Replacement battery cost over £500.

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Post by simmit » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:37 pm

OK, this is perhaps not the proper forum but I need to get it off my chest.

Vauxhall Meriva with less than 40K on the clock and battery fails. That’s fine, car is out of warranty so buy a new battery, fit it and off we go! No way!

It appears flat battery on this car upsets ECU and god knows what else so the whole shoot bang electronics have to be “reconfigured” and my wallet is relieved the wrong side of £500.

I’ve owned vehicles for best part of 60 years and changed more batteries than enough but never have I been faced with resultant and expensive damage to other components in the electrical system. So, I’m thinking there must be either a design fault in the car or it’s manufacture is suspect and I contact Vauxhall asking that they do the decent thing and refund cost of repairs (minus cost of battery).

I tell Vauxhall that battery failure at some time or other is a fact of life that motorists accept. Equally, all manufactures are similarly aware and must surely design and manufacture their vehicles to take that into account such that there is not further expense than the cost of a battery when the event occurs. Not to do so suggests either lack of technical ability on their part or plain negligence (is the vehicle fit for purpose when it leaves the production line?).

After much discussion Vauxhall refuse to accept responsibility and seem cheerful I must pay a great deal of money whenever the car battery goes flat again, which at some time in the future it most certainly certainly will.

I apologies for boring you guys with this but a couple of things I’d like advice on:-
Any ideas where I might now take my complaint (I’m not on facebook or the twitter).
Anyone else had similar issue?

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Post by 1969SE5 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:10 pm

The proper place, that will champion your cause and get your voice heard is, I work in the franchise network ( Not Vauxhall though ) and have had personal experience of their intervention, they do try to work as an intermediary so both sides start talking and encourage a mutual resolve.

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Post by rebel alliance » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:55 pm

A friend had that same problem on his merc cost him £1.200 for a new control system for sat nav and other technical stuff...

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Post by Coupe Racing » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:14 am

As there is more than one design of battery available now , it’s important to fit the correct type otherwise such costs are typical

When fitting the correct battery all a dealer should need to do is advise the vehicle systems that the base line voltage has changed
Should be about 1 hour labour plus the cost of the correct type battery

Ordinary lead acid batteries should not be used where they were never originally fitted

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Post by AndyKing » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:56 am

I think this happens a lot with Vauxhalls, my daughters 2008 corsa had the same issue, in that the BCU (body control unit) lost all its settings after having a flat battery. Eventually Vauxhall re-programmed the BCU with a later firmware version, which allegedly fixes the issue. Didn't cost as much as yours but well on the way to it.

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Post by willholderogri » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:46 am

I am all for technology where it enhances life and makes life easier (up to a point I don't want a driverless car etc ) what simmit has been charged is criminal. and should not be allowed. My wife has a Vauxhall, nice car but after the Zafira scandal I don't think I would touch one with a barge pole. When my wife's car played up recently (reversing sensors problem ) it was going to cost £75 just for a diagnostics check. in the end I bought four new aftermarket sensors off ebay £9 each changed 2 and it worked fine. I suspect there is an easier solution to simits problem but when your cars immobile due to technology it can be a very expensive outcome.

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Post by Geraint SabreGTCse5 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:42 am

my nephews z4 battery completely failed recently and he paid a similar amount to have the roof opening/closing feature reset. he was told that this needed doing as the relevant control unit needs a constant power supply, and there was no output at all from his battery. Easy to avoid with knowledge in this case, once a battery starts to fail, fit a "radio code" power pack into the cigarette lighter and then remove old battery replace with new, the power pack provides enough for the memories on the control units to remain unaffected .... not brave enough to try it though. :?


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Post by Lee » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:57 am

This has been an issue with BMW cars since the 90's. It is no coincidence that 7 series cars are worthless after 3 years. No second hand car dealer wants to face the warranty claims on them when the battery ECU issues materialize.
Funny that the EU, that bastion of consumer rights has never challenged the European car manufactures over their well documented and blatant customer rip offs.

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Post by efi_sprintgte » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:24 am

Fag lighter memory savers only work if they are perminant live, most are ignition live these days.

Was this Meriva Stop/Start??


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Post by philhoward » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:26 am

Lee wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:57 am
Funny that the EU, that bastion of consumer rights has never challenged the European car manufactures over their well documented and blatant customer rip offs.
Without risking this this thread turning political, there was some relenting when you no longer needed to be tied to a dealer to retain warranty but as ever, the equipment needed for some jobs still comes from the manufacturer.

With battery management ECUs and the like, I'm sure they are able to tell you (or only a dealer at service time :w ) that your battery is on its way out - question is if you're told at service time that your battery needs replacing before the next service, sir, cost £150, and you see the same battery at Halfords for £75, most people will wait anyway? It's a consumable, like tyres and brakes at the end of the day.

As Coupe racing says, they aren't the same as they used to be - but the downside is you don't get the gradual degradation you used to. One day, they just won't work - mainly because the battery management kit on the car says that if the battery isn't quite up to it, then it's simply not starting today - end of story.

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Post by DarrylWebb » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:56 pm

I fully agree, Simmit, that's a major design failure for so much costly work to ensue from the simple task of changing a battery.

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Post by simmit » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:04 pm

Many thanks to all who responded and I'll certainly get in touch with the motor ombudsman (cheers 1969SE5).
From just this limited correspondence it seems vehicle manufacturers generally have an issue with flat batteries causing expensive repairs elsewhere in the vehicle electrical systems. But surely, modern cars ought not coming off production lines with technology embodied that fails in so spectacular and expensive manner. It seems to me there is a measure of incompetence here that manufacturers refuse to accept responsibility for and the general public is being had.
It's time to make a fuss! If any of you guys are interested enough to stop this rip-off and are active in the various social media sites will you please flag up the issue and see if it goes "viral" (techy word I've heard but not really sure what it means to be honest).
Give it a go and let's see what happens.

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Post by Rev Light » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:11 pm

Modern cars with stop/start technology now have considerably beefier batteries than they used to be fitted with. To make this technology work reliably, the batteries must be able to withstand far more starts they used to.

Stand by to be shocked at the price when you have to replace that battery down the line.

Hey ho.


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Post by Corky » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:33 pm

My Touareg has a very long battery warranty (8 yrs I think). But they won’t consider it failed until it reaches less than 70% capacity. Not sure if the warranty covers any other work caused by a failure. I Hope it does.

I think the stop/start technology is brilliant. I had it in a few cars back in 80’s, but they’d only perfected the “stop” part back then.

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Post by scimjim » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:12 pm

Great unless you’re sat in a queue of traffic that moves one car length then stops every 10 seconds for a mile (luckily there’s a button for that) :D

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