Consumer rights champion Which? has called for seven popular car models from brands including Nissan, BMW and Land Rover to be recalled over claims of “prolific” vehicle faults.
A survey of 47,013 car owners by Which? found that certain models each had a single problem commonly reported by their keepers, ranging from faulty batteries to “flawed” fuel systems.
The consumer advice group said the issues highlighted in its survey, carried out between December 2019 to February 2020, indicate “a weakness in the manufacturing process that should be addressed immediately”.
It said three of the seven models highlighted, the Nissan Qashqai (2014 to present), Tesla Model S (2013 to present) and BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 to 2017), were found to have the same problems highlighted in its survey last year.
The Qashqai was found to have the highest breakdown rate for cars that were less than three years old, with 21% of owners claiming they needed to replace the battery in the 12 months prior to the survey, Which? said.
Some 28% of Nissan Pulsar owners also reported battery issues in vehicles between three and eight years old, while 20% of diesel Nissan Juke owners said they had problems with the fuel component system.
Nissan said it had taken steps to address the issue by replacing its battery supplier and had contacted 35,000 potentially affected Qashqai owners about getting a free update for their vehicle.
The survey found that 18% of Tesla Model S owners, which can cost more than £50,000, reported faults with its pop-out door handles in cars aged three to eight years old.
Meanwhile, 21% of Range Rover Velar and 17% of Range Rover Sport owners reported problems with the on-board computer software in vehicles up to three years old, Which? said.
Of the 280 car models Which? had reliability data for, the BMW 5 Series Touring car, produced between 2010 to 2017, had the second-highest fault rate linked to one single problem.
Its survey found that 26% of the model’s owners reported issues with their car’s suspension in vehicles aged three to eight years old.
Which? has now called on manufacturers to issue a recall on the affected models.
Harry Rose, editor of Which? Magazine, said: “It is completely unacceptable that these trusted car brands continue to take customer cash without fixing these widespread faults, many of which are already well-known thanks to our comprehensive survey of UK motorists.
“Currently, car owners will have to foot the bill for faults once their car goes out of warranty, but it is not right for anyone to have to pay for production mistakes that these manufacturers are aware of.”
Responding to the survey, Tesla told Which? it reviewed every vehicle before it leaves the factory and that its warranties cover any repairs or replacements necessary for door handles for up to four years.
Land Rover said it took product quality “seriously” and that it was introducing software to all of its new vehicles, allowing for remote updates.
The company said it “understands” only 0.12% of Range Rover Velar and 0.22% of Range Rover Sport customers were surveyed, which it did not believe was “representative of the vast majority of satisfied customers”.
BMW said it has carried out analysis of all warranty claims from launch to the present day which “confirmed nothing unusual” about suspension claims across the 33,000 vehicles sold.
The company said: “We encourage any dissatisfied Which? reader, whether they participated in this survey or not, to contact BMW UK on 0370 505 0160, making reference to Which?, so that we can investigate their concerns.”
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