Renault Megane - Marcos{P}
Having just got back from two weeks on the Algarve and a week Bull running in Spain I thought I'd just let you know the trouble I've had with hire cars.
Normally I would have driven down but the nippers too young so we flew. Got a Renault Megane at Faro which was fine untill you went over 120kph loaded up and it would start to twitch. You had to hang onto the wheel for dear life and gently slow down.
Took the car back to the rental company and was told they all did this. Yeah right. They gave me another one and the same problem occured, it was fine with just a couple of people in but load it up and it was like a bucking bronco. Took this one back and they gave me a Toyata Avensis, boring car but safe.
Got to Madrid with the boys and went to get the hire cars and was told we had a Megane and a Vauxhall Meriva or something. I was a little bit dubious about the Megane but accepted it saying I would drive the Vauxhall. 50 miles out of Madrid on a long bend the fully loaded Megane just lost control. Luckily it did'nt hit anything but scared the life out of my mates. We took it straigh back and the hire people said they are withdrawing these vehicles from their fleet because of this. I have looked into this and can't find any information about it.
The car when loaded is a death trap, how can Renault be allowed to get away with this. I know most cars are rarely loaded up like this but when the Megane is it becomes extremely dangerous.
I have spoken to Renault about this and they have informed me that we must have over loaded the car, I think not.
Has anyone heard about this problem?
Renault Megane - NitroBurner
Marcos:

Never driven one, but 120kph & it's unstable? And then you're told " they all do this " . Pathetic if you ask me!
Renaults response is very non-commital also..
Renault Megane - Maurice
I have just come back from Spain where I hired a Renault Megane from Hertz at Madrid airport. I had no problems with this car at all. The car carried two adults and a child with two large suitcases. Our total mileage was 1200 miles.

Overall I was very impressed with the overall package of the Megane.
Renault Megane - CMark {P}
Marcos, you make a serious allegation asserting that the Megane is inherently unstable and unsafe when loaded and at speed. You seem to have had bad experiences with 3 different Meganes which you did not have under similar circumstances with the Avensis or Meriva.

Having done a little accident investigation in Africa, there are three entities possibly responsible for your bad experience: Renault, the hire company and you. What we need are the facts.

Re: possible overloading - as you flew down to Spain you would know how much your total luggage weighed. If the airline did not charge you excess baggage then you would have around 25kg per person max. So assuming you stepped off the plane at Faro and into your hire car (i.e. did not add any extra luggage) how many people with luggage were in the first/ second Megane? What is your best guess for the weight of the occupants and luggage you had in this car? I assume the Meganes you had were the latest "bug bum" models. Do you know what is the maximum permissible load (MPL) for the model you had?

My Clio has a MPL of 440kg. So it would become overloaded with 5 average adults plus airline luggage (forgetting the fact that you couldn't get 5 adults with 5 suitcases into it [1]). If you overload any car it can become dangerous at high speed.

Did you get the tyre pressures checked? Is there a difference between loaded and unloaded tyres pressures for this car? Is there a difference between normal and high speed tyre pressures for this car?

I know from personal experience that, due to unscrupulous hire companies, it is not uncommon to find hire cars in a terrible mechanical state with non-functioning shock absorbers and bald, under-inflated tyres [2]. This would give rise to the same effect of instability at high speed. If the hire company fails to maintain the car properly that could hardly be the manufacturer's fault. Which hire company did you use?

Their comments about "they all do that" and "they are withdrawing these vehicles from their fleet because of this" are cause for concern but may be covering up their skimping on maintenance.

In conclusion: I have to say that I seriously doubt that a relatively new, un-overloaded Megane in good mechanical condition would exhibit this behaviour. It is much more likely, however, that the hire company may have supplied you with badly maintained cars and/ or cars not suitable for your needs.

Give us some more facts and perhaps we can shed some more light on why you had such a bad experience.

CMark

[1] but you could easily get five 75kg adults in the car plus 100 kgs of beer in the boot (9 cases of 24 half-litre tins). This would seriously overload the Clio and I would not want to drive this at 120kph.
[2] You should have seen the Hyundai I got in Greece!
 

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