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Corrosion on Wheels (winter) Less than 1 Year Old

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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 13:23   #1
mollusk
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Default Corrosion on Wheels (winter) Less than 1 Year Old

Mollusk is grumpy, well more than usual!

When we bought the wife's 2012 XC70 we also bought a set of winter wheels and tyres (from the "approved" accessory list). I had intended to source a set of steels and fit my choice of tyres - but 16" Cecinos were available with my preferred tyres (Conti XContact 4x4) and at a good price.

The winter set has now done two winters, approx 9-10 months in total and about 5000 mls. I am verrrry pleased with the performance - but the wheels! Volvo have still got issues with corrosion - albeit on the inner faces.

After each winter the wheels were fully cleaned and waxed before putting into storage. Having unearthed them yesterday ready for fitting I was irked to find patches of corrosion and flaking coating on each wheel. (no sign when wheels were put away). It would seem that moisture had penetrated the coating and has been quietly festering away all summer.

A sample of what was found!









I have informed my dealer, and e-mailed pics, and they can see the wheels on Thursday when a second annual/on call renewal has been booked.

In the meantime I have contacted Volvo car UK "customer relations" - they really have no customer empathy whatsoever. Basically the whole response was much of a "so, what do you want us to do", "go back to your dealer", not prepared to comment at all.
No suggestion that such corrosion might indicate a problem on wheels with a service life of less than a year!
Yes, I know they've not yet seen the wheels etc. but there is a way of dealing with customers that does not suggest that they don't believe a word you're saying! To me it seems that customer relations are only there to fend people off, to ensure that VCUK are not distracted by inconvenient end users.

I worked for Volvo Concessionaires/VCUK from the mid seventies until 1993 and there was a real understanding that the customer paid our wages! - how very different things are now.

Mollusk.
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 13:45   #2
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Not very good at all, I've had similar issues in the past with Mercedes S Class and Lexus GS alloys: Mercedes were very difficult despite the car being bought new with a full history. Lexus, no argument from them just a new set of wheels.

Perhaps not enough paint leading to porosity and then corrosion.

And just to rub it in the Rigels on my 1986 745 are in better condition than yours!

Jon.
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 14:00   #3
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I,ll back up what prufrock said about Lexus,I,ve just p/ex a Lexus For a Volvo and must admit lexus after sales beats Volvo hands down. I took a 30 month old IS in for a service when I went to collect it they told me they found a small patch of corrosion on the inside of the rear wheel and so had ordered a full set of new wheels which they replaced FOC and gave my wife a bouquet of flowers for the inconvenience.

Chris
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 14:24   #4
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I see they are Borbet wheels.

Try the dealer, then Volvo UK, then perhaps Borbet direct......

If no joy, take solace in the fact that a good refurb doesnt cost the Earth these days.

Perhaps the dealer will agree to paying for a refurb as a compromise?
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Old Nov 18th, 2013, 17:21   #5
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Unfortunately, Borbet when it comes to Volvo wheels are rubbish.

Our styx (made by borbet in Germany like yours) after 1 year were suffering with corrosion in honesty we have found even more faults with the wheels.

Bluntness you are better if you can asking for a professional refurb than a respray or new wheel. Mainly thanks to cars only getting water based paint rather than proper powder to create more colours and reduce cost this is what you get.
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Old Nov 19th, 2013, 01:05   #6
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That's rubbish. At least, no corrosion at the hub.
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Old Nov 20th, 2013, 11:48   #7
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Wheels will be inspected by dealer on Thursday.

I have now e-mailed Borbet UK asking for their comments on their product.

I will report back on any responses.

Mollusk.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 17:23   #8
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Well it's confirmed, VCUK really don't seem to give a toss (in my personal opinion - but then I'm just a customer).

Dealer has now inspected wheels, agrees they're rubbish and has sent report and pics to VCUK. Almost instant response - not warranty, customer has plainly used an aggressive wheel cleaner (for which they cannot have any evidence at all). Err, no, wheels have been hosed off with tap water, and regularly washed with warm water with a little quality car shampoo.

Quite plainly Volvo has forgotten who pays their salaries - are they so secure in their market position that they can treat the purchasers of their product with such contempt. Just how are corroding wheels with an in service life of 9 mths./5000 mls. NOT a manufacturing issue.
On my 300 series "Redline" the (only set) alloy wheels have seen 25 winters and are unmarked!

I've been a Volvo anorak since the seventies, damn'it I take the pills so I wee the correct shade of corporate blue - I've lived through "lifetime care" and a technical dept. that actually talked to customers and always felt Volvo were worthy of my loyalty - but now VCUKs patronising "nothing to do with us" attitude is really turning me off. I shall certainly stick with my "not really Volvo" 300s but will my next new car be a Volvo - I very much doubt it.!

In my case my wheels cannot have been damaged by an "aggressive cleaner" - that is fact whatever Volvo choose to suggest - I rather favour poor quality porous water based coating or simple poor adhesion (or both). And before somebody suggest I don't know where my arse is, I've been in the trade all my life.

I will not let this go and will be talking to both Trading Standard and my Solicitors - the trouble is any action I take must perforce be against my dealer with whom I have no quarrel whatsoever (i have found my dealer to be superb in most respects and i would be reluctant to instigate proceedings). I discussed this very point with their Service Manager this afternoon so they will, at least, understand my dilemma.

I really hope somebody at VCUK reads this - but even if they did I doubt very much that they would be concerned in the slightest. As I have said before - I'm just a customer!

Mollusk, just as grumpy as I was.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 17:26   #9
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Begin a small claims court action for the price of the wheels (not tyres) against the dealer.

I doubt they will even contest it and you will win.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 18:04   #10
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I entirely agree, but I would prefer not to take legal action. I certainly don't want to prejudice my relationship with my dealer who have served me well for many years.
They at least try their best to do right by their customers.
They will be tackling VCUK again.
Any legal action I take would only be after further discussions with my dealer, with whom, as I have said, I have no complaint.

The problem undoubtably lies with the specification of finish applied by Borbet to wheels supplied to Volvo and it is Volvo/Borbet that should address the issues - not a dealer who has done no wrong (except inheriting responsibility by virtue of UK consumer law).

My own preference would be, not to replace the wheels with like, but to wait until the spring and have these wheels refurbished.
We will see what the next few weeks bring - and I have yet to see whether Borbet will do me courtesy of a reply.

Mollusk.
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