a manufacturer recognises a fault posing safety risks, the brand will attempt to contact owners of every affected vehicle to arrange repairs.

Recalls are issued by ‘service measures,’ which means work is carried out when a customer next brings their car in for a routine service. Alternatively, if a manufacturer recognises a fault posing safety risks, the brand will attempt to contact owners of every affected vehicle to arrange repairs.

Do I have to pay if my car is recalled?

You should never be asked to pay if your car is affected by an active safety recall. These are put in place by manufacturers and if your car is confirmed as affected, the workshop carrying out the repair will be paid directly by the brand.

However, if problems are found during the recall process, like an unrelated item suffering wear and tear, additional chargeable work may be reported.

If your vehicle is outside a manufacturer warranty it’s always a good idea to purchase a used car warranty, to help safeguard you against such additional costs.

Will my car lose value if I don’t observe a recall?

Quite possibly – yes. More importantly, ignoring safety recalls could be dangerous, particularly if concerning fire risks and problems with brakes, steering or air bags. Vauxhall had to issue a second recall for its Zafira family car’s electrical components earlier this year after fires due to the first fix proved ineffective.

It’s essential any recall work is completed. Aside from possible safety implications, a missed recall could reduce a car’s value, make it harder to sell or even invalidate your warranty and insurance.

How worried should I be?

You don’t necessarily need to be unnerved if you read a dramatic media headline about your car – recalls are often precautionary. Only in very rare cases are owners instructed not to drive their cars until recall work has been completed.

The majority of manufacturers say investigations are triggered when just a single digit number of cases of specific faults appear. Whilst this often results in recalling many cars for precautionary fixes, this means not all vehicles will necessarily be faulty.

These actions also show manufacturers are taking all precautions to protect customers – which should help reduce concerns, as the majority of issues are not life-threateningly serious and if they were, your manufacturer would be certain to make you aware immediately. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and if unsure, you should get in touch with your vehicle manufacturer with any questions as soon as possible.

How can I find out whether a recall notice has been issued on my car?

 A manufacturer must notify the DVSA of a recall and complete the below actions:

  • Write to every registered keeper notifying them of defects
  • Spell out the fix required and consequences if the problem isn’t remedied
  • Tell the owner how to proceed after receiving the notification

You can also see if your vehicle is on a manufacturer’s recall list by checking its website or by searching DVSA’s online records.

It’s vital to notify the DVSA if you’ve bought or sold a second-hand vehicle, as if your contact details aren’t up-to-date you won’t receive this important information. The next steps for owners are usually as simple as contacting your local franchised dealer and arranging a free repair or replacement parts.

Warranty Direct offers warranties for most cars and vans up to 12 years of age along with motorbikes up to 10 years of age. Policies include cover for Wear & Tear*, failure caused by non-insured parts and failures discovered during routine Service and MOTs.

* – Covered from day 1 on renewals or continuing a manufacturer’s policy. Otherwise a 90-day exclusion period applies.

Warranty Cover is arranged and administered by Warranty Direct Limited. Warranty Direct Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075

Mar 302010
 

vauxhallThe Ford Focus might have the biggest sales figures in the UK, but Vauxhall’s Astra has been revealed as the most reliable fleet car on the road, according to Warranty Direct.

The automotive warranty specialist analysed the reliability of the 10 most popular fleet vehicles* in Britain from 2009, using data amassed during as much as three years of a vehicle’s life.

Although company cars are traditionally seen as hard working vehicles, they benefit from regular and timely maintenance schedules.

Vauxhall’s Astra emerged as the most dependable of the bunch, with only 11% suffering a failure once a year on average, while the Fiesta was the cheapest fleet car to repair.

FLEET VEHICLES BY RATE OF FAILURE

 

Vehicle

Incidence rate

Average repair cost

1

Vauxhall   Astra

11%

£247.49

2

BMW   3-Series

13%

£316.19

3

Ford   Fiesta

19%

£187.36

4

VW   Golf

20%

£287.43

4

Ford   Focus

20%

£306.50

6

Peugeot   206**

23%**

£250.84**

7

Peugeot   307**

25%**

£239.08**

7

Vauxhall   Corsa

25%

£346.18

9

Ford   Mondeo

28%

£264.44

10

Vauxhall   Vectra**

43%**

£271.26**

 

BMW’s fleet sector staple, the 3-Series, is second in the table, but pricey with an average repair cost of £316.19.  The Astra’s hatchback stablemate, the Corsa, is the most expensive to fix, thanks to recurring engine and electrical problems.

Even though Warranty Direct’s data doesn’t include cars younger than three years’ old – therefore omitting Peugeot’s 207 and 308, and the Vauxhall Insignia – Peugeot’s strong showing is judged by the comprehensive reliability data for the 206 and 307, predecessors to the 207 and 308 respectively.

The Vauxhall Vectra’s 10th place suggests the two year-old Insignia might not have the lineage to be a reliability star, although the newer Astra did come top. Taking Vauxhall as a whole reveals it is nudged to last place by Peugeot among the top fleet car makers.

RATE OF FAILURE BY MANUFACTURER

 

Manufacturer

Average incidence rate

1

BMW

24.5%

2

Ford

25.1%

3

VW

26.2%

4

Peugeot

27.0%

5

Vauxhall

27.2%

 

“As firms look to shave money from their fleet operations, knowing which vehicles are likely to deliver reliability and are quick and cheap to repair is vital,” says Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct. “Time is money, and the last thing you want is your cars sidelined with mechanical problems especially while fleet cars are being kept on the books for longer.”

One in 12 VW Golfs will suffer either cooling and heating, or electrical system failures, and while the Astra rarely breaks down, when it does its electrics are often to blame, causing 42% of its failures.

Meanwhile, ‘Mondeo man’ reported an alarming number of engine and electrical problems, with 11% recording faults with those aspects of the vehicle alone in an average year.

FLEET CARS BY REGISTRATION NUMBERS IN 2009

 

Vehicle

Registrations

1

Ford   Focus

68,916

2

Ford   Fiesta

49,121

3

Vauxhall   Astra

45,876

4

Vauxhall   Corsa

42,901

5

VW   Golf

32,381

6

Ford   Mondeo

27,389

7

Vauxhall   Insignia

24,211

8

Peugeot   207

21,496

9

BMW   3-Series

21,007

10

Peugeot   308

19,702

 

Data compiled using Warranty Direct statistics on 3-6 year old cars from its database of 50,000 UK policies.

For more information or to find out how your car fares, visit www.reliabilityindex.co.uk.