Alko Stabiliser Problem

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Mar 14, 2005
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The towbar I was custom built by witter to fit my car.
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This sentence intrigues me. Do you mean you employed witter to specially design and make the tow bar for you, or do you mean its one Witter has designed for the car and is available to anyone?

The reason I ask, is that the UK law (which is still based on the EU construction and use regulations) say that tow bars and hitches must be type approved to be fitted.

I suspect you mean the second option becasue I doubt you would consider the cost of getting the required type approval for a "custom" (one off) would be practical.

I suspect your best approach is to focus on the tow bar and fitters.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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The earlier thread “Frightening Experience “ was closed down at the OPs request. But it does contain information very relevant to this thread.
I understood Traore visited Witters own towbar centre in Chester. Like the Prof I am struggling to understand why it was a Bespoke towbar🤔.

Surely under the CRA Witter cannot wash their hands . It is alleged the JLR chassis has been damaged . I suspect there is still a long way to go but Traore imo needs to press Witter and remind them of their responsibilities.
As an aside a lot of tyre centres always get another member of staff to check the fasteners torque or the mobile guys show you them setting their torque wrench and ask you watch the torque up.
My gut feeling is Witter May be in error
 
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Sep 10, 2022
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This sentence intrigues me. Do you mean you employed witter to specially design and make the tow bar for you, or do you mean its one Witter has designed for the car and is available to anyone?

The reason I ask, is that the UK law (which is still based on the EU construction and use regulations) say that tow bars and hitches must be type approved to be fitted.

I suspect you mean the second option becasue I doubt you would consider the cost of getting the required type approval for a "custom" (one off) would be practical.

I suspect your best approach is to focus on the tow bar and fitters.
The car was a new model. Only factory fitted tow bars were available at the time. The JLR dealer arranged for me to take the car to witter to have it measured up. The design was sent to Witters Poland factory where it was made. I had to go back to witters workshop at there Chester HQ to have it fitted. They also designed a new electrics kit which was manufactured in the U.K. Once fitted JLR had to remap the cars computer. Now that it has come loose it’s not there fault for not fitting it tight enough. It’s my fault for not checking the tightness.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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In my opinion. Witter have to deal with this and take responsibility.

Re checking the bars tightness by customer.. That is completely irresponsible of them. How can the expect a consumer to take on that task. Perhaps without training or experience. If they were concerned, they should have said you should return it to them for checking. Just like tyre fitters will do.

They can’t hide behind their small print.

Lack of type approval is also concerning.

Another thing I am struggling with is the elongated holes. If they were deliberately manufactured that way is one thing. But the inference here is that the wore that way with movement. Normally the bar assembly is made from more substantial and thicker metal than the car. (The car gaining its strength by shape). Therefore, any elongation would be expected in the cars monocoque panel.

I would be tempted to apply great legal pressure to Witter and be prepared to pay for an independent survey.

I think that JLR are sensible in not getting involved and that Wittier are trying hard to disown any responsibility.

John
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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I'm not so sure it's as clear cut as both Dustydog and JcCloughie seem to think.

Under competition rules, car manufacturers do have to make the mounting point locations , dimensions and load capability available to third party towbar manufacturers. But what exactly the package of details includes I do not know. but it should be enough to enable a towbar to be manufactured. In some cases the car manufacturer will not actually make their own toolbars, they will rely on a third party supplier to provide their "factory""dealer fit" tow bars .

I'm also not sure how a towbar becomes approved, but I suspect it has to be assessed by the car manufacturer and they either recommended or decline the design, or they may even be the approval body for the part.

The EU also require the tow bar assembly to have an attached data plate with load limits and the name of the manufacturer.

However Some large 4x4's that are commonly available to consumers maybe classified as utility vehicles, and some of these regulations do not always apply. It's a bit of a grey area.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I'm not so sure it's as clear cut as both Dustydog and JcCloughie seem to think.

Under competition rules, car manufacturers do have to make the mounting point locations , dimensions and load capability available to third party towbar manufacturers. But what exactly the package of details includes I do not know. but it should be enough to enable a towbar to be manufactured. In some cases the car manufacturer will not actually make their own toolbars, they will rely on a third party supplier to provide their "factory""dealer fit" tow bars .

I'm also not sure how a towbar becomes approved, but I suspect it has to be assessed by the car manufacturer and they either recommended or decline the design, or they may even be the approval body for the part.

The EU also require the tow bar assembly to have an attached data plate with load limits and the name of the manufacturer.

However Some large 4x4's that are commonly available to consumers maybe classified as utility vehicles, and some of these regulations do not always apply. It's a bit of a grey area.
Well Prof seems to me you know no more than the rest of us. On the limited info available I don’t think Iand John were too far off the pace.
This answers more which will help us all to steer Traore in the correct direction. In Court it’s very clear to me between JLR and Witter something went very wrong. Surely CRA will give him the proper resolution?
 
Sep 10, 2022
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We will have to wait and see if Traore is prepared to keep us informed of progress.
Update. Decided against tightening the towbar myself. Two the bolts nestled in above the exhaust back box. Not a job to do without being on a ramp. When I contacted JLR a couple of weeks ago they agreed for me to bring the car in last Thursday to have the towbar refitted. Two days later they said that they wouldn’t touch it because it wasn’t a JLR towbar. After much debate the sent me a voice mail telling me to bring the car in as planned and ask to speak to the sales manager on arrival. When I arrived the sales manager was too busy and a used car salesman came to tell me that they weren’t prepared to do anything. They wouldn’t even arrange for witter to sort it. Good news. I have spoken to witter and they have booked an appointment at their workshop on wed.
I still don’t know whether the loose towbar caused the stabiliser pad to work loose or whether the jammed up hitch put extra stress on the towbar bolts and made them work loose. I would suggest prior to hitching give the towbar a good joggle and again after de hitching. I have had tow bars on my cars for over 30 years and have never seen the need to do this but once bitten. Before setting off after hitching I always give the hitch a good tug to make sure it’s attached but when the van is attached movement in the towbar could be masked by movement in the suspension.
 
May 7, 2012
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I am afraid that JLR are correct as they are only responsible for what they sell and that was not the towbar. You need to go ack to Witter with their report and demand that they correct the fitting. I know it is a pain.
 
Sep 10, 2022
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I am afraid that JLR are correct as they are only responsible for what they sell and that was not the towbar. You need to go ack to Witter with their report and demand that they correct the fitting. I know it is a pain.
They had the towbar fitted as part of the deal. It was sold to me with a towbar. If they are responsible for what they sell then it is up to them to sort it. They sub contracted it to Witter because it was was a cheaper option than them doing the job.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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They had the towbar fitted as part of the deal. It was sold to me with a towbar. If they are responsible for what they sell then it is up to them to sort it. They sub contracted it to Witter because it was was a cheaper option than them doing the job.
As you correctly state if the car dealer arranged to have the towbar fitted, and you paid the car dealer to do it, then the dealer is the one you have the contract with, not Witter. This arrangement is defined in the Consumer Rights Act.

If you are not familiar with the CRA, I suggst its worth spending half an hour watching this:-

 

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