/ Motoring

Why we want seven cars to be recalled

Our latest annual car survey has revealed seven cars that each have a single fault that’s so prolific, we think their manufacturers should recall them.

Thanks to the 47,013 people who took the time to fill in our survey and report on the 55,883 cars they own and drive, we can analyse reliability data for 280 models and 34 brands.

That means we know an awful lot about the cars on UK roads.

Digging into the data, we can spot the outliers. The cars whose owners have reported a fault that is so far above the average that they stand out from the crowd. 

The cars are:

🔷 Nissan Qashqai (2014-)

🔷 Nissan Pulsar (2014-2018)

🔷 Nissan Juke (2010-2019)

🔷 BMW 5 Series Touring (2010-2017)

🔷 Land Rover Range Rover Velar (2017)

🔷 Land Rover Range Rover Sport (2013)

🔷 Tesla Model S (2013-)

You can read the full cars we want recalled story here, which includes the manufacturers’ responses.

Why a recall?

We think the single faults we’ve identified are so commonly reported by owners in our survey that we think it’s likely a fault with the car’s manufacturing.

If a car has a known weakness, why should the owner have to put up with it and, if the car’s out of warranty, pay for it? 

Yes, cars do pick up problems. Like us, they suffer from aches and pains as they age. But our survey is powerful enough to bring to light these cars that stand out from the crowd. And the cars listed here are only the ones that have a prolific single fault.

Other cars suffer from a cacophony of faults. On the plus side, we can also identify cars that are keeping their owners happy and the manufacturers that are making cars you can rely on.

So before you buy a car, make sure you use our most reliable cars tool to check what owners have been saying about it.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. Do you own one of the cars listed here and have you experienced the fault we’ve identified?

Please tell us about your experiences. 

Comments

Your latest report just covers 0-3-year-old Qashqai’s. It no better with older Models my ’65 registration Qashqai has never had a batter last 2 years since new. I’m now (post-isolation) waiting to replace my battery again. It actually failed after less than a year but I’ve kept it going through lockdown and isolation by charging it every 3 to 4 days. To add insult to injury Nisan’s battery guarantee (2 years) doesn’t apply to a replacement you only get the remaining time left on the guarantee from the battery being replaced so I’ve had to pay for two of the batteries and on two occasions (when I haven’t been recovered by the RAC due to sudden failure whilst away) I’ve been charged (about £100.00 each time if I remember) to “diagnose/check” the battery before they would replace it under guarantee – and no refund when it turns out to be exactly as faulty as I said it was. I disgusted with Nissan and their Dealer response – i.e. No problem/not a problem/batter did have a problem but that’s fixed……. and they have the gall to get upset when I suggest that having a new battery every 18 months or less on average indicated that they are either incompetent) being unable to diagnose the cause or disingenuous in insisting everything is OK.
My solution:
1. They fix the problem
2. Any battery replaced under warranty or not should have the full 2-year guarantee (see 3 also)
3. Battery guarantee should be increased to 3-years
4. If a battery is found to be faulty after examination/testing then the cost of the tests should be £0. Current practice is the equivalent to saying physical parts are covered but the cost of replacing the part isn’t covered by the guarantee. Some forms of guarantees are like this but this just feels like a scam to get me to cover part of the costs of the replacement battery (or nearly double the price is it’s not).

My advice avoid Nissan and their Dealers like the Coronovirus!

BMW 3 and 5 Series diesel (N47) have a design fault in the timing chain tensioners leading to catastrophic engine failure. The cars lose power when driving which is very dangerous. BMW are aware of this but have not issued a recall but have instructed their dealers to replace the faulty parts during regular services without charging or informing their customers.

michael mccarthy says:
21 August 2020

The battery on my new Nissan Qashqai failed after 2 years. Fortunately, it was parked at home at the time and my RAC Homestart engineer was able to advise me of my rights and to fit a brand new non-Nissan battery at no cost to me. Very disappointing. I traded the car in for a Skoda Superb shortly afterwards and am well pleased – particularly with its economy.

I have had Range Rover issues from the moment I took it from the garage and the DPF system requesting I drive the car every 2 days to clear the DPF following long motorway drives. The customer service has been shocking, 2 years later they still dragging feet with the issues. I have been without vehicle for 12 months as not only jaguar saying it my driving they want me to loose 5k getting a new one. I will update feed back once I have them in court.
Do not buy one as if faulty they are not willing to admit it

Helen Moss says:
21 August 2020

I have a Nissan Juke which has issues when filling up with diesel. It appears to get an airlock if that’s the right phrase. I began to realise it would suddenly sound like it was almost full and then excess diesel would shoot out like when you overfill a bottle. I now have to listen hard for the sound of it getting close to the top so that I can stop it and let it gurgle it’s way down again before continuing. More often now the pump cuts off mid-fill – sometimes once, sometimes a number of times – so I also need to be aware of roughly how much diesel I am expecting to need so I know when it really is full. It’s a shame because, other than the poor radio (which I can deal with easily enough), it appears to be a good car.

Angela Cowley says:
21 August 2020

Our Nissan quashqai has paint peal on bumpers.
Purchased from new 2013 plate.
Tried to claim on paint warranty (3years).
Nissan said it’s due to chips or accident & been resprayed.
I have had No accidents.

Has anyone else experienced this issue.

McMeekin Ian says:
21 August 2020

Hi, I have a 2010 BMW 530D . I am concerned by the report on BMW’s – specifically, which suspension elements are affected? To date the lower wishbones and air rear suspension bag have been replaced. I have no confidence that that if I contact BMW they will ‘fess up’ to any issues whatsoever. Please ensure the information you publish is specific enough for people to use. As it is you are just creating stress and worry!

David McMullen says:
21 August 2020

My Qashqai (16 reg) battery failed within guarantee and was replaced without quibble and, as far as I know, without any test of the charging system, which might in certain circumstances be contributory to battery failure. However my own subsequent checks with a voltmeter did not reveal obvious over- or under- charging.

The moment of failure could not have been worse; we were in a stationary traffic queue, it was snowing and we had turned the engine off, only to find that it would not restart. The RAC was completely overloaded and would not get to us for at least 4 hours. A kind policemam pushed us into a nearby layby. With apparently dead electrics, I got out of the car and operated the driver’s door lock with the hardware key, which miraculously restored what was left of the electrics. The battery had had enough of a rest to enable us, just, to start the engine and drive home. With an overnight charge, it was possible to start and drive to the dealer.

It is worth underlining the point that the original equipment battery was supplied by a long-established manufacturer and one wold have expected any production fault to have been rectified very quickly. Alternatively, given the scale of the problem, Nissan could have re-sourced the battery to another manufacturer. Remember also that the Qashqai shares a platfrom with the Renault Kadjar, which hasn’t shown up in your report. I still wonder whether a charging system fault might be part of the problem.

@aporter, Adrian, out of interest can you tell us how many owners responded to the survey for each of the 7 cars picked out above?

I had a BMW 1 series automatic. After about 60000 miles it kept going into “limp home mode”. BMW told me I needed a new gearbox(£6000), an independent gearbox repairer rebuilt it for £2000. They said it was a known fault with this gearbox which was commonly used in other cars. Would be nice if Which could report on useful information like this, I was suprised that a premium brand hd such a fault.

Martin Dalton says:
21 August 2020

I bought a 16 plate Nissan used Qashqai (motobility return vehicle, fully maintained) when lass than 1 year old. It developed a fault some months later in connection with the battery. The dealer said the battery was mot covered by Warranty. I checked around for a suitable replacement. The Nissan Dealer wanted some £186 but my local National depot had one to the right standard for £112. They fitted it and all was well for about 4 months. Then the same cutting out and switching off of the cruise control began to arise again, symptoms I had when the battery was deemed needing replacement. Nissan Dealership got quite snotty that I had a “non-genuine battery” on the car. I told them it conformed to their standards. They were insistent that it was “non-genuine”, I asked if they meant “non-Nissan” – they got quite irate. They said it was a fault with the battery and refused to carryout any further work. A visit to the National Depot and they got all the specifications out and sure enough it was the right battery. Nisan refused to accept this. Discussions were less than positive. They told me to get a service with them they would have to replace the battery at my expense. No mention of the fact this was a known and recurring fault. Due to work pressures I had to get the new battery (I still have the old one from National). Roll on a few months and during service I am told the timing belt is worn and needs replacing. With only 49k on the clock I objected to such wear being reasonable. Despite initial refusal to consider the facts I did further research and found that this was a known issue for which in other areas Nissan were standing the cost of replacement. After a difficult conversation with the dealership they agreed to refer it to Nissan just as Lockdown started. No one bothered to contact me for around 8 weeks. I rang and was told they were still waiting for Nissan to agree to pay, and anyway the service area was closed. I remonstrated with them that there was a risk I could wreck the car if I continued to drive it and the belt broke. Weeks later I again contacted them they said they had received the go ahead “a week or so ago”, they saw no reason to contact me. The work has now been done but frankly I will never recommend Nissan again, never buy from them again and sit now wondering what is going to fall off next.

Hi Martin – I suggest you look at the manufacturer’s information about when the timing belt should be changed. It’s often recommended that the tensioner should be changed too. The replacement interval will specify both the mileage and age of the vehicle – whichever comes first.

You could subscribe to Which? Legal for help with help over the battery problem. Thanks to EU legislation owners can use parts. of the correct specifications rather than expensive genuine parts.

I have a 2012 BMW 520d SE which has done 47000 miles. At this time last year it went to my local Bmw specialist, but not dealer (independant). They found that I had a broken NSF springand matching tyre. mileage then 46643. But this car is saloon, not estate.
Could this be the fault you are reporting on?

I had a 67 plate Nissan Quashqui in December 2019 the car had to be towed and then March 2020 the car blow up on me the turbo went, damaged the engine. I was the first owner I don’t do many miles. Is this the faults?

I own a 66 reg Pulsar and to add to the joys of coronavirus the electrical system died on my car two week after the start of lockdown a few months ago. The Cardiff Nissan Dealership was closed and my initial emails simply said that support was not available. In fairness to the local branch, their manager did contact me and suggested that it was a total battery failure. The Nissan breakdown service (alias RAC) was called and confirmed this and replaced the battery with one of their own which they had on the van. New RAC battery and several hundred pounds lighter!

Richard Saffell says:
22 August 2020

We purchased a 2019 Range Rover Evoque which to date has only covered 3,000 miles due mainly to the lockdown. However it has been unreliable due to software problems. Firstly on the day we were supposed to pick it up, we could not as the doors would not open from the key fob. This is a reoccurring problem. The gesture opening of the tailgate is also intermittent. We also had an instance where it was impossible to select a gear and again it was a software problem. On each occasion we called out JLR service team who corrected the fault by downloading an updated version of the software. My wife is now reluctant to drive the car in case she gets stuck somewhere. I have complained by email to the customer helpline but as yet no response. I am thinking of rejecting the car.

Mark Slough says:
22 August 2020

I own a 2010 (60 plate) BMW 535i Touring and I have had to have the rear airbag suspension replaced because of a leak. It was replaced under an extended warranty at the time of which I had to pay a small portion.

I have bought a new Nissan Qashqai in Nov 2017. In Dec 2019, within the warranty, the battery began failing and I had difficulty starting the car. As I didn’t want to find myself unexpectedly stranded, I had the battery replaced. My Nissan dealer was too far away and fully booked for some weeks, so I had a new Nissan battery fitted by my local garage. I contacted Nissan Customer Service to ask for a refund but they said as I had gone outside the dealership, there was nothing they could do, but agreed that the battery should last longer than 2 years, bearing in mind this is a new car!
I had bought a used Qashqai (under a year old) prior to my current Qashqai and after 2 years the battery failed and I had to call the AA. They said this was a regular occurrence with this make. Nissan (and the AA!) have known about this for some years and have done nothing about it. Appalling. I will be looking for a different make in the future.

Another one here who had battery issues with a Qashqai. In the three years (from new) we had it we had stop start failure (turned out to be the battery issues), the rear sensors failed and we had to top up the oil 4 times (which seemed a lot as I never had an oil issue with any other car). It didn’t help that the closest official Nissan retailer was about a mile from any regular public transport so taking it in involved a lot of walking.

Battery problems seem to be very common with stop-start cars. Often the battery will continue to start the car but they stop-start system is disabled and it’s necessary to switch off manually. I would be much more concerned about a new car using oil. A brand new car may use a little but if it continues to use oil the problem will only get worse. I suggest you ask the dealer to investigate because burning oil not only creates pollution but it might result in other problems that could be costly to fix.

We don’t have it anymore. We were leasing it and how unreliable it was was one of the reasons we didn’t buy it after the lease time and went car free for a while. I’m hoping the one we are getting is more reliable! (I know better to mention the type -I don’t want comments about it that will make me worry we got the wrong one – it took us a month to agree on a car!)

BMW 530 touring Jan 2015 Reg . Had to change both rear suspension units this year (2020) , one in January and one in February – mileage 51000. I had these changed by a non BMW franchise garage ( half the price ) so these would not show up on any BMW stats.

If the findings of Which? can be confirmed from other sources, for example by those working in the motor trade, then I hope the problems will be reported to Trading Standards so that the manufacturers are forced to offer a fair solution to owners. Since many cars are purchased secondhand it’s important that subsequent owners are also protected from the costs of running a car with a design fault.

Which? is very good at identifying problems but unless these are pursued by Which? or another organisation then little will be achieved.