Discovery unreliable, Customer Care no use...

The attached list of my experience is somewhat long, but briefly:
My 2 year old Discovery has been very unreliable.
In many cases the dealer finds no fault code and returns the car to me
unfixed.
One ongoing problem is failure to start. The car went to a dealer recently and again there was no fault code. So I have an ongoing intermittant failure to start which can't be fixed. LR customer services response:
"If the dealer can't reproduce the problem they can't fix it and we can't help"
Great!
Basically, LR refuse to take "ownership" of the problem. The "fault code" method of diagnosis is not adequate and they won't properly investigate the problem.
I have had enough. I will reluctantly trade the car for something Japanese.
So far as I'm concerned, Land Rover is a prime example of a company that deserves to fail.
The full story:
This is the story of a UK supplied Discovery costing approx £30, 000. It has covered 34, 000 miles of mainly motorway driving over 20 months.
The first problem was reduced engine power. The supplying dealer took the car in and returned it as “fixed”. There were no fault codes stored. The car was returned still with the fault. I measured the 0-60 acceleration time at 26 seconds to give a more objective measure of the problem. I passed the information to the supplying dealer and re-booked the car. The supplying dealer took the car in and returned it as “fixed”. There were no fault codes stored. The car was returned still with the fault. I booked the car in to another dealer who corrected the fault. The overall time to correct this problem was many weeks, partly because the dealers booking slots were on long lead times.
Problem with poorly fitting rear door. The door latch and striker were poorly aligned. If I parked on a modest slope (offside wheels lower than nearside) the door could not be closed at all. It seemed the body was suffering distortion. the supplying dealer were most unhelpful, suggesting I had somehow abused the door. They suggested I must have perhaps had the door open over a low wall while the car was jacked up and then lowered the jack! It took many, many months to resolve this problem. Damage to the door frame caused by the this problem was not dealt with.
Intermittent problem with starting. The engine fires and stops immediately, and then won’t restart. The glow plug light fails to illuminate. If left for 10 minutes the car starts normally. I’ve reported this to dealers on different occasions but had the usual “no fault codes stored” response. This is an unresolved problem.
Persistent problem with the auto transmission. Accelerating from rest, the change from 1st to second was accompanied by a “bang” or “shudder”. This was rather like driving over a speed control hump too fast. As usual there were “no fault codes stored”. After several visits to the dealership the problem vanished although I’m not aware a specific fault was ever found.
Several problems where the S and M warning lights are displayed. We have been advised not to drive the car with the lights showing but to turn the ignition on and off until the fault clears. This can be very inconvenient. I’ve reported this to dealers on different occasions but had the usual “no fault codes stored” response. This is an unresolved problem.
As part of one of the attempts to fix the problem with the rear door, all the door seals were replaced with thicker ones. I don’t understand the logic! However none of the doors shut easily any more. I was told this would ease with use but it hasn’t and I regard this as an unresolved problem.
Traction control failure. The electronic traction control failed on very unchallenging conditions in a meadow. I became stranded with the front wheels spinning and the rear wheels stationary. Again there were “no fault codes stored”. This is an unresolved problem. Picture follows of the vehicle being towed out by a Jeep Cherokee.
The remote control locking transmitter is hair-trigger sensitive. It is forever unlocking the car without my knowledge when my bunch of keys is in my pocket – even when I am in the house and the car is on the driveway. Leaving the car unlocked invalidates my insurance, and I have no reliable way of preventing the button from being operated. This problem has never occurred with similar devices on SAAB, Volvo and Vauxhall, so I consider it to be a fault. Dealers have been unable to help – they say it is a design issue. This is a non-trivial matter, because I may suffer an uninsured loss and that is unacceptable.
Brake pedal feels spongy. Travels too far for even moderate braking. Car sometimes weaves alarmingly under heavier braking. Loan Discoveries I have driven seem to have much sharper braking. I have reported this but nothing found wrong. This is an unresolved problem.
Steering shake when braking. This has happened before and was diagnosed as warped disks. I was asked to pay for new pads even though only part worn and replacement required solely due to faulty or poorly designed disks. This looks to be a recurring problem (twice in 34,000 miles)
Power surge. Especially but not solely on uphill stretches, the engine power varies rhythmically without altering throttle pressure. Accompanied by visible change of about 200rpm on the tacho. Cycle time of about 1 – 2 seconds.
Intermittant appearance of ACE (cornering stability control) amber light showed while driving
SRS warning light - airbags inoperative
This is only a selection of the problems I have experienced.
Many of the service difficulties are caused by the dealer finding “no fault codes stored”. It seems that if no fault codes are stored, then the dealer can confidently assume the reported problem is a figment of the customers imagination!
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<snipped, a variety of minor problems>
I would second your decision to go for a Japanese vehicle, you don't have the temperament or skills to cope with a Land Rover and you'll be much happier with it. With any luck, the next owner of your Disco will get more enjoyment out of it than you have. You have spent 2 years with your Disco and have still not realised a basic truth of Land Rover ownership.
Land Rovers choose their owners, we kid ourselves if we think otherwise. You have been rejected by your Land Rover I'm afraid :-( I have no idea what you did to upset it although an apparent fixation with 0-60 tests and throwing it into corners to test the ACE may give some indication. There is no fix for this rejection and you slagging your Land Rover off here will only make matters worse. You have to learn to sympathise with your Disco, apologise to it when you have treated it roughly and thank it when it gets you home without any problems. When it has a problem it is looking for sympathy, ranting and raving at it only makes matters worse and publicly humiliating it in a forum such as this.... well you are making a rod for your own back there I'm afraid. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you go outside and find a large pool of oil underneath it !
Japanese vehicles normally have no mind of their own so rarely reject their owners. My Mazda 626 tried to reject me but as soon as I realised I had actually found a Japanese car with a character I started treating it as such and, in the end, it stopped spewing smoke from underneath the dashboard, leaving all it's engine oil on the M62 and randomly locking and unlocking it's doors at 70MPH.
all the best
Dave W. http://www.yorkshireoffroadclub.net /
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<slaps forehead>
<rushes out to cuddle Piglet>
Dave,
I know what you mean, however, it doesn't alter the fact that LR Customer Service are pathetic :)
Neil www.mud-club.com
p.s. wanna buy an anti dealer sticker?
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On Wed, 8 Oct 2003 11:58:18 +0000 (UTC), Dave White

ROTFLMHO
You have brightened up an otherwise dreary day. Must just go and thank my Discovery for getting me home safely despite my best efforts to drive it into the back of a big truck earlier ... and there was me thinking it was my skill as a driver that prevented that accident from happening. One knows so little ....
LOL Steve G
remove the nospam to email me
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Excellent. Can I have your permission to copy and paste this with due credit in the Discovery section on the LRE Forum?
Steve. Suffolk. remove 'knujon' to e-mail
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Yes, no problem...
cheers
Dave W. http://www.yorkshireoffroadclub.net /
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Cheers!
Steve. Suffolk. remove 'knujon' to e-mail
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I currently have a badly misfiring Discovery (so bad that I chose to drive Mandy's Merc today, yes, that bad!).
Yesterday the ECU told Warren that everything was fine, despite the oscilloscope showing otherwise.
It's rather like coming home to find the wife sulking. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing"
I have a mental image of Swiss Tony - "Owning a Discovery is very much like making love to a beautiful woman..."
You spend a fortune on it, get a ride occasionally but have to put up with regular sulks, breakdowns and unexplained smells and leaks.
Or is that just _my_ wife?
Tim Hobbs
'58 Series 2 '77 101FC Ambulance '95 Discovery V8i
http://www.seriesii.co.uk http://www.101ambulance.net
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On or around 8/10/03 10:27 am, Flying Doctor using
snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com, scribbled:

Funnily enough I'm having a similar problem with my new Discovery - I kept finding the doors unlocked. The range of the transmitter is so great, seemingly! I put it down to the fact that when I am sitting in a chair reaching down to tie my shoelaces it is then when the button gets pressed (keys in my pocket), even when I'm upstairs some 40 ft away from the car! The solution is not to carry the keys in one's pocket when at home.
It sounds to me as though you've got an unfortunate vehicle, a Friday afternoon job, coupled with a poor dealer. Perhaps a change up to the 2004 MY at a different dealer might be in order, instead of going Japanese (I doubt their reliability is really that much better to be honest!).
--
Regards;
Llandrovers! Website & contact via http://www.lloftsgubor.demon.co.uk
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"fault
I am very sorry to hear that nothing has changed in over twenty years :-( I had a small fleet of them and you can imagine the disruption they caused to my business. It is a sad fact that my present and recent past, reduced fleet of mainly Japanese and German vehicles are not a daily, weekly or even yearly worry to me. They just work, and work well with next to no failures leading to unscheduled outages. So does my LR110, ironically, now that is nearly 20 years old.
Huw
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Could it be the ECU that is at fault? Has it ever recorded fault? Jon
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dealership I have ever used has always been much the same, the difference may be that other makes of cars are inherently more reliable. My Land Rover is 36 years old (mostly) and gives me the occassional grief but I know if I took it to a garage I would be looking at more trouble from "fitters" who have little mechanical aptitude therefore I sort it myself. Now that a vehicle owner is tied into the manufacturer's "diagnostic" system there seems little escape but again, this applies to all manufacturers and their dealers. Now that manufacturers cannot prevent any dealer handling multiple franchises perhaps things will change. Rant over.
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In Rudolph Hucker wrote: <snipped> |Now that a vehicle owner is tied | into the manufacturer's "diagnostic" system there seems little escape | but again, this applies to all manufacturers and their dealers. Now | that manufacturers cannot prevent any dealer handling multiple | franchises perhaps things will change. Rant over.
Multiple franchise dealerships are a good thing.
My Defender's transmission (gearbox, props, diffs etc) was given a clean bill of health when checked by the Land Rover franchise at mega pounds per hour after I complained about it, after rectifying a minor fault, but when the Nissan franchise did the MOT ( the Land Rover one does not do them) just a month later it found the rear prop shaft 'worn to excess'.
Luckily, the Land Rover franchise had to fix it under warranty.
Mark
--


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Highly unlikely, but quite likely is a badly trained operator!
Richard
--
www.beamends-lrspares.co.uk snipped-for-privacy@beamends-lrspares.co.uk
Running a business in a Microsoft free environment - it can be done
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On or around Wed, 08 Oct 2003 13:40:35 +0100, Llandrovers <Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch@Llanfairpwllgwy ngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.llandrovers.notreally.com> enlightened us thusly:

does rather. But that's no excuse for crap service, and that's what sounds to have been happening. Just because there's no fault code doesn't mean there's no fault, and considering how much they rip people off for labour charges etc., they could make a bit more effort to sort it.
I find it annoying that you present an obvious fault and they try to palm you off with a load of bullsh*t. This happened to my mother with a much older disco, fault was a failed vacuum pump, which is something that has obvious symptoms apart from the visible oil leak from same (the pump was due to be replaced but failed sooner than expected - naturally, it was 300 miles from home at the time). Dealer expressed the improbable opinion that the reason for the sudden change in brake performance ('cos of no vacuum in the servo) was due to the fitment of non-genuine brake pads. And then proceeded to quote what I reckon was at least 100 quid OTT to replace the pump, a matter of at most half an hour from driving it into the workshop to driving it out again. This was the lot in Ipswich.
FWIW, however, I suspect you've got not only an uncharacteristically bad car but also a crap dealer. I've had some dealings with a local dealer over this side of the country (J. V. Like) and can honestly say they've not disappointed, and on one occasion went to some trouble to get a part fetched for me from another dealer which they didn't have in stock.
as to Japanese reliability... I once got involved in fitting new brakes on an acquaintance's H-reg Isuzu Trooper. This truck was used pretty hard, patchily maintained and still, with 280K+ miles on the clock, went and started and stopped like a good 'un (after putting new pads on it, that is). Dampers were shot to hell, mind)
The main thing that puts me of the Japanese 4x4s is the price of parts when something does need replacing.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.fsnet.co.uk my opinions are just that
"The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn, The swallow twittering
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http://www.luckwill.com - are children safe at Land Rover events? ================================================================ On Wed, 08 Oct 2003 19:15:11 +0100, Austin Shackles

Seems the automotive industry is learning a lot from the IT industry.
If there isn't a fault code, there can be no accumulated statistics for that fault. As an example, Microsoft do not have a specific fault category for Outlook - therefore there are no problems with Outlook.
Remarkable similarities also evist in the area of 'Customer Care'. I'm sure that the automotive industry see the customer as "something of an inconvenience". Calling a main dealer may eventually lead to your call being answered in India by someone who simply insists you try restarting your vehicle and if that doesn't cure the problem, try upgrading the engine...
Martyn
--
Check the Tony "Llandrovers!" Luckwill (convicted
paedophile) web archive at http://www.luckwill.com
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There is very likely a direct connection - I worked at Rover for a bit, and one contract was doing diagnostics on TestBook for, er, certain models. I think it would not be unfair to say I was one of very few who were interested in motor vehicles, and definately Land Rovers, amongst the contractors (i.e. all those actually doing the diagnostics!), and with one notable exception, I was left with distinct impression that the "feature owners" (full-timers) were not notably over-enthusiastic about their jobs. The diagnostics are only as "good" as the engineer doing them, and the lack of hands-on car fixing experience was noticable. I'll say nothing about the management of the project........
Richard
--
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flying snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk (Flying Doctor) wrote in message

This is indeed very sad state of affairs, but one faced by more then just Land Rover owners. No vehicle is perfect and they all have faults and failings, some more than others. What is in excuseable is the poor response of the dealer, but once again this is not restricted to Land Rover dealers, although the strenght of the Land Rover enthusiast groups could be a testament to the poor support of dealerships.
Try and find a dealer workshops who is willing to help or better still some Land Rover enthusiasts who are in the business of maintaning Land Rovers and see if they cannot help you. I'm sure people in this group could recommend business they have had good experiences with.
Hmmmm, could almost make a TV series out of it in the mold of "Ground Force" or "Backyard Blitz, a couple of black 101s or Tomb Raid 130s racing across the land to aid of people who have an unhappy relationship with their Land Rover.
Tim
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Flying Doctor wrote:

Sorry to hear about that - my 1997 Discovery has been a paragon of a reliability along with my recently departed 1989 90. Both have been far more reliable than any of the company cars I've had at the same time from Ford, Honda, Mercedes et al.
Why on earth do people use franchised dealers when they are so crap? You can use any non-franchised LR specialist and as long as they stick to the service schedule and use genuine parts, LR must honour your warranty - this is what I have always done and consequently my vehicles have been properly serviced and never let me down. Oh, and I've saved several thousand pounds in the process! :)
--
Julian
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can
But they don't. They made me pay the fitting charge for a faulty water pump although they supplied the product FoC. When it failed again shortly after they were happy to fix it FoC at the main dealers. Had they have come to collect and return it that would have meant a 50 mile round trip for them rather than pay £55 or the local guy to do the job.
Customer service? They don't know the meaning of it. Contrast that with the story of a faulty GPS system returned to Garmin recently - despite it being 5 years old they replaced the entire unit with a more modern version at no cost - in the old box!
TonyB
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