SAAB 9-3 - Probable wrong diagnosis - Where do I stand? - sheik_yerbouti


I wondered if anyone would be able to advise on a situation with my Saab 9-3.

3 weeks and 2 days ago the electronic steering lock decided to stick on and not come off when the key was inserted (common fault apparently). I called the AA who advised that it needed towing to a garage of my choice. I went on to the saab forums and found a specialist in my area. I called them and they told me to take it in for looking at.

This was 3 weeks ago, so as you can imagine things have not gone too smoothly! After 2 working days the garage advised that they would have to send the car to Saab for diagnosing as they did not have the correct computer to link my car up to - this story then changed when they found out that saab wanted £150 for this task - the garage advised me that they were going to "upgrade their diagnostic system" instead to save on the costs.

On the Thursday on the first week I was informed that they had diagnosed the fault and the Electronic steering lock was indeed faulty - at a cost of £300 + vat, with a further £100 for diagnosis and fitting (this was a verbal quote). I said that this was fine as I had bought a warranty from warranty direct. Warranty direct have since advised that this part is not covered under the warranty. ( I'm disputing this decision but that is a different story.)

The part needed to come from Saab in Sweden which meant a wait of just over a week for delivery. The part was fitted the day after it arrived (which was now a week and a day ago).

I was informed that the car would be ready on the saturday morning but when I turned up, it was still in bits. Annoying but these things happen. The lock was engaged which meant it was very difficult to remove. I called again on the Monday to be told it still wasn't ready.

I called on the Tuesday and was informed that "they were awaiting a code reader to sync the new part to the car".

Wednesday arrived and the garage informed me that they had got a guy in (an auto electrician) who was working on the problem. It turns out that the software he had needed updating and he could not get it until the next day.

Thursday afternoon arrives and the guy has not turned up - apparently he did turn up and stayed until 7pm trying to sync the part to the car with no success.

Friday I am told that the auto electrician has arranged a low loader to take the car to his workshop to get sorted out, as the part is still showing as "alien" to the car and is being rejected.

Called today and teh car is still at the auto electricians. "Call back Monday" I am told!!!!

Sorry for the long story, but best to get all the facts up in print.

Anyway, I am quite worried about the following :

  • That the garage has replaced the wrong part (or ordered an incorrect replacement part - there are around 4 different part codes listed for this lock). If he didn't have the correct diagnosis equipment in the first place then how did he diagnose the fault?
  • That the car will still not end up being fixed, and they will start to swap other more expensive parts of the ignition system.
  • The cost of the repair - since the original verbal quotation an auto electrician has been involved, the car has been moved and I must be incurring further costs without being told.

Could someone advise on what my course of action should be from here? If the garage cannot fix the car (it is undriveable) does the law state that I still have to pay them? Who pays for the part they have fitted if there was nothing wrong with the original part?

I'm rather worried about this one - I feel trapped and the garage don't seem to have the knowledge to remedy the problem - although i've been polite and patient with them (They have been a saab specialist for 25 years, but it seems they deal in older saabs - they have also been amiable, although i'm sure that will change in the next few days!)

many thanks in advance

SAAB 9-3 - Probable wrong diagnosis - Where do I stand? - injection doc

Very difficult to judge as to whether they have mis-diagnosed, I dont think so. When components need matching or coding it doesn't always go smoothly and sometimes its very frustrating for the garage as well !

My friend had a volvo awd that at 7 months old the power steeing failed and the replacement would not talk to the car and Volvo's own diag kit could not program it iether. It actually took several weeks to sort whilst software was updated and parts sent from abroad ! and extra techs were sent to the dealer to try & rectyfy, very much the same senario.


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