Uphill battle with brakes
Two weeks after picking up my 2012 Hyundai i20 in January, I experienced a serious braking problem when the car would struggle to maintain speed, initially on slight inclines. The dealer couldn’t find any faults and said it lubricated them. In February I was nearly cleaned up by a semi when the car started to decelerate from 100 km/h. Also in February the brakes locked when I turned off the highway and I had to get towed to the dealer. The dealer mentioned calipers/lubrication and a switch and said it was fixed. Three days later it happened again, this time Hyundai told them to replace the inlet manifold. But it happened again in May, this time the fix was to remove the brake master cylinder and measure the brake rod length. It was found to be out of spec 0.7 mm, and was adjusted back in to spec. I have complained to Hyundai directly as I reckon six attempts to fix a serious brake problem was too many and it should have a moral obligation to replace the car. Hyundai’s response was it will replace the master cylinder, and to quote its customer care assistant manager, ‘‘we are confident this will fix the problem’’. I don’t share his confidence. They seem to be clutching at straws. At what point is the company obliged to replace a defective vehicle, especially where the defect occurs unexpectedly and could have disastrous consequences for the driver and other road users?
Stephen Crowe, email
The company has an obligation to fix the car, not replace it. While your experience must be frustrating it
My daughter owns a used 2008 Peugeot 308 XSE 1.6-litre turbo petrol auto, bought from a dealer in 2010 with 15,476 km. The car initially performed well until May 2011 when it began shuddering while driving. This shuddering would generally occur when travelling uphill, possibly under load, and it felt as if you were driving over large rumble strips at the side of the road and would last from anywhere between one second to about three to four seconds. We were told it was caused by carbon build-up in the upper cylinders or inlet valves and the cylinder head was replaced under warranty. Sadly that didn’t resolve the problem. At one point we were told as it was being driven in a stop-start environment the engine was not being warmed up to normal operating temperature and this may explain the carbon in the upper cylinders, in turn causing the shuddering. It was also suggested the vehicle was not being driven hard enough. We took it back and another head was installed but it continues to shudder intermittently. When Peugeot last checked, in March this year, the computer diagnostics again pointed to carbon build-up as the cause. We are now at a stalemate. The car is now out of warranty but this shuddering problem initially arose under warranty and when the vehicle had low mileage. We don’t know how to rectify this ongoing problem. Peugeot says there is nothing more it can do. Your advice or does seem the company is trying to fix the problem. I would give it the car back and tell it you don’t want it returned until it is fixed. Meanwhile, ask for a loan car while yours is off the road. If that fails, then you could ask for a new car.
Inclined to slow down: Areader has concerns about braking on his Hyundai i20