19

I think I know the answer to my question, but I just wanted to be 100% sure.

I recently left my car in to a well known, certified Vauxhall servicing and repairs garage to get a new pedal box. I'll spare you the details, but if you're interested here's the link to my original question.

I received the car back today after them having it for a week (5 working days). They told me that there had been a problem with a "switch" in the pedal and they needed to order a new one, hence the delay. Fine - they gave us a courtesy car.

My wife picked our car up from the garage today and told me it drives perfectly and the pedal wasn't wobbly any more - "Brilliant", I thought, "Lets go give it a good ol' wiggle". There was no wiggle but this is what I was greeted with:

Panel to right of steering wheel

Not a good sign, so I decided to investigate further:

Misaligned Panels

Driver glovebox not flush

I then moved down to the panel beneath the steering wheel and noticed that there was something off about it too. I got the torch and camera out and saw this:

Cable Tie securing a panel

Now I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure this isn't right. It seems to me that the mechanic broke a few clips and even the bracket behind this panel. Can anyone tell me how this is even achieved? Was the mechanic using brute force where he shouldn't have been? Does it look like the mechanic has tried to cover up his mistake by drilling a hole through the bracket, and using the cable tie to hold it all together? Most importantly - is this dangerous? Could the panel etc fall off while driving and possibly cause an accident?

I know I'm asking lots of questions, but I'm trying to get a mechanics perspective on this before I write a strongly worded complaint to the dealership, and possibly on to the Ombudsman if they don't resolve.

This is a 2014 car that I bought 3 weeks ago - not very happy as you can imagine.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. To add to my woes, my wife is heavily pregnant (due next Wednesday) so we really need this car so we can fit 3 baby seats along the back row. The added stress doesn't help matters. (Sorry - I'm just venting now)

  • 4
    No that's not okay. It's amazing how some shoddy and unscrupulous mechanics will try to hide their mistakes instead of owning up to them. I recently got a vehicle back from the shop, and they must have assumed I wasn't going to check their work. When I tried to remove the oil cap, the top of it came right off. The mechanic had tightened it so tightly at a bizarre angle that he broke the cap. Instead of replacing the inexpensive cap, he tried to pass it off like there was nothing wrong. He lost a good customer forever, and earned negative word of mouth. – RockPaperLizard Sep 1 '16 at 5:36
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    Off topic - do you also have a secret button? – Kobi Sep 1 '16 at 11:11
  • Hi @Kobi, I only remembered to have a look today. Mine doesn't have your secret switch. – Darren Gourley Sep 3 '16 at 16:41
21

Any vehicle worked on by a professional mechanic should be re-assembled properly

You have a real mess with the zip tie. Obviously that damage cannot be undone, you can't undrill a hole. It looks as if the panel that was broken is due to incorrect procedures used to remove them.

Interior panels can be difficult to remove if you do not follow the correct procedure. Unfortunately I have broken a couple of interior components due to lack of knowledge in the past.

The other panels appear to be installed incorrectly and are not snapped into their retaining clips properly. You may be able to simply apply some pressure to them and have them snap in proper.

Most of these panels are very cheap and can be replaced with very little cost.

Perhaps this is a great inexpensive lesson that your current mechanic has failed the test of quality and knowledge.

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    I would return to the shop and ask for them to pay for the damage, ie; replace the parts they broke. – Moab Aug 31 '16 at 20:51
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    @Moab And get more of the same "quality" repair work? Better to demand they pay for your repairs at a real body shop (Kniesel's collision, Cooks Collision, etc... actual body shops, not some joe random mechanic shop), or the dealer itself. – SnakeDoc Sep 1 '16 at 18:34
  • @SnakeDoc From my own experience working in shops they will never pay for another shop to clean up the mess. – DucatiKiller Sep 1 '16 at 18:39
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    @SnakeDoc I spent years in shops and have seen engines ruined all the way to a front end that was smashed into a forklift. I've NEVER seen a shop have another shop fix something that they have completely screwed up on. It won't happen. It just don't work that way. In the grand scheme of things this is a very small screw up. – DucatiKiller Sep 1 '16 at 18:46
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    As a note about breaking interior panels, Whenever I have to do interior work, I find a junkyard with my car so I can break their stuff, figure out how the panel was supposed to come off, then do it that way on my car :P, I'll also pick up a few knick-knacks to make it worth their while. – MooseLucifer Sep 8 '16 at 16:23
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As I stated in my comments: They did the damage; they need to fix it (or pay for it to be fixed). This is worse than shoddy craftsmanship. Any reputable shop would not look like this. Their mechanic did this; they need to fix it.

Take it back to the shop and point all of this stuff out to the Service Manager. Tell them you are not happy with the outcome of the repair work. Your car didn't look like this when you brought it in, so have no clue why it looks like this going out.

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    From what I've seen in the past, I'd say it's unlikely they will apologize and correct their mistakes. "We fixed your problem, what more do you want? Next customer please!" is about what you might get from a shop which delivers work like this. – JimmyB Sep 1 '16 at 16:35

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