Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Are Renaults crap ?

Back in 2004 I bought a Renault Scenic II. It was the first MPV to have 5 stars in the EuroNCAP tests for safety and it fitted my requirements perfectly. I was happy with the car and banished to the back of my mind the usual tales of Renault woe. My first piece of trouble was the day the car wouldn't lock. Nothing major. Just wouldn't lock. After fluting around with the fuses and doing a reset all was ok. The next pain was the boot lock - soemtimes it wouldn't close and you'd have to poke around it with the end of a penknife to get the lock to work. The delaer looked at it and said it was fine. Not a big deal I suppose - it only failed about every 3 months and once you remembered to keep a penknife happy and maybe not open the boot in the rain then you could live with it. The the sunroof gave trouble - failing to close. The reset procedure (clever renault designing a reset procedure) would only work after about an hour. It failed a few times but the dealer said there was nothing wrong with it that a reset couldn't cure (even though it took them a day to reset it). It was in to them twice. So really once you kept a penknife with you and made sure that you didn't open the boot in the rain or the sunroof at all I was sorted and spared. At this stage the warranty finished (in fact the last look at the dodgy sunroof was in the final week of warranty) and I was getting worried. Then the sensor on the clutch pedal went. This sensor showed that the clutch was depressed so you were then allowed to start the engine. But hey pressing the brake pedal did the same job so as long as I had a penknife.... After a while I looked at this sensor and was amazed - the sensor switch was mounted on the moving clutch pedal (rather than the body) and the wire was incredibly thin. SO thin that removing the switch broke the other wire. I fixed it anyway and life was back to normal. At that stage I decided that we didn't need two big cars so I traded in the Scenic. The day before I traded it in I got a recall letter from Renault informing me that the car was being recalled as there were issues with the seatbelt mounting (yes in a supposedly very safe car). For the gas I rang them and they said that there wouldn't be a replacement car supplied whilst my car was in being repaired to ensure that it was at the standard that it was supposed to be. I passed on the recall notice to the new owner. Today I got another recall - nothing major this time - just the brake pedal needs to be checked to make sure it's within specification ! So for 2.5 years the car has had a dodgy brake pedal and potentially lethal seat belts - well done Renault.

1 comment:

  1. It's something of a nature of French cars that if you get a good one it will work fine and never give you any trouble. But there are a fair proportion that give their owners nothing but grief. I belive it comes from all the fiddly gadgets they are loaded with. I know from a friend in the motor industry that the Megane is caller the "Migrane" amongst dealers.