Why is the air conditioning condenser so vulnerable on the Skoda Yeti?

The air conditioning in my two-year-old Skoda Yeti has been non-existent this summer. I finally had it looked at and my local dealer has told me that the condenser has been damaged by a stone flying up and it will cost over £500 to repair, once they can get another condenser. Apparently they are in short supply because of big demand due to stone damage. Do other cars have this problem? If the condenser is so prone to damage would it not be reasonable to expect Skoda to protect it in a 4x4 vehicle used on country lanes? What would be the point of paying £500 to have it repaired when it might easily happen again?

Asked on 12 October 2013 by CA, via email

Answered by Honest John
Yes. Lots of cars have a/c condensers situated where they are vulnerable to flying stones. It's probably deliberate to create an income for the supply and fitting of new ones. My brother used to fabricate stoneguards for a/c condensers. Sometimes guards for rotary room fans can be adapted.
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