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  • FIRST POST
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 6th Feb 18, 9:29 PM
    • 172Posts
    • 22Thanks
    palasmy
    Burnt clutch - hire vehicle
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:29 PM
    Burnt clutch - hire vehicle 6th Feb 18 at 9:29 PM
    Hi

    I had recently rented a Talento (10 seater) from Green motion and I'm now being charged 400 + 2200 pounds for a windscreen damage and a burnt clutch.

    Basically, I rented the vehicle on a friday night from Gatwick, the vehicle was shown as fit for renting with no issues in the standard forms that they generate for their fleet when they rent them out. But they said since it was dark to closely examine anything in detail if I find any significant damage, I should be reporting it the next day before 10 am. I drove the vehicle from Gatwick to Tonbridge (32 miles), admittedly there wasn't any smell in the vehicle at that time. The next day morning I again drove the vehicle back to Crawley (nearly same distance), but on the way back there was a strong smell in the vehicle. Dismissing it for some outside roadworks (happening at that time), managed to return to tonbridge. However, that afternoon when I took the vehicle out the smell was again there, which is when I felt there was something not right. Then it was reported to the Assistance people, the guys after doing some checks and test drives commented it definitely smells like clutch but there appears to be no issues with the mechanics as it drives fine.
    However, I insisted for a replacement vehicle and green motion after checking the reports from the roadside assistance company agreed to replace it with an another talento that same night.
    When I was there to pick up my replacement vehicle, the people on duty initially said the only Talento that they had, had a windscreen damage to it and so it can't be rented out. But then after few minutes, they came back to me and said actually the damaged vehicle was already sent out to garage and the vehicle they had was fit for renting. In a desperate need for vehicle it never struck me to double check the windscreen at that hour. But then when I returned the vehicle on Monday night, the guy who checked the vehicle claimed that the windscreen has been damaged during my renting. And it was so obvious that the way he checked that spot seemed so artificial, one the damage was in a place that even a normal check wouldn't have shown it as it was right beneath the wiper on the black band of the windscreen almost at the meeting point with the bonnet and two, his body language was so obvious that he was going to find something. Apparently, it turns out that he was the person to check this vehicle after it was returned from previous hire. So, the possibility that he could have missed this the last time and now to save himself from the trouble tries to put it on my head.

    I'm now completely lost with amount that I have been asked to pay and also don't know how to dispute this claim as I genuinely feel both the damages aren't due to me. I have had a UK license for 10 years and strongly feel that the clutch was probably already worn out and I was really unlucky that it burnt out during my hire.

    And the windscreen damage clearly appears like a preplanned event given the conversations I had during the vehicle replacement time.

    Greenmotion have sent me the following mail about the clutch and have already charged me for the windscreen.

    Would really appreciate people's suggestions and comments on this issue and on how I could go about this whole incident.

    "Thank you for your emails. Firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in coming back to you. The reason for this was as diuscussed on the phone previously a few parts needed for the repairs were on back order. Now that the repairs have been completed we are able to submit our final outlay to you for the clutch that was burnt whilst in your possession.

    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.

    In order to make payment please go to www.glir.co.uk. The amount due is shown below. You also have the invoice fully declaring the main costs that we incurred. I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
    "

    I have the photos of the clutch that green motion has sent me but I couldn't attach it here, but if anyone has such technical / mechanical expertise on this then please let me know I can email them to you for reference.

    Really sad and totally lost...

    Thanks all for your help
    P
Page 3
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 5:40 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Originally posted by sevenhills
    Thanks Sevenhills, wished I had read this before

    I have decided to take this through the legal route, was initially little doubtful but after reading all this it just feels they are really one of the worst kind and this has given me some confidence.

    I'm not denying if this was genuinely my fault but they neither proved it or gave me a chance to satisfy myself with an independent engineer. This is why I feel so suspicious...

    Just need some more advice and help with taking this forward. Especially some independent technical advice based on those pictures would be brilliant to support my case and bring shame to GM..

    Thanks
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 5:42 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    So what are you doing... seeing if they take you to court or taking them to court for the windscreen?
    Originally posted by arcon5
    Arcon, CAB says I can wait until GM takes me to court and bring up both the issues at the same time. And then it is upto the Judge to see how this should be resolved.

    At the moment I'm not getting any response from GM whatso ever..
    • esmerobbo
    • By esmerobbo 2nd Mar 18, 6:06 AM
    • 4,744 Posts
    • 6,216 Thanks
    esmerobbo
    Without physically examining the components it would be difficult to give any sort of advice which you could use in a court.

    Looking at the pictures again it would seem the friction plate has friction material left on the pictured side. I would assume they would photo the worst side. However without being able to measure the thickness of the material and measuring it to against new one you could not give a view.
    The pressure plate would need looking at and the diaphragm spring checking for breaks and pressure.
    They have not shown you pictures of the flywheel or the release bearing. Which you would need to see.

    There are several reasons a clutch could slip badly but there is only a couple of ways you could cause it and that is by riding it or overloading it.

    I would like to know why the clutch was washed before the pictures were taken. Why no picture of the clutch in situ, the flywheel, the release bearing, input shaft, clutch pedal.
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 2nd Mar 18, 6:39 AM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,570 Thanks
    Zandoni
    Back in 2003 I foolishly bought a new 1600 Clio. This car Needed a new clutch every 11,000 miles. The pressure plate was underated for the car and had very poor quality springs, the friction plate was like new but the clutch started slipping.

    The Renault dealers tried to blame my driving but they apologised when they saw the amount friction lining on the plate.

    It might be worth investigating if your hire vehicle has a similar bad design problem.
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 10:14 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Without physically examining the components it would be difficult to give any sort of advice which you could use in a court.

    Looking at the pictures again it would seem the friction plate has friction material left on the pictured side. I would assume they would photo the worst side. However without being able to measure the thickness of the material and measuring it to against new one you could not give a view.
    The pressure plate would need looking at and the diaphragm spring checking for breaks and pressure.
    They have not shown you pictures of the flywheel or the release bearing. Which you would need to see.

    There are several reasons a clutch could slip badly but there is only a couple of ways you could cause it and that is by riding it or overloading it.

    I would like to know why the clutch was washed before the pictures were taken. Why no picture of the clutch in situ, the flywheel, the release bearing, input shaft, clutch pedal.
    Originally posted by esmerobbo
    Thanks, I guess those are very valid questions I can put forward. But requesting for the parts now doesn't make any sense is it, especially when you can't tie the part to the particular vehicle, like chasis number i mean..

    In your experience do you think such a damage can happen in such a short travel?? they claim the way the damage has occurred suggests that it is due the driver at that time...
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 10:15 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Back in 2003 I foolishly bought a new 1600 Clio. This car Needed a new clutch every 11,000 miles. The pressure plate was underated for the car and had very poor quality springs, the friction plate was like new but the clutch started slipping.

    The Renault dealers tried to blame my driving but they apologised when they saw the amount friction lining on the plate.

    It might be worth investigating if your hire vehicle has a similar bad design problem.
    Originally posted by Zandoni
    Useful to know... particularly when it is not a such a common vehicle on the road..
    • esmerobbo
    • By esmerobbo 2nd Mar 18, 10:43 AM
    • 4,744 Posts
    • 6,216 Thanks
    esmerobbo
    Most of my knowledge of clutches is from HGV clutches, I have seen clutches destroyed in a short time but this was usually because of poor gearbox use overloading the clutch.

    A normal slip would be caused by a worn friction plate or the springs breaking or weakening in the pressure plate.

    The friction plate in the picture does not look worn enough to cause a slip without another factor, Like a weak pressure plate, mechanical malfunction or contamination.

    From a distance I would say that you would have to badly misuse a clutch to destroy it in a short distance and if it was misused to such an extent the both components in the pictures would show much more damage.

    I would expect the friction plate to show much more wear or break up of the friction material, and the pressure plate to show blueing and crazing if it was badly slipping, and damaged in a short period.
    Last edited by esmerobbo; 02-03-2018 at 10:57 AM.
    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 2nd Mar 18, 10:52 AM
    • 1,476 Posts
    • 1,088 Thanks
    IanMSpencer
    A court case would be decided on the balance of probabilities. With regards to the clutch, you would need a qualified engineer simply to state that it is unlikely that a clutch would be destroyed in that short a time by a single driver and that the damage could have been caused at any time previously, just because it failed on you doesn't mean you caused the damage. As the hire company cannot prove it was your specific driving that caused the fault, they will not be able to pin it on you. You depend on the judge grasping this argument, he will not be using his knowledge, but be relying on you.

    If you win, which you should, you would be able to claim costs.

    What you do need to be careful of is that there is a proper court procedure to follow. It can be intimidating for a lay person, especially as I suspect that this cowboy firm will not themselves follow proper process but then try and trap you for not following process (happens all the time in the parking court cases). It might be worth posting in the "Off topic" forum of the Pepipoo forum for real legal advice from real solicitors who will be more than happy to guide you.
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 2nd Mar 18, 2:27 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,570 Thanks
    Zandoni
    The angle of the picture doesn't the thickness of the plate at all, if you compare it with a picture of a new one it hardly looks worn.

    https://www.ebay.ie/itm/LuK-Clutch-Kit-LuK-RepSet-Fiat-Ducato/131975565724?hash=item1eba5b519c:g:hoMAAOSwlp1Z0Wy 6

    I'd say any slippage of this clutch is not down to wear, it's probably caused by weak springs in the pressure plate and is no fault of the driver.
    • seatbeltnoob
    • By seatbeltnoob 2nd Mar 18, 2:53 PM
    • 539 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    seatbeltnoob
    This is why I avoid small "independant" car hire companies, and prefer to pay a bit more for an international firm."

    These small hire companies will shaft you like this, keep claiming for the same damage over and over again to different rentors.

    I just looked up reviews for this company on yelp. Loads of people claiming they were charged 126 for pain chip damage. (should not have been charged anyway as they were less than 10mm small).

    When asked for receipt of repair on their insurance claim, none was provided so the hirer could no claim on excess insurance.
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 8:26 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Thanks, so can we say that there isn't enough evidence in the pictures that suggest the damage could have been caused during my hiring period.

    I guess as you had initially commented, we need more associated parts to and preferably better pictures showing all sides to say something concrete.

    The fact that they decided to make it so vague and clearly didn't give me a chance to send a independent engineer to check the vehicle summarises their fraudulent intentions..
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 8:27 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Most of my knowledge of clutches is from HGV clutches, I have seen clutches destroyed in a short time but this was usually because of poor gearbox use overloading the clutch.

    A normal slip would be caused by a worn friction plate or the springs breaking or weakening in the pressure plate.

    The friction plate in the picture does not look worn enough to cause a slip without another factor, Like a weak pressure plate, mechanical malfunction or contamination.

    From a distance I would say that you would have to badly misuse a clutch to destroy it in a short distance and if it was misused to such an extent the both components in the pictures would show much more damage.

    I would expect the friction plate to show much more wear or break up of the friction material, and the pressure plate to show blueing and crazing if it was badly slipping, and damaged in a short period.
    Originally posted by esmerobbo
    Thanks, so can we say that there isn't enough evidence in the pictures that suggest the damage could have been caused during my hiring period.

    I guess as you had initially commented, we need more associated parts to and preferably better pictures showing all sides to say something concrete.

    The fact that they decided to make it so vague and clearly didn't give me a chance to send a independent engineer to check the vehicle summarises their fraudulent intentions..
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 8:29 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    A court case would be decided on the balance of probabilities. With regards to the clutch, you would need a qualified engineer simply to state that it is unlikely that a clutch would be destroyed in that short a time by a single driver and that the damage could have been caused at any time previously, just because it failed on you doesn't mean you caused the damage. As the hire company cannot prove it was your specific driving that caused the fault, they will not be able to pin it on you. You depend on the judge grasping this argument, he will not be using his knowledge, but be relying on you.

    If you win, which you should, you would be able to claim costs.

    What you do need to be careful of is that there is a proper court procedure to follow. It can be intimidating for a lay person, especially as I suspect that this cowboy firm will not themselves follow proper process but then try and trap you for not following process (happens all the time in the parking court cases). It might be worth posting in the "Off topic" forum of the Pepipoo forum for real legal advice from real solicitors who will be more than happy to guide you.
    Originally posted by IanMSpencer
    That is a very valid point, I have just done a post there. Hoping to get some pointers from the legal experts...
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 8:33 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    This is why I avoid small "independant" car hire companies, and prefer to pay a bit more for an international firm."

    These small hire companies will shaft you like this, keep claiming for the same damage over and over again to different rentors.

    I just looked up reviews for this company on yelp. Loads of people claiming they were charged 126 for pain chip damage. (should not have been charged anyway as they were less than 10mm small).

    When asked for receipt of repair on their insurance claim, none was provided so the hirer could no claim on excess insurance.
    Originally posted by seatbeltnoob
    We all learn, and I have used them in the past and obviously didn't have issues. But now makes me wonder if they had planted the idea looking at my history with them
    • JP1978
    • By JP1978 2nd Mar 18, 9:07 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    JP1978
    Hi

    I had recently rented a Talento (10 seater) from Green motion and I'm now being charged 400 + 2200 pounds for a windscreen damage and a burnt clutch.


    P
    Originally posted by palasmy
    You do know that cars over 9 seats are excluded from the icarinsurance policy?

    *Edit* re-read some posts and can see they have said mechanical wear is not included but will leave the comment here - a lot of car hire excess policies specifically exclude cars with more than 9 seats - The one I use does as well.
    Last edited by JP1978; 02-03-2018 at 9:13 PM.
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 2nd Mar 18, 9:35 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    You do know that cars over 9 seats are excluded from the icarinsurance policy?

    *Edit* re-read some posts and can see they have said mechanical wear is not included but will leave the comment here - a lot of car hire excess policies specifically exclude cars with more than 9 seats - The one I use does as well.
    Originally posted by JP1978
    Yes I did realise that, which makes my stand to sue them even more strong. I really can't afford and it feels so upsetting and angry when u think it potentially can be no fault of mine!!
    • esmerobbo
    • By esmerobbo 3rd Mar 18, 4:34 AM
    • 4,744 Posts
    • 6,216 Thanks
    esmerobbo
    Thanks, so can we say that there isn't enough evidence in the pictures that suggest the damage could have been caused during my hiring period.

    I guess as you had initially commented, we need more associated parts to and preferably better pictures showing all sides to say something concrete.

    The fact that they decided to make it so vague and clearly didn't give me a chance to send a independent engineer to check the vehicle summarises their fraudulent intentions..
    Originally posted by palasmy
    Yes without giving you the chance to physically examine the clutch and all associated parts it puts you at a disadvantage, plus they are going from what a dealer has told them a dealer who got well paid for the clutch.

    If a part goes wrong before it is supposed too it would normally be covered by a warranty. Anyone in the motor trade will tell you one of the most difficult parts to achieve a warranty claim on is a clutch. Because they can be abused, however nailing down when that abuse took place unless there was only one driver would be difficult.

    The hirer before you could have towed a bus with it but left just enough meat on it to avoid slipping. Then during your hire the clutch gives up.

    The only way they could say it was definatly you who destroyed that clutch is to show it was perfect before you hired it, how do they do that?

    If the vehicle was within the warranty period they should have sent the clutch to the manufacturers for inspection. If it was outside the warranty period then the clutch had exceeded the mileage it was covered for. Hence according to the manufactures it would be expected to fail under normal wear and tear.

    They are making a huge presumption that rather then the clutch failing you destroyed it.
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 3rd Mar 18, 7:02 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Yes without giving you the chance to physically examine the clutch and all associated parts it puts you at a disadvantage, plus they are going from what a dealer has told them a dealer who got well paid for the clutch.

    If a part goes wrong before it is supposed too it would normally be covered by a warranty. Anyone in the motor trade will tell you one of the most difficult parts to achieve a warranty claim on is a clutch. Because they can be abused, however nailing down when that abuse took place unless there was only one driver would be difficult.

    The hirer before you could have towed a bus with it but left just enough meat on it to avoid slipping. Then during your hire the clutch gives up.

    The only way they could say it was definatly you who destroyed that clutch is to show it was perfect before you hired it, how do they do that?

    If the vehicle was within the warranty period they should have sent the clutch to the manufacturers for inspection. If it was outside the warranty period then the clutch had exceeded the mileage it was covered for. Hence according to the manufactures it would be expected to fail under normal wear and tear.

    They are making a huge presumption that rather then the clutch failing you destroyed it.
    Originally posted by esmerobbo
    Exactly with a car that is only less than 2 years old and also hasn't done too many miles, I'm just confused as to why would they avoid not taking up either the warranty route or the manufacturer design fault complaint.

    And the whole mechanical fault cannot be a lie too to say they are just fabricating the whole story to make money as I have definitely felt the issue while driving that car...
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 3rd Mar 18, 7:21 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    For those interested in following this topic on Pepipoo, below is the link,

    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=119043
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 3rd Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    • 5,077 Posts
    • 3,989 Thanks
    Tarambor
    The angle of the picture doesn't the thickness of the plate at all, if you compare it with a picture of a new one it hardly looks worn.
    Originally posted by Zandoni
    It does show the thickness of the plate. You can see there's plenty of meat on it when you look at the holes where the rivets sit and the fact there are still quite deep grooves in the friction material. When its worn to the point of slipping then those grooves no longer exist and the face of the rivet is usually flush with the surface of the friction material.

    That clutch friction plate was far from worn so by my reckoning the slipping is being caused by something else which could even be something like an automatic self adjuster in the cable being at fault if its a cable operated one that uses a pawl and ratchet type of auto adjuster. It definitely has been slipping because you can see the marking on the pressure plate.
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