Renault GT 135 ZE50... 1.5 Months in

So! Had a lovely, brand new ZE50 delivered towards the end of November and have been loving it. Pleasantly zippy, fun to drive, plenty of range. The first big test of it’s capabilities was coming back over the Pennines from East to West during Storm Arwen, hopping from Instavolt to Intavolt charger in Booths car parks and taking it easy on ice and snow-bound roads.

It didn’t let me down once.

And then yesterday, I popped five minutes up the road in it to go to the cinema, and on getting back in the car afterwards, all the warning lights went nuts, flashing yellow.

“Right” I think to myself. “It’s still running, and my house is 1.5 miles away, I’ll see if I can get it to limp home and call Onto in the morning”.

0.5 miles from my house… The engine cuts out suddenly, the dash starts flashing RED and it gently rolls to a stop, giving me a couple of seconds to realise what is happening, and manage to get it mostly off the road and up on the pavement with that momentum it had left.

At least it didn’t happen on the M62 on Christmas eve. Small mercies.

Some hours later, a lovely RAC contractor chap turns up to drag the car back to my house, and we get it haphazardly perched on the driveway like a very expensive paperweight. This morning’s conversations with Driverline confirm that we can’t get it to a garage OR get me a courtesy car until Wednesday morning, due to everything being shut on bank holidays.

Absolutely gutted, as up until last night I was loving this cheeky little thing.

Any other Zoe drivers had an experience like this, and any idea how long it takes to get resolved?

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Sounds like a faulty 12v auxiliary battery which drives all the electronics.
It’s either died (they do fail whether brand new, weeks old or months) and are no more reliable than any other 12v battery in an ICE car, or it’s not being charged correctly by the powertrain battery and associated electronics module.

How long to get fixed depends on the Renault dealerships capability, workload and spares availability. Might be a week or several once the festive season is over.

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It may be worth giving Onto rather than Driverline a call and seeing if they’re open. Press the option for new customers and if they’re open, it will give you Onto themselves. They will have the power to help in the meantime and may authorise travel expenses if needed for today or tomorrow until Renault get the car.

The ZE50 Zoe is generally pretty reliable and it’s not too common. But right now until some diagnosis takes place there’s no way of telling what’s wrong. It could be a bad 12V Battery in which case you will be back on the road in no time (subject to mechanic availability). But especially given the fact that I see a turtle on the dash with 98% charge it could be a weak cell in the main traction battery or failure in the high voltage system somewhere. For something like that it could easily be off the road for many weeks.

Once Renault have the chance to investigate they’ll be able to decide where to go from here. Keep in touch with Onto and if it does drag out for too long they’ll be able to look into doing a swap into another car, rather than having to suffer the likely awful ICE courtesy car they’ll probably dump on you for the long term if it’s a bigger issue.

Hopefully it’s nothing serious and you’re reunited with the car fully working again soon. Keep us updated with what happens.

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Well! An update.

I got the car back from Renault on the…31st? And happily drove it around until January 4th.

I drove it to work on January 4th and parked it in the staff car park. It was on ~80% charge when I parked it.

When I got back into it at ~5pm, the WARNING, ELECTRICAL SYSTEM and WARNING BRAKES messages popped up, and all the red lights came back on. It will not start. Between me opening the door and sitting down, the battery % display fell incrementally from ~80% to 0%.

The My Renault app pinged the car, and it was still showing at ~80% battery. Hmm.

The car park gets locked at 6pm and they couldn’t get a patrol out to rescue it in time, nor were the RAC, Renault Assist or Onto particularly interested in helping me travel the ~25miles back home that night. I managed to get a lift to the train station from a colleague.

Called Onto on the train home and explained the situation, that I no longer felt safe with this vehicle and that I would like them to swap it for a different one that has not had two electrics and brake failures within the first 1100 miles. They can get a replacement to me on Wednesday 12th. Fine.

Back in work the following day, I called the RAC to confirm they were going to attend to rescue the dead Zoe today. All good.

Patrol 1 turns up and tries to do a diagnostic. Batteries are all showing charged. None of the instruments or dash will light up, at all. Patrol 1 does a battery system reset, and the car now completely bricks itself. The parking brake is stuck on, the car will not respond to any input, it’s proper dead.

Patrol 1 can’t rescue the vehicle, it needs a flatbed. He notifies the RAC and I call Driverline to confirm. I tell them that it’s a full electric and the parking brake is stuck on and it can’t go to neutral.

Flatbed 1 turns up a couple of hours later. I explain to the driver that it is electric and completely unresponsive, and the parking brake is stuck on. He says they didn’t tell him, and that he can’t do the recovery as it’s a 2-man job, and needs 4 dollies if the parking brake is stuck.

He is a contractor and can’t arrange another vehicle himself. Flatbed 1 leaves. I call the RAC. They tell me I need to talk to Renault Assist. I talk to Renault Assist, they tell me I need to talk to the RAC. I am passed between them over and over again for an hour. Nobody can authorise onward travel for me until the Zoe is recovered, according to “policy”.

I call Onto and beg for help. I explain how unhelpful the RAC and Renault have been, how I don’t know who is supposed to be sending the recovery vehicle, the condition the vehicle is in and why it needs extra equipment, how I don’t know how I’m going to get home today, and how I just need somebody to actually help me.

Onto manage to arrange flatbed 2 to come get it. I am handed back to the RAC, to whom I explain that the car park will be locked at 6pm, that the parking brake is stuck on, that it needs 4 dollys and two people to attend to recover it.

RAC promise to have it retrieved by a contractor in the next two hours. I need to go out with my boss to a meeting, I ask them to get my keys from the security guard when they arrive and just take it away. They agree.

I get back from the meeting at 5pm, and the Zoe is still there. Flatbed 2 never turned up, they attempted to ring me despite me explaining I was unavailable and to talk to the security office.

I call the RAC again and basically cry down the phone at the poor lad, asking for someone to just help me. He gets flatbed 3 arranged to come round within half an hour, escalates my onward travel issues to the appropriate team, and hands me over to them. They take my details and say they should be able to organise a taxi home for me, and that the emergency travel team will call me back in a minute.

Flatbed 3 turns up. They do not have 4 dollys. The description of the fault they were passed was “short tow”. They try and override the parking brake to get it into neutral, calling several other patrols and a technical contact for help, and nobody knows how to do it. I call Renault and see if they can offer technical help. Renault tell me to charge the battery and press the brake pedal, because they do not understand “The car is completely unresponsive and roadside assistance suspect a module has failed”.

Flatbed 3 gives up trying to get any damn help with this situation, and they decide to move their truck around to be as close as possible, and just drag the car onto it and hope they don’t flatspot the rear tyres in the process.

They get it on to the truck. Tyres are fine.

RAC emergency onward travel team have not called me back. Flatbed 3 say they don’t expect them to do so as authorisation for long taxi rides takes hours to obtain. They ask if I want a lift to the station, I agree, and get the train home again.

I check my email on the train, and Onto have charged me another £400 hire charge, and the fifty quid delivery fee to replace the dangerously faulty Zoe with a different one next Wednesday.

On the bright side, my local Enterprise branch have FINALLY got authorisation to get me a loaner vehicle, two days after the breakdown occurred.

Honestly I just want to cry.

Not what we were all hoping to hear of your experiences and how frustrating this is continuing to be for you.

Suggest you call Onto and try and get hold of a senior manager like @Carol Axe (VP Of CS) and hopefully a suitable solution to all the grief you have had to date.

If I have to listen to that hold music again this week I think I’M going to have a breakdown. I’ve sent an email, hopefully someone will see it and help :frowning:

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Appreciate that and hopefully by flagging on here it’ll get picked up.
Will also flag @Raheel_at_Onto too for you.

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HI @millennialpilot - If you’re unable to get through to our Customer Service Team on the phone (0800 030 6840), you can try Live Chat also.

If you’re still struggling, please send me a DM and I’ll pass this Onto Customer Services for you.

I’m really sorry about the above :frowning:

@burnt_crisps2 - thank you for tagging me in this

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Sorry to hear about your pain @millennialpilot

I really wish OntO / Driveline would get rid of the god awful RAC, they are bunch of useless ^^^^

When I had my ICE it took them 5 hours to come out to me, when the who car failed, and then another hour for them to tow it back to my partners, and then 3 hours the next day to take it to the Garage… I cancelled immediately the next day… and they had the cheek to not even say sorry…

It’s Renault Assist who use the RAC, as it’s part of the bundle when you get a new car from Renault (and therefore doesn’t cost Onto anything) they’ll always use Renault Assist and therefore RAC.

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No worries thought it was something from DriverLine…

God, that sounds like a nightmare @mozzauk

From talking to various RAC drivers during this saga I have gathered that the RAC have the contract from Renault for all roadside assist and recoveries - so when they were being useless with me it was largely because Renault hadn’t given them the authorisation to do x/y/z. Having spoken to Renault several times during this ordeal I can well believe that they were the major blockage in this process, they were actively hostile and desperate to not help at all.

Well, that and every single RAC driver that came out (and most of the agents on the phone) needed convincing (some of them multiple times) that I hadn’t just failed to charge the car and there was actually something wrong with it. One of the contractors, after listening to my description of the fault and how comprehensive I’d been when reporting it was pretty appalled and said “Well, of course, it’s because you’re a woman that was trying to tell men about a car problem. If they’d believed you in the first place we wouldn’t be in this mess”.

@Raheel_at_Onto - I got a lovely guy called Matthew on live chat who has sorted me out with a refund for some of the charges, and said he was going to make sure the rest of my email gets kicked up the chain.

Enterprise have come through for me and sorted a Megane plug-in-hybrid for the next few days. It’s a lovely piece of kit, much nicer than the Captur I had last time!

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Who do Hyundai use? Hope it’s not RAC :open_mouth:

Hyundai breakdown cover was provided by the AA last time I checked. It’s worth noting that they aren’t fantastic either though. They aren’t usually interested in touching an EV but instead would rather just take it to the dealer. And when it comes to that, they seem to be really struggling with availability of flatbed vehicles. I’ve heard of many people having to wait hours for one to finally show up.

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Makes my heart sink when I hear that is probably the reason for so many blokes basically being a brick wall. :man_facepalming: Have to say if we had more women in jobs that dealt with issues like this, the general satisfaction levels and responsiveness to timely conclusion would rocket to sky high levels. And I say that as a bloke who encouraged as many women to become engineers, support, helpdesk, applications specialists over the years as possible.

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Ooh gosh seems no one likes break downs I hope my tesla doesn’t break anytime soon but if you did try a tesla and did break down who do they use too AA? Thanks

@millennialpilot my heart goes to you I’m so sorry you had to go through all this and glad to see the community is being so helpful towards your case all these tips good know if any of us are in this situation. I hope you get it sorted as soon as possible :pray:

Tesla don’t really have such a deal in place. Their roadside assistance is just passed out to whoever they can get to you. On occasion that may still mean RAC/AA/Green Flag big names coming out to you, but most often the job is given to local companies.

In my region I know that Tesla’s breakdown recovery (and accident repair) is primarily provided by CF Motoring Services but I can’t speak for others.

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@millennialpilot so glad to hear that Matt helped resolve this issue for you - I’ve passed on your feedback to the Customer Service Managers along with our head of Customer Service @Carol.

Would I be able to ask you for a favour - if at all possible. Just based on your experience & interaction with Matt, would you be willing to leave us a TrustPilot review, if you’re willing and able to of course.

It would mean a huge amount to us. It only takes a few seconds, and it helps other people be more informed when considering Onto.

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@Mibnay Elon turns up in his jimjams, as he likes to fill in his spare time constructively :slight_smile:

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