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Embracing the GTE revolution in Golf GTE
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys and girls,

I need some advice. My car has been damaged by the act of me using a car wash at my local supermarket. Essentially the overhead roller has ripped the rear spoiler off my car and rendered it unsafe to drive in its current state. The supermarket is refusing to accept any liability on this as they have got signage displayed (not clearly i may add) indicating that the carwash should not be used by vehicle with a spoiler even a factory fitted one. Now my car is a Golf GTE 16plate and the rear spoiler is more of but of trim than what i would refer to as a spoiler. I have a had a quote from a local body shop that will be able to carry out the repair but that quote is coming inc £760 inc VAT.

I was wondering a few things
1- Has anyone else encountered a similar issue to this?
2- Is the quote within the sort of range you would expect for this sort of damage?
£- Would you be pursuing legal advice to try and claim compensation for the damage?

Any and all advice appreciated

I have included some.images of the damage for reference
IMG_20200214_132802.jpg
IMG_20200214_130317.jpg
 

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Zoe Devotee
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I would say they've made it explicitly clear that they don't cover spoilers. And it looks like they were absolutely correct in their decision.

Looks like you've got lucky with no real damage? A reapplication of sikaflex and the spoiler will be fine, chalk one up to experience. I would steer clear of that bodyshop if all they are going to do is glue it back down for nearly £800.

One thing it does highlight is why you should never use a boot mounted bike carrier that puts it weight on the spoiler. There really isn't much that holds a spoiler on, a few locating pins and a liberal application of glue.
 

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Strange how two people can look at the same thing and come back with a different opinion. o_O

What damage has actually been done? As far as I can see the rear lip has been lifted and unstuck from the side elements. There appears to be three broken sections where mounting bolts (?) have been pulled out of the spoiler, but has the wiring been damaged? The quote from your local bodyshop would appear to be for a complete new spoiler which seems excessive if it is your own money.

My interpretation is that what you have is NOT a spoiler - it is a rear lip. However, it is unlikely to be accepted in a court of law as VW unhelpfully refer to it as a spoiler. It is still worth trying on the basis that the warning was insufficiently prominent and nearly all cars have some form of spoiler at either the front or rear.

One thing it does highlight is why you should never use a boot mounted bike carrier that puts it weight on the spoiler. There really isn't much that holds a spoiler on, a few locating pins and a liberal application of glue.
The failure mode in this case is in a different plane to one that a bike carrier would apply the force in, and looking at the damage the force must have been considerable. It appears that three mounting bolts have been pulled from the spoiler, but in holding a bike carrier a further 6 pegs (2 white, 2 black and two red) will also take shear forces.
 

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Embracing the GTE revolution in Golf GTE
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Discussion Starter #6
What are you going to do about all the microscratches the car wash has put into your paintwork? :)
I am not that bothered by those.
@MrMoonUK I have tried to push it back into place but I fear that the damage to the plastic holding the clips in place is too severe for this too happen.
@dk6780 I think that the reason I have been quoted for a full spoiler is due to the fact that there was damage to plastic that retains the clips, that and I want it to be repaired correctly for future value of the car.

These below picture may provide more of an insight IMG_20200214_130308.jpg
 

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I applaud you wanting to do it properly, if the electrics still work and it is their own money most people would just have it glued back on and no one would be any the wiser until they came to remove it for some reason.
 

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How easy was it to see the sign?

With parking fines if the sign isn't easy to see or near where you parked you can get off paying it. A tiny little sign might not be enough.
 

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The sign does say ‘No Spoilers’.

As suggested, you can buy some black adhesive gunk (Sikaflex?) from Halfords and stick this down yourself.

Also, invest in a hand car wash from now on?
 

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Yes but where was it in relation to the car wash and how easy is it too read? Looks very small to me.
 

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Embracing the GTE revolution in Golf GTE
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Discussion Starter #11
I am going to attempt a fix myself with the help of a chap from the Norfolk EV club who has a friend who runs a breakers yard. He used to work in the industry and seems confident. If not I have a back up of a black spooler with the wing bits that I have found at a breakers on eBay


Would perhaps look quite cool as the car jas a partially black roof due to having the panoramic roof.
 

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Good luck!
If not I have a back up of a black spooler with the wing bits that I have found at a breakers on eBay
Check out the damage on that one before you commit to purchasing it - at least one of the mounting bolts has been broken off and both of the black pegs are missing / damaged.
 

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Has anyone else encountered a similar issue to this?
Not personally, but heard about it happening on many different cars. Paint, aerials and spoilers are the things that I always think of getting ripped off in car washes.

Would you be pursuing legal advice to try and claim compensation for the damage?
This page may be worth reading (it's written for the car wash operator and not really legal advice): Damage to a vehicle caused by a car wash – But who is liable?

This is probably the key bit:
If damage occurs in your car wash because a customer has not followed the rules you have clearly displayed, you are on the safe side – under these circumstances, you will not be liable to prosecution.
I'd say that you have two possible routes: argue that it isn't a spoiler or argue that the sign isn't clearly displayed. VW refer to it as a spoiler (at least on the normal Golf), so the first is probably a non-starter. It's hard to tell from the picture you've shared, but it might be difficult to argue the second as the disclaimer is on the same board as the instructions and some may claim that you shouldn't have used it without reading the instructions first.

Only you can decide if it is worth pursuing in the small claims courts, but I personally wouldn't bother.

Disclaimer: not a lawyer, don't listen to me.
 

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The best there is at what I do
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If yours is physically damaged I'd grab the one off EBay, check you can get replacement bolts/clips etc, even if you had to get it repainted it would still be considerably less than what you have been quoted.
 

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I have repaired plastic that has snapped off fixings. Look for Supafix which comes as a 4pack kit - there will be videos on YouTube. Pour the powder into an area, then pour in the liquid glue. It has an exothermic reaction and actually does work extremely well on bumpers and plastic fittings. If used with aluminium repair mesh, it's possible to build up new sections to support fixing lugs etc. As others have said I would agree it is also worth using a secondary adhesive such as sikaflex or CT1
 
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