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Consumer Rights Television Programmes Stories being covered on television such as BBC Watchdog and Scam Busters.

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Old 9th October 2009, 02:02 AM
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Smile BBC Watchdog: Renault gets lost on the Scenic route

Choosing the right family car is a decision that takes a bit of research. As a mum of four, BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams knows families want something practical, safe and reliable. It's why so many families have chosen a Renault Scenic.

Launched in 1997 and with a five-star safety rating, Renault's confident you'll love the Scenic so much that their adverts make it seem almost like a family pet. But one that sometimes has a mind of its own.

Just as Deanna Coe found out when she was on a family outing, "We were going on a family day trip and as I was driving along, the dashboard on my car started flickering. It was going faint then coming back bright again and on a couple of occasions it went off completely.

"We were really quite scared. We were going quite fast on the motorway. Cause we had the children with us it was quite frightening.

"We didn't know what else might go wrong with the car; was something going to go wrong with the engine? Was the whole car failing?"

The whole car wasn't failing - just the dashboard. When the dashboard isn't working, you've no idea if you're about to run out of petrol, or more importantly, how fast you're driving.

Hundreds of Scenic owners have contacted Watchdog this year to say their dashboards have failed too. We asked some of them to tell us their own stories and their experiences were remarkably similar.

"I was driving home and all of a sudden [my] dashboard went off. It flickered and then just completely blanked and went off."

"It started to dim and parts went missing."

"The speedometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, all warning lights."

"I didn't know how fast I was going, how much petrol I had it was just a total blank."

It's a problem that only seems to affect Scenic II models made in 2004 and 2005.
It usually seems to happen once the cars are out of warranty. Sometimes, before the dashboard packs up - the milometer goes haywire too, jumping up in miles, in once case from 36,000 miles to more than 80,000.

Mark Brown is an engineering technician with nearly 20 years experience. He says dashboard failure like this shouldn't happen.

"It surprises me there are so many reports of failure. It's not like an engine, or a wheel bearing or a gearbox that's got moving parts that would wear. It should last [the] life of car save for very few exceptions."

And how dangerous could it be if you suddenly lose all that information?

"Well given that you wouldn't be able to measure your speed, potentially it's very dangerous indeed."

To see just how dangerous it could be we did an experiment. Sian took Mark for a drive in a Scenic with the dashboard covered. Mark sat in the back with a satellite navigator so he could accurately measure the car's speed. So how easy would it be to know how fast you are driving without dashboard and speedometer?

Not that simple - at one point Sian was driving 10 mph faster than she thought.

So are Renault aware of the problem?

Watchdog researchers rang ten Renault service centres and every single one told us they'd seen this fault before.

It seems to be a fault with the car that the company know sall about. So why is Renault making customers pay to get it fixed? It's not cheap either. Many people have paid around 500. Oddly, even when the car is out of warranty, in some cases, Renault has paid towards repair costs. So why doesn't it pay the full amount for everyone?

Mark doesn't think it should be that expensive to fix. "I doubt there's anything in there which has failed that will cost more than a few pounds to repair. It's quite possibly a transistor or piece of circuit board or something like that," he says. "So I expect a more reasonable price to be no more than 100."

There's one final sting in the tail for Scenic drivers who've had this problem. It's actually illegal to drive without a working dashboard and drivers could face prosecution.

Renault told Watchdog

Scenic II Instrument Panel
"Renault aims to provide the best possible service to its customers and is concerned that some owners have experienced problems with the Scenic II instrument panel losing the display. This model was launched in 2003 and since then159,000 have been sold in the UK. Some customers have contacted Renault's Customer Services department concerning this issue.

"We have investigated these cases of the instrument panel losing the display and found that they chiefly relate to 2004 and 2005 Scenic II models. These vehicles are outside the standard manufacturer three-year warranty but we will help customers to have a new replacement instrument panel fitted to their vehicle in the Renault UK Dealer network for 100.

We invite any customer who has already paid more than 100 for this repair in the Renault UK Dealer network to contact Renault Customer Services to discuss a refund of the difference.

Any customer concerned about his or her Renault Scenic II should contact Renault's Customer Services team directly. To answer any questions raised by Watchdog, Renault's Customer Services team will be available between 9pm and 10pm tonight or from 9am to 5.30pm tomorrow on 08000 72 33 72, or by email at"

Have you had any car issues? Please note we cannot publish any NEW allegations so will not be able to publish car brands. If you have something you want us to investigate please send us your story.

Renault gets lost on the Scenic route
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Old 24th September 2010, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: BBC Watchdog: Renault gets lost on the Scenic route

I just wanted to let others know that if they need their Renault dash repairing look at all options and not just Renault - who quoted me 700. I have just had mine fixed for a fraction of the price (less than 150). Aaron was great and didn't charge me until my dash had been received and fixed. I feel others have the right to know what is out there, especially if it means saving money. The details I have are - aarong06 (ebay ID) 07500 803768. I am sure there are others offering a similar service but this happens to be my story on the subject that I wanted to share. I am delighted - I actually have a working dash!

We all deserve a fair price!

Last edited by wilsonlongdale; 24th September 2010 at 10:47 PM. Reason: wrong spelling
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Old 25th November 2010, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: BBC Watchdog: Renault gets lost on the Scenic route

Originally Posted by wilsonlongdale View Post
I just wanted to let others know that if they need their Renault dash repairing look at all options and not just Renault - who quoted me 700. I have just had mine fixed for a fraction of the price (less than 150).
Wilson, and others, please READ THE ABOVE POST from Tony dated 2009.

Why Wilson have you paid 150???????

Renault UK, the 0800 telephone number is above, will repair for 100. Call them, explain the problem, they call your local Renault garage, you mutually agree a time and date, you visit, they replace, you pass over 100.

100 (actually my invoice quotes 99.99).

Not 700, not 150, 100.

Read above again, call Renault, DON'T PAY MORE THAN 100 and there is no need to go anywhere else.

I've done it this week, it is all sorted.
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Old 29th December 2012, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: BBC Watchdog: Renault gets lost on the Scenic route

I have a Renault Scenic (55 Reg), I got it second hand; the dashboard just went blank, it was flickering at first and everything are resetting. It is very upsetting because it happened just before Christmas, really a wrong time of the year.
I had in touch with the local dealership and they are asking me to pay 150 and seems they are not that helpful.
I know nothing about car problem, but can somebody tell me please if what they are asking me to pay is reasonable and do they really need half a day just for diagnostic and can not even guarantee if they can repair it. If it was a problem before, why do they need to diagnose it and spend that long and couldn't repair it right away.
I read about this forum and saw that we only need to pay 100. I mentioned it to the customer service manager and just told me that they can not do anything to lower the price as it was only their goodwill thing, that's why they are only asking me to pay 150, that because my car was manufactured October 2005 and my car was not supposed to be included with the scheme or whatsoever.
Money is quite tough for us especially it was not included in the budget. I manage to book an appointment on the 31st and told me that I need to leave the car for half a day for diagnostic alone and it is still not guaranteed if they can repair it that day and I may need to book it again.

Happy New Year to all!!!
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Old 1st August 2013, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: BBC Watchdog: Renault gets lost on the Scenic route

Hi my Renault scenic 55 reg dashboard kept resetting
On mileage and time, and the last fuel used is stuck on 0.
I telephoned renault uk and they say its 150.00 not 100.00
Because of inflation the price has gone up,
I told them renault spokeman said its 100.00, I disagree with this but
I need a dash so I have just booked it in with renault
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