Falling out of love... - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Falling out of love...

Guys,

I have been driving my Fluence since Mar 13 and have covered 13500 happy miles. But this week has given me cause to think the honeymoon is over...

Firstly I am increasingly concerned that the future value of my motor will get no where near the ballon payment on the finance deal arranged at the Renault garage. I am not sure of the implications of this, but it is going to cost someone if the advice given is wholly inaccurate (which it seems to have been).

Then tonight I get a total electric failure, including a worrying DANGER message which makes me think the car is about to spontaneously combust. RAC came, and saw, and were conquered. Car is waiting to be picked up at my place of work to go to dealer for who knows what. The fact that the Renault appointed RAC man had no clue at all about fixing a electric car fills me with dread, especially if I have to keep this car beyond that +4 support (which seems likely - see above).

Rant over...
Bob the Teach is offline  
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 03:01 AM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Firstly, sorry you're having worrying problems. The breakdown service is no more than a collect and deliver to dealer service, they are not expected to do any work on the car. The service is either AA or AXA, not RAC so I guess if an RAC man turned up he was hired because he was available and had a suitable truck to cart the car off. I shall have to check the small print and see what happens to breakdown once the warranty is at an end, I have at the back of my mind that so long as you pay battery rental you're covered - but whether this covers any eventuality I'm not sure.

I think the more worrying aspect is that, with 20 specialist EV renault dealers, that appears to be 20 inexperienced dealers who are scratching their heads. They just don't see enough cars to get clued up!

P.S. We do winge a bit on this forum but at least our cars don;t suffer the CHARGING IMPOSSIBLE problem afflicting Zoes!
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 03:34 AM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Hi Bob - welcome to the forum, and I can see how these things running together could be conspiring to disillusion you, so hopefully the following will offer some reassurance:

Finance is often a game of Russian Roulette. You don't say what the start price of your Fluence was, as it could be anything from 18k to 7k and when leasing the bulk of the financial risk passes to the finance house. The balloon payment isn't mandatory but optional. If you always planned to keep the car, leasing was always a bad move (especially because you had to additionally lease the battery). Although they are becoming rarer, nothing prevents you from handing it back and starting again - losing nothing. The future estimated value is just that - but it still is binding on the finance house, AND you will have had this in writing.

DANGER I've seen once on the dash, and it disappeared on mine after a reboot - it never appeared whilst driving so I cannot hazard a guess as to why unless you have the the little device that displays the error codes. A dealer will and can act accordingly. As William said, no breakdown service will do anything other than take it to the dearest dealer as they can do very little (other than change a tyre etc).

I'm assuming you know your local EV dealership? They will keep you in the loop - and not that it will inspire you, of our happy group here, I think yours is the only instance of an unforeseen breakdown of electrics - so do keep the thread posted with updates!

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 04:06 AM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Quote:
Originally Posted by william

P.S. We do winge a bit on this forum but at least our cars don;t suffer the CHARGING IMPOSSIBLE problem afflicting Zoes!
I have had a CHARGING IMPOSSIBLE warning on the Fluence once. It fixed itself but I took it into the dealer just to check. He had experienced similar problems with Glasgow Coucil's Kangoo vans. I was advised to start my charge with the keyswitch on the charger (i.e plug in and then turn the keywitch). I never did as I thought that was a load of bollocks. never had an issue since!!
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 04:22 AM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob the Teach

Firstly I am increasingly concerned that the future value of my motor will get no where near the ballon payment on the finance deal arranged at the Renault garage. I am not sure of the implications of this, but it is going to cost someone if the advice given is wholly inaccurate (which it seems to have been).
Bob, yes I would be worried about the value of your car. I expect mine to be worth about 2p at the end of the 4 year warranty period. That said I only paid 8k for the car and I have always said if I got 4 years out of it I would be happy. Also on this forum I have previously said that an out of warranty failure is going to kill these Fluence's. The repair will undoubtedly be more than the value of the car and at that point I will be handing Renault their batteries back and scrapping the Fluence. On the other side of the coin (the optimist side) as long as the car continues to run I will pay my battery rental.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 07:39 AM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Hello Bob, firstly nice to hear from you and I'm sure we'd all be interested if you might give us a quick run-down on your ownership motivations and experiences.

Obviously, this current experience is not one of your better moments!

For a purely guess-work engineering point of view, I can't see many circumstances where you'd get that sort of warning if it wasn't a signal from the battery indicating a fault. Maybe a damaged cell or a failed electrical connection. If the BMS detects just a teeny increase in voltage drop across an interconnection then I would expect it'd give that sort of message because if you are in the middle of a 200A drawing overtake, a cell interconnection could jump into thermal runaway very quickly. I suspect you'll be ending up with a replacement battery, but that's just an absolute pure guess.

Notwithstanding your current issue, I'm in exactly the same situation and mind-set as you. Not sure if we are on like deals, but the final payment for the car was always going to be unrealistic. I have asked RCI if they can tell me a little earlier what sort of buy-out value they're really going to ask for, because the final payment option price is ludicrous in my case. I am rather expecting that RCI will simply say 'you pay that, or hand it back' because they are a bit monolithic in their processes and to them it is an asset to recover.

If there is no option to buy it outright for a realistic price, then it is a no-brainer for me, my Fluence story ends. It's not even cheaper to run than my aged Vectra which I have kept and is still parked up. Adding on the concerns about reliability and there are a few intakes-of-breath to do in the future if I (that is, 'we') are going to punt money at a 3 year old car that is basically unknown to anyone for us to get competetive repair costs.

The good news to note, though, is that all the expensive bits I can imagine are 'unknown' are the drivetrain bits. A half of that is the battery, which is effectively indefinitely warranted because we don't own it. The other half, motor inverter etc., is warranted for 5 years or 100k mile, rather than just the 4. So there are still a few more years to get out of the cars yet, they are only a half way through their actual drivetrain warranty period.

I am sure I can say that we are now all keen to know what comes of the fault you've experienced, and also any more intro you'd like to offer would be welcomed.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 10:20 AM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Bob, as others have said this is probably not the best moment to reflect on 13,500 miles of Fluence ownership - happy miles, you said yourself. I would be inclined to let the dust settle and take it from there, particularly as the DANGER warning light does not necessarily reflect any immediate risk to your bank account. One warning lamp can cover all manner of problems both big and small.

Out of curiosity could I ask you and donald what GFVs you have on your agreements? Depreciation over the last 12-18 months has left all projected figures looking frankly a bit silly, so I'd not feel embarrassed at how out of kilter they are with the real world value of the car.

Incidentally unless the Consumer Credit Act has changed, you can simply return the Fluence to the finance company in the event your combined payments have exceeded 50% of the total cost of the car.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 01:35 PM
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RE: Falling out of love...

The residuals Renault were working with in the first half of 2013 was around 9,500 at 3 yr old. I don't recall the exact mileage that was rated for, but take it as being around 15k miles.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 01:43 PM
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RE: Falling out of love...

Those return deals (if I recall correctly) apply to HP payments where 50% of the purchase price is paid. With PCP, this situation never arises as the balloon payment invariably means this figure is never reached (even if leases were included).

The stated Final value of gage contract forms part of the arrangement and should be taken as fixed. The lender is capable of modifying this if not to the detriment of the purchaser, but I do not see a free-for-all developing as this will sent the wrong message to other customers.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 02:22 PM
Eep
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RE: Falling out of love...

Regulated PCP agreements are still governed by the Consumer Credit Act. Though you are correct that in many instances the balloon makes voluntary termination an unlikely scenario.

If however for easy maths the Fluence cost 20,000, the buyer puts down a 5K deposit, and the finance payments are 36 x 400 with a balloon of 10K, then the total amounts are:

36 x 400 = 14,400 plus 5K deposit plus 10K balloon = 29,400.

Half the total amount payable is 14,700. From that you deduct the already paid deposit which leaves 9,700.

Dividing 9,700 by the 400 monthly figure means you can hand back the car in just over two years. Though do please note that I am neither an accountant nor a lawyer
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