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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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post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:20
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facade
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 12:17
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 22:06) *
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.



Also, when slipping the clutch the pressure plate side gets hotter quicker than the flywheel side as there is less of a heatsink, which helps burn the lining away on that side more. I daresay the co-efficient of friction changes on that side when this happens, same as disc brakes fade when the pads set on fire and the discs glow yellow.
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stamfordman
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 13:09
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:36) *
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.


Shorten life yes but it surely it would only fail dramatically after a few miles if it was worn out anyway.

Also there are other reasons for clutch failure, particularly where the slave cylinder fails.
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DancingDad
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 13:29
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 13:09) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 11:36) *
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.


Shorten life yes but it surely it would only fail dramatically after a few miles if it was worn out anyway.

Also there are other reasons for clutch failure, particularly where the slave cylinder fails.


I've heard tales, anecdotal so take em for urban myths by all means, of brand new vehicles having clutch burnt out in 15-20 miles due to driver error.
Let's face it, all it needs is someone not find the bite point and give it full welly on the throttle to get moving, say up hill and clutch can suffer quite badly.
Do it enough and no clutch left.
Cannot ignore that there are many right poor drivers out there.
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The Rookie
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 14:29
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 3 Mar 2018 - 23:06) *
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.

So, that doesn’t mean it can slip on on side and not the other, with 28 years in power train development I’m fully aware of how a clutch works.
What you now seem to be talking about is dragging. Again, oil on one side can’t make that slip and not the other side, if anything the lubricated side would wear slower!

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 14:30


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DancingDad
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 15:57
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 14:29) *
.......So, that doesn’t mean it can slip on on side and not the other, with 28 years in power train development I’m fully aware of how a clutch works.
What you now seem to be talking about is dragging. Again, oil on one side can’t make that slip and not the other side, if anything the lubricated side would wear slower!


If it is touching one side but not the other, the friction plate will slip, drag if you will against that face.
That will cause wear on that side.

I cannot claim 28 years in power train development.
Just 40 odd years of changing clutches, either for myself or with mates.
Can't remember if any were evenly worn. Just didn't stand out to me if they were.
Can remember seeing more then one unevenly worn.
Last one was on a Scenic couple of years back, 80K plus on clock so reasonable to assume wear and tear.
Rivets polished on one side, few mill of meat left on other. Was concerned for flywheel but that was side with meat on it, pressure plate face scored but that was replaced so no issue.
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The Rookie
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 16:32
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Slipping is when it’s meant to be transferring torque, dragging is when it’s meant to be disengaged.

Your point about oil on one side was clearly wholly wrong.

Uneven wear is usually caused by it sticking on the input shaft so dragging against the flywheel when the clutch is meant to be disengaged. Over the likely 30k miles it had been doing it then that can cause the wear you describe.


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

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Council PCN's
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4101
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 17:37
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I had similar with van rental, I scratched it but the panel was already scratched they wanted £500, I offered £50, they refused and threatened to sue me for 6 months until they sold van, I paid nought. Scam.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/advice/c...-their-act-out/

If I rent a van now I only rent a proper sh***er.
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Churchmouse
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 19:25
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The problem GM have is that they most likely cannot prove that it was the OP who damaged their car. They have an inspection after his rental, but not before. Any damage--whatever the cause--could have been present prior to the OP's rental of the car, and without any proof that the OP was indeed the culprit, they will not be able to tip the scales of justice in court.

--Churchmouse
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4101
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 20:14
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QUOTE (palasmy @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 09:58) *
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.



Where is the invoice from the garage to Green Motion?

What is the contractual (i.e. legal) basis of service fee of £50?




This post has been edited by 4101: Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 20:16
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palasmy
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 22:07
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I'm not getting a good response from them for any of my requests so far. But, I can ask for the garage invoice when they chase me for the payment next week.

A lot of technical / mechanical comments by experts here, although I understand very little, one thing I can make out is that there is a strong possibility for me to have been really unlucky that night. However, as they can't prove that the clutch was in a good state when I hired I may have a better chance to win the argument if the issue goes to court.

One thing I guess I could ask for is the rental history of that vehicle, there could be some useful information about the clutch's life...
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4101
post Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 22:18
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my guess is they did the work themselves.

I suggest you send them an email:

"Please supply a detailed invoice listing itemised breakdown of parts, labour and other charges, and the basis for the £50 service fee.
Until I receive this, I cannot engage in further correspondence."
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 11:26
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 19:25) *
The problem GM have is that they most likely cannot prove that it was the OP who damaged their car. They have an inspection after his rental, but not before. Any damage--whatever the cause--could have been present prior to the OP's rental of the car, and without any proof that the OP was indeed the culprit, they will not be able to tip the scales of justice in court.

--Churchmouse

I don't even see how they would "inspect" it before, it's not as if you can have a quick peep under the bonnet and see whether it's worn or not.

They don't have anywhere near enough to succeed in a civil claim against the OP not least because it's almost impossible to cause that sort of damage in that sort of time frame unless you are seriously abusing the clutch. Added to the fact because it's a hire car it's likely been used and abused before the OP. It's not like a scratch on a panel which is a yes/no type affair.

As for the repair cost presumably they are adding on lost revenue whilst it was off the road, staff time getting it sorted, general ball ache fee etc. Nothing comes for free once they (think) they have you on the line for something.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 11:27
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4101
post Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 17:12
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is trying to get a made up invoice paid an offence? Maybe trading standards?
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mickR
post Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 22:04
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Let's not forget the OP said they were alerted to burning smell not failure.

QUOTE
with 28 years in power train development I’m fully aware of how a clutch works.

Crikey You've been busy with all your years in accident investigation as well ohmy.gif

QUOTE ( @ Sun, 4 Mar 2018 - 16:32) *
Slipping is when it’s meant to be transferring torque, dragging is when it’s meant to be disengaged.

Yes

QUOTE
Uneven wear is usually caused by it sticking on the input shaft so dragging against the flywheel when the clutch is meant to be disengaged.

Yes.

This post has been edited by mickR: Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 22:05
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Churchmouse
post Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 23:06
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QUOTE (4101 @ Mon, 5 Mar 2018 - 17:12) *
is trying to get a made up invoice paid an offence? Maybe trading standards?

You've never visited the Private Parking forum, I take it? happy.gif

--Churchmouse
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Redivi
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 09:01
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There's a hill on the M40 at High Wycombe where I often saw several cars on the hard shoulder with the owners anxiously investigating their burnt clutches

A more likely explanation was the Ferodo brake lining company under the bridge

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mickR
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 11:13
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Anyway back to the OP...

QUOTE
 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. 


So they are asking for silly money based on hearsay from "technicians"

I assume if they even did ask anyone, it's technicians from the company in with the scam.

Have you got a proper detailed invoice from them yet?
Have you got estimates from other garages yet?


This post has been edited by mickR: Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 11:25
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I am Weasel
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 12:28
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I would have thought that the simple reply to their "as you can see from the attachments" approach would be "show me the images of the clutch plates before I hired the vehicle".

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DancingDad
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 13:07
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QUOTE (I am Weasel @ Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 12:28) *
I would have thought that the simple reply to their "as you can see from the attachments" approach would be "show me the images of the clutch plates before I hired the vehicle".


That and "show me the expert opinion that conclusively proves that the damage was caused by myself and not a previous driver or mechanical failure"
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Unzippy
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 22:22
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Exactly.

OP, where is the inspection report from the hire company that says the clutch was perfect (or even just working fine) before you took possession?

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