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Old 28-06-2006   #1
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Thumbs down Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

I'm really glad I have found this forums, as I am so angry with Huttons.
At the end of March I bought a Punto dynamic 1.2 8v from them. It was an '05 reg with only 2000 miles on the clock. I thought it was bound to be ok and payed them over £7,000 for it.............how badly mistaken I was!!!
Two days later, my partner and I got to go away for the weekend. I started to get messages flashing up on the dash and the car cut out. It happened a few times on the way to Gloucester and I was really cheesed off. On the way back it was ok, but I really wasn't happy with the performance. It was changing up the gears very slowly (I was driving in auto), in fact at one point, it was showing me in 1st gear at 65 mpg. When I came back, I went straight back to Huttons and said I wasn't happy with the car. I said I wanted to reject it. They asked for one opportunity to correct the problem, which I gave them.

I had to wait two weeks for them to have the car in and during that time the car cut out in traffic another three times....once in quite a dangerous position. The car finally went in and they apparently reset parameters on the ECU and said it would be fine.........haha.

Within three weeks the fault started to return, and after contacting trading standards, I wrote my first letter, again rejecting the car....and there the fun began.

Having received no reply to my letter, I went in to discuss the problem. The DP of the company(whatever that means) had no intention of listening to the problems. He insisted that the fault was through driver error! My partner was also with me and tried to explain that he had also had the same problems. He was also told he wasn't driving the car correctly. I fail to see how using the accelerator to pull away from traffic lights can be incorrect, or why the car would insist that I 'push the break' whilst driving along in traffic.

During the meeting, I witnessed the most arrogant display of rudeness. The man spent half the time singing his own praises as an honest business man, and the other half telling me I was causing the fault errors.

Well, so as not to make this post too long,I will explain the rest of the sorry saga briefly.

Trading standards said if I were rejecting the vehicle, I should no longer drive it. So for two months, I have not had a vehicle on the road. I would point out here that I have two disabled children and a business to run. Would I be stupid enough to leave my car on the drive if it were not faulty? I tried to compromise by saying I would accept a replacement vehicle...that wasn't acceptable to him either.

Three weeks ago, trading standards suggested that I allow him to have the vehicle and do his tests. He had said that if the tests proved the vehicle faulty, he would refund my money, as he wasn't a stubborn man! I allowed him to take the vehicle for tests, while still making it clear that I was rejecting it.

Low and behold, with no consultation with me, he changed the ECU!!! Victory you would think.....an admission of the fault!! Oh no. He is adamant that although my car was perfect, in consultation with Fiat, they decided to change the ECU just in case. Yes, dozens of people have also laughed at the stupidity of the statement. Unfortunately, after contacting Fiat, I realised that this person has also duped them into believing that the car was not faulty.

A number of letters have gone back and forth. I have had my honesty questioned and have now been offered what amounts to driving lessons from one of his mechanics! He has said in letters that he acts on behalf of the police in court cases, that he has taken advice from barristers, no less. He also said he would allow his 84 year old mother to drive the car on one of her visits to family, 165 miles each way. I refused to even take my Mum as a passenger in the car due to it's unreliability.

I have had the misfortune to meet some dodgy business men in my time, but this one takes the biscuit. Although I have no doubt that the vehicle was originally sold to me in good faith, it appears that car salesmen seem to think they are exempt from the sale of goods act. Do they not understand that 'of satisfactory quality', means that the car should actually get from A to B without breaking down.

I have been told that the diagnostic tests on the ECU show no fault errors. Maybe that should prove that the unit is faulty. Call me suspicious but, if you clear the fault records on the ECU an then run the diagnostic tests again you would end up with clear tests I assume. Useful if it ends up in court.

I have bought three vehicles from this garage, but would never use them again and neither would the dozens of people who have watched this unfold.

Sorry this has been so long, but if you have got to the end, any ideas gratefully accepted as the car is still sat on his forecourt.
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Old 28-06-2006   #2
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

You got to great length about this DP(dealer princable by the way)but you say little of the faults?

What flashing messages?
When it cut out did it restart straight away?
What else was wrong with the car?

How would the ecu show no errors if it was faulty? if it was faulty but the fault was undefined it would state 'internal errors'.Does your car have ABS?

Need lot more info (not interested in salesmen etc) on the faults roo
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Old 29-06-2006   #3
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Thumbs down Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Hi,
I am sorry but thought I said what the faults were. The first time the faults became apparent, the fault that flashed on the dash was 'overheating' after a few seconds that changed to 'clutch overheating'. We pulled in for a coffee and left it for about half an hour.
The majority of the times the car failed, the message was 'operation not allowed'. When this happened I had to turn off the ignition and take out the key. Sometimes it restarted straight away but on a couple of occasions it took quite a number of attempts to clear whatever the fault was.
The last time I drove it, I was travelling at about 20mph, drivng in automatic. I was driving on a straight road with just my foot on the gas and the message 'push brake' flashed. Car started to slow and I had to stop, turn off and then restart.
This was not a minor problem. A car which cuts out in traffic is dangerous.
The reason I gave so much information about the dealership, is that although I accept that any item can be faulty when purchased, the important thing is how the complaint is dealt with and whether or not statutary rights are violated, and in this case they were.
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Old 29-06-2006   #4
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Talking Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

They should lose their dealership. There are many awful dealerships out there, but there are a few good ones too. This is quite surely not one of the latter. I live quite close to them and after reading your story, would go to Bristol.
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Old 29-06-2006   #5
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Quote Originally Posted by roo09
'operation not allowed'
No offence & i'm not saying you are driving the car incorrectly but this message is displayed when a gear selection is attempted to be made at a incorrect speed/procedure.

I think your problems could well be due to a incorrectly adjusted brake switch.

Quote Originally Posted by roo09
This was not a minor problem. A car which cuts out in traffic is dangerous.
The reason I gave so much information about the dealership, is that although I accept that any item can be faulty when purchased, the important thing is how the complaint is dealt with and whether or not statutary rights are violated, and in this case they were.
A dealership is allowed a reasonable amount of time to fix any faults (this amounts to more than one attempt) if you are still unhappy with the dealerships attempt to repair the vehicle a field engineer can call in at the dealer to assist.Please understand that it is to a dealers advantage to do all they can to repair the car however if your not totally happy try another dealership & see what they say,keep us posted as to what happens.
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Old 29-06-2006   #6
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Red face Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Hi,
Sorry to disagree, but the sale of goods act gives you the right to reject faulty merchandise if done within a reasonable time. A few days is classed as a reasonable time. I have a retail outlet myself and therefore know the act inside out.
There are definately no exceptions in the act (amended in 1979). The act is the same whether you are buying a pair of shoes or a car. We would all be reasonable and accept a repair for a minor fault, but with a dangerous fault most people would ask for a refund or a replacement.
Trading standards have assured me on a number of occasions that in law, I had an absolute right to reject the car.
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Old 29-06-2006   #7
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Missed the first part of your post. I totally take the point that 'operation not allowed' is due to the ecu believing that a driving error has been made. Only driving the vehicle in auto, I obviously do not do my own gear changing. Is it not therefore possible that the ecu basically thinks the car is being driven in manual..ie has not registered auto mode.
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Last edited by roo09; 29-06-2006 at 21:32. Reason: spelling error
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Old 29-06-2006   #8
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Quote Originally Posted by roo09
Missed the first part of your post. I totally take the point that 'operation not allowed' is due to the ecu believing that a driving error has been made. Only driving the vehicle in auto, I obviously do not do my own gear changing. Is it not therefore possible that the ecu basically thinks the car is being driven in manual..ie has not registered auto mode.
Hence my suspicion that the brake switch(or gear selector switches)is faulty,I have came across similar problems in the past...however this should throw up a error code.Normally auto gearbox problems are easy to diagnose.
Dont suppose the garage gave you a printout of error codes,this would help alot to find the 'root' cause of your problems.

Not arguing over the 'right to reject' matter just stating 'a reasonable amount of time'...search the forums on this matter as it has cropped up a few times.
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Old 01-07-2006   #9
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Are you still rejecting the car? I succesfully rejected a new car, not allowed to share much info as signed a contract!

You are right you are not allowed to drive it when rejected, one thing that swung mine I believe was telling them in the letter that the car was now garaged and all trips from now on would be by taxi & hire car where necessary and any future settlement would from this date on include all costs of alternative travel....didn't do it as had another car, but I think they saw £s mounting up!

On taking legal advice anything over £5k in CCP is a risk as if you lose you are liable to all costs, at worst I was advised they could claim £1000s off me for experts, etc! But I was also told I had a very good case and that in 99% of such cases the dealer would pull out with the manufactureres backing at the very last minute...its a question of whether you can take the stress of it all & the 1% chance of losing £1000s. Mine went on for 3 months, with me setting a date of 14 days for the refund or the next action I would do would be filing the claim to the court. They paid up & a small bit of compo that was on principal for me! It was at the last stage before filling in the court forms...if it gos to that stage it would get more stressful!

The 'reasonable amount of time' is very open to question as well....most of the advice I had said 14 days was 99% OK which mine was, but some Judges would allow 6 months...its all down to the Judges interpretation of reasonable time on the day.

Goodluck
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Old 01-07-2006   #10
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Quote Originally Posted by HornetUK
Are you still rejecting the car? I succesfully rejected a new car, not allowed to share much info as signed a contract!
Really? can't talk about it. Can I just ask was it a new or used car?
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Old 04-07-2006   #11
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Hi,

Picked up the offending vehicle today as I just don't hav the energy to take them to court.
Can you tell me, if the ECU has been changed, should,nt the dash displays be cleared ie trip distance and average speed etc. I would have thought that reseting the parameters on a new one would have zeroed everything.
I am trading it for a Honda as it is still the worst drive I have ever had.

Also, I wasn't allowed to get the readouts they had done.
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Old 04-07-2006   #12
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Changing the ECU would have no effect on the cluster display.
Changing the body computer will have no effect on the cluster total display mileage but clock would need reset.
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Old 04-07-2006   #13
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

Quote Originally Posted by T14086
Really? can't talk about it. Can I just ask was it a new or used car?
New , it was a year ago now. There were alot of posts & pictures from me at the time when purchased, before settlement, but all removed thanks to a mod on legal advice!
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Last edited by HornetUK; 04-07-2006 at 18:57.
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Old 07-07-2006   #14
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Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

isnt under warranty?
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Old 05-03-2007   #15
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Thumbs down Re: Huttons- Weston-super-Mare

I cant comment on your case, but i have also found Huttons to be the most useless garage I have ever come across.

My car started playing up after a battery fault, I booked it in, (a 2 week wait) I dropped it off and asked if it wasnt anything major for it to be serviced at the same time. The reply - "NO CHANCE!" Surely this isnt customer service, a simple "Sorry sir but thats unlikely today but ill happily book it in for another day" has got to be the correct answer here?

An hour later they wee on the phone... (at least they did phone)... weve looked at your car, theres something wrong with it and youll have to book it in as we dont have time time today.... errr i did book it in?!?!

When I collected it later that day trying to get some answers resulted in some interesting replys of;

-Well the computer says your cars fine.. (yeah but its not)
-We dont really know
-Its kind of an open cheque book job realy.. (like hell it is!)
-We could try changing the engine.. (Think again please)
-Youll have to book it in so we can have a proper look.. (i did book it in, thats why you have my car).

On the upside while reading a forum I found out that my car didnt work because the battery went flat and on starting it I jumped in and drove it. After disconnecting the battery to reset the car ecu i did as the Forum suggested to fully reset the ECU and the car now works fine. Surely after telling Huttons how the problem started this should have occured to them??

Sales staff are pretty dodgy to but thats another story.

Thanfully a new dealship is opening in Bridgwater and they will be getting my business from now on!
Thanks colin.toy@btinternet.com thanked for this post
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