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Car rental company, Disputing claims for damages
palasmy
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:20
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Hi

The Green Motion car rental company is trying to charge me 2400 pounds for a burnt clutch on a vehicle that I rented from them in January. Basically I had only driven less than 100 miles in that vehicle when I alerted them of the smell. Without being given a chance for me to get an independent engineer to investigate the issue, GM had sent the vehicle to their preferred garage and got it fixed. Despite my constant efforts I was deprived of any chances to access the vehicle when it was being repaired and only got sent a couple of pictures showing the damaged clutch once they had completed the repair. Below is the explanation for their claim,

[i]Whilst I appreciate charging for items such as a clutch replacement is far from an ideal way to end of hire, we do on occasions need to do this. In order to avoid any non-expert opinion, I have asked a number of vehicle technicians for their view. You can obviously do the same. If a clutch was to fail due to general wear and tear, both sides of the clutch plate would wear away at the same or a similar rate. As you can see from the attachments this is not the case.

Once again, while I do appreciate that this is not an easy thing to accept, it is a reasonably simple thing for us to prove. In the opinion of the repair agents and other people that we have spoken to, the speed at which the failure occurred and the nature of the wear to the clutch parts suggests damage that occurred swiftly (i.e. not over thousands of miles) and as a result of the user at the time. Therefore based on this opinion, we are looking to you for the costs incurred for the damage to the clutch.
[/i]

On a separate account they have also already charged me 400 pounds for a windscreen damage on the vehicle that I took as a replacement for the clutch damaged vehicle. Again I'm disputing this claim as well, and my reasons for this are also fairly strong.

I have started a thread in MSE Motoring (link below) where I have fully described the case and also there are some good expert comments on the mechanical/technical aspects of the clutch.

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showth..._term=27-Feb-18


I'm seeking some legal advice here as I foresee a legal dispute in the making. I haven't paid them for their claim yet and the deadline for the payment is next week. With such a bad reputation and history that this company has, I feel I shouldn't let them rip me off so easily. I would really appreciate some advice and some useful tips on how to argue my case.

Thanks

This post has been edited by southpaw82: Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:41
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stamfordman
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:33
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Customers call for crackdown on Green Motion after repairs dispute

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/oct/...-damage-charges
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southpaw82
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:42
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Yeah, I’d rather you didn’t violate the TOS by posting potentially defamatory material, ok.


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palasmy
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:42
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:33) *
Customers call for crackdown on Green Motion after repairs dispute

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/oct/...-damage-charges



Classic example, and exactly what happened in my windscreen damage case, instead of the bumper in my case he went straight to the spot under the wiper and close to the bonnet, a place no one can so easily find!! To make things even more obvious, he was the guy who had done the last inspection when that vehicle was returned and quiet possibly overlooked it at that time and now framed it on me...

rather than circling the car in a normal way to check it over, the Green Motion employee almost immediately looked under the front right bumper where he found scratches.
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bill w
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:53
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There seems to be another dedicated web site for them HERE

Who knows how accurate anecdotal reports are, bit it's the sort of thing that has put me off hiring cars over the years.
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DancingDad
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 23:05
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Clutch wear down to misuse is different to that caused by wear and tear ?????
And they are basing this on uneven wear to the friction plates ?

Could someone explain that to me please cos I don't understand it.

What mileage on the car?
IMO anything over 20K and repeated misuse by different drivers would do it.
And plenty of drivers out there who seem to be happy riding the clutch instead of using the handbrake.
Higher the mileage more chance that it is wear and tear.

Not to mention £2400 cost...what car ??
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bill w
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 00:24
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 23:05) *
Clutch wear down to misuse is different to that caused by wear and tear ?????
And they are basing this on uneven wear to the friction plates ?

Could someone explain that to me please cos I don't understand it.

What mileage on the car?
IMO anything over 20K and repeated misuse by different drivers would do it.
And plenty of drivers out there who seem to be happy riding the clutch instead of using the handbrake.
Higher the mileage more chance that it is wear and tear.

Not to mention £2400 cost...what car ??



Fiat Talento 10 seater apparently according to the MSE thread
It does look like this particular firm may have form for this type of thing if you follow my earlier link, and the comments over on MSE.
Don't ignore the windscreen either, more details on that on MSE too.

This post has been edited by bill w: Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 00:26
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palasmy
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 08:12
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 23:05) *
Clutch wear down to misuse is different to that caused by wear and tear ?????
And they are basing this on uneven wear to the friction plates ?

Could someone explain that to me please cos I don't understand it.

What mileage on the car?
IMO anything over 20K and repeated misuse by different drivers would do it.
And plenty of drivers out there who seem to be happy riding the clutch instead of using the handbrake.
Higher the mileage more chance that it is wear and tear.

Not to mention £2400 cost...what car ??


The mileage on the car is surely not more than 15k, unfortunately they had taken back the rental agreement of that vehicle in exchange for the replaced vehicle. But I agree that Clutch wear due to misuse is different to the one caused by wear and tear. And no matter still, it is very unlikely that a clutch can suffer such a damage in an overnight plus short travel. And I fairly confident that in my more than 10 years of driving I certainly would know the difference of clutch and brake, even in that short driving 90% of the journey was on motorway where the use of clutch was little anyway..

The concern is there isn't seem to be much legal stories of this kind to understand how to go about the case, surprised despite so many complaints against this company no actions has been taken by trading standards on them..
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JP1978
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 08:49
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QUOTE (bill w @ Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:53) *
There seems to be another dedicated web site for them HERE

Who knows how accurate anecdotal reports are, bit it's the sort of thing that has put me off hiring cars over the years.


Hmmm, out of the first four 'reviews' on that site (at the time of looking) -

1. Is a complaint that they are been charged for putting diesel in a petrol car. How can they think that wouldnt be charged for and secondly, did they not think something was wrong when the filler wouldnt fit in the filling neck? Not really GM's fault that one!

2. Is a complaint about been charged insurance when using a debit card. Standard practice on a few hire car companies. Its also in their T&C's

3. Is about unlimited miles been limited to 90. If you hire through GM direct, it is unlimited. If you hire through an agent (rentalcars.com etc) then its limited to 90 mile. One would imagine that the flier was from the agent too that mentioned debit cards.

I have rented from GM for 6 months now from 4 different UK airport locations. I read the T&C's before booking and take a video of all my hires. At the branch I mainly use, I have only ever witnessed 2 customers with issues - 1, had been accused of a cigarette burn - he denied it to GM but when he saw me at the airport 30 minutes later, he admitted it to me. 2, A UK customer had only got £100 left on her credit card, not enough for the £400 holding deposit. She was forced into taking the additional insurance.

If one were to look hard enough, you would see similar reviews about most the other hire car companies, GM are not alone in getting negative reviews.

As I say, I am a regular customer with them - I dont always book the cheapest cars but the least I have paid was £7.87 for two days hire. The most I have paid was £45 for three days hire and that was for a Mercedes A-Class Auto AMG Line. They know I have my own excess insurance. If they were purley wanting to scam people, they would have already scammed me, just to get rid of of me as a customer - if the modus operandi is to scam people, me been a normal customer who takes no extras will be a low profit customer.
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DancingDad
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 11:25
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QUOTE (JP1978 @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 08:49) *
......But I agree that Clutch wear due to misuse is different to the one caused by wear and tear........

But what ?
I thought I knew something about cars and can't say I know the difference.

The inference is that the wear pattern is different between the sides of the friction plate.
Sticking on the first motion shaft would do that.
Touch of oil on one side would do it.
Once one side starts slipping for whatever reason, that side can easily experience different wear rate to other.
I've seen worn out clutches come out with one side on the metal and the other with half the original thickness.

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 11:31
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palasmy
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 18:22
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QUOTE (JP1978 @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 08:49) *
QUOTE (bill w @ Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:53) *
There seems to be another dedicated web site for them HERE

Who knows how accurate anecdotal reports are, bit it's the sort of thing that has put me off hiring cars over the years.


Hmmm, out of the first four 'reviews' on that site (at the time of looking) -

1. Is a complaint that they are been charged for putting diesel in a petrol car. How can they think that wouldnt be charged for and secondly, did they not think something was wrong when the filler wouldnt fit in the filling neck? Not really GM's fault that one!

2. Is a complaint about been charged insurance when using a debit card. Standard practice on a few hire car companies. Its also in their T&C's

3. Is about unlimited miles been limited to 90. If you hire through GM direct, it is unlimited. If you hire through an agent (rentalcars.com etc) then its limited to 90 mile. One would imagine that the flier was from the agent too that mentioned debit cards.

I have rented from GM for 6 months now from 4 different UK airport locations. I read the T&C's before booking and take a video of all my hires. At the branch I mainly use, I have only ever witnessed 2 customers with issues - 1, had been accused of a cigarette burn - he denied it to GM but when he saw me at the airport 30 minutes later, he admitted it to me. 2, A UK customer had only got £100 left on her credit card, not enough for the £400 holding deposit. She was forced into taking the additional insurance.

If one were to look hard enough, you would see similar reviews about most the other hire car companies, GM are not alone in getting negative reviews.

As I say, I am a regular customer with them - I dont always book the cheapest cars but the least I have paid was £7.87 for two days hire. The most I have paid was £45 for three days hire and that was for a Mercedes A-Class Auto AMG Line. They know I have my own excess insurance. If they were purley wanting to scam people, they would have already scammed me, just to get rid of of me as a customer - if the modus operandi is to scam people, me been a normal customer who takes no extras will be a low profit customer.


Thanks for the different perspective, really appreciate it as it helps me build my arguments for the case.

Just a word of caution though, even the regular customers aren't spared, it is all just a matter of time. They look at the history and time their act appropriate as it has happened in my case, this is the first time I had hired a 10 seater from them. To be fair, the entire staff that I used to hire for years were changed in the last year!!
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palasmy
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 18:38
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 11:25) *
QUOTE (JP1978 @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 08:49) *
......But I agree that Clutch wear due to misuse is different to the one caused by wear and tear........

But what ?
I thought I knew something about cars and can't say I know the difference.

The inference is that the wear pattern is different between the sides of the friction plate.
Sticking on the first motion shaft would do that.
Touch of oil on one side would do it.
Once one side starts slipping for whatever reason, that side can easily experience different wear rate to other.
I've seen worn out clutches come out with one side on the metal and the other with half the original thickness.


I was only agreeing to what you said, i.e. clutch wear due to misuse and that due to wear and tear are different.

I guess what we are trying to understand is whether the pictures say anything in the respect or not.
I'm no expert of car mechanics, but have been driving for a while to know the basics. I guess 'slipping' definitely appears like the main source of the problem, the question is whether a bad driving at such a short milage can cause it, even if one assumes that I was misusing the clutch pedal....
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The Rookie
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 20:33
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 12:25) *
Once one side starts slipping for whatever reason, that side can easily experience different wear rate to other.
I've seen worn out clutches come out with one side on the metal and the other with half the original thickness.

I’d like to know how one side slips without the other slipping as the parts on th flywheel and cover plate are joined as are both sides of the friction plate, nice idea but bunkum.


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DancingDad
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 22:06
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 20:33) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 12:25) *
Once one side starts slipping for whatever reason, that side can easily experience different wear rate to other.
I've seen worn out clutches come out with one side on the metal and the other with half the original thickness.

I’d like to know how one side slips without the other slipping as the parts on th flywheel and cover plate are joined as are both sides of the friction plate, nice idea but bunkum.


Wear is dependant on slipping, clutches that don't slip never wear.
The friction plate in the middle of the assembly slides on the first motion shaft.
If it contacts both flywheel and pressure plate at exactly the same time and with same force and same amount of slip, wear will be even.
But it simply doesn't so wear can and often does become uneven.
I've seen plenty on rivets one side and plenty of meat on other.

Just think on what is happening when the clutch is starting to engage and the pressure plate is pushing the friction plate forward but before the friction plate is forced onto the flywheel.

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 22:08
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palasmy
post Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 23:33
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Hoping to have some legal help...

Thanks
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Korting
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 00:00
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One thing I would do is knowing the make and model of the car with the clutch failure, is phone up a dealer and get a quote for replacing the clutch on that car. If its substantially lower than the £2400 quoted, get it in writing and stick it in front of GM and see what they say.

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4101
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 01:26
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QUOTE (palasmy @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 23:33) *
Hoping to have some legal help...

Thanks



clutch for a fiat is about £130, labour say 4 hours at £80 or less, whole lot should be about £500.

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palasmy
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 09:58
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This was the invoice sent to me for the repair, absolutely no details whatsoever. Just a repair and a damage service fee, total 2169.72.

This post has been edited by palasmy: Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 10:09
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Repair___clutchm.pdf ( 61.85K ) Number of downloads: 94
 
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stamfordman
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:12
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If you Google 'clutch failure rental cars' you'll see a lot of cases where even a supposedly reputable company such as Hertz has tried to sting renters with a huge amount after the clutch failed after just a few miles.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&a...f6IrwKcRsRS6RKh

I've just had a clutch and slave cylinder failure on a cheap Kia runabout I bought recently. There was no warning at all until I couldn't engage any gears when stopped at lights. I managed to jam it into 2nd and get it home and my local garage replaced it for £500 all in.

It's simply not credible for someone to destroy a clutch almost instantly if they have a manual driving licence. I would though expect higher rates of clutch wear in rental cars but this must be a maintenance item.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:17
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DancingDad
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:36
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:12) *
.........It's simply not credible for someone to destroy a clutch almost instantly if they have a manual driving licence. I would though expect higher rates of clutch wear in rental cars but this must be a maintenance item.


I'm not convinced of that Stamf, some people should not be let loose on cars even with a driving licence.
Not saying OP did it but all it needs is for someone to rest their foot on the clutch pedal and they could be exerting enough pressure to partially release the clutch, which will shorten life, possibly very dramatically.

Having said that, it is a hire car with X number of previous drivers and X number of miles on it.
If the previous driver, or any of them had ridden the clutch or abused it, it may have been hanging on by the skin of its teeth, just waiting for the extra little bit that took it over the edge.
While it is simple to blame the last driver, even assuming that they can positively differentiate between abuse and normal wear, I cannot see how they can do more then point to a possibility that it was OP.

Fully agree it is a wear and tear item that the company may not be happy about but should accept as a normal part of car ownership.


This post has been edited by DancingDad: Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:37
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