Watchdog: Cactus owner left hot and bothered by air-con

Reader left frustrated as Citroen fails to blow cool air – and at being asked to pay for fix

Despite the UK’s traditionally inclement weather conditions, air-con is seen as a must-have and is fitted as standard on most new cars. Now, with the summer finally upon us, it’s important your system is working properly. One reader, however, was left fearing months of warm and stuffy driving – or being forced to keep the windows open at all times after his air-con failed to blow cool air.

Paul Higgins, from Warrington, Cheshire, got in touch with us after his five-month-old Citroen C4 Cactus developed the problem. He’d taken the car to his local dealer – Bentleys Motor Group – and was shocked to be asked to pay for a repair, despite the model being well inside its warranty. Paul told us: “I’ve taken the C4 Cactus to my local dealership, which wants to charge me for investigating and re-gassing the system. The service manager was totally unhelpful, so I got hold of Citroen customer services. Again, staff there were no help whatsoever.”

We contacted Citroen to argue Paul’s case that the work should be done free of charge under the new car warranty. The company investigated the case before coming back to us and confirming that there would be no fee for Paul to pay.

A spokesman said: “We’ve spoken to Bentleys, which has advised that the vehicle arrived at the dealership with the air-conditioning not working. The customer was told that there would need to be an investigation, and that if the air-con needs re-gassing this isn’t covered under warranty, but at no point was the customer advised that there’d be diagnostic charges. After the investigation, it was noted that the air-conditioning compressor was not working. Parts were ordered and the full job is being covered under warranty.”

Paul was delighted – until he collected the car and found the air-con still wasn’t working. He returned the Citroen to the dealer, picked up another courtesy vehicle and waited for his C4 Cactus to be fixed.

A week later, and after an apology and a box of chocolates from Citroen, Paul was able to finally collect the car. He said: “I sat on the forecourt and did a test, and it all seemed fine – here’s hoping. Thank you for all your help regarding this matter.”

Recommended

Citroën C4 Cactus owner reviews
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroën C4 Cactus
12 Mar 2021

Citroën C4 Cactus owner reviews

Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback review
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroën C4 Cactus
12 Mar 2021

Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback review

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
Jeep Cherokee SUV
15 Dec 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Citroen announces new flagship C5 X crossover
2021 Citroen C5 X crossover - front 3/4
Citroën
12 Apr 2021

Citroen announces new flagship C5 X crossover

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 unveiled
2021 Toyota GR86 - front 3/4 view
Toyota
6 Apr 2021

New Toyota GR86 unveiled

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
8 Apr 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Tips and advice
28 Dec 2020

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks