Rejecting a Citroen - lordwoody
My father bought a Berlingo on 20th February and has since experienced 3 failures of the power steering, the last one stranding him 5 miles from home and forcing him to walk home as the car was in such a remote part of rural Wales. He's contacted CAB and Trading Standards who advise him he has a good case to reject the car, but he is yet to instruct a solicitor. The car has been repaired and Citroen want to return it to him, he has refused to have it back and is in correspondence with the dealer and Citroen UK. The car was bought just before the new EU rules came in concerning rejecting goods within 6 months. He has indicated that he would, as a compromise, accept a new replacement car ( which he would immediately dispose of).The main dealer is resolutely ignoring his requests and trying to get him to accept his repaired car back, which he is adamant he wont do.
I believe he will see a solicitor this week but in the mean time I wondered if anyone has an opinion on where he stands in law?
Rejecting a Citroen - M.M
I wonder what the nature of steering was? Why wasn't the vehicle useable to get home? Was it the same fault/part each time? Is there an element of dealer failure as much as the car?

Given the 7mths age of the vehicle, and the fact (until you tell us otherwise) that its problems have been the same component each time, I don't think it would be an easy reject.

They are popular vehicles and if it does the job Dad wants is it worth trying another dealer plus calling in Citroen to look over their shoulder?

Rejecting a Citroen - M.M
>>I wonder what the nature of steering was?

Of course this should say "....what the nature of the steering failure was".

Rejecting a Citroen - lordwoody
I don't know enough about the fault to say exactly what it was, but it appeared the same each time. The last failure occured in an isolated spot and my father said he managed to turn the car around but there was smoke coming from engine bay after a small amount of maneouvering (sp?) This has been the pattern previously, ie power steering gone, lots of smoke. This usually fails when steering on full lock. The point is that he has now completely lost confidence in the car ( I think understandably).
Rejecting a Citroen - mab23
You generally only have 30 days or a few hundred miles to be able to reject a car.

I know how it sucks to have a car that is continually breaking down, but I think he has probably had the car far too long to be able to reject it. The best you can hope for is for the dealer to fix the problem properly.

If he has really lost faith in the car he will probably have to flog it and buy something more reliable (think Japanese)

Speak to trading standards and/or the CAB.

I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV
Rejecting a Citroen - Altea Ego
\"If he has really lost faith in the car he will probably have to flog it and buy something more reliable (think Japanese)\"

But the cheese is soooo tasty and monkeys are so cute, even if you do get indigestion and bitten.

Rejecting a Citroen - teabelly
I think he needs to take it to a different citroen dealer and get them to see what is actually wrong with it.

He should also consider suing the original dealer that failed to repair the fault correctly with any costs associated with him breaking down again in exactly the same way. Threatening them that via a solicitor (if a solicitor thinks he has a decent chance of winning) would at least focus them into actually fixing the problem properly rather than just replacing bits without understanding what has gone wrong.

Rejecting a Citroen - Mondaywoe
Sorry to hear of all these problems with the Berlingo steering. I don't know the Berlingo in detail, but I certainly haven't come across many tales of woe about them and steering hasn't surfaced as a particular weak spot. As another poster has mentioned, though, they are highly regarded and some months ago when the HDI came along they were going like hot cakes.

I suspect that this is another curious example of the Citroen Curse - ie the odd car that becomes unreliable in a spectacular fashion. Although even then, the fault often lies at the door of an incompetent dealer.

It's possible that something else is amiss (suspension eg)putting undue strain on the steering. It's also not beyond the realms of possibility that the car has been fitted with incorrect parts for that model.

You mention smoke coming from the engine bay. That sounds a bit like a belt slipping. Again, as I say, I don't know the Berlingo setup, but one wonders if belts are being correctly tensioned, if pulleys don't have some imperfection etc???

I'd be inclined to ask the dealer for a (detailed) written account of which parts have failed, the reasons for that failure and the steps taken to put things right.If they agree to this, accept the third 'fix' and see what happens. If it fails again, take the whole caboodle to an independent inspector and get them to establish whether the 'repair' was competent - or just a matter of sticking on new parts until it seems to work (sadly all too familiar a situation) A steering specialist might be a good bet if you can find one locally.

Good luck - do let us know how you get on.


Rejecting a Citroen - borasport20
Lordwoody -
(i have no axe to grind and what I have to say may or may not help you)

Until recently, neither me or my other half had cars with power steering, but both the cars we have now do, (one vauxhall, one VAG), and the manuals for both advise not having the steering at full lock for more than 30 seconds because of potential problems with the power steering

There may be a similar caution in the Citroen handbook - is it just possible that this is something that has not registered with your father, and he, being (I am guessing here, so don't take offence) being of an age when you did everything for your self, is not aware of the potential problems ?

I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Rejecting a Citroen - M.M

I'd considered the full-lock issue but despite knowing it isn't to be encouraged I've never seen a failure from it.


My feeling about this is, as others have said, that you need to know more about the specific failure to judge the best action.

For example if, since it was new, the engine had failed, so had the gearbox and also it had suffered brake failure plus an engine fire from wiring faults...when then it might seem an obvious reject.

But say it had just suffered three broken aux drive belts* worth £8 each...well you could say that was bad luck and hardly good reason to reject the complete vehicle.

*I'm not saying that is your problem, just an example.

I think it is important that your Dad has his confidence built back up with this vehicle and asks for more details of the failures.

Come back to us and it may be possible the group answers to that info will help.


Rejecting a Citroen - lordwoody
Thanks everyone for your suggestions-there is food for thought in all the above. The biggest problem now is that my father has completely lost confidence in the car, whatever the cause of the poblems. Even if he has to accept it back (and reading some of the above that is starting to look a possibility) he says he will immediately get rid of it. I will print out all the above and send him a copy, thanks again.
Rejecting a Citroen - DavidHM
M.M. is right on this one.

I've stayed off this thread because it's too close to call.

Basically, you can't reject a car as of right unless it arrives with a fault that you notice on delivery or at the first opportunity soon afterwards. By reject I simply mean turn it away on delivery as you might an undercooked steak in a restaurant. The extent to which the new regs. would help with rejection, rather than repair, is especially unclear.

However, you don't give up your right to a repair after you can no longer reject and it may be that, if repairs (plus compensation/alternative transport, if appropriate) are not an adequate remedy, a court will feel that the equitable remedy of recission is the correct way to go. This treats the contract as if it had never been made; it is not available as of right, but only at the court's discretion if it is fair in all the circumstances.

The problem is of course that in the real world, you don't want to go to court to find out; you want to persuade the dealer that recisson will happen and get a deal done on that basis.
Rejecting a Citroen - M.M

Out of interest popped to see a Citroen contact for you this morning.

Turns out they are indeed supplying rather more Berlingo pas pumps than normal for a newish vehicle....given that mostly pas pumps go well over 100K.

Now that snippet may or may not be related to your Dad's problem but it's interesting.

Also talked to a pas specialist who isn't yet supplying an excessive amount of these pumps* but said he would easily be able to know what the problem was if he stripped one in the failed condition.

*That fits if most are being replaced within the dealer network due the the vehicles being quite new.

Of course we don't know it is the pump yet. Be really interested to know.


Rejecting a Citroen - lordwoody
Again, thanks to all. I've printed out replies (apart from the last two which came in too late) and sent them to him- I'll ring him with later posts and let you know what happens!
Rejecting a Citroen - lordwoody
Finally got a resolution of the above. A solicitor suggested he may have a case against the Citroen dealer but also pointed out they would contest and the outcome was far from certain. Dad had a mailshot from the local Honda dealer the following day offering 3 Jazzs at cost price to buyers ( I'm a bit sceptical of 'special offers' and don't know details of price) but Dad saw this as fate intervening so arranged a part-ex. deal on Berlingo and Honda offered to pick it up for him from Citroen dealer and dispose of it ( it had been fixed again by'adjusting the steering' whatever that entailed.) He's probably somewhat out of pocket but balancing that against a long and stressful wait for a court hearing I think he's definitely made the right decision.
He was appreciative and amused by all the posts on this subject which I sent him-Thanks all!


Value my car