Window Crystallisation

Mar 14, 2005
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I have recently traded in my Compass Rallye GTE 2000 model and lost £400 on a previously agreed value (uninspected) because the dealer found the three front windows crystallised, ie small cracks like stone chips had formed on the INSIDE surface. They said they had seen this phenomena before and it was either stickers that had been applied or the sun. Well I know no stickers have been applied so it must be the sun!! For an outside liesure vehicle this is pretty poor! To make it worse of course I am out of warranty. The selling dealer is no longer in business and the Explorer Group are dismissive and uninterested. So much for spending £26000 with them over recent years. My question is two fold, Is this crystallisation common? and any ideas how I could get the Explorer group to take any semblance of responsibility for a product they sell, other than effectively claiming their outdoor liesure vehicle isn't suitable to be outside!!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Mike. Sorry to read of your experience. Assuming what you say is accurate, and you have used the caravan exactly within the manufactures instructions, then yet again, it seems that caravan designers and manufactures are not using appropriate designs, materials, or are allowing unsatisfactory workmanship on their products, resulting in a product that is not fit for purpose and therefore by definition not of merchantable quality. Of course a window on a caravan should be resistant to sunlight, and it should last more than the "warranty period" if stickers damage the surface then it should clearly say so in the caravan instructions. However, your argument is against the supplying dealer. They are the ones that are legally responsible to you, not the manufacture. The manufacture is not obliged to assist you directly. If you used a finance house you may have a remedy against them, as technically they own the property until the last payment has cleared. But it sounds as though you have already disposed of the van so now it's someone else's problem.
 
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Just a point, my Sterling was delivered to the dealer with stickers inside the front window stating batch no. build date etc....... These were removed on delivery, but nonetheless, Sterling themselves had put them there. I shall be keeping an eye on my windows!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks for the responses. John...You are quite right about my legal position. With the dealer no longer in business and having not used a finance company I am at the whim of the Explorer Group who can only manage a two line, shun the issue, letter in response to my outline of the problem. I guess i'll have to swallow the loss and take my business elsewhere next time, but cynically, I suspect the same response would come from all the manufacturers. I am currently on a waiting list to get a position light lens from them too.I won't hold my breath as they haven't even responded to my local dealer for a price yet. Having said all that I still love caravanning!!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi,

Dont hold your breath for a response from Explorer Group.

The problems I have had with my 2002 Compass Ralley 524 you would not believe. Bed collapsing, fire front falling off, drawers and cupboards mis aligned,bathroom sink loose, omnivent blowing fuses, waste pipe joints leaking, shower mixer tap leaking, worktop lifting because the sink had to be forced in to fit, 25% dampness found in the off side rear, 30% dampness in the front off side requiering two window seals, cracks in the cupboard main supports and all the cupboards above this are coming away from the roof and walls. And the van is not two years old, the amount of poor workmanship I have found is unreal. My dealer is doing all he can to remedy these faults but getting anyone from Explorer to come out and inspect these problems is like pulling teeth and they are only ten mile from each other. So anyone thinking of a Compass Ralley 524 beware, or e mail me and I will give you a full report on all the problems I have had.

P.S Any good solicitors reading this I need some help.

Cheers

Ian.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Mike,

I have suffered a similar problem but on the outside. I washed the outside of the van with a cleaner meant to restore the original finish and remove black marks. Some of the fluid got onto the windows which subsequently showed signs of crazing. Could you have used a cleaning fluid that was not compatable with acrylic windows?
 
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Hello All, No I am not a soliciter, but quite plainly most of you do appear to be suffering if not serious, quite unreasonable reliability and workmanship problems. Forget Explorer Group, because you will all have purchased your caravan from a dealer. Your warranty in law rests with the dealer/company that sold you the caravan, and no ammount of squirming by the dealer can remove thier liability to you. Your purhase order for the caravan did not ask for a substandard product, in fact it is understood that all retail products supplied should be of merchantable quality and free from defects and fit for purpose. When a fault occurs, BE HONEST, consider if you have caused the fault by incorrect usage or maintenance. If you are satisfied that it is a genuine failure, write to your dealer about it. Request that the fault is corrected and agree a reasonable time frame. Get it in writing!!!. Also inform your finance house, as they have vested interest. Do not be fobbed off by "We are waiting for the manufacture to...." If this happens, advise the dealer that you will be seeking further legal advice and do contact your finance house, the Trading Standards and CAB or a soliciter. This will focus your dealers attention no end, and if they are not backed up by thier supplying manufacture they will repeat the exercise. Explorer Group (and others) will begin to get the message from thier customers (the dealers), when law suits start dropping on thier door step.
 
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Caravan glazing is very often made of polycarbonate plastic which has relatively poor stability against chemical agents. In particular, this includes proprietary glass cleaning fluids containing alcohol and/or ammonia.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Latest correspondence from the Explorer Group is that the windows were only covered by warranty for 12 months, not the 3 years like the rest of the van?? They did state they would love to help if only they could!!
 

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