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Neptune

Airbag Wiring Loom Repair

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Not wishing to hijack any of the other car threads Ill start a fresh one, calling on the HPC experts whove proved very influential to me in the past.

The wifes Seat Alhambra was bought second hand as an ex motability car. They had removed the airbag for the previous occupant and then the car supermarket I bought it from had replaced it using their own mechanics.

6mths later the wires came loose somewhere in the column. Airbag light on and inopoerable. All stearing wheel electric functions not working. I took it to a Seat main dealer to have it repaired presumably to Seats standards, at the princely sum of £480.

18 mths later the same issue has happened. The wires have somehow twisted themselves up into a mess and nothing works.

The Seat main dealer I took it to has a 1year or 12000 mile warranty on work done, which I have exceeded. Now this would be fair enough and understandable warranty policy for a brake calliper or suspension unit.

But for an expensive job on a very important safety system that isnt affected by driving is it unreasonable to expect the job to last more than 18 months on a 4 year old car. Its just a wiring loom after all.

I know there is a sale of goods act which states an expensive item should be fit for purpose longer than the usual 1 year guarentee but is there an equivalent for work done on cars.

Any ideas do I have a leg to stand on. Am I to shell out another 480 to get it fixed, and then presumably in 18 months time shell out another 480 pounds etc etc. Is that fair.

Appreciated in advance.

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Did you pay on your CC? You might get them to chase it up.

"Section 75 applies when you buy goods or services that cost between £100 and £30,000 and pay with a credit card.

'Joint liability'

"The card provider is jointly liable with the retailer or service provider if the goods or services are faulty or not delivered," says a spokesman from financial analyst Defaqto.

"This provides an additional layer of legal protection for consumers, and is a real benefit of paying by credit card, rather than by cheque or cash, for certain transactions."

For example, if you bought tickets direct from an airline with a credit card and the airline went bust, you would be covered under Section 75.

"Each claim is assessed on a case-by-case basis," says a spokeswoman from the UK Cards Association."
http://www.confused.com/credit-cards/articles/section-75-free-consumer-protection-for-credit-card-spending

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IIRC airbags are not an MOT fail so Id just leave it.

Wife drives it. So not putting her safety at risk. And maybe whole airbag system is disabled therefore kids at risk. Also horn doesnt work( is that mot questionable). Also not knowing enough about airbags admittedly I'm worried a stray wire may set the airbags off. I paid Lmost 500 sheets to get the job done in the first place, I cant let that go.

Thanks anyway. If it was my car only I would let it go. Well I wouldnt have fixed it in first place.

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If the airbag wiring has wrapped around the steering column, they put it in incorrectly.

A wiring loom is a non wearing part, you would expect it to last the lifetime of the car. You might expect connectors to need replacing or cleaning up, but the loom should be fine. Even on my 20 year old Alfa Romeo (never high in the industry electrical reliability tables...), the airbag wiring is good as the day it left the factory and works fine.

It is also safety critical - if they have fitted a loom incorrectly, then potentially the airbag could have gone off as you were driving - presumably wires have been shorting and breaking as they got stuck on the column.

i would expect a grovelling apology from a main dealer on this, and not to pay for it again. Any push back from them, get the local paper involved.

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Wife drives it. So not putting her safety at risk. And maybe whole airbag system is disabled therefore kids at risk. Also horn doesnt work( is that mot questionable). Also not knowing enough about airbags admittedly I'm worried a stray wire may set the airbags off. I paid Lmost 500 sheets to get the job done in the first place, I cant let that go.

Thanks anyway. If it was my car only I would let it go. Well I wouldnt have fixed it in first place.

The horn is important.

How else will the eejits know to get out of the way?

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The horn is important.

How else will the eejits know to get out of the way?

I only ever use it to say goodbye to people as we're leaving their house.

But thanks for the info on the CC that could save the day. (I think I followed your advice on something else before(not bees...)

Cheers.

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If the airbag wiring has wrapped around the steering column, they put it in incorrectly.

A wiring loom is a non wearing part, you would expect it to last the lifetime of the car. You might expect connectors to need replacing or cleaning up, but the loom should be fine. Even on my 20 year old Alfa Romeo (never high in the industry electrical reliability tables...), the airbag wiring is good as the day it left the factory and works fine.

It is also safety critical - if they have fitted a loom incorrectly, then potentially the airbag could have gone off as you were driving - presumably wires have been shorting and breaking as they got stuck on the column.

i would expect a grovelling apology from a main dealer on this, and not to pay for it again. Any push back from them, get the local paper involved.

Thats how I see it. Its forcing them to see it that way legally is the thing. I think mentioning the H and S aspect again and again. The wife and kids H and S etc etc could be the way forward.

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Due care and skill under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 remedies include the right to repeat performance.

Have a look at https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/services#Servicesyourobligations

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/49/enacted

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/55/enacted

Ring the citizens advice bureau for further advice, trading standards in your local area area may help but that depends if they offer an advice service.

Edit

As the repair was done before the above came in it will probably be under the Supply of Goods and Services Act, you will probably need to get an expert to look at the loom and have him write a report as to the nature of the failure. Ultimately if the garage won't play ball you will end up in the county court with a small claim, but that would depend on what your expert says led to the failure of the loom as to whether you proceed down that route.

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I only ever use it to say goodbye to people as we're leaving their house.

But thanks for the info on the CC that could save the day. (I think I followed your advice on something else before(not bees...)

Cheers.

Hope you get it sorted :)

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As others have said - safety critical item, has been repaired, does not sound like it has been done properly, no reason at all to fail unless when it was first taken out damage had been done to loom/connectors - but then the local dealer should have notified you and put that right anyway as part of the initial fix.

Main dealer should fix maybe look to go to Seat Uk head office (and let the local dealer know that what you will do if not sorted.

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IIRC airbags are not an MOT fail so Id just leave it.

There was some news a few months ago. Seem to recall they were tightening up on some things, including some warning lights on.

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gtv-andamp-916-spider/423481-help-airbag-light-mot-failure.html

Why would the previous owner have the airbag removed? Can't it be disabled with VCDS/VAG? Or maybe even manually?

http://www.seatcupra.net/forums/showthread.php?t=179359

A retired GP who was very very handy with cars, once posted this - which stuck in my mind.

"Remember, the motor service trade, like any other service and repair business, exists to turn a profit by advising as much work to be done as the client will accept."

I've got an official Ross-Tech VCDS (or vag-com as it used to be called before some legal disagreement over the name) diagnostic cable (it was near £300... did have a £9 chinese version but that stopped working when we got a VW/Audi/SEAT with CanBus connection) - but don't know how to use the more advanced functions - works on SEATs.

I'm not a mechanic but I'm always cynical.

All stearing wheel electric functions not working.

... functions all?

http://www.howtomendit.com/answers.php?id=114092

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It's more than likely the clockspring that is faulty or also quite common not installed correctly as they are quite trricky to locate when you put the steering wheel back on the column which then causes them to fail prematurely.

It should be no problem to claim under the parts warranty particularly if genuine parts used and fitted at a dealer.

Just tell them the clockspring they replaced has failed with an air of confidence and they should probably just swap it out.

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There was some news a few months ago. Seem to recall they were tightening up on some things, including some warning lights on.

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gtv-andamp-916-spider/423481-help-airbag-light-mot-failure.html

Why would the previous owner have the airbag removed? Can't it be disabled with VCDS/VAG? Or maybe even manually?

http://www.seatcupra.net/forums/showthread.php?t=179359

I've got an official Ross-Tech VCDS (or vag-com as it used to be called before some legal disagreement over the name) diagnostic cable (it was near £300... did have a £9 chinese version but that stopped working when we got a VW/Audi/SEAT with CanBus connection) - but don't know how to use the more advanced functions - works on SEATs.

I'm not a mechanic but I'm always cynical.

... functions all?

http://www.howtomendit.com/answers.php?id=114092

Well the ones on the steering wheel. Trip horn radio buttons not the ones on the column.

I can hear the problem when the wheel is turned, like a load of wires being twisted.

But thanks for all the advice and ideas.

I can go talk to them like I know what I'm doing and know the law and my rights. As long as I dont lose the rag and start calling him all the *****s under the sun as I'm somewhat inclined to do when dealing with these cretins.

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IIRC airbag light on is an MOT fail.

If properly repaired the airbag wiring should outlast the airbag.

The 12 month warranty thing is only the 1/2 of it - if there is evidence that they didn't do it properly then they should redo it for free. This is doubly so given the safety critical nature of the wiring and that it was a main dealer.

If there is any hesitation on their part remind them that their clearly imperfect install may have left the airbag in a dangerous state, and that if it went off while your wife was driving and killed or seriously injured her then you'd ensure that they'd hear from your solicitors. Now, this isn't going to actually happen, but they might respond.

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Failure of an airbag to detonate in an accident could effectively cause loss of life.

But also, premature or random detonation of an airbag while driving could also be lethal.

So I advise you not to ignore the warning light. Get it fixed.

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Well the ones on the steering wheel. Trip horn radio buttons not the ones on the column.

I can hear the problem when the wheel is turned, like a load of wires being twisted.

But thanks for all the advice and ideas.

I can go talk to them like I know what I'm doing and know the law and my rights. As long as I dont lose the rag and start calling him all the *****s under the sun as I'm somewhat inclined to do when dealing with these cretins.

If the wires are twisting it's a symptom of the clockspring not working properly, it isn't a wiring fault per se unless they were very wrongly routed but it's hard to see how, as the wires should stay static in normal operation and it is the clockspring that rotates it works in a similar way to a potentiometer with a wiper on a track but without the variable resistance.

It is an electrical component that sandwiches between the steering wheel and column and all electrical functions in the steering wheel will go through it. Usually they have plastic lugs that locate on the column and the rear of the wheel. When refitting the wheel, and I've done it many times myself, it is very easy to damage the plastic lugs by them not locating quite right so it works ok for a while then the lugs go. Also it may just be that the clockspring as failed but it's fairly rare as they've been part of modern cars for decades now so are generally reliable.

Airbag light is an MOT fail and some are getting wise to disabling the dash light.

Ebay item no 401035261349 is the part you most likely need and runs at about £50 - you will see what I mean about the plastic lugs on the image.

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Once a cars wiring loom on a car gets messed up the car is never right again, if you fix this problem no doubt something else will crop up a few months down the line.

I know a couple of people who have had problems with the loom on their cars.

(Including my ex boss boss who bought an Aston Martin brand new, the windscreen wasn't fitted properly and the loom got waterlogged via the faulty windscreen. AM replaced the windscreen but would not take responsibility for all the subsequent problems from the loom)

My advice would be to get rid.

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Once a cars wiring loom on a car gets messed up the car is never right again, if you fix this problem no doubt something else will crop up a few months down the line.

I know a couple of people who have had problems with the loom on their cars.

(Including my ex boss boss who bought an Aston Martin brand new, the windscreen wasn't fitted properly and the loom got waterlogged via the faulty windscreen. AM replaced the windscreen but would not take responsibility for all the subsequent problems from the loom)

My advice would be to get rid.

It's a fairly straightforward repair and I don't think there would be any knock on issues as a result and it should be fine, if it went again it would just be the same symptoms of the steering wheel electric functions failing.

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If the wires are twisting it's a symptom of the clockspring not working properly, it isn't a wiring fault per se unless they were very wrongly routed but it's hard to see how, as the wires should stay static in normal operation and it is the clockspring that rotates it works in a similar way to a potentiometer with a wiper on a track but without the variable resistance.

It is an electrical component that sandwiches between the steering wheel and column and all electrical functions in the steering wheel will go through it. Usually they have plastic lugs that locate on the column and the rear of the wheel. When refitting the wheel, and I've done it many times myself, it is very easy to damage the plastic lugs by them not locating quite right so it works ok for a while then the lugs go. Also it may just be that the clockspring as failed but it's fairly rare as they've been part of modern cars for decades now so are generally reliable.

Airbag light is an MOT fail and some are getting wise to disabling the dash light.

Ebay item no 401035261349 is the part you most likely need and runs at about £50 - you will see what I mean about the plastic lugs on the image.

For Y Info. Was the clockspring. Main dealer got Seat/ VW to pay for it no question. Was right up for a row as well.

Thanks for all replies. Amazing resource this website. Gets it right on almost everything except ironically houseprices.?

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