Escalating clutch repairs... who is at fault

Pramrod

Junior Member
Messages
67
#1
So my QP went in for new clutch and investigate an issue with stalling and slipping out of gear.
Nareman at Nuvola sent her to Maserati Colchester.

So they found a clutch fluid leak and identified it as the clutch release bearing leaking hydraulic fluid.

That increased the clutch replacement from £3300 to £4600 (incl VAT).
Gulp. Ok.

Then put it back together and found another leak -
a leak from the hydraulic clutch line from front to rear.
They have identified the leak to be coming from under a protective shielding, so they can’t diagnose the exact cause, but they believe that the pipe is perished and has been disturbed during the clutch replacement, but sitting tight so the leak isn't noticeable.
To replace it, they have to remove the gearbox again to reach the pipe.

Cost estimate:
Labour £1085+VAT and parts £290+VAT.

I'm saying they should have checked this before putting it all back together. And how can I be sure that it wasn't their work (vs someone else's) that has disturbed the hydraulic clutch line.
So I don't want to pay the labour cost of removing the gearbox and putting it back. Just parts and the labour for installing that part when the gearbox was out.

The final bill on this could be £6400! Which is bonkers
(You might remember I got a £10K payout to repair bodywork on this car... that little warchest will pretty much be gone with these costs! Should have taken the £15k and scrapped her? But I do love this car.)

Thoughts?
 

Rex B

Junior Member
Messages
490
#2
Eurospares site say,s clutch release bearings are around £310 plus vat, how can they justify an extra £1300. I would also challenge the gearbox removal cost with a view to splitting the labour 50/50.

Rex B
 
Messages
373
#3
I wouldn’t have expected them to check what I’m assuming is the clutch actuation hose from the F1 unit at the back to the clutch at the front for the simple fact I wouldn’t expect it to fail, unless it’s a known QP issue. But that then brings up the question of why it’s now leaking. The gearbox and torque tube is a thumping great lump, I’d want to see that they’d not damaged the hose when reinstalling the unit. The second question is how long has it been leaking and was it the cause of your initial problem?

Either you’re unlucky or they’re hamfisted, if the hose is behind a heat shield you should be able to see damage to it if it’s the later.
 

GeoffCapes

Centenary Club
Messages
8,357
#4
If it 'possibly' had been damaged by the clutch replacement then send it back telling them to fix what they damaged. They should be competent enough to not damage it.
 

Zep

Moderator
Messages
1,854
#6
Perhaps you should suggest that they replace the pipe and it is examined upon removal. If the pipe is perished, you are in the chair. If it was damaged during removal or installation then they should pay. The difference should be obvious. I would have thought.

The other choice is to pull the car out and get the pipe replaced by an indie, it would cut that labour cost in half(ish).
 

slay

Junior Member
Messages
88
#7
Very sorry to hear about the issues Pramrod, I do hope that the dealer would sort it out, at least covering the labour cost as you had suggested.

Just wondering if there was any reason to have the repair work done at a dealer rather than independent? Personally, I would only use dealer for servicing (just because buyers of these cars perceive main dealer servicing as more superior), but would definitely prefer independent specialists to carry out any repair work, more knowledgeable, and better customer service I believe. I think any of the decent indies would have resolved this issue with you rather than risking a single incident of less than £1k worth of labour costs tarnishing their reputations.

Just a thought, not sure if everyone else uses main dealers for everything?
 

dgmx5

Junior Member
Messages
202
#9
Before you issue a claim, write to the MD about what you are seeking and why and give them the opportunity to respond, say 14 days, otherwise you will be issuing proceedings.

If issuing proceedings, use https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. It is quicker and slightly cheaper than using the hard copy N1 and gives you more control if you are lucky enough to get a judgment in default. You have very limited character space in the online particulars so make sure you prepare a more detailed account of what you are claiming even if you do not serve it at the time.

But really you should only issue if you can show they are at fault and have a basis in law for bringing a claim. Beware issuing without that evidence as your claim may be successfully defended, you will lose your court fee and potentially have to pay the MD's legal costs (although unlikely for a claim less than £10k). Remember, you would have to pay something so what you are seeking is only the loss you have suffered, e.g. cost of additional work not what you had already agreed to be done.

Settlement is always best.
 

Felonious Crud

Centenary Club
Messages
11,201
#10
fwiw, I lost faith in that MD some years back after the guy running the customer service and the guy running the workshop both moved on. On my MC, they reckoned I had the wrong exhaust, claiming that the MCs had the twin pipes each side. It's the little things they really should know.
 
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GeoffCapes

Centenary Club
Messages
8,357
#11
Before you issue a claim, write to the MD about what you are seeking and why and give them the opportunity to respond, say 14 days, otherwise you will be issuing proceedings.

If issuing proceedings, use https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. It is quicker and slightly cheaper than using the hard copy N1 and gives you more control if you are lucky enough to get a judgment in default. You have very limited character space in the online particulars so make sure you prepare a more detailed account of what you are claiming even if you do not serve it at the time.

But really you should only issue if you can show they are at fault and have a basis in law for bringing a claim. Beware issuing without that evidence as your claim may be successfully defended, you will lose your court fee and potentially have to pay the MD's legal costs (although unlikely for a claim less than £10k). Remember, you would have to pay something so what you are seeking is only the loss you have suffered, e.g. cost of additional work not what you had already agreed to be done.

Settlement is always best.
I used Moneyclaim to get a money back from a client that hadn't paid. The total outlay for me even after I sent bailiffs in to collect was only about £150.
And that is added to their bill so you get that back anyway.
 
Messages
1,924
#12
I feel sorry for you here, but getting major jobs done by main dealers is always a bit of a blank check, I don't have a main dealer anywhere near me, but I did inquire in the early days about a major service with Grey Paul and they quoted me £2800, and there was a caviat for any additional costs on top. I did it myself cost me £3-400 and a long weekend. I think you need to push back at least other wise they will think this escalating bill is ok.
 
Messages
492
#13
The basis of a solution starts with talking to the dealer - go and visit him and confirm a meeting time/date and state clearly what you want the meeting for (not the details - otherwise it will become email ping-pong).
I'd suggest you stay away from Small Claims Court etc. and not even mention it in your discussions.
Then prepare for the meeting listing all the points oin terms of what you want that would be a satisfactory resolution for you (with an explanation of why).

Keep calm at the meeting, listen carefully and counter-reply. If the counter reply is not acceptable to you, say so in simple terms "that is not acceptable to me for the following reasons and I want....."

I'd probably be pushing for a waiver of labour to take the box out a second time (it doesn't really cost the dealer what you think - he has to pay staff whether they are working on a car or not and he passes it off as an operating expense). But you cannot expect him to pay for parts that are required - so offer that and the labour to replace the parts. You may end up meeting half the cost of the labour to remove and replace the box or agree to meet a % of the cost - say 33%.

I would not take a hard legal line - it just gets peoples backs up and they can probably throw more money at defending a claim than you could through Indemnity Insurance or a fixed annual contract for all legal services with a local law firm at fixed costs for a lot of things and then a top-up fee arrangement. My advice would be go and talk to the guys and try to come up with a solution that doesn't quite get either party everything on their shopping lists.
 
Messages
1,674
#14
I did use Maserati Colchester for servicing and found some of the work wasn't getting done ! I did almost what Cheshiremaserati said and discussed with the service manager and explained the issues and concerns - in the end we both agreed to meet in the middle. - I paid for parts, they took the hit on labour - now I only use Maserati Colchester for their part department who are very helpfull and great bunch of guys.

eitherway I hope you get this sorted out - very best of luck
 

Pramrod

Junior Member
Messages
67
#15
Wow! Thanks for the response.
Colchester Maserati have offered to cover half the labour.
It's all via Nareman at Nuvola - who is finding himself in a tight spot over this, and as always being the gentleman.
I couldn't find any indie would do a clutch replacement for cheaper than £3.3k.
But I do wonder why the clutch release bearing replacement was so expensive -


I've asked them to throw in fixing the handbrake while they are at it (which was on the list - and some of the labour is the same).

I get all the work on the QP done via Nuvola.
Guess I should find a North London indie (recommendations?)
 

Pramrod

Junior Member
Messages
67
#17
Apparently Maserati Colchester are as frustrated as me.

They only billed me for one hour diagnosis and their technician spent 8 hours finding out the source of the leak.
One of their four ramps is used up with my QP sat on their awaiting instructions.

I think I've just been very unlucky.
 
Messages
112
#18
Wow , I feel your pain , just had the clutch done on my 4200 Spyder and that cost me a shade under £3800 but mine was shot to sh@t and needed a new fly wheel and all new bearings , Marios at Autoshield sorted me out , top bloke , he is in Manchester so probably not much help to you .
Must admit , I am still shaken by the cost , even started looking at Porsche again and TVR . A9ABB613-9D3A-4E86-9234-0972178DD52F.jpeg
 

TimR

Member
Messages
616
#19
Thats a difficult one and only you know how you feel about it I guess....
...but you got to figure clutches are a biggy on these cars, and now it's done, its a major investment in the car's over all prospects..?