Nicole Pettitt was happy with her new Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace – until water started seeping through the sunroof.
She picked up the keys for the £36,500 seven-seater in February. Her husband had started a new job and needed the family car for commuting, so they decided to splash out on a second vehicle.
With two young children to transport, mum Nicole, 27, thought the spacious Tiguan would be ideal.
However, in June, following a few days of heavy rain, she noticed a leak in the roof.
“Water was coming through the light under the sun visor,” she said.
“I wasn’t happy because the car was brand new and this shouldn’t have happened.”
Nicole, from Huntly, Aberdeenshire, returned the hatchback to Specialist Cars, a Volkswagen-approved dealership, for inspection. She also informed Volkswagen Finance about the issue.
“The dealership was really good and hired me another car while my own vehicle was being attended to,” she said.
However, a warranty repair report came back indicating there had been “extensive” damage inside the Tiguan due to the leak.
When Volkswagen had first delivered the car, safety flaps covering drain hoses from the sunroof had not been removed.
As a result, the hoses were blocked and water had been getting into the vehicle.
The interior was removed while the water was cleared away and the carpet was replaced. The car was then water-tested and was found to be “all OK”, according to the report.
However, Nicole said when the vehicle was returned to her some other issues cropped up.
“The day after it came back we could hear water in the speakers. The front sensors also weren’t working properly and the car started braking suddenly, which I obviously wasn’t happy about,” she said.
“We had paid a deposit of £2,000 on this car and it was costing us £460 a month on a PCP finance deal.
“We were offered further repairs under warranty but for that kind of money you would expect what you are getting to be in first-class condition. The vehicle was faulty when we got it.”
Nicole asked Volkswagen to take the car back.
She explained: “I was told it could be purchased back but it would have meant us ending up about £5,000 out of pocket.
“Volkswagen Finance were very frustrating to deal with and offered me just £250 as a goodwill gesture.”
After further discussions, Nicole was told the car could be returned to the dealership, and that any outstanding balance on the finance would be settled – but, unfortunately, she would still lose the £2,000 deposit.
In frustration, she wrote to Raw Deal and we asked Volkswagen to investigate.
The company moved quickly and Nicole has now handed the car back.
The £2,000 deposit has also been returned – minus £281 that Volkswagen said it had deducted because Nicole had exceeded an agreed mileage limit, which she disputes.
Volkswagen said: “We understand that the retailer has successfully resolved the issue with the customer, with the customer’s deposit being returned minus a fee for excess mileage, and that she is satisfied with the outcome.
“While we’re disappointed that this particular customer’s car didn’t meet her expectations on that occasion, we remain sure of the quality of our products and the exceptionally high standard to which they are built.”
Nicole thanked Raw Deal for stepping in to help bring the issue to a close.
“If Raw Deal hadn’t pushed for this, I think I would still be fighting for our money back,” she said.