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Car repair!!!!!!!!!!


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I have a 1994 Land Rover Dicovery which appeared to have an electrical fault with the air conditioning switch.  Every time we changed the fuse it kept blowing.  We took it to the local garage where we were told it needed a new AC motor.  This was duly ordered and fitted (cost 1200 euros) and the car was sent to another garage, 45 mins drive away, to an AC specialist garage to have the gas charged.

That was 5 weeks ago and I still do not have the car back.  Every time I call them (my french is very limited) I am told it needs another part.  Seemingly when they tried to charge the gas it kept escaping.  I then had to wait until they ordered another part, which took three weeks.  This duly came and I was told I would get the car back on Monday past.  I waited for a phone call to say the car was ready but received no word.

Today when I called the garage they told me that there is a fault with the new AC motor and they still have a problem with the gas escaping. 

The owner of the local garage seems to be telling me different.  He says there are two problems, the gas escaping and the same electrical problem I had at the beginning. Most of the time he just shrugs his shoulders and smiles.  Honestly, if I had a good command of French he would not be smiling. 

At the last count the bill is now over 3000 euros.  All I want is my car back.  I don't care any more if the AC is working or not.

Is the garage legally bound to repair the car before they can return it to me or can I demand my car back without being repaired.

Does anyone know what are my legal rights are?

Sorry if this posting seems a bit garbled but I am fuming!!!!!!!!!



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What a terrible story! Worse than our ordeal which ended in June. There was a very long delay waiting for a new engine. If it was me I would feel like going and picking the car up, tell them to keep their new AC motor as it's obviously faulty and refuse to pay anything. Don't know if you'll get away with it though. Perhaps threaten to write to the local paper. Good luck - Pat.
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[quote]Hi I have a 1994 Land Rover Dicovery which appeared to have an electrical fault with the air conditioning switch. Every time we changed the fuse it kept blowing. We took it to the local garage wher...[/quote]

This is slightly strange...

I am not a motor mechanic, but I know that your Landrover does not have an electrically operated AC pump (they are engine driven), it does have an electrically operated clutch on the pump, but that is (I believe) replaceable without discharging the AC gas, or removing (or rather, disconnecting) the pump. Anyway, even a siezed pump would not blow the AC fuse - you would get alot of smoke, however (it has happened to me).

AC systems are notoriously difficult to fix - which is why a huge number of cars are running around with non-functioning AC ("I never use it, don't miss it, uses too much fuel" etc etc).

Did you sign a devis for the work? I suggest that you get yourself a French speaker (pref with some motor knowledge) and visit the garage where the car is.

My Disco-obsessed friend (in the UK) tells me that the actual switch is a bit of a doomer, but they are difficult to find (most early Disco's with A/C were grey imports).

BTW, the legal situation depends on a whole number of factors, including the devis. Broadly speaking, unless you specifically put a limit on it (at any time), you are looking at an open cheque! They can return it unrepaired (if you run out of money, eg.) and still expect you to pay.


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Hi Nick

I did agree to the puchase and fitting of a new AC motor but that was all (1200 euros).

The switch in question is the one on the dashboard.  We thought at the beginning it was a wiring fault and we had heard that most garages can't be bothered to trace the problem so go all out for a new AC motor, which is what the local garage did.  The owner of the garage has a Disco himself so I thought he knew what he was doing.

I was never asked if I wanted to go ahead with any of the other work.  The garage just took it upon themselves and I was a bit gobsmacked when I asked what the bill was there.

Unfortunately my husband works in the Middle East so I am trying to sort this out myself.  I get the feeling because I am a woman and on my own they are leading me up the garden path.  My lack of French doesn't help either.

Thanks for your input.


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