Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

Just joined, see there are 83,000 members.
How many individuals have taken a legal challenge I respect of RCI
Banquo? Contacted Financial Omwudsman UK or similar..
How many have stopped paying, after the original 36 months
What happened?
When I ring Renault Dealers, enquiring about battery lease on secondhand Renault models the monthly rates and mileage limits are all different. Some secondhand Fluence owners have informed me that either they had an initial one or two year free period, it seems to depend on the Dealer/Garage.
Is there a list on this site which has statistics regarding how many Renault ZE owners have actually had their battery replaced due to under 75 per cent performance ?
Is there a list of data provided by members of the monthly payment and annual mileage limit of battery lease?

Hopefully an admin or some other kind folk will reply.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 05:13 AM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

Hi Henry, welcome to the forum! In answer to your question....Not that I'm aware of. Only 1 member commented on his experiences in that at the end of 36 month, RCI sent him a letter advising him his commitment would 'roll over' if he did nothing (and continue taking the monthly payment). RCI also when challenged advised him it was HIS responsibility to take the car to their nominated dealership THEN take the disabled vehicle away by low-loader.

I believe this did not appeal, as he did not have the space to store the Battery-less car and was being worn down with the lack of making progress. In the end, Renault suggested a dealer who would take the vehicle with battery, and pay him for the residual value (which I understood to be approx 4K.

As for owners that had an initial free battery hire period - I only heard of this when they didn't sign any contract at the point of sale (the original owner being liable) until the paperwork was completed.

My car has a limit of 8,000 miles per annum at a cost of 77.00 over 36 months.

Today, it is 101 days until my lease expires (and I have no intention of taking out a second battery lease). I also have legal expenses insurance ready to fight them should they wish to play hardball.

I do love the car, it isn't really dated - but I do see a Mexican Standoff arising. If they want the battery returned, they can make an appointment with me and remove it (after all, it is their property). What I will not do is add to my cost by taking it where they want it, and have to pay for a low-loader to bring it back. Should they agree to a peppercorn rental I may agree to this until my Tesla 3 is ready, but unless they play fair, they'll have a fight on their hands.

As for going to the ombudsman, frankly, I don't think will do anything useful. Contract law is pretty clear, my obligations are clearly stipulated and they are trying to run rings round it.

It could be interesting in March 2017, but I'll document it on the forum.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 06:26 PM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

Come on people, this is nonsense. You rented a battery, and the end of rental period means you need to negotiate a new period, or some exit arrangement by selling the car or returning the battery and scrapping the car, which sounds like shooting yourself in the foot if the car is as good as mine.

This posturing doesn't do much good, and will just make you feel both distressed and defeated. A commercial company isn't going to play ball with a belligerent punter.

I suggest you knuckle down to planning your best option price-wise and that, for me, is to trade-in for a long distance Zoe in April when our three year contract ends. We will then have two Zoe's since we already have a 22kWh version.

If we can't do that, we won't be looking at a Tesla. I've driven their Sportster and Model S and they were both ahead of the market. But the Model 3 is too little, too late. It will be superseded by other more attractive models before it's launched.

In fact, it's got little advantage over the Fluence for a local runabout, and for a long range car nothing will do a better job than my Bentley.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 08:18 AM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

No foot-shooting, I can assure you. Clearly you feel a 3 year old PCP car is worth the same is one with zero miles in the showroom? I have a 4 year old battery which I have paid the agreed rate for 3 years. It will cost Renault almost 1k to uninstall, collect and ship my battery back to France. I will be left with a car that will get me 4k in scrappage on a new i3.

40 years ago I was able to convert any lease to a peppercorn rental of 10pa which allowed then to retain ownership - hardly a new prospect. They don't have to offer it, but they still get the brand noticed and if they don't wish to convert the lease to an outright purchase (as is now offered on the Zoe) you have to ask 'Why'? A Gallic shrug doesn't cut it for me, I'm afraid.

Anyway, I've asked for their proposals, the negotiations begin - but they've been told a renewal on the same terms for a 4yr old battery is not acceptable.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 06:35 PM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

Well the letter arrived from RCI today with three choices given to me.

Option1 Transfer the battery to a third party
Option 2 Renew your battery lease 77/36 months
Option 3 Part exchange or sell

I rang them and there are no other alternatives. I said I would even give them the fluence and they would not accept. They also informed me if I returned the battery it would be at my own cost to extract and ship to France.

They also informed me that they will automatically renew the lease when it came up for renewal in two months even if I do nothing.

I have informed RCI I did not want to carry on with the lease and I forbid them to renew it. I have checked my original agreement and I only signed for 36 months and all the T&Cs are related to that contract.

The guy at RCI is probably as fed up as I am with it, though he was very polite there is nothing he can do.

Oh well I have been offered a grand for it.





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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:53 PM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcpilot
Well the letter arrived from RCI today with three choices given to me.

Option1 Transfer the battery to a third party
Option 2 Renew your battery lease 77/36 months
Option 3 Part exchange or sell

I rang them and there are no other alternatives. I said I would even give them the fluence and they would not accept. They also informed me if I returned the battery it would be at my own cost to extract and ship to France.

They also informed me that they will automatically renew the lease when it came up for renewal in two months even if I do nothing.

I have informed RCI I did not want to carry on with the lease and I forbid them to renew it. I have checked my original agreement and I only signed for 36 months and all the T&Cs are related to that contract.

The guy at RCI is probably as fed up as I am with it, though he was very polite there is nothing he can do.

Oh well I have been offered a grand for it.
Yes, I got my letter too. Did you know, they cannot legally renew the lease? They may try, but as a Regulated Agreement they cannot roll it over and hope you continue paying. I already told them last month the battery would be left out for their collection.

This is tantamount to bullying, and I'll not be standing for any of it. (Incidentally, I've been advised - not by RCI - to remove the car's SIM card. This prevents them attempting to prevent the battery from charging.

Your offer of a grand sounds as though it was the same shower in Grimsby that quoted me? Although I'd only get 800 due to the distance they have to transport it!

I also phoned 2 Renault dealerships and asked them to take it, both refused point blank, stating that because the battery was leased they weren't prepared to make any offer for it.

It seems crass to say I'll complain to my MP.... but this whole affair stinks of manipulation and bullying by an outfit that should know better. Shame there's only 65 of us in this situation!

Just wait until the Zoe owners see what's going to happen!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 04:31 AM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

I'm so sorry to hear that owners are still being treated in the same disgraceful way as I was when my lease came to an end. Had I been young and persistent I would have fought RCI tooth and nail as they seem to have an unbelievable attitude to customer service, they don't even worry about damage to their reputation! But at 77 I did not have that level of fight in me and I capitulated. I did get a deal with "that shower in Grimsby" - actually 2000 and car collected at their expense, but they did take a few months to move the car on so I guess their attitude has hardened.

Some would say foolishly, I followed Donald and bought a Vauxhall Ampera. I've had this car now for a year and have used just 1.4 gallons of fuel as its range has suited my local journeys. I was warned that I would get 30ish in the winter, up to 40 in the summer if I drove sensibly and avoided cranking up the heat. I know I am a gentle driver (I achieved up to 95 miles per charge in the Fluence in ideal conditions) but I am impressed that the 10.6kw (usable) battery capacity allowed me just a whisker short of 60 miles in the summer - not that the car could advise me to expect that, the readout on the dash is capped at 40! I beleive later models had this amended to 50, still too low.

Yesterday I had my first disaster, or so I thought. Jumping in, the car advised me that the petrol engine (yes, it has one) would need to run for 10 minutes as it had not been started for some time. Well, half an hour later it was still running. And on my return journey it did the same, seemed to be stuck on petrol even though the battery was fully charged. I started to panic, then calmed down, checked the Ampera forum (no mention of this problem there) and finally got out the manual. There, hidden away is the answer - my petrol has been in the car too long and is now stale. I will have to carry on using petrol until the tank's half full, then I can top up with fresh and all will be well again. Don't you just love technology?

I really do miss my Fluence, but my dream of retiring to Wales means that my car will need to be able to do long journeys (200 miles?) and I don't fancy kicking my heals in some godforsaken carpark while it charges. So I made the right decision replacing the Fluence with the Ampera. So, for those who are ignorant of such things, what is an Ampera? It is a reworked and rebadged Chevy Volt where the wheels are turned by electric power and the petrol engine is used to generate electricity, not to propel the car. It's actually not quite as simple as that, but think "the opposite to a hybrid" and you're about right.

I wonder what you folk will replace your Fluences with?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 05:15 AM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

I had a feeling we were going to share 'the Grimsby connection', but the 800 offered was derisory. Of course the recent VED change means from April all non-pure BEV's will have to pay 140pa so as I'm interested in the BMW i3, if I buy now I can have the Range Extender and not worry about the extra cost as I beat the deadline, but like you I'd be carting round stale petrol so extra expense for minimal benefit!

UPDATE; Just been told by the BMW dealership that they are unable to PEx the Fluence because the battery has to be leased. Their Renault franchised branch advised them!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 02:16 PM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

I will have to make some decisions this weekend. I am okay to continue to pay 77/month but not for a 36 month period. Now the car is just scrap value what will happen if I have to scrap it in the three year period, I will be lumbered with the cost of getting the battery back to France.

I am going to see if any Renault garages will accept it as P/X and like Buzby I was even thinking of an I3, but it does not look hopeful.

I have not really looked around as to how you take the sim out, any ideas Buzby.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 12:59 PM
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RE: Anyone started legal challenge to battery lease

Who says you've to get the battery back to France? There's NOTHING in your agreement that requires this. Neither Renault wholly-owned or franchised dealerships will take mine, and I got this response from Renault Customer Services yesterday - effectively passing the buck:

Subject: Renault Fluence - Lease Issues

Dear Mr Buzby,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Renault regarding the issues you are experiencing with the lease on your Renault Fluence.

I understand the battery lease on your Fluence is coming to an end and RCI Banque have confirmed you can either extend the lease, trade in your Fluence or sell it privately with the new owner taking over the lease. You have been to three Renault dealerships and they won't buy your vehicle. You would like Renault to help you resolve this.

I am sorry to hear you have had these issues with the battery lease on your Fluence. We are very proud of the battery leases we offer through RCI Banque and always expect it to be easy to change your vehicle when the lease is up. I can appreciate your frustration that three of our franchised dealerships have not been able to purchase your vehicle. This is not an experience I would wish for any of our customers.

In this case, all the details concerning the battery lease are dealt with by RCI Banque. I am not able to discuss what you can do regarding the lease as Renault UK are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to discuss any financial products or services. I would recommend contacting RCI Banque on the details below to discuss your concerns:

RCI Banque
Egale House
78 St Albans Road
Watford
WD17 1FJ

8.30am to 6pm from Mon to Fri and 9am to 5pm on Sat. Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays
Tel:0871 987 0091 (10p a min) email:[email protected]

I can also confirm we cannot compel our dealerships to buy any vehicles as they are franchised and not owned by Renault UK. As they are independent businesses in their own right, they will make the decisions they feel is best for them.

I appreciate this is not the answer you were hoping for but I hope this email reassures you Renault take all complaints seriously.

As you are a Renault owner, I would recommend you register for My Renault. You can register at www.renault.co.uk. It's a great place to find out more about your Renault, get offers from us, download handbooks and even book a service.

If you wish to discuss these issue further, you can email me on this address, or call me on our number below. Our dedicated Customer Relations department is open from 9.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). If I have not heard from you in two working days, I will follow up with you to confirm you have spoken to RCI Banque and they have been able to assist you with your concerns

Kind regards

[ENDS]

Now, both Renault Manchester and Bradford are two dealerships I spoke with, they are not franchises, but subsidiary's of Renault U.K.- so his justification at not being involved is somewhat misleading, but I contacted them out of completeness. Of course the issue is caused by RCI and they have the power to solve the problem in an instant. They have a new CEO, and I'm contacting him next week and will report back here.

I had a call back from the BMW dealership advising me they are still exploring ways of resolving the issue - so I'm not stuck, yet!

Like you, I would prefer to keep the lovely Fluence on the road, but with only 10 months of Renault warranty left, that is the maximum period I would extend the battery lease to. But RCI are still not in a mood to talk. IF I remove the battery for RCI's collection, I do not have the tools to reconnect and re-initialise, so this will be the last act I do, but only if I am forced to do so.

Have you looked carefully at the glovebox?
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