Rat­tle and hum

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

MY new Ter­ri­tory Ti­ta­nium has a se­vere vi­bra­tion in the rear, to the point that it rat­tles your teeth. My fam­ily won’t go in it be­cause it makes them car-sick. The dealer tried to fix the prob­lem but with­out suc­cess. An en­gi­neer from Ford looked at the car and came to the con­clu­sion that it was a char­ac­ter­is­tic of that model. The dealer then checked other Ter­ri­tory Ti­ta­ni­ums and told me that all had vibrations, one of them worse than mine. I rang Ford about the prob­lem and cus­tomer ser­vice gave me a ref­er­ence num­ber but that’s all I have. I asked the deal­er­ship for my money back and they did not want to know. I paid $58,000 for a car that is use­less. If I trade it in on an­other brand I will lose about $10,000. What can I do?

RobGat­ter, email Keep the pres­sure on the dealer and Ford to come to a res­o­lu­tion. The com­pany is re­spon­si­ble to en­sure the car it has sold you is fit for pur­pose and it sounds, on the sur­face at least, as if yours might not be. If you feel you’ve reached the end of your tether go to consumer af­fairs seek ad­vice on tak­ing ac­tion against Ford. IN GOOD FAITH In May my part­ner bought a used 2008 Volvo C30. Al­most im­me­di­ately we dis­cov­ered the ra­dio could not re­ceive the AM band and we have since de­ter­mined that this prob­lem has oc­curred in a lot of re­cent Volvo mod­els. It seems that it is a man­u­fac­tur­ing or de­sign fault em­a­nat­ing from the orig­i­nal ve­hi­cle build. I pre­sume that all these faulty units on other cars have been re­placed dur­ing the war­ranty pe­riod. I ap­proached two Volvo deal­ers, one of whom was pre­pared to ap­proach Volvo. The re­ply was that be­cause it was out of war­ranty and we hadn’t bought from a Volvo dealer, they could only help by giv­ing me a re­duced cost to re­place the unit ($380 in­stead of $1300-plus). I fail to see why buy­ing from a Volvo dealer should make any dif­fer­ence to our claim and, as it was an orig­i­nal fault, I be­lieve it only fair that Volvo re­place the unit with­out any cost at all to us. I would ap­pre­ci­ate your opinion, and if you can help.

Ge­off Morrow, email

I’d take the deal and get on with my life. The com­pany has shown good faith in of­fer­ing to re­place the ra­dio at a much re­duced price in a three-yearold car that’s out of war­ranty. CHILL WIND I have been quoted $2300 to re­pair the air­con­di­tion­ing com­pres­sor on my Mazda CX7. The car is a 10/07 build and was first reg­is­tered in 4/08. Should Mazda at least come to the party with the cost of the re­place­ment part, as the com­pres­sor should last longer than three years?

Jeff Best, email

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