If you fork out for a brand new car, you’re paying a lot of money for something you hope will keep you on the road for years.
So we decided to investigate why Margaret Price’s brand new Ford has been spending so much time back at the garage.
Independent expert Gareth Rees with X-Ray's Rhodri Owen
Mrs Price from Caerphilly handed over £12,000 for her C-Max in June 2009, but with the first sign of rain came the first sign of trouble, as she noticed she was getting wet seats and foot wells.
Then in January 2010, after a particularly bad bout of rain she found the inside of her car soaked with water. The seats, the wells, the carpets, everything was drenched. “The only thing dry was the boot! This isn’t right”, thought Margaret.
She called Evans Halshaw in Treforest and asked them to take a look, but several phone calls and four months later they returned her car with mould on the seats.
So she sent it back again. It was returned in June, but the same problem was still happening. Evans Halshaw had now her car for six months. It has spent half its life in the garage and still wasn’t fixed!
Margaret felt short-changed by the way she’d been treated by Evans Halshaw. She told us, “Their attitude was, well you’ve bought the car, that’s it. They really haven’t given me the service I deserve”.
And it’s not just Margaret who’s been in contact with X-Ray. Taxi driver Stewart O’Shea bought a brand new Chevrolet from Evans Halshaw in Cardiff last April.
Within weeks hazard lights started to appear on the dashboard. He told us, “That worried me as it means there’s something wrong with the brakes.”
Stewart’s car also started flashing the service light even though it wasn’t due for another five thousand miles.
With the car back at Evans Halshaw they carried out a service anyway and asked him to come back to have the other problems looked at.
Stewart took the car back but again was told that they couldn’t sort it. In fact Evans Halshaw didn’t fix his car when he left it overnight for a third time or a fourth time - when he left the car at the garage for a week!
As a taxi driver, Stewart told us it’s been hard for him, “For me it’s no car, no pay”.
X-Ray asked Gareth Rees, a consultant vehicle examiner to look both cars over.
First he told us about Stewart’s, “When Stewart took it to Evans Halshaw they’ve carried out a ten-thousand mile service at five-thousand miles. They’ve returned the car to Stewart and lo and behold they haven’t addressed the problems of the illumination of the breaking and antiskid lights.
And then Margaret’s, “I looked at the vehicle myself and used a common garden hosepipe and within 10 minutes found the source of where the water was coming in. It wasn’t rocket science”.
In its response Evans Halshaw says it is aware of the issues raised in both cases, “We regret that these situations have arisen but we will continue dialog directly with both customers and we will use our best endeavours to resolve these matters satisfactorily”.