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Discussion Starter #1
Just thought I'd share the ongoing saga with my 64 plate Zoe. Sorry for the long rant but hopefully it serves as a warning to others if nothing else!

It all started around September 2017 when the aircon made the dreaded loud rattle and hum when it was rapid charging or the aircon kicked in. Took it to the only dealer in Edinburgh that can handle EV's (Evans Halshaw in Sighthill) where they diagnosed the fault as the system needed a regas. I was told I would have to pay for this and then if a leak was found then I wouldn't have to pay as the warranty would cover it. I agreed and was gien the car back the next day with a clean bill of health and presented with an invoice for £240. I found it odd for such a new car to require gas but was just happy to have it working so paid after a little bit of a moan. Initially the aircon did seem to work and the noise stopped but after a month or so the heater rarely worked and sometimes there was a medium overly loud rattle when rapid charging. Fast forward to December 2017 when the car was due it's first MOT and annual service; took it back into Evans Halshaw and told them the heater wasn't working properly and the aircon was making a noise albeit slightly quieter. Was told there was no fault and that "all Zoe heaters are rubbish" so there was nothing they could do. I couldn't be bothered arguing so just took the car after they reassured me everything was fine.

In late February the drivers electric window started playing up so the car went back again to Evans Halshaw where they found the regulator was faulty. This was replaced under warranty and I thought to also mention that the noise was getting louder and the heater really didn't work. This time they lent me their Zoe demo car for the day and I was very surprised to discover the heater in their car worked perfectly and there was zero noise. When I went back to collect my car I was once again told there was nothing wrong with my aircon or heater and that the Zoe simply had a terrible heater. When I asked why the demo car's heater worked so much better they said this was because it was newer and had a more advanced system. I didn't think this was the case but after almost an hour of debating I gave up and just took my car away.

As visiting that dealership is just the definition of hell I decided it was easier put up with the noise and poor heater/aircon over the whole of 2018. However, around October the noise became so loud people started staring when I was sitting in traffic and the vibration in the car bad enough to be very annoying meaning when I did drive it I just switched the whole heater system off. During November I was travelling a lot so decided just to wait until the car was due it's service and MOT in December.

I took the car in on 10/12/18 to Evans Halshaw and told them I wanted the heater finally fixed. I was sure this time they would do something as the noise was particularly bad when I dropped it off. I got a call that afternoon advising that the aircon needed gas and this would cost £380 this year. I asked why I would have to pay again seeing as they did it around a year ago and they said it was normal wear and tear so I would have to pay and if they found a leak it wouldn't be charged. As this was exactly the same story as 2017 I refused to pay and was told I would have to contact Renault Customer Care for authorisation. I did this and after spending an hour on the phone got through to a lady called Yasmin who said she would investigate and call back within 48 hours. 3 days passed and no call so I followed it up only to be told she was unavailable but would call back within 48 hours. This went on for 2 weeks until just before New Year when I got a call while abroad from Yasmin advising that Evans Halshaw said they had no record of ever doing a regas on my car so she needed me to send her proof of this work having been done. I expressed my concern that the warranty expired in 3 weeks but I was reassured so long as the job card was opened and I left the car at the dealer before the expiration it would be covered. As I was abroad this had to wait until I returned home in the 2nd week of January and after sending Yasmin a scan of my invoice for the 2017 regas I was confident they would agree to do the whole job under warranty. However, after another 2 weeks of the same constant calling and being promised a call within 48 hours I eventually got a call on 25/01 advising me that I would have to pay for a regas at £380 and if a fault was found the warranty might cover it. She also advised my only alternative was to go to the Motor Ombudsman if I wasn't happy. I was furious as the car had sat in the dealership for 1.5 months for no reason!

I then called Evans Halshaw, a task in itself as all calls go to a call centre who seem to never be able to reach the actual dealership, and was advised that they didn't know where my car was. After a couple of days of phoning and waiting they eventually found it and asked me if I authorised an aircon gas for £380. I explained the whole story again and asked to speak to the service manager but he was never available and the receptionist said they couldn't do anything further. They said I should call their head office complaints department who might be able to do something. This took another week of nagging and eventually I received an email from Paul Kavanagh, the elusive service manager, who offered to perform the regas for half price as a gesture of goodwill. As he was never reachable by phone and took 2 days to reply to my email I said in my reply that I would accept to pay for the gas providing he specifically clarified the following points:

1: What is the minimum acceptable period this new regas you propose to perform should last? (Is it 1 month? 3 Months? 1 year?)
2: What will the solution be if the gas leaks out within this period?
3: How will you test the system for leaks and should it perhaps be followed up later during this minimum period as the leak is likely small and slow thus difficult to spot?
4: If a fault is found covered by the warranty during this minimum period will I be refunded for this air conditioning gas recharge?

The reply I received was shocking in my opinion:

Thank you for your e-mail reply the other day. There is no given time on how long any AC Gas would last on any car, the gas will not continue to be there if this is in use over a period of time. Once the system runs empty then it does require a regass.

When the vehicle was under a warranty contract we advised a regass with leak test to determine if there was any potential leakage, at this point if there was there would have been no cost to you and we would have processed a warranty on the vehicle. The vehicle is now out of warranty and therefor we would be unable to do any repair if any defect was apparent.

Thankfully I had the foresight to extend my warranty before it expired in December but this whole saga just leaves a very bitter taste and doesn't feel right. In the end the Zoe has now sat at the dealer for 2 months and I'm back to square one. It seems to me if I pay for the regas and take the car away they will simply fob me off when it breaks again and claim it's normal wear and tear even after a week. There's no other EV capable Renault dealer within range so it seems I have no choice. I'm now considering just getting rid of the car and Renault which is a real shame as apart from this I really liked the car.

I'd be really grateful of any comments or ideas anybody has?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Take it to somewhere other than Evans Halshaw? They are shocking in my experience.

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
 

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My wife's 64 plate had a leak, sorted under warranty and has been fine since, it seems its dependant on how good any given dealer is, but to say things like the newer one is more advanced system …. I smell BS.
 

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...which is why I always go through Renault Customer Service for these things. Certain dealerships can be terrible, hence their days are numbered.
 

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I would suggest you get the canze and obd reader, it shows the aircon pressure there. regards @yoh there
will adams from dsg morecambre shared this on the rzoc on facebook

close to that sound get it checked for leaks and regas

When looking at service for the car it seems there is an option for the dealer to pick up the car, i have no clue of the range they are willing to go, but using that to get it checked for leaks and faults, with another dealer than evan halshaw ? sure others can tell us the range they are willing to drive ?
 

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Given your losses to date and the shameless way you have been treated, I would suggest you contact a Consumer Rights Solicitor with a view to proceeding with a court action. In the meantime, rent a 2nd car so you are no longer dependent on the piece of rubbish that Renault and Evan Halshaw define as being of acceptable functionality: include that in the amount you intend to recover.

As long as you have documentary evidence, you have provided them with ample chance to make good the defects. They are on the face of it in breach of several aspects of Consumer Law and Contract Law.

regards
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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The whole "newer" issue is nonsense, because there has AFAIK not been any redesign in that department, only the PTC heater of the battery, which is unrelated. The ZOE's system is, albeit less powerful than the average ICE, absolutely fine.

And I would argue the ZOE is actually LESS prone to leaks than an ICE as the compressor is a completely sealed can; no axle sticking out needing pressure seals; the most common fault. Against it is that the system is more complicated because it can cool the battery and switch to inverted (heating) mode, so more possible leak area's valves, connectors. Even so, they should have put fluorine dye in the system and find the leak.

I admire your patience with these people and as other have said I would take it up with CS. I found them in most cases very reasonable and accommodating. The legal route might be inevitable in the end, but personally it would not have my preference as once started it immediately kills any reasonable action from either side to make things right.

As always, it's the dealer that's everything.
 

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Sorry to hear about how crappy your dealer is. Maybe contact WhatCar as they like a shocking tale of poor service?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks a lot for all the helpful comments and advice!

I did think of taking this car to another dealership but unfortunately this particular one is the only local one who can work on EV’s. There is another 25 miles away but I’ve been warned by several other ICE Renault owners the service there is equally bad. Short of taking the car hundreds of miles away there seems to be little choice. Going forward after this experience it seriously calls into question the reliability of owning a Renault EV if this is what will happen if there are problems.

Furthermore, while I did thankfully extend the warranty there is a question mark as to whether the Renault extended warranty will cover as many things as the original 4 year factory one. I think there is a claim limit for example so going to another dealer now will possibly end up with a substantial bill as the car passed its 4th birthday while sitting in this dealership.

With regard to Renault CS, by pure coincidence somebody saw my Facebook post regarding this saga and commented that they had also terrible service from what seems like the same individual (Yasmin Sandhu) at Renault CS. Their story is still ongoing and their Zoe has been off the road for 3 months now requiring an investigation by the Motor Ombudsman. I’m very hesitant to go this far as in the end it’s not going to result in a working car anytime soon and just be a lot of hassle. I’ve tried several times asking to speak to a manager or somebody else at Renault but every time I’ve been promised a call back which never happens so while your mileage may vary it seems in this case at least there’s nothing to be gained speaking with them.

It’s abundantly clear after some further research the compressor in my car is likely knackered, if not because of an ongoing fault, at least because it’s been running low on gas for so long. I was pointed to this helpful video which covers many of the steps I took the past years:


All things considered, the options of taking legal action, going to the ombudsman or taking the car far away for a repair really make owning this car in Edinburgh an impractical proposition so I’m beginning to resign myself to getting rid of it. Really a shame because apart from this it’s been a great car!
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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I am not saying the compressor is fine, but there is no reason it would by definition self-destruct when low on gas.

A specialized A/C shop MIGHT not want to touch it, but they could do a quick check with a UV lamp just in case your dealer did put in some dye and if not they might want to at least fill it for you and they do the check a few days later.

The gas is just standard A/C gas used in all modern cars, nothing special about it.
 

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Speak, Eevee!
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TBF the suggestion that the compressor can (not necessarily will, but can) break if ran empty came from an owner of a Zoe specialist dealership so there might be something in that
 

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TBF the suggestion that the compressor can (not necessarily will, but can) break if ran empty came from an owner of a Zoe specialist dealership so there might be something in that
I suppose it could blow the oil out into the pipework without a means to return it.
 

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Call Renault CS daily and ask for the team leader and if not you will be taking this to a solicitor and the motoring press.

I also find a tweet or FB post can draw you a lot of attention by the correct people.

Remain civil and stick to the facts and don’t drag peoples names into it.

But keep going

This is not an EV think - this is a general car manufacturers thing

Do you have a loan car?

JJ
 

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Avoid Quikfit.

A proper automotive refrigeration specialist would evacuate the system before recharging with a known weight of gas. They will also have strict procedures and or dedicated equipment to prevent contamination by the wrong kind of oil.
 

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That’s what Kwik Fit do. They draw the old out, wait with it as a vacuum to check leaks and fill with a correct volume after.

JJ
They would probably be lost when it comes to diagnosis. There must be specialists in Edinburgh, and I don't mean Renault.. You basically have a leak, by the sound of it.
 

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Speak, Eevee!
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Renault probably insist on a traction battery isolation procedure first which usually adds a couple of hundred..
 
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