So Disappointed in my C4. It has to go
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default So Disappointed in my C4. It has to go

    Not so much the car, but importer Ateco is so difficult to deal with I can't see myself ever buying one of their brands again (Citroen, Alfa, Chery, Great Wall, Ferari, Maserati), though we have owned Alfa & Citroen in the past.

    It was a nice drive, but started playing up in June 2011, with sudden power loss and variation, lasting up to 600k. This combined with rough idle and uncertain acceleration from start makes it a dangerous, unreliable and uncomfortable car. It has been in the dealer's service Department since October 2011.

    After de-coking several times, re-timing several times including with a special tool from France, replacing fuel pump, cylinder head, gearbox, turbo and more Ateco believes it's running, but never identified or diagnosed the problem. In a recent conversation Ateco's costomer relations manager admitted they never identified the problem; he volunteered it could have been water in the fuel !! Really. How arrogant and ignorant can a person get?

    It's a shocking disgrace and does nothing for Citroen's reputation in Australia.

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  2. #2
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tango22 View Post
    Not so much the car, but importer Ateco is so difficult to deal with I can't see myself ever buying one of their brands again (Citroen, Alfa, Chery, Great Wall, Ferari, Maserati), though we have owned Alfa & Citroen in the past.

    It was a nice drive, but started playing up in June 2011, with sudden power loss and variation, lasting up to 600k. This combined with rough idle and uncertain acceleration from start makes it a dangerous, unreliable and uncomfortable car. It has been in the dealer's service Department since October 2011.

    After de-coking several times, re-timing several times including with a special tool from France, replacing fuel pump, cylinder head, gearbox, turbo and more Ateco believes it's running, but never identified or diagnosed the problem. In a recent conversation Ateco's costomer relations manager admitted they never identified the problem; he volunteered it could have been water in the fuel !! Really. How arrogant and ignorant can a person get?

    It's a shocking disgrace and does nothing for Citroen's reputation in Australia.
    I'd have been less than happy too, based on what you've said.

    Did you buy it new? How many km before it misbehaved?
    JohnW

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  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    I bought it new in March 2010. It had about 25,000 km when it failed.

  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    BTW. The local dealer was as helpful as possible, but were constrained by working to Citroen Australia's instructions that were very slow in coming. Problem now is, although they have never identified the problem, they say it's running. They have now all washed their hands of it. The car sits in their yard waiting, no doubt, for the legal case.

  5. #5
    mnm
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    Hello

    reading this I am not surprised really.. modern day service??? Ha! It pales in contrast to the lengths Citroen went to to get the DS up and running in the early launch days.. I'm referring to the squads of mobile repair men who zipped around fixing leaks and faults with the car to keep it on the raod, drivers happy and hopefully its reputation salvaged... wasn't that successful in the end in terms of the latter from what I've read bit still.

    I had a similar experience with a new car back in the 90s... took 9 months of haggling and letters to eventually get the transmission replaced... problem solved but the whole experience of buying a new car was tarnished from then on. In my case the dealer was next to useless... in the end they ended up losing the dealership (it was a VW BTW, not a Citroen). That was enjoyable to see at least. .


    Matthew
    Last edited by mnm; 24th May 2012 at 04:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Sounds about right. it's a 1.6 Turbo diesel EGS right ?? They block there fuel filters at about that milage and cause really weird random poor running. The fix is to change the fuel filter (been there, done that). The one here had the injection pump and injectors changed too before they decided to change the filter.....

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  7. #7
    Tadpole
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    Modern electronics also causes intermittent and hard-to-locate problems too, though with modern telemetry you would not think it too much of a problem. Had an Alfa 156 ten years ago with a similar injection issue. It was suspected to be a Bosch issue, but nobody would own up. Lasted for 5 years until it cut out on my wife exiting a freeway, at 100k with no power brakes or steering. Not fun.

    Really the companies need a firm and quick replacement policy for unfixable problems. No matter if they are seemingly small, they can be life threatening.

  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    No. It is a 1.6 Turbo petrol; though I have read a lot about the similar issue with the turbo diesel.

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I have no idea then. The filter will be a diesel on issue I imagine.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
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  10. #10
    UFO
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    Have you consulted with your state's Fair Trading department or similar?
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  11. #11
    JBN
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    I was speaking to a bloke who was complaining that his $84K Honda Legend was now worth $20K trade in (at 3 years old) against a new Legend (still at $84K).

    He then mentioned that his VW Tourag had the air suspension bugger up. The car was completely undrivable. ($1,800 to fix) and also the security system locked up the whole car. The car had to be winched up the flatbed after the tray had been lubricated as all the wheels had locked up too. It took a number of days before the car was able to be unlocked from Frankfurt, Germany.

    I believe that Bill Gates has a lot to answer for. It seems that all new cars are built on the MS Windows system - basically built to crash with a paranoid sense of security such that the legitimate owner is denied access.

    My wife sells lottery tickets for a charity that has a car as the prize. Just trying to get the car windows down on a modern car is quite a feat. Most need the remote key "parked" somewhere for anything to happen. Some require seatbelts to be secured before anything happens. Goodness knows what happens if one is involved in a car accident, where the remote key has been dislodged from its special compartment and one is unable to wind down the windows to escape. BMW is fairly good in that it has a Help facility that gives a verbose description of what needs to be done (a la Windows help) for something that was simple and intuitive in the pre Bill Gate's Era (BGE). I need to take my reading glasses just to read the instructions to operate the car.

    Don't give up. One day, just before you go to heaven, you may be lucky to get your hands on a 2CV. The simple joys of a pre Bill Gates era car may keep you here on Earth a bit longer, as heaven will not have too much more to offer.

    John

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    My policy is if something I am paying for to work stops working, I stop paying.

    Then again, I don't own cars with computers because I don't want to know anything about computers. I don't trust them to play a DVD let alone to control my car.

    If you paid cash for the car, there's a lesson to learn there, sorry.

    Don't give up.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  14. #14
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    ATECO has so much to answer for. Sorry to hear you got a bad apple Citroen. This is not good for the brand. Just shows not any company cares about customers these days. Very sad.

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! CamM's Avatar
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    If you haven't already done so, try posting about your C4 problems (i.e. car issues, as opposed to ATECO issues) on C4Owners.org to see if you can get any ideas from them.
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  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! stew's Avatar
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    Default Oh dear

    I'm sorry for you, that is disgraceful. You should have been given a Pro rata payment or an exchange vehicle. Just wrong. I'm not surprised though as this engine, designed by BMW and made by the French in the Douvrin Factory has been big trouble all over the world. Engine or electronics, know one knows. It is fitted to Cit, Peugeot,Mini, Mazda,Ford. I don't know if the Douvrin Factory supply all the engines to the other makes or if the other makes use the same electronics but by goodness it will wreck the resale of any vehicle fitted with this engine come trade in time.
    Have you approached any one about a replacement to the value of the vehicle when it failed last year?

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! Ronhic's Avatar
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    I would suggest that this qualifies as a 'Major Failure' under the consumer protection legislation. If it were I in this position - an issue that the manufacturer is unable to advise that the cause of the problem has been identified and rectified and one which made the vehicle unsuitable for its intended purpose, I would be going for a full refund less depreciation based on the ATO guidelines for the age and mileage of the vehicle at the time the incident first occurred.

    http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/co...ee-failure.htm

  18. #18
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    We shouldn't have to keep quoting fair trading though in this day and age. Its just a real joke.

  19. #19
    Tadpole
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    I did Craig. As it turns out, Fair trading has no authority to even force a mediation and Ateco knows it. The ACCC and Trade practices offers no consumer protection at all. It's just all political double-speak.

    Here is an audit trail of the entire sorry story -

    Citroen C4 1.6L Turbo 5 Dr
    Sun 16 Oct 2011 12:50PM.
    The Citroen C4 had a sudden loss of power, as though the turbo has cut out. First reported by Cheryl over 2 months ago. Nothing revealed in fault logs. Told to see what happens. Appeared again in Sydney towards the end of September 2011, briefly at first, and then at the bottom of the range leaving Newcastle, returning to the Gold Coast on 2nd October 2011.

    Ascended the range at 20 k in 2nd gear. The power loss lasted 600 kilometres until driving towards Tenterfield the next day, when the engine slowly returned to normal.

    Called road service fro Uralla but Citroen advised that the roadside service was not available in the area. The nearest service was either Coffs Harbour or Southport, Qld. Since no fault was logged and no warning lights appeared we decided on Southport. Booked into the local service agent, Cartwright Motor Group on return.

    Monday 10th booked in @ Cartwright. Given no logged fault Shane felt it was probably a fuel issue, either filter or coking valves, a known issue. A contact of his familiar with the engine had also experienced timing issues. Citroën wanted to de-coke the Valves with a special fluid. We collected the car on Thursday. No diagnosis, but see what happens.

    Cartwright requested copy of servicing invoices, including the original service done by the original dealer, Gold Coast Citroen, (now closed down) on Friday. 

    On return, I noticed that the wing mirrors had reversed the reversing mode, corrected in a recent software upgrade recall. Does this indicate that the entire upgrade was dumped or overwritten? 

    Noted this morning that the engine idle is rough. This is a not a problem previously experienced, even during the low power episodes. 

    Tue 18 Oct 2011 09:15PM.
    Detailed to Sean @ Cartwright
    Idle is rough. This is new, not a pre-existing problem
    The reversing mirror has reversed (returned to incorrect driver's side). Since this was corrected in the previous software upgrade it begs the question, what else was overwritten or deleted? Booked in for next Tuesday. Requested to bring the receipt from the first service done at the original dealer.

    Fri 11 Nov 2011 10:51AM.
    Car delivered to Cartwright on 26th October., the next available date.

    Collected Tuesday 1st November.
    Spoke with Sean (Service) and advised that:
    a) the idle is rough.
    b) I had a bad experience entering traffic on Nerang-Broadbeach Rd when the engine died under hard acceleration. Agreed to return the car on Monday.
    Sean agreed to give us a full print out of the work done when the warranty dept prepares it for him. Note: Sean has been critical of the Citroen system of warranty authorisation (very "dogs & barking") with frustrating delays getting warranty work authorised. (Note: Cartwright ultimately avoided giving details of work done).

    Sun 13 Nov 2011 04:48PM.
    Idle bad on Friday Full turbo loss Saturday 1pm (returned home) Full turbo loss today (Sunday). 12:30pm. Stopped twice. Slowly returned 2:45pm. Takes about 15 minutes to come back with surging motor until it comes good. Returned the car on Monday 14th Nov.

    Tue 29 Nov 2011 12:48PM.
    Called Cartwright and spoke with Sean. The car is not fixed. They (Cartwright) and Citroen are struggling. (his words). Citroen believe it is a timing problem, since they have experienced similar issues with Peugeot. They advised that the previous timing fix did not work because the tools were not available in Australia. The tools are being sent from France. No date given for repairs.

    Wed 30 Nov 2011 01:16PM. 
Attempted to get information from car forums:
    Posted to French Car Forum. Has anyone encountered this or a similar problem? Our C4 1.6 petrol turbo automatic hatch is 18 months old. In the past 6 months it has developed a sudden power loss issue, as though the turbo has cut out. it then appears to run in "safe" mode. It can last from 30 minutes to days. The worst example lasted over 500 kilometres on a long interstate journey, where it climbed a small mountain range in 2nd gear @ 20k/hr. (Citroen has no emergency service outside major cities). It is accompanied by rough idling and the somewhat hair-raising habit of not responding immediately to the throttle when, for example, entering traffic. (At all times, not just during power-loss). Power returns over a period of 15 to 30 minutes, gradually improving during that time. There is no apparent trigger for the power to return, for example when it is hot, cold, re-started, the next morning etc. Just when it feels inclined. The car has been in the garage for 2 months and the dealer can not isolate the problem. To date they have de-coked the valves / head (that was apparently heavily coated) and checked the timing, though apparently the correct timing tools are not available in Australia, so they are currently hopping from France. (on a slow boat - hopefully not to China). Citroen refuses to look at Airflow, oxygen, Co2 or MAP sensors because there is no fault being registered in the fault logs. I personally feel, when all the evidence is assembled (coking engine, sudden changes in power, idling, throttle response etc., ), it will turn out to be a faulty sensor.

    Advised Cartwright service manager of this post, but they did not take any notice of it, believing their own actions would resolve the issue.


    Sat 3 Dec 2011 12:17PM.
    Letter of demand to Citroen. Copy to Cartwright. Post on Monday 4th Dec. (Attached). Neither Citroen or Cartwright ever replied to this letter.

    Fri 16 Dec 2011 10:33AM.
    Update: Sean phoned last Friday (9 December) to advise that the timing tool had arrived from France and that the work would be done on Monday 12th Dec. The car would be returned on Tuesday 13th Dec. Sean would be on leave, but the service manager would look after it. I called Monday afternoon to check on progress. The service manager advised that the timing check had been completed and it proved to be perfect (ie., not the problem). Citroen had decided to send another part which would arrive the next day. He was evasive when I asked what new part was required, but, on pressing, he suggested it was "something to do with the turbo boost. 

    Fri 16 Dec 2011 10:56AM.
    Called the service manager. Dennis (mechanic) has been working on the car all week. He re-set the timing twice to make sure it was correct. They have now gone over the head of Citroen Australia to "the platform" (Citroen France) [I thought they were communicating with CF weeks ago]. CF are sending a new electrovalve, albeit Cartwright has already replaced this part. It was ordered yesterday, will be delivered Monday 19th). I advised that I had seen a comment on the C4 forum that an oxygen sensor can cause a shutdown to "safe mode" but not sufficient to log a fault. He was going to look into that too. 

    Thu 22 Dec 2011 12:09PM.
    Craig (Cartwright Service) called with the following: The factory in France checked the computer parameters but found nothing. They asked C to drive the car and send more parameters. They then logged in to the ems. They did not explain what, if anything, they did in the way of software upgrades or bug fixes. Dennis, the mechanic, drove the car after this and the turbo immediately started boosting. However, the turbo then blew a seal that spilled oil on the surrounding seals and pipes. Since there are no new seals available in Australia, they cleaned the seals and sealed it up with sealant for the time being. New seals are ordered. Dennis had been of the opinion that there may have been a timing chain issue but the factory would have none of it. Even though the car seems to be operating now, they still did not isolate or identify the problem. Cartwright wants to hold the car for test driving. Craig goes on holidays tomorrow. Sean is back from leave on the 28th December. Sean will test the car to make sure that it is OK to drive. He will call me early January. Seals will be replaced when available.

    Fri 30 Dec 2011 12:04PM.
    C4 Owners Forum replies: 30/12/2011 - #19681 Does the Citroen C4 1.6 turbo by any chance have the same engine as the Peugeot 207 ? A friend of mines has the 207 1.6 turbo and had nothing but problems since the day he bought it and for almost 12 months it was never out of the Peugeot garage below was the reply he sent me hopefully if both cars share the same engine this could be why your having the problems your having and can be of some help to you. It was the 2 tension bolts that hold the variable timing adjusters to the cam. They kept loosening with the car heating up and cooling down knocking the timing off and causing the engine management to go [email protected]@ck$. Peugeot got around this buy buying new bolts and over torquing them over the recommended torques. Dodgy as if the bolts snap your f*@#ed. Hope that helps cheers 30/12/2011 - #406 Lots of problems and lots of solutions depending on exact P code logged in ECU on these engines. Been in Pugs for a few years and Mini for even longer so thought they would've ironed out the problems .

    Wed 4 Jan 2012 05:19PM.
    More Forum feedback: Tue Jan 03 2012, 02:36PM Club Member #406 Posts: 1100 Joined: Jun 16 2007 Location: Stafford We've 2 DS3's in at the moment both having timing chains - nightmare! Oh and parts had been on back order for week and a half but guessing some of that down to Christmas break.

    Citroen ignored all this advice.

    Thu 5 Jan 2012 03:40PM.
    Sean (Cartwright) called at 12 noon. He has been driving the car since his return from holidays. He is not happy with its performance. The engine continues to falter, mainly after it is warm. His difficulties are compounded with the resignation of his only experienced Citroen / Peugeot mechanic. Citroen Australia are sending two specialist mechanics to the Gold Coast next Monday to see if they can identify and resolve the issue. If it is identified and resolved, he will continue to the car until next Wednesday or so. Sean to call with an update after Monday. His comment was that, at this stage, unless something is resolved, the resolution could be to change the engine / computer. I advised him that I am continuing with the Consumer complaint against Citroen Australia. He accepted that was a good idea.

    I entered a complaint (online) with Qld Fair Trading.

    Wed 18 Jan 2012 01:52PM.
    Loretta from Fair Trading (Southport) called with the following: She has spoken with Jamie Cartwright and The service manager. The Citroen mechanics from Sydney took fuel injector parts away on Monday. The new (or repaired) parts were returned to Cartwright today, with further instructions. The service manager, Dave, advised that his specialist mechanic was returning to work next Monday and he would prefer that they wait for this mechanic. This is contrary to my previous advice that the specialist mechanic had left the employment of Cartwright at Christmas. Unfortunately Cartwright has not kept me updated with any of this. I mentioned to Loretta that Citroen still has not identified the fault. It is still exploratory work.

    Tue 24 Jan 2012 03:05PM.
    Loretta (Fair Trading) called. Cartwright finished the repairs late last night. Testing is under way. They want to test for a "few days". 

    Wed 25 Jan 2012 10:40AM.
    Craig called at around 9:30a. The new / repaired parts are installed. Cartwright tested yesterday. Seemed OK, but I don't quite understand the next comment. Sean is talking to Citroen again today for further suggestions. Craig will report to Loretta at FTQ. 
 
Tue 31 Jan 2012 03:40PM.
    Email from loretta Taylor, Fair Trading Qld.
    Dear Mr Lowry I spoke with Craig the service manager at Cartwrights this morning. They are still experiencing intermittent problems with the Citroen, and Citroen Australia have asked to hook into the car's computer system today or tomorrow, whenever this can be arranged between both teams. Apparently they do this via computer. I'm sorry but we have no outcome at this stage, just an update. Craig said he will try and contact me again this afternoon with an update. Kind regards Loretta Taylor Office of Fair Trading Gold Coast Regional Office - Southport Department of Justice and Attorney-General [email protected] Ph 07 55813304 Ground Floor 7 Short Street, Southport QLD 4215 PO Box 2565 SOUTHPORT QLD 4215 Fax 07 55813388 www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au Call Centre telephone 13 QGOV (13 7468) 

Tue 31 Jan 2012 03:40PM.
    Hi John It would be interesting to see how it stands in the small claims court, I can't believe they are taking this long. I asked Craig whether it would help if I contact Citroen Australia direct. He asked me to wait until this afternoon when he can liaise with the service manager. I'll talk to him this afternoon, and then make a decision. Rgds Loretta.

    Wed 1 Feb 2012 09:23AM.
    On 31/01/2012, at 4:54 PM, Taylor, Loretta wrote: Hi John No one is answering or returning phone calls at Cartwright. I might go direct to Citroen Australia in the morning for some clarification. Regards Loretta

    Good idea Loretta. Citroen (Ateco) has really stepped back from the customer service side of this issue and let Cartwright and us carry the can to date. For example, the loan car is a Cartwright vehicle, not a Citroen. It amazes me that they let me run down their own car and allow Citroen to get off scott free. Citroen has also had trouble meeting its legal obligations to maintain sufficient parts and tools in Australia. That issue has caused weeks of delay as things are sent from France. All the best, John

    Wed 1 Feb 2012 11:43AM.
    On 01/02/2012, at 10:43 AM, Taylor, Loretta wrote: Hi John Cartwrights were about to hook up with Citroen this morning. I had a long chat with Craig. I believe they will just keep working through the issues until they find the problem and fix it. I have also left a message with Citroen (Ateco) for the appropriate person to contact me regarding this vehicle/matter. Craig has advised them that OFT are now on their tail to have this fixed. The more noise we make, the quicker we may get results. Regards Loretta

    Fri 3 Feb 2012 12:22PM.
    They have lost the plot!! Absolutely grasping at straws now..... On 03/02/2012, at 9:08 AM, Taylor, Loretta wrote: Hi John Still waiting to hear from Citroen Aust - we are playing phone tag at present but speaking with Cartwrights yesterday arvo...and Craig stated Citroen are bringing up a new cylinder head asap. I'll keep you posted once I hear back from John Brown in Sydney and can confirm the above. Kind regards Loretta Taylor Office of Fair Trading Gold Coast Regional Office - Southport Department of Justice and Attorney-General

    Tue 14 Feb 2012 04:40PM.
    Hi John I've just explained your email to John Brown in Sydney. He is liaising with the mechanic here in Southport as he hasn't heard from him today. I will wait until John returns my call to suggest a meeting. It is not OFT policy to be involved in any meetings between consumers and traders, however I think it is time Citroen made a decision regarding this vehicle. I will ask John Brown to suggest a meeting and/or resolution as soon as I here back from him. I will ask if you can contact John direct regarding the progress of work here in Southport. Regards Loretta. 

    Tue 14 Feb 2012 04:41PM.
    Thanks Loretta, Look forward to getting John's number. best, John

    [Note: Brown never replied or gave his number for me to contact him].

    Mon 20 Feb 2012 03:44PM
    Did not hear from John brown or Ateco. Attended Cartwright's today (uninvited). Spoke with Craig Loffler, the general manager and Craig, the Service manager. We suggested that, since this is the fifth month the car is in service, Cartwright ought to step up and push our case with Citroen. CL advised that Cartwright has replaced the cylinder head, but the idling problem persists. The power problem is no longer the issue, though I do not believe anyone actually identified the problem, or can say with any certainty that it is fixed. Ateco now want to replace the gearbox controller to fix the idling problem. Once again, Ateco and the Citroen factory insist that this will fix it. CL phoned Ateco while we were in his office. He advised that this is the last attempt to fix the issue. if this does not work we will attempt to resolve the issue with a replacement vehicle. The gearbox part is due this Thursday. Leaving Friday for testing, we agreed to meet on Monday.

    Mon 27 Feb 2012 08:47AM.
    Craig Loffler called. The gearbox arrived Friday late. Will be installed today. Service manager wants a couple of days for testing.

    Wed 29 Feb 2012 05:02PM.
    Called Cartwright. Spoke to Sean. The gearbox change did not fix the issue. Citroen now want Cartwright to replace fuel pump parts. Advised Sean I will be in Brisbane tomorrow, but would call Craig Loffler Friday.

    Mon 5 Mar 2012 05:33PM.
    Last Wednesday, Citroen requested Cartwright to replace the fuel pump. The part had to be removed from another vehicle in stock. This was to be completed Thursday, I believe, though the removal took 4 hours, according to Cartwrights service department. Heard nothing today. 

    Tue 6 Mar 2012 05:42PM.
Craig (service manager called before noon today). The fuel pump repair did not work. Cartwright and Citroen are now in discussions as to "an offer". I refer to our earlier letter in which we set out our minimum terms., i.e., a vehicle to the same specifications, or better. We have now been without our vehicle since 1 October 2011. Craig also wants to replace the loan vehicle. He is to call when the replacement is available.

    Wed 7 Mar 2012 04:28PM.
    Called Craig Loffler. He returned my call. He confirmed that Citroen is looking at replacing the car. Cartwright are still required to fix it for on-selliing. I told him we are very disappointed in Citroen Australia. They have refused to talk to us direct, so Cartwright must still act as the intermediary. Cartwright wants to change the loan vehicle over at lunchtime tomorrow.

    Wed 14 Mar 2012 03:15PM.
    email reply from Craig Loffler
    Thanks John and yes don’t pay the registration Jamie is onto this as well thanks.

    From: Lowry John [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 1:46 PM To: Craig Loffler Subject: Citroen Hi Craig, Wanted to let you know that the Citroen's registration is due next week. Of course we don't want to pay another year's reg on it at this stage, so we need a resolution soon. Note: Jamie Cartwright has never been in contact with us].

    Fri 16 Mar 2012 02:48PM.
Visited Cartwright this morning to express our concern that we are advised not to pay the reg., but there is no advice as to progress with our car, which now sits, disassembled in their yard. - Craig Loffler (the GM) knows nothing. The matter is now out of his hands and the dealer principal, Jamie Cartwright is dealing with Ateco, except he has gone to a funeral in Victoria. - Also advised the turbo was replaced (after the fuel pump), though this is no longer our problem, since Citroen are looking at replacement options / offers. [What does it take?] Craig was much more concerned with his own issues,namely: 1) They were not the dealer that sold the car to us (Cartwright took over the Citroen dealership shortly after we purchased and they have done all but the first service); 2) We are driving their loan car and using up its tyres and servicing. We explained that whatever their issues are with Ateco and Citroen, we do not want then visited on us. What we must have is a replacement vehicle to the value of the one we purchased, or better. Craig will ask jamie to call us next Monday. [Note: Jamie never called]

    Mon 19 Mar 2012 03:07PM.
    No response from Cartwright today. We have calculated the minimum settlement from Citroen / Ateco is $43,100, (Note: moved since then) being the original purchase price of the vehicle, plus the EXTRA cost to refinance the new vehicle. An alternative offer of the same or an equivalent vehicle to the above value would be considered. There is no provision in this figure for the cost spent to resolve the issue or the inconvenience of being without the car for the past 6 months.




    Mon 19 Mar 2012 05:04PM.
    Called Loretta at Fair Trading. She thought it was settled. Told her John Brown had never contacted me and everything that had happened since. (refer earlier task comments). She is talking to her supervisors tomorrow to see what our position under the FT Act might be. She will also talk to Brown and Cartwright. 

    Mon 19 Mar 2012 04:19PM.
    Called Craig Loffler. he advised - Joe (head of Citroen service) is in Brisbane today. Craig (Cartwright's general manager) told me he has no idea what Citroen or Cartwright intend to do in relation to replacing our car.

    Tue. 20 Mar 2012 10:31AM.
    Loretta (QFT) called. She spoke with John Brown (Ateco) She was gobsmacked by his ambivalence about the issue. He commented that the Citroen mechanic was in Brisbane, confirming Loffler's remarks. When she suggested we may have to take action to settle the matter, his comment was to the effect "I don't blame him". Loretta asked to be kept in the loop.

    Thu 22 March 2:00pm
    Instructed Thomsons Lawyers to consider options available to me and to proceed against the parties.

    Mon 26th March 6:00pm
    Thomsons advise the best available option is to commence proceedings in the Federal Magistrates Court. The process requires us to request a mediation / settlement conference. In view of Brown’s comments to the Fair Trading officer we instructed Thomsons to proceed.

    
Mon 2 Apr 2012 03:33PM.
    Sean (Cartwright) called to say the car is fixed and ready for collection. it was as though we had dropped the car in for service that morning. He said that the Sydney mechanics had been driving the car and advise it it not exhibiting any problems. On enquiry, he advised me that they had replaced the turbo and re-adjusted the timing (again). I advised Sean that we had already instructed lawyers and would be reserving our position.

    Mon 2 Apr 2012 04:10PM.
    To date discussions with legal advice has been off Myloop. Advised Thomsons to proceed with letter, following Sean's call re completion. (Attached)

    Wed 11 Apr 2012 03:35PM.
Sean (Cartwright service manager) called, requesting the return of the loan car. I told him that they would not get the loan car until this matter is sorted out. He advised that he would pass this message on to his manager. I noted that the managers did not have the courage to call me since we last spoke with Craig Loffler, some weeks ago.

    Wed 11 Apr 2012 04:28PM.
    Well - At last we seem to have Cartwright’s attention, now that they want their loan car to give to someone else. Craig Loffler (Cartwright’s general manager) called, requesting the return of their loan car.

    It was a whining conversation in which Craig offered:

    It’s not Cartwright’s fault;
    1)They lost money on the whole thing;
    We can pick up our car any time;
    They made no profit on the sale (because it was sold by Barbizon);
    Cartwright's responsibility is at an end;
    We should deal direct with Ateco;
    Cartwright received Thompson’s letter on 10th April. The letter is dated 2 April. (I find this hard to believe).
    He believes Ateco are responding to Thompson's letter;
    His legal advice is that Cartwright have nothing to worry about and are not responsible in any way;
    Jamie Cartwright is in Melbourne with his kids until 16 April.

    I responded:
    Cartwright is Ateco’s sales and service agent on the Gold Coast;
    We only took the car to Cartwright for service and repair after they took over the dealership; Cartwright had sent us a circular letter to the effect that we should attend the authorised service agent in order to maintain the manufacturer's warranty.
    Ateco made it very clear that they would not deal with us. They wanted to deal through Cartwright. Ateco’s John Brown (in conversations with Fair Trading Qld) made it clear that Ateco did not want to deal direct with us. He even responded to Fair Trading (Loretta Taylor) that “it would be a good idea” if we started legal action.
    At our last meeting Craig told us that the petrol pump replacement would be the last attempt to repair the car, after which it would be replaced. Jamie Cartwright was to call us the next day. Jamie Cartwright has never called us or attempted to deal with the matter properly.
    I told him that we have absolutely no faith in Citroen, Ateco and by association Cartwright. Since their attempts to repair the vehicle were entirely hit-and-miss and trial-and-error, we do not know when or if such a problem will return, but we are concerned that in the event of any problem with the car we would not receive any better service than we have received to date. We do not believe they ever actually identified the problem;
    I suggested that Cartwright are very much involved, as Ateco’s agents;
    I suggested that Craig have a chat with Jamie Cartwright and Ateco and come up with a reasonable proposition for us to consider.

    Note: Jamie Cartwright has not contacted us.

    Tue. 17 Apr 2012 11:43AM. 
Called Craig Loffler (Cartwright GM ) to see if there was any movement and to make an offer to Cartwright to change the Citroen for a Renault, on the basis that Renault is not distributed by Ateco. This might help to alleviate Cartwright’s losses.

    He was polite, but so disinterested I wondered what drug he was on. He did not even enquire about their loan car.

    Wed 18th April 9:00 am
    First reaction
    John Lowry replied Wed 18 Apr 2012 10:25AM. Sent to John Lowry
    Are we stick with this lousy offer after this fiasco?
    Next action date changed from Thu 12 Apr 2012 8:00 AM to Fri 20 Apr 2012

    John Lowry replied Wed 18 Apr 2012 04:55PM. Sent to John Lowry
    Letter from Thomsons enclosing an offer from Citroen Australia (signed by John Brown, National Customer Relations Manager - LOL), to the effect: Modern motor cars are very complex; (who cares?) Citroen will adhere to their warranty obligations, during the warranty period; (very limiting) They believe the car is now working correctly and is ready for collection; The dealer provided a loan car; (so what) Citroen do not admin any liability; As a gesture of goodwill, Citroen would: Extend the warranty by 12 months or 20,000 km Pay for the next two scheduled services. My initial response is: This letter is almost beyond belief. There is no response whatsoever to Thomson’s letter of demand; It’s not our problem that modern motor cars are complex; Citroen believes it is fixed? Citroen has never identified the issue. The entire farce was a case of the blind leading the blind until it seems OK; We do not believe that Citroen ever actually identified the problem. It could re-occur at any time. The letter makes it clear that, should it re-occur outside the warranty period, Citroen will not be responsible. It is not a risk we are prepared to take. We purchased what we thought would be a quality vehicle that would last us well into retirement. It is obvious that this is now a high-risk proposition. Nobody has given us a detailed written explanation of what was actually done to the car; We are now out of pocket to the added extent of legal fees for an action suggested by Mr Brown himself; Citroen Australia has long since burned all its goodwill; It reinforces the view I have formed that Ateco is a shady, untrustworthy business. We would prefer a refund and compensation for our losses.

    Summary
    Letter from Thomsons enclosing an offer from Citroen Australia (signed by John Brown, National Customer Relations Manager - LOL), (attached) to the effect:

    Modern motor cars are very complex;

    Citroen will adhere to their warranty obligations, during the warranty period;

    They believe the car is now working correctly and is ready for collection;

    The dealer provided a loan car;

    Citroen do not admin any liability;

    As a gesture of goodwill, Citroen would:

    Extend the warranty by 12 months or 20,000 km

    Pay for the next two scheduled services.

    My initial response is:

    This letter is almost beyond belief.

    There is no response whatsoever to Thomson’s letter of demand;

    It’s not our problem that modern motor cars are complex;

    Citroen believes it is fixed? Citroen has never identified the issue. The entire farce was a case of the blind leading the blind until it seems OK;

    We do not believe that Citroen ever actually identified the problem. It could re-occur at any time. The letter makes it clear that, should it re-occur outside the warranty period, Citroen will not be responsible. It is not a risk we are prepared to take. We purchased what we thought would be a quality vehicle that would last us well into retirement. It is obvious that this is now a high-risk proposition.

    Nobody has given us a detailed written explanation of what was actually done to the car;
    We are now out of pocket to the added extent of legal fees for an action suggested by Mr Brown himself;

    Citroen Australia has long since burned all its goodwill;

    It reinforces the view I have formed that Ateco is a shady, untrustworthy business.


    Sun 22 Apr 2012 11:17AM
    John Lowry replied Sun 22 Apr 2012 11:17AM. Sent to John Lowry , Cheryl Lowry , Craig Loffler , Kelvie Lowry , Loretta Taylor , Pete Lowry

    Next action date changed from Thu 12 Apr 2012 A to Mon 23 Apr 2012 A.

    John Lowry replied Sun 22 Apr 2012 11:17AM. Sent to John Lowry
    Next actions: Citroen letter reviewed and rejected for a number of reasons (refer summary). Letter sent to ACCC Mon 23 Apr. letter to public legal service sent Fri 20th Apr. waiting reply Monday. Considering options re Fed Mags Court and QCAT.


    John Lowry replied Sun 22 Apr 2012 11:24AM.
    Conversation with Loretta Taylor (QFT) 20 Apr: Loretta had spoken with her colleagues. Confirmed that QFT has no ability to act for or protect consumers, other than by conciliation between the parties. It is obvious that ATECO knows its legal position in this respect and it has not made any meaningful attempt to conciliate or resolve this issue, other than extraordinarily inept and incompetent attempts to advise the service agent and. This resulted in the replacement of many major mechanical engine parts. It remains that Ateco has not to date actually identified the fault. They 'believe' it is fixed on the basis of trial and error to the point where they have apparently driven the vehicle without incident. We do not know what trials or tests, if any, we're carried out to identify the problem, other than the mechanic's road tests. Loretta suggested we look again at the QCAT option, even to the extent of selling the car and recovering the QCAT LIMIT.

    Fri 27 Apr 2012 03:39PM
    John Lowry replied Fri 27 Apr 2012 03:39PM. Sent to John Lowry
    No contact from Cartwright, Ateco or Barbizon. Contacted QPILCH to see what legal services are available. Contacted ACCC, Today Tonight and Current affair. No response to date.

    Fri 11 May 2012 04:11PM
    John Lowry replied Fri 11 May 2012 04:11PM. Sent to John Lowry
    No word from anyone. Response to Citroen offer, posted yesterday. Copies posted today.

    Mon 21 May 2012 11:14AM.
    John Lowry replied Mon 21 May 2012 11:14AM. Sent to John Lowry
    Gripevine.com complaint made on 3 May 2012. 172 views. No response at all from Ateco or Citroen. Next action - Post on Facebook; add video.

    John Lowry replied Mon 21 May 2012 04:22PM. Sent to John Lowry
    Met with QPILCH re self representation in the Federal Mags court. The Federal Mags court can take 3 years to get a hearing and, if Ateco wish to drag it out, they will. As an alternative, we could accept the vehicle, sell it and claim our losses (up to $25K) in QCAT. Cheryl will visit the showroom to see what assurances we can have and then we can move on and proceed with the QCAT option to recover losses.

    Tue. 22 May 2012 01:26PM
    John Lowry replied Tue. 22 May 2012 01:26PM. Sent to John Lowry , Cheryl Lowry
    Cheryl visited Cartwright Motors at 9 am this morning, unannounced, to see if she could get some movement on resolution of the matter. She was also concerned that Cartwright were withholding the current registration sticker for the loan car, in the hope that we would return it and take possession of the Citroen. Jamie Cartwright, the owner, left a management meeting at which he said they were discussing our matter. He had our last letter to Citroen in his hand. C explained that we want problem sorted out instead of being left out in “limbo” without any resolution. C advised she would attend Cartwright Motors each day until something satisfactory was mutually agreed. C Explained she understands that probably none of us will be entirely happy with the outcome but that we do need some resolution. Jamie said that he understands that he is the Citroen representative and that he needs to deal with the problem. He had been leaving it to Craig Loffler to handle as he was more hands on. He did not seem aware that Loffler had given assurances that Jamie would call us, or that Loffler had washed his hands of the matter. C explained that Craig had not handled the situation well as at the last contact he told us that we were stealing his car and that “he did not care about our car”. Sean had intimated that he had the registration sticker there but that is where it would be staying. The last time that we were in Craig Loffler’s office he told us that the car was a lemon and that we should clear our personal items out, which we did. He told us that we should not re-register the Citroen. We noted that the car was in a mess, dirty leather seats, trim hanging out and parts everywhere. and that Citroen would be sorting another vehicle for us. We are still waiting. C did say to Jamie that we did not mind the Koleos and that we would be prepared to listen to a deal with that in mind if it would help Cartwright to regain some of its losses. It was clear that this was new to him and that Loffler had not passed on this offer made to them weeks ago. We have never been contacted by anyone from Ateco and that it was a sad imposition that we as the buyers of a new car were left out in the cold to feel as though we were the baddies in the piece. Jamie was surprised that Citroen Australia had refused to contact us, even at the request of the Fair Trading conciliation officer. He did not appear to know that Brown had suggested to the Fair Trading officer that we take legal action. Jamie offered to call the owner of Ateco, who he knows. Jamie gave me a new registration sticker for the Koleos and undertook to call Ateco today and get back to me this afternoon. Cheryl felt this was the first reasonable and sensible discussion we have had to date.

    John Lowry replied Tue 22 May 2012 02:37PM. Sent to John Lowry
    Response received in todays mail from Brown at Ateco. He makes no attempt to address our concerns, the issues raised or to respond to our suggestions. This guy is a disgrace to his company and to Citroen. he is clearly pushing us toward litigation.

    John Lowry replied Tue 22 May 2012 02:46PM. Sent to John Lowry , Cheryl Lowry
    Jamie called Cheryl as promised. He attempted to escalate the matter with Ateco, but was referred back to Brown on the basis, I think, that we wrote a solicitor's letter. Considering this was done at the prompting of Mr Brown himself (Qld Fair Trading has a record of this conversation) It is clear these people do not want to resolve the matter, presumably in the hope they can outlast us. Issue audit trail forwarded to Jamie Cartwright by email as discussed with Cheryl.

    John Lowry replied Tue 22 May 2012 03:22PM. Sent to John Lowry
    Also noted in Cheryl's conversation with Jamie that Brown commented to him, on the phone today, "it could have been water in the petrol". Such a comment is flippant and ignorant, given the extent to which Cartwright and Citroen mechanics went in their attempt to resolve the issue, replacing some very significant parts along the way. This guy is a disgrace.

  20. #20
    Tadpole
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    Well, I have to say my 14 year old Fiat 20v Turbo is a dream to drive, beautifully built, runs like a clock......but I do have to unlock it with a key and undertake such mundane tasks as turning on the wipers when it rains. )

  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! Trading Estate's Avatar
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    Well admiration to you for your diligence in setting all this down and pursuing your rights. The toll on your health (blood pressure ) must be enormous and I feel for you. Have had a few experiences over the years where I had wished I'd never bought a new car, but this is ....!!!
    Well its about what I expect their responses would be be . They have always buck passed. They will do anything to ward you way.
    I guess with patience, lawyers and damages are all you can pursue. They may claim you never picked the car up at the end but as you say its in no state for that, they previously claimed that it should be exchanged and who would want it anyway.

    I remember a guy in Melbourne 30 years ago who put a giant Lemon or something similar on his roof and parked his car, for a few months outside Ford dealers on Saturdays with full explanation decals displayed and eventually got action by way of a replacement . Perhaps we are more sophisticated than that now with the internet and you tube!

    Stay well and hopefully hold on to the Koleos

    In the end we wonder why people buy Toyotas?
    '04 Megane
    Gone but not forgotten
    '71 16 TS, '72 16 TL, '74 15TS,'82 20TS Series 2, '85 25 GTX. '49 L15,

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Can't believe Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs have no teeth so to speak.
    I wishh you luck in your endevours and am sorry to hear the hassles are continuing.

    Like many french car nuts, I hate hearing this sort of story in relation to the new sibling of the frog fraternity as it must discourage any potential new buyers away very rapidly.
    2016 Renault Sport Clio Cup EDC 200



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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Bad Bertie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    My policy is if something I am paying for to work stops working, I stop paying.

    Then again, I don't own cars with computers because I don't want to know anything about computers. I don't trust them to play a DVD let alone to control my car.

    If you paid cash for the car, there's a lesson to learn there, sorry.

    Don't give up.
    You can hardly blame the finance co., they didn't sell you the car.

  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Yes as Trading Estate mentions your C4 parked close to a dealership with a trailer with a screen like those Vespas and cars tow around Melbourne with billboards outlining your case, surely this would get some action.

    Park the C4 there Sat and Sun at a few different dealerships, throw in a few mid weeks if you like. I can't see the individual dealers being very happy. Park out the front of enough of them and you should have them taking the case to Ateco on your behalf.

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Bloody unreal!

    Am a Renault person and have spent time following this.

    Where is Citroen France in all of this????
    Surely they must be watching/reviewing all this. Send emails etc to them.

    Was thinking of getting a C5 diesel - not any more.
    With this sort of support from the local distributors - who would want to take the chance?

    I wish you a favorable speedy outcome.
    Keep us informed.

    David

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