Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - Robert Venn

In January, I bought a Skoda Octavia 1.8 diesel. It had done 91,000 miles but looked appeared to be in pretty good condition and drove well when I test drove it.

It broke down only 1.8 miles from the dealership. They repaired it within a couple of days but it's been nothing but trouble since. The engine cuts out randomly, usually when stopping or pulling away but this is an intermittent problem.

The main problem has been with the Diesel Particulate Filter. The warning light has come on pretty much every Tuesday since I bought it and the usual fix of burning off the build up doesn't work. A local garage have flushed it numerous times but the problem persists. They are now telling me that the only option is to replace it, which they tell me will be a £2000 job!

Will I be entitled to a refund off the dealership I sold it to? It's still under warrenty but I don't think that the DPS is covered.

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - scot22

How old is the car ? On my C30 after I bought it I later discovered, to my cost, the DPF is a service item. I suspect it will be the same for you. My DPF replacement was around £1,000. I would get some other quotes - from rustworthy places.

My feelings are that flushing is, as it seems to be, just a temporary solution. Unless you sort out the DPF issue I've been told there could be far worse problems. As with most things see what you can negotiate. Sorry and good luck.

Edited by scot22 on 24/05/2017 at 11:18

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - RobJP

As far as I'm aware, there has never been a 1.8 diesel in the Octavia. If it's a DPF diesel, then it'll be either a 1.6 or 2.0.

The 1.6 diesel is notorious for problems. The 2.0 is better. Though that's a bit like saying having to eat 1 slug is better than having to eat 2 of them !

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - Robert Venn

Yeah, that was a typo. It's a 1.6 TDi CR Greenline, possibly 2008 but I can't remember off the top of my head. Definitely the last diesel I'm ever buying.

Edited by Robert Venn on 24/05/2017 at 13:02

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - RobJP

Technically, in law, you can reject a car up to 6 months after purchase, and receive a refund - though the garage is entitled to make a 'reasonable deduction' for the use you've had of the car.

The problems are if the garage refuses to accept your rejection, or the amount of deduction is in dispute : you'd be left without the use of a car (you've rejected it, so using it weakens your argument that it wasn't fit for use), and you'd have to go through the courts to get your money back. All of which takes time, and you've not got the use of a car whilst it is ongoing.

Finally, the older (or cheaper) the car, the less your legal rights are. It comes down to what your 'reasonable expectations' of the car were, bearing in mind the age and price paid.

In short, it's quite messy - especially as you've left it so long before thinking about rejecting the car. If you'd decided to reject within the first 4 weeks, the legal position would be a lot clearer, your rights really well defined.

I'd probably suggest trying to find a new DPF and getting it fitted for less. £2,000 seems ridiculously expensive. Or you could try getting the DPF cleaned out (properly, rather than a bodge job !) by the 'ceramex' process - a google search my help you find someone relatively local to you.

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - concrete

10k miles per annum is not good for diesel engines. At that sort of quite low mileage my guess would be the car has been used for shorter journeys, probably just around town. This means it may not have had a really good run at any point, which would have helped with the smoother running of the car all round. Not so bsd with petrol engines doing this sort of motoring but not diesels. If you don't do at least 20k per annum or don't tow anything then don't buy a diesel. Your legal position is precarious given the age of the car and the reasonable expectations of buying a car that age. Dealers are liable for 3 to 6 months after the sale for any fault which was deemed to be present at the point of sale. However the DPF is a servicable item and probably therefore falls outside this protection clause. As Rob said, you could reject the car and return it to the dealer, preferably after you have haggled a good deal for the return. Then cut your losses and walk away a wiser but poorer man. It may be a cheaper quote for a new DPF will be cheaper than rejection, and you can run the car for a few years to justify the expenditure. Sometimes in life our mistakes cost us, but at least it is a mistake you will never repeat. Cheers Concrete

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - SLO76
Not much help to you but this is another example of why you shouldn't buy a complex DPF equipped turbo diesel on a tight budget, it's almost always a false economy.

It's also likely any aftermarket warranty that came with the car will specifically exclude the DPF which is almost guaranteed to go wrong on an older motor like this.

As far as getting recompense from the selling dealer well the car was faulty from day one and the cutting out issue is likely related to the clogged DPF so they are liable as far as I'm concerned. Speak to the trading standards for advice but I'd send them a letter or email stating that the car was faulty from day one and that it has never been repaired properly so you expect them to do so or to return your money. They are legally able to reduce any refund by a reasonable amount for the usage you've had from the vehicle. You may find it carries more weight to get your lawyer to letter then but often the trading standards will get involved in your behalf so push them to do so, it's their job after all.

If they don't play ball and you don't fancy the fight then get quotes from other garages to fix it. Target workshops which are popular with the taxi trade as they know these engines inside out and will have cheap fixes in mind. By that I'm not referring to DPF removal btw, its illegal plus you'd be liable if you sold it on.
Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - skidpan

A local garage have flushed it numerous times but the problem persists.

Flushing out a DPF does not work, its an urban myth propogated by YouTube and other sites, its also illegal if any residue is simply flushed down the public drains. The soot particles are chemically bonded to the matrix inside the DPF and buring them off at high temperature is the only way to remove them, this is what a regen does. Some companies offer a process where the DPF is heated up and compressed air blasted through the matrix but it takes many hours and there is no garantee it will work, its maily used on comercials.

Once the light comes on the dsh solid it normally means the DPF is blocked which means replacement. Aftermarket ones are available from companies such as BM atalysts at a fraction of manufacturers prices so don't take the first quote you get.

Skoda Octavia - I've bought a lemon. What are my options? - Robert Venn
Thanks for the feedback everybody, these responses are really useful.

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