An independent Which? survey* reveals five faults found in new cars less than three years old considered not only shocking but some potentially dangerous too.
According to the law, currently, most vehicles don’t have to start having an annual MOT until their third birthday, as it’s assumed that before this time a car should be roadworthy.
Here are the top 5 faults found in new cars for 2018:
1. Mechanical brake system (3% of cars are affected)
The main type of mechanical brake system is the disc brake, which has largely replaced the drum brake. Brake pads will, of course, wear down over time, but this wear and tear have not been included in their mechanical braking fault rate. Problems the driver should look out for are some or all of the following: a grinding noise, pulling, longer brake time/distance, smell and vibrations, acceleration drag and/or a warning light.
2. Suspension components ( 2% of cars are affected)
The main suspension components of a car are the springs, shock absorbers and struts.
3. Exhaust or emission control system (cars affected – 5%)
The emissions control system’s core job is to limit the discharge of toxic gasses, such as CO (carbon monoxide) and NOx (oxides of nitrogen) – the latter has been prominent in the industry over the past two years. As so many cars in the survey under three-years-old had a faulty exhaust or emission control system, questions are raised whether it is solely down to wear and tear.
4. Sat nav failure (4% of cars affected)
An unusually high percentage of cars in the 0-3 year age group were affected by sat nav failure. Although this doesn’t pose a significant safety risk, it is a nuisance – particularly as the owner has possibly paid extra for it.
5. Battery – (cars affected – 3%)
Car battery problems are typically associated with older vehicles, but 3% of the survey respondents have had a battery fault with a vehicle under three years old. Driving habits, rather than a battery defect, are often the cause. Drivers taking short trips, leaving lights on and heavily using accessories while stationary can all wear the battery life down dramatically, regardless of age. A flat battery is the most common cause of the breakdown.
*The survey is based on 44,794 owners, who have given a detailed insight into the ownership and maintenance of 50,742 individual cars. Online survey: Dec 2016 to Feb 2017.
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