An Archive for Fanatics of Land Rovers

An Archive for Fanatics of Land Rovers










Land Rover Service Experiences and Servicing Issues

What is the Issue?

Various people seem to have different experiences with a variety of Land Rover Service agents and LRSA themselves. Most responses seem to be negative with complaints of incompetence, lack of vehicle and mechanics knowledge and just down right shoddy workmanship. Complaints come from both owners and non owners. There are always two sides to a story, but is it really as bad as everyone makes out?? These were the results of a survey that we ran to get your response or experience, good or bad, and we kept score, you can decide on the verdict.

Call Land Rover direct
0800 038 188
0800 600 555
011-313 2000 and ask for Land Rover customer service

Bruce Durham
Dealer Principal: Lakeview Menlyn


Having just read through your list of "The GOOD and the BAD" which I have printed and will use to discuss service perceptions with my staff.
I would like to just state the following
1. You are quite right, there are always two sides to a story.
A point raised some time ago was how about Three sides to a story, Yours, Mine and the Truth.

2. When receiving e-mails about service and sales experiences, I would
recommend that the driver make reference to the Registration number and if at all possible, the body number( found in the service manual)  This will
allow concerned parties an opportunity to take corrective action and learn.

3. When was the last time you updated the correspondence? In the case of Rudi's remarks about Lakeview, there have been a lot of changes in
personnel, training, attitude, through put and general conduct since his
experience. When do we draw the line and stop crying over spilt milk?

4. The Call Centre mentioned in your other correspondence is the correct
route to follow when a dispute arises between a customer and a dealer. 

All dealership performance levels are measured by LRSA. Two such measurements are, 1) The number of contacts the call centre receives verses the workshop throughput and 2) The Customer Satisfaction Index scores, which are measured by a outside company.
Clear targets have been set by LRSA and are actioned on a monthly basic
during dealer visits by LRSA Field staff.

Not with standing the move out of the BMW Group and the future developments, it is business as usual at the dealerships', so please feel free to forward any suggestions and problems to me. In my own little way I am sure we can ensure that more of the Good stories get told

Regards and complements on the web-site



The Good Service

Francois Jordaan
April 15 2003

Returning home ( Botswana ) from Johannesburg my 2.8 started behaving 'funny' (no power, backfire, Thirsty). The closest dealer from me was Waterford in Santon, with no appointment I parked my Landy in the service bay to go and look for some help. After explaining my problems to the friendly lady at reception she had a word with the service manager and he said they could squeeze me in, when I returned to the Landy to get my service booklet they have already washed it, how is that for first impressions!  After some testing (T4) a faulty cam pickup sensor was pointed out as the culprit. Waterford changed the pickup and the same problem popped up again, they had a EX-Bmw  man there that said it seems like the ECM but is was 5:30 in the afternoon and they had no stock, I told them that I will get it sorted out in Potch. the next day since I was going to stay over there for the night. I got really professional service from Waterford and will take my landy back anytime! J  

The next morning I was @ Daly 8:00 in the morning to see if they can give me a hand, after I explained my problem to the lady @ service reception she told me that they can only help me the next Thursday (6 day later!) I explained again that I had to be in Botswana no later than the next morning but to no avail. I went looking for the Workshop manager (William Francis or something) I to my story again and to my shock he told me he can't help me and turned around and walked away. LL !!  I ended up calling the local LR dealer in Francis town (Mike Redden), he told me he will make a few calls and call me back.  

5 min later I got a call from Mike and he informed me he had just talked to Neil from 4way Land rover and he will 'make a plan'.  

Off to Vereeniging I went still discussed with Daly LR for really shitty service. I met Neil and gave him the rundown of what have been happening with the Landy and he told me he will make a plan to get me back home. The Dealer Principal told me that they R real busy and that they will give it a go the first moment they have spare.

Much to my surprise the problem was sorted out by the time I came back to see if they have started yet!!!. If this was the standard for LR dealers everyone would have been driving LR  

Thanks to Neil and he's guys for helping a guy in need (I know where my Land rover will be serviced for the rest of its long live!)

Ronnie Langley
May 2002

My Freelander visited above (Southern Land Rover) a number of times for services and small repairs
and the service has always been very professional.

1. I was worried about some cross-axle wheel spin taking place with no
visible effect from ETC. Southern ran diagnostics on the system, showed me a
copy of the print-out and even went with me to some ditches near Wemmerpan
to demonstrate the functioning of the system - all at no charge.
2. Some 12000km after my 80000km service during which the front brake pads
were replaced, one of the two bolts holding the left front  callipers came
loose and fell out on dirt roads in the Griekwastad area. Back in
civilisation I heard a knocking noise and found the problem. Phoned Southern
the next day and was able to have the car fixed immediately free of charge
while waiting at the workshop.
3. Damaged my left outside mirror - please don't ask how!  Southern asked to
me to purchase the spare and fitted it free of charge while I waited at the

Just had to share this with you

Pierre Joubert
30 January 2002

I have read through all your comments about the good and the
bad. I own my second Disco and the Series II must be one of
the best 4x4's ever built. I really have nothing bad to say
about LRSA, except that Dealerships are like Banks. You
really don't get a good bank or a bad one. It is all about
the bank manager and his staff. This can be compared directly
to LR. It is all about the dealerships, with the DP being the
captain in charge.

I can give you a bit of history about myself. I was a die hard
BMW owner and have had more than 7 different BM's in the last 10
years. In between the BM's I traded my 530i in on a Disco
Series one. Had a lot of crap with it (not serviced with LR)
and eventually traded it in on a 98 M3 4door. The car was
immaculate, and by the time I reached 80000Km, BM had
replaced the gearbox 3 times, and the engine once, and I sold
it after the back suspension collapsed and swore never to own
another BM in my life. I had all the same dealings with BM
dealerships as you guys have explained with LR.

My dealings with Southern Land Rover over the last two years
has been one of utmost professionalism, and I can only thank
Jaco, Mike, and Martin for their continued support of my LR
Experience. I book my car in for services at Hyde Park, and
they deliver my car at Hyde Park again. Although the car gets
serviced in town, I do not need to go into town for a service.

I have read the article about the Worst 4x4 where the author
takes a shot at Southern LR, which they (Southern) are fully aware off,
and  when I asked them about the incident it became
completely apparent that the article was only the one side of
the coin. I would have like to see them answer the letter and
explain their side, but they seem little worried about it.
To be perfectly honest, they give the best service around,
and are efficient. The service cost are more than reasonable,
and the warranty claims were handled and approved on the same day.
(My experience anyway)

I must also admit that I am one of the worst customers to
deal with, but the experience with Southern is commendable
and I can with the utmost confidence suggest them as a sales
and service dealership.

For the rest of you, who are coming to terms with the niggly
problems of Land Rover,(that is part of the experience, get
used to it, or get a bicycle), because you will have the same
sh!t at other car makers, but they are not this transparent
and published, about their problems, and not as close to
their customers as Land Rover SA (with all their faults).


Pierre du Plessis
18 September 2001

I bought a 2001 Freelander TD4 Steptronic from Tzaneen Land Rover at the beginning of the year.  I had some problems initially which apparently stemmed from shortages in the BMW engine spares due to the handover between BMW and Ford.  This resulted in the vehicle being replaced with a new one after three weeks.  I need to stress that I never insisted on a replacement but that the dealer, Willie van der Merwe, handled everything in a very professional way and convinced LRSA to replace the vehicle.

Subsequent to that incident the new vehicle developed a leak at the gearbox oil cooler resulting in damage to the gearbox.  Once again the dealer stepped in and the gearbox was replaced with a new one.  All of these incidents cost me absolutely nothing and I was supplied with a vehicle to drive during the periods that my vehicle was at the dealer for repairs.  Since these unfortunate incidents the Freelander has been back to them for its 20 000 km service and I am very happy with it.  It just goes to show that despite mishaps one can walk away still feeling very satisfied, just because the dealer and his staff are handling the problems in a very professional way!  To add to this - when a friend of mine who lives in Paarl could not get the new Freelander of his choice from agents in the Cape in time, I informed Willie who promptly found him the right car and delivered it to him in Paarl!
I can most certainly recommend Tzaneen Land Rover!

Tony Webster
7 September 2001

I was recently on a trip in the Chobe Game Reserve in Botswana when, a few
km short of Savuti the dreaded red oil pressure warning light on the
dashboard came on.

Luckily I was in possession of a satellite phone (for other reasons than to
contact LR in Jhb!) and managed to call LR who put me on to LR in Maun
(Lesedi Motors, Rod Bateman). Rod could not have been more helpful. He sent
out a tow truck and a Toyota Land Cruiser (he apologised for that but it was
all he had in his second hand stock!) to get the family back in comfort.

The whole episode took 2Ĺ days and involved much anxiety, swearing, sweat
(we even had to winch the tow truck out of the sand on one occasion) and

The culprit was a bolt coming out of the oil pump shaft in the sump. This
released the cog, driven by a chain from the crankshaft, from the pump
rendering the pump dead.

Lesedi replaced the whole oil pump assembly (the bolt had had all its
threads chewed, so what the threads on the inside of the shaft looked like I
can't imagine) with a second hand one. Everything was done with such an air
of concern and help that I can't thank them enough.

The incident ruined our holiday as we were unable to continue to the booked
(and paid for) camp sites and I would be interested to know if any other
reader has had any similar experience.

Sandton Land Rover replaced the second hand pump assembly on return.

All the Land Rover spares, labour and towing costs at Land Rover's expense.
Thank goodness! The satellite phone bill was in excess of R1 000!! But at
least we are back!


Darron Misplon
5 June 2001

Good news....

A couple of months ago I bought myself a 1993 V8 Disco with only 90 000 kms on the odo and a FSH. I bought from a private dealer who offered me the standard 30 days warranty.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my Disco would occasionally hunt on a warm startup and eventually cut out.
Being understandably nervous about possible air/flow meter malfunction and the costs thereof, I phoned Gustav at Forsdicks, introduced myself and explained the symptoms to him. He very kindly went on to explain in detail possible faults, including the CO setting. He told me to pop in the following Monday for a quick CO setting check. Which  I then did.
The service guys were fantastic, hot filter coffee and the newspaper were made available and a mechanic was put onto my job within ten minutes.
I asked to watch the CO being set and it was no problem. The mechanic was friendly and no question was too much of a problem to answer.
The CO setting was running at 5 when it should be at 1.5.
My V8 was set up and she ran sweetly.
Overall impression? Good friendly service and value for money. I woke up the next morning to a SMS enquiring whether all was ok with my Disco and if I was happy with the service I received. My whole bill came to R150.00.
Forsdicks has really won over a potential customer.
Well done guys.

William Wright
28 May 2000 

I have a brand new DEFENDER 90 TD5 which I bought in January 2000  I collected the vehicle  and at first all seemed okay but as you know what happens with new vehicles as kilometres build up bolts start to loosen ???.

any way I took the vehicle in to Southern Land Rover and pointed out a few problems I wanted sorted out at the first free service. When the vehicle was sent in for this service the problems requiring attention were listed and given to reception. T
1 door and floor water leak.
2 radio not working correctly
3 left door lock not allowing door to close flush.
Southern LAND ROVER  needed the vehicle for a few days to rectify these faults as the vehicle needed to go to a panel shop to correct and rear panel alignment which besides the panel shop owner not being aquatinted with the truth( about the starting and finishing of the job . he had told George Martins  the dealer principle that all that was required was the vehicle only needed to be cleaned. But when I arrived the bugger had not even started the job even though he had the vehicle in his workshop for two days.) was repaired to my satisfaction. A new radio was ordered and fitted to my vehicle at no charge at the following service. So the bottom line is after a few hiccups all went well my 10 000 km service cost me with filters and my own oil (Shell Rimula super.) R510.oo including vat and tyre rotation. 

I own a petrol station as well as my own workshop and know what to expect from motor mechanics and where to look to see if the work is done correctly. all I can say is so far no good.

best wishes to Jan and George of Southern Land Rover.  

Gillian Wood
11 May 2000

I have a 1996 Tdi Defender 90, and it recently blew a cylinder head gasket whilst I was on my way to George.    I had it towed to the LR dealer in George to get the repair done.  When I went to collect it the following week, I immediately noticed an above average engine noise with a very loud knock.  I immediately complained to the service manager as well as to one of the mechanics who both said the engine was 100% and cleared that it was fine to go to Cape Town.

The good....

Upon my arrival I took it straight to Donfords LR in Stellenbosch, where they immediately on start up said the engine was too noisy!!  The long and short of it was that cylinder 4 was badly damaged and extensive repairs would be necessary.  At this stage I involved LRSA merely to attempt to get a refund on the account I had paid in George as I felt their repair achieved nothing.  LRSA after hearing the whole saga offered to replace the sub assembly and pay for 80% parts( approx. R28000!).    I found both LRSA and Donfords to be very supportive, and the actual work carried out by Donfords was flawless.  Thanks to Ferdi from Donfords, and Deon from LRSA.

Follow up:
I still have no idea
why the gasket went, as the George dealership could not tell me.  I have
heard since that there is a problem with the 300Tdi engines with the gasket
from the water pump to the head that somehow due to vibrations comes a
becomes a little loose, and the landy would start loosing a little water
each month through this gasket, and then it would all of a sudden just go.
Danie from Somerset Overlander told me this, and in fact showed me a
Discovery that he had in with a blown head gasket and pointed out the water
stains on the engine block water had been leaking through.  So maybe it is
something people should check?  The LR had 72000kms on the clock at the

Deon Kriek
8 March 2000

My office is situated directly adjacent Southern Landrover in JHB CBD. They have always given me excellent service and advice. My only concern is the price of the spares and their labour cost. My procedure nowadays is as follows : A) Book in vehicle at Southern Landrover and obtain detailed list and costs of things to do. B) Go to Dover parts and obtain spares at sometimes 50% of the cost C) Book in vehicle at Trans Quatro (Greg Wheately) and get the job done at a acceptable cost.      Maybe a bit unfair to Southern, but ............

Stuart Carliell

For a change I have some good news regarding dealerships.

After my experiences last week with the broken rocker cover and the thoughts of the list members that it could have been the cam belt that failed (based on my original description of the symptoms) I decided to check the cam belt through the wading plug hole. Boy did I get a fright, +- 5mm had been worn off the side and there was a lot of rubber inside the cover plate. This left me with the Dilemma (sp?) of where to take the vehicle (you will
remember my experiences with Forsdicks last week), I followed the
recommendations of David & Peter and took it to Southern Land Rover, what a pleasure.
I was able to get the Landy in for a service within 2 days of phoning unlike most other BMW/Land Rover dealership where you have to book well in advance. They only did the work I asked them to do and didn't charge me for anything extra, they also phone me that I would require Kit 2 etc for the cam belt. The service advisor (Jan Nienaber) was very efficient and helpful. In summary whenever I need to use a Landrover agent I will definitely go to Southern, it is a bit of a hassle to get the vehicle into town but that is more than made up for by the service received.

Regarding the saga with Forsdicks Westgate from last week, after such poor service I sent a rather strong letter to LRSA and at the time was quite impressed as they phoned me the some day to say they will investigate the matter and come back to me early this week, unfortunately I haven't heard anything yet and the person involved did not return my phone call yesterday. It looks a bit like LRSA have the some attitude to customer service as most of their dealerships do

David Farrow

Basically my thoughts as well. Once the vehicle is out of Warranty it will
be serviced by myself and for any serious work, by a reliable back street
mechanic, assuming I can find such a beast here in JHB.

Geurt Bloem

I bought my 110 from Daly Land Rover and had very good experience with them. At the time of purchase, I traded a MB$nz for the Landy and Daly delivered it on my doorstep in Pta. The vehicle was excellently serviced and I was given a full training on how everything worked. I've had some small niggles, but they did listen and was prepared to acknowledge their error.

I will definitely buy another 110 (obviously I'll spes a 110 with a 300 TDi
engine and not the TD5) and it will be with Daly. These guys need support for the type of service they are prepared to give and further they are prepared to haggle over a price which makes a good deal even better.

Rudi Botha

I would like to share some really excellent experiences I've had with a LR

You guys may remember my ordeal with the local Pta dealer where I bought my Landy. I've had my '97 Tdi Shorty in for 4 engine replacements during the 80,000km that I've had it. Endless sh$t and no support or sympathy from the dealer. When I had another breakdown in Potchefstroom I've had enough. This was on a public holiday and I had my elderly parents with me in the car. One phone call to LR Emergency had the local dealer Theo Daly from Daly Land Rover in Potch contacting me with-in 10 minutes. They took my car in, Theo gave me his own car ('98 Discovery) to continue the journey. He told me I could probably have my Landy back that evening. The problem was bigger than what they thought and the car was not fixed yet. No problem, Theo offered me
the Disco to keep till my car was fixed. Remember this all happened on a

My car was fixed in 4 days and Theo contacted me to make arrangements for the delivery of my car to Pretoria! They brought me my car and handed it over with a FULL tank of petrol. I was very impressed with the service. Needless to say I bought my new Discovery from Daly's in Potch. Subsequently I've had all the services done in Potch. Each time they gave me a car to use during the services. The last service (40,000km)I could not return the car to them due to business. AGAIN no problem, Mr Botha, we will deliver your car in Pta the next day and collect our car. All this at NO additional cost!!!! If that is not real service.... Pretoria have a LOT to learn.

Fanie du Plessis

I bought my Discovery from Sandton LR secondhand with 124 000 km's on the clock. I test drove it and it had a minor miss which they promised to fix
and did not when I took delivery. They took the vehicle in for a week to
look after the miss as well as a long list of other faults I only noticed
after delivery. They gave me a replacement Discovery to use and all the
faults were corrected to my satisfaction.

About two weeks later the Discovery started stalling at stop streets while
idling. I took the vehicle back and they diagnosed a defective airflow
sensor. A replacement is priced at R6000 but they offered  to get it fixed
for free under a LR secondhand


The Bad Service


June 2009

3 times in two years I took my vehicle in to replace the brake pads,etc and every time I received a call from the service advisor telling me they have to replace a component as it was damaged by the previous owner/ mechanic..the costs of this running into thousands.

I found this very suspicious the third time so I booked the car in at Landover Durban only to be told nothing was wrong. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I took the vehicle to Landrover Umhlanga only to be given a list of things that needed to be replaced...

I have since replaced the service vehicle only goes into the Durban branch. the staff are kind, courteous and very helpful and NOT RIP-OFFS.

Jan Grobler
November 2002

The Best 4 X 4 X Far with the Worst Service X Far! Why is it that the best vehicle by far guarantees the worst service by far?

Yes this is another letter complaining about Land Rover service in South Africa.  I am sure that everyone has had enough of hearing about the bad service that Land Rover owners in South Africa have to endure - you should feel what itís likes to own one!

Question then is why on earth do you then buy a Land Rover?  The deal is that it still is one of the best multi-purpose vehicles around.  The history of the Defender tells me that if I buy one and I look after it, I will retire long before it and my children will still be able to go and explore whatever is left of the wild in it when they retire.

Thatís if Land Roverís service network did not do irreparable damage to the vehicle before it is out of warranty.  My vehicle has had to go back to the service centre after each of the last 3 services (40 000, 50 000 and 60 000km services)!  And these were not small problems, for instance after the 60 000km service the tensioner pulley was mounted out of alignment and it damaged the bearing and fan belt.  Note that the service personnel were supplied with a list of outstanding warrantee issues that had to be fixed during each of these services.  (The list started off with 12 items).  The only thing that happened with the list was that the list of excuses grew faster than the list of problems Ė currently 38 items!

I have also complained about the problem with Ďun-balancedí front tyres since the 40 000km service.  It was temporarily fixed by swapping the back tyres to the front, and when I took the service centre to task just before the 70 000km service I had to drive around in order for Michelin and Tiger Wheel & Tyre people to help me prove that the cause is a problem with the Land Rover chassis, bushes and steering!  We are now six months down the line and the problem is still not resolved with Land Rover SA and the service centre in question, blaming each other and I am having to foot the bill for their inability to resolve their non-willingness to provide service.

I always wondered why there was more non-Land Rover affiliated guys servicing Land Rovers than there are Land Rover service centres, now I know!  The only reason Land Rover even know of the existence of my vehicle, is so that they can sort out all the problems they caused!

My warranty runs out in December 2002, and that will be last Land Rover will see of my Defender.

Land Rover should take serious cognisance of the fact that the one or two dealerships that are more or less trying to get their act together are so inundated with vehicles to service, that they are not able to fix the problems!

Then there is the problem of waiting for parts.  My Defender has spent more than 5 weeks this year (2002) in Land Rover service centres waiting for Ďcriticalí parts from Land Rover leaving me stranded without transport.  It seems to be Land Roverís policy that their clients should pay for Land Roverís inabilities!

Also the fact that if you own a Defender, you seem to be treated like a farmer, while the Discovery owners seem to get better service, yet the Defenders cost R300 000, not cheap by anyone's standards, except maybe if you work for Land Rover South Africa.  I can only think that this attitude from Land Rover is by far the best advertisement Toyota could ask for!

Enough about the Defender, there are as many complaints about the service we are getting from Land Rover on our Freelander!  Service center personnel think and treat my wife as if she is stupid.  They promise service when I am with her and think that because she is a woman, that they do not have to deliver on it.  Then they think that we (my wife and I) do not talk to each other when she takes them to task!

The idea of this letter was to be a short introduction into our problem, so I started with the simple, straight forward problem, in other word I will not even begin to complain about the problems we experienced with both our Freelanders over the last four years!  Enough to say that the first Freelander we sold prior to the expiry of its warranty with Land Rover having spent over R50 000 on warranty work and my wife also having spent weeks at a time without the use of her beloved vehicle.  The new Freelander has gone well Ė if you donít take into account that LR OnCall has been summoned three times to fix the same problem. (And did you know that if the battery goes flat the only way to get into the vehicle is either to break a window or remove bolts holding the bonnet lock? A wonderful design flaw, the super-lock mode).  Letís face it, this is one very complicated vehicle that not even its creators can figure out!  It is impossible for Land Rover to fix this vehicle and my opinion is that they should sell the vehicle to Mercedes Benz or some other organization who might have the ability to work out how it should work.

Simple things that make my blood boil every time is that service personnel at Land Rover have absolutely no respect or decency (or inclination of these) for their customerís possessions, time and money.  To ask them to give you a call and let you know what is going on is absolutely futile!  My viewpoint is that they just donít care, and itís not as if they havenít been told either!  I personally think that the after sales service problem Land Rover South Africa is experiencing is beyond fixing!

We are trying our very best to get it through to them that they have a problem, but their attitude is one of Ďif you do not like getting no service, go tell someone else because we think we are doing fine.  Look at these service ratings and indexes we are achievingí Ė sometimes I wonder about people measuring themselves against others.  Arenít the quoted indexes and ratings done by research companies, paid by Land Rover!?  Land Rover are the only ones quoting them!

Land Rover in South Africa also has this predicament in that their products are selling, so why should they care about after sales?  I still maintain that the best 4X4 vehicle would be a Land Rover, build by Toyota and serviced by Mercedes Benz!

This letter is just me airing my frustrations. I would however like to dare Ford and Land Rover (seeing BMW could only manage to make the Land Rover problems worse!) to at least try to fix problems for all their current and future clients.

Andrew Hrabar
13 April 2001

 I  have had  a problem with my discovery td15,1999 model, registration no.CX
33747 which raises several issues.
On Wed. march 21st I had loss of engine power. I could only report it on the
following day as the 21st was a public holiday. Amalgamated Ford in George
are the new dealers but their diagnostic centre was broken down; after much
haggling with customer care at Land Rover sa the vehicle was eventually put
on a truck to Oudtshoorn to Swartland Motors as they were the next nearest
agents. They quickly established on Friday 23rd March that it was the
potentiometer on the accelerator that was faulty but spares would only
arrive on 5th April so I was  kindly given the use of an Avis vehicle in the
meantime from Tuesday 27th . On the 6th April I was informed that the part
was still not in the country, it would only arrive on the 12th.It means the
whole episode will take at least 3 weeks to resolve. The issues raised are:
1. How can a so called bush vehicle have such an unreliable part
2. What chance is there of finding a diagnostic centre in the middle of the
bush e.g. Koakoland, Zambia etc as apparently the mechanics can do nothing
without this setup
3. If this type of problem does occur in that area are we supposed to
abandon our vehicles as they cannot be diagnosed or repaired; also it takes 3
weeks to repair by which time the vehicle would be stripped down or the
occupants starved to death. What does Land Rover do in these circumstances ?
4.Why does it take so long to obtain the part? If I knew what to get I could
have it imported from the UK to Oudtshoorn in 3days.
5DEALERSHIP.More than half the reason why I bought this Disco  was the then
dealer, Lynn Schroeder. They provide fantastic service; they fetch and
deliver my can in Plettenberg Bay. I do not have the time to go to George for
a whole day to have my vehicle attended to. I have already been told by
Amalgamated Ford that they will not fetch and deliver my vehicle, nor do
they have courtesy cars available-there are 2 but they are booked months in
advance. Lynne Schroeder always left me with a car. It seems I am stuck with
a dealer not of my choice; I would rather get rid of the car! I have also
been told that Amalgamated Ford have only 1 mechanic for Landies and he has
only attended one short course.
This is my 3rd Discovery; they have been getting better but it so sad to see
that cars have obviously not undergone the same intensive testing as Mercedes
do. Some other gripes while I am griping:
The new jump seats at the back are useless-adults find these far more
uncomfortable than the previous ones
All the back seats rattle badly
The plastic mounting brackets  for the jump seats are useless: both have
broken on corrugated roads
Still no jacking points for high lift jack
Back door lock keeps failing
Not dust proof- this would not be a problem if there was not so much
carpeting in the vehicle but the dust seems to get into all the ceiling and
panel lining for ever.

Eddie Calvert
26 February 2000

Dear Landrover Owners,

I would like to bring to the attention of all current and future Landrover
owners, especially those who have recently bought new vehicles.  Expect to
wait weeks for a claim to be authorized. Well that's not fair someone lower
down on the food chain did exceed expectations Philip Mhalia ( I hope I have
the surname right).    More importantly just do not expect service delivery.
It is how business is conducted at the present moment by Landrover SA.  Not
even from the managing director Moira Moses or any of her direct/indirect
reports and or associates to name, but a few. Mike Dawson, Richard Duncan
from the U.K Landrover Division has bothered to return any of my calls.
They are just not accessible to us the consumer. What is even sadder is
promises are made by the personal assistant Rose Franci (who is not too
blame) that Moira or Mike would no doubt return my call, but to date nothing
(since the 09th February 2001) has happened.  The message is very clear "We
do not care" and spells out typical business arrogance.

With the transformation process from BMW to Ford, Landrover owners must
expect to live with the pain, that is just how they conduct their business.
In fact for the record I am a Landrover owner and my seventh to date since
1995.  The way forward just gives me a feeling of doom and gloom.  Like
stocks/shares I had better dump the investment and cut my losses.   It seems
that Moira and her teams are just too busy with transformation issues than
to worry about the day to day issues affecting their existing client base.
The most important entity in the business cycle should be her customers.

However,  that's not the message I am getting anyway and especially with my
recent experience to date. Service delivery can no longer be judged on what
you say you are going to do Moira, but what you actually do.  So Moira all
the promises that I have seen and read about to date have to be seen to be

Even the dealership relationships appear to be souring drastically as was
experienced with my recent dealings with Forsdicks Landrover,  Cape Town who
have just abdicated their responsibility to take full ownership of warranty
claims.  Instead, the issues are passed on to the client to resolve with
Landrover.   I suppose there is no incentive for Forsdicks  BMW to support

The background to the above mentioned statements relates to a very recent
(and there has been past experiences) around warranty claims which can take
anything up to three weeks to get authorization.   Apparently, with the
switchover from BMW to Ford. All business process has fallen by the way side
acknowledged by Landrover and dealer representatives. Authorization by
Gerhard Beukes has been revoked with the change.  Sam Cochide,  the boy on
the block just cannot get to process the claims by the close of each day.
Equally, important no one and I mean no one will take full ownership.i.e
dealer and Landrover.

The message is very clear for now anyway - if you need a warranty to replace
or repair your vehicle you had better plan a longer holiday.  At least
consider extending you trip by three weeks and be prepared to wait.  Whether
I intend to keep and buy and another Landrover remains questionable?  The
loyal sucker I am.

This definitely deserves a lemon - I await comment from Landrover and
especially the views of other existing owners. You have there email
addresses. Let's see if we get a response.


Darryl Lampert
4 December 2000

Dear Sirs,

I collected my car on Friday from Forsdicks Cape Town and found the work to
be less than satisfactory.  The bolts holding the hinges onto the door had
been replaced/fixed with the following problems:

1.  They (Tygerberg Coachworks) scratched the paintwork around the hinges
when removing them.
2.  They reused the rubber "gasket" between the hinge and the door and
tightened some of the hinges too tightly,         deforming the gasket and
causing it to split in some instances.
3.  They did not colour match the paint so I have bright white hinges on an
off white vehicle.
4.  They did not prepare the hinges properly as some are painted with a
smooth finish and others have a rough/mottled appearance.
5.  I now have white paint on my seat covers.

The rear bumper which was also rusting was painted black.  On closer
inspection I noticed the following:

1.  They did not remove the tow hitch plate, but merely painted around it
leaving the rust underneath the tow plate.
2.  They only painted the front of the bumper,  the bottom section is still
rusted and unpainted.
3.  They didn't mask off the surrounding area properly so I now have black
paint on some of the white areas of the car.
4.  I can only assume that no rust removing/curing/prevention was done due
to the shoddy nature of the work carried out.

No other rust was attended to on the vehicle although I had explicitly asked
for this to be done.  When I spoke to Shaun Uren (Dealer principle) on
Friday last week he said he would request Tygerberg Coachworks to provide
him with a report of all the areas on the car that needed seeing to - no
report was provided.

When I collected the car on Friday I asked to speak to Shaun.  I showed him
some of the above points (some I only discovered later) and expressed my
concern at the workmanship.  He told me that Tygerberg Coachworks don't
normally return work like this however once I pointed out previous problems
(I had requested some paintwork to be redone some months ago as it looked
like it was starting to peel - in the process they managed to break my
windscreen and dent my bonnet which to date is still outstanding for repair.
The second problem I had with Tygerberg Coachworks was when I owned my BMW - after 18 months I had rust on two doors and the roof on a brand new car - I sent it in to be repaired and it came back with a large scratch, a cracked
fog light and a broken cell phone aerial !) with workmanship he agreed that
they had had some problems with Tygerberg Coachworks but that they were the approved place for all BMW and Land Rover work.  I asked him what could be done about it and he said I should complain to LRSA.  We made another
appointment for the 11th of December for the car to go back to Tygerberg
Coachworks to see if this time they could do the job properly.  I also
requested a courtesy car as my vehicle had already been in the workshop/coachworks for two weeks without offer of a courtesy car,  I was
told this would be arranged.  I was also told that I should accompany the
vehicle and point out how I wanted the work done.  I replied that I found
this a strange request as surely Tygerberg Coachworks were the "experts" and
therefore why should I have to go and tell them how to do the work.  It was
hinted that difficult customers like myself (see my previous note re my
patience in letting land Rover attend to problems) would get better results
if I went personally.  I told Shaun and Gustav that I had already lost a
fortune of time and money and that if Tygerberg Coachworks couldn't do the
job properly first time then perhaps Land Rover South Africa should find
someone else or let me have the car fixed at a reputable panelbeater for
their expense.

After this discussion I climbed into my car and tried to start it but it was
dead.  I noticed that even with the doors closed the interior light was
still on so I turned it off.  I checked my battery monitor and noticed that
both batteries were dead with insufficient charge to start the vehicle.  I
called Peter d' Oliviera who checked the vehicle and confirmed that the
batteries were dead.  He jumpstarted my vehicle with a booster pack.  I left
being too stressed to take up this additional problem with Shaun Uren.

On Saturday morning my Land Rover battery was still dead but I managed to
start it on the deep cycle.  I phoned Shaun and told him of the problem and
he said he would send someone out to me to check it.  On Saturday afternoon
Brian from Forsdicks came out and checked that both batteries were receiving
the correct current from the alternator but he had no means of checking the
actual batteries.  I went camping on Saturday evening and had to be
pull started on Sunday morning by a friend's Hilux as jump starting would not

Today my wife took the Land Rover to a battery outlet and they tested the LR
battery and advised that one of the cells was dead and the battery needed to
be replaced.  I contacted Shaun who advised that my wife could bring in the
car and they would replace the battery while she waited.  She went in at
11H30 and finally got out at 13H45 !  After nearly two hours of waiting I
contacted Shaun and asked him why it was taking so long - apparently they
had to chop some bits off the battery in order to make it fit.  What was
interesting, though, is that they didn't replace the battery with the same
part (the original battery is a rebadged AC Delco mixed cycle (combination
deep cycle and normal car battery)) but rather with a Sabat which is a
larger battery with a lower Ah rating then the original.  This could
possibly be one of the reasons why it took over two hours to fit it. They
also advised me that the wiring of aftermarket accessories was substandard
and could lead to a fire.  This wiring was all done by Ruff Stuff (as
recommended by Forsdicks when I asked for accessories to be fitted to the
car) so I guess I will have to take it up with them but this is another can
of worms altogether which I don't feel like writing about now.  I am now
grateful to have a functioning car battery although I am uncertain of what
damage has been done to my deep cycle as it is sealed.

Forsdicks have offered to sort out the problems although often point to
Coachworks and LRSA for further recourse.  If I had purchased my car from
either LRSA directly or Tygerberg Coachworks I would be happy to do this but
the fact that all vehicles have to be purchased from a Land Rover dealer
surely my problems should be handled by the dealer - it seems I am wrong.
At no stage has anyone apologised for all the inconvenience and time/money
wasted - they merely say they will sort it out.  The other point I mentioned
was that surely if the dealers notice a trend in the same types of problems
cropping up then they can feed this information back to LRSA who could take
it up with LRUK or the local assemblers - this would mean improvements which
would make clients happier and give LR a better name.  Shaun replied that
only when new models are released are problems like this sorted out which
means that if you are stuck with an older model then it's just too bad.
Shaun also pointed out that under AAD a couple of years ago only four
hundred Land Rovers a year were being sold whereas 5000 a year are being
sold currently.  He also advised that trained LR mechanics were non-existent
but surely with such an increase in sales the right people could be found
and trained.  I would think that one of the pre-requisites for becoming any
kind of car dealer would be the necessary trained staff to service and fix
the vehicles as well as sufficiently large premises so that clients don't
have to wait 6 - 8 weeks for every appointment.

Sadly, it seems that service and doing things right the first time are a
pipe dream far into the future.  My note from Friday has not been
acknowledged by Land Rover South Africa !  I have attached a copy of my
original note as I am now copying in additional people for publication and
comment.  Perhaps if Land Rover are approached by various publications for
comment they might act and try and improve things although I won't hold my
breath for things to happen.  Some of the people/publications will not act
out of a fear of losing valuable advertising from Land Rover,  others will
only publish if they have sole rights to your letter.  For any of those
people/publications who would like to publish this or my previous letter,  I
realise that it may not be in ideal format due to the fact that both letters
were in response to questions.  I am happy to rewrite these in a more
readable format or you are welcome to edit them for brevity's sake.  I also
have a whole history of other problems which have lead up to this in case
you feel I am overreacting to something which may seem quite small at first
glance.  If this is not enough I know a lot of people who have had similar
problems with vehicles, dealerships and service and with a bit of prodding
they would be happy to contribute.  If I have no response from Land Rover
South Africa and service does not improve I will simply start emailing my
letters to all of Land Rovers competitors as I am sure they would appreciate
my story to help boost sales of their own vehicles.  I wait for Tygerberg
Coachworks to redeem themselves on the 11th of December and sort out all the
rust and other problems timeously as well as hopefully getting it right the
second time around.  I also hope that overall servicing and customer service
improves for my sake as well as all the other frustrated Land Rover owners.
Hopefully one day the "Best 4x4xFar" will apply not only to the vehicles
remarkable off-road performance but to the entire Land Rover Experience.

Steve Green
31 August 2000

I have a Diesel Freelander with a history of note!

I took delivery of the vehicle from Sandton Land Rover in December of 98 and then the saga began.

A week later the left front window stopped working and there was a banging noise in the door. I called Sandton Land Rover and informed them of the problem which they said they'd address at the first service if I didn't

Shortly after this the clutch began to feel very gritty. The car went in for the first service with a long list of things that needed repairing:
Banging in left front door and window not working.
The vehicle leaked through the floor boards and there were some other problems.

After the service which I was not happy with, I had to set up a meeting with
the dealer principle to address the issues around the clutch which had not
been fixed although they had the vehicle for two days. Only after meeting
with him and detailing how disappointed I was with the vehicle and Land
Rover did they agree to fix the clutch which had a crumbled master cylinder.
It was discovered that "spare" parts had been left in the door panel at the
factory. I wanted the door replaced because it had been dented from the
inside as a result of the "spares" but unfortunately lost this battle.

On to the next saga - on my way back from a holiday in Mozambique the
vehicle blew some pulleys in the engine and we were stranded in the middle
of nowhere. Thanks to Vodacom and the excellent service from LRSA we were
towed in to the nearest town and given excellent service. The vehicle was
repaired at no cost and delivered to my front door a week later - thank you
Land Rover.

Unfortunately shortly after this we were back in a Land Rover dealership
again - there was a grinding sound in the wheel bearings whenever you
turned. This time I took the vehicle to Waterford (having had enough of
Sandton in my last encounter). The quality of the personnel and the service
from them was fantastic and a week later I was able to pick up my vehicle
which again had been repaired at no cost to me.

As I write this note I am due to head back to the dealership with another
problem - there is a terrible squealing sound in the engine just after 2500

My problem is not with Land Rover service it's with the quality of the
vehicle I was sold and the fact that it has had to have more repairs in it's
42000Km life than my wife's little Mazda has had in it's 120000Km history.

What has happened to the Land Rover legend?

Susheila Moodley
24 May 2000

I own a Landrover Freelander which is now a year old. I paid R185000-00 which is nothing to sneeze at. The service I received was not even 1 tenth of the values of the car. In addition, there were several problems that I detected not the least of which was a particularly sticky Clutch which smelt awfully. in addition the air -conditioner leaked water, there was a knock on the right shock which to date is still not fixed and both the driver window and the sunroof started to stick. I notified the dealer repeatedly only to be told that it was a new vehicle and would settle in. After a trip to Durban In April this year , when the smell of the burning clutch became more than I could handle, it was taken back to the dealer who informed me that the clutch was faulty, and would have to be replaced. The fault was a factory fault and the clutch would be replaced.

Given the value of the vehicle I would have appreciated a letter or a phone call that detailed the problem and which requested me to take into a dealer for a more thorough examination.
I will definitely not be buying a Landrover again.

Sats Oosthuizen
26 March 2000

I have had so much hassle with my new TD5 it is ridiculous.

1st problem on 264 km's(yes 264!!!) Car broke down. It just started losing
power and then stopped not to start again. Had to be taken to a dealer. Got
the car back after three days. Faulty injector? On 1st service(1500 KM's)
the ECU was replaced. Exhaust bracket broke!!!

2nd problem on 3000Km's Paint on the bonnet and the left rear fender was
pealing. Now LR is happy to pay for it, but I have to be without my car for
1 week!

3rd Problem on 5000Km's. Rear torsion bar bush missing.

4th problem on 10 000Km's just after service water leak on water pump.

And to top it all off not even a call from them to say they are very sorry
for messing me around and wasting my time.

Pierre Douglas

Just a comment, a friend of mine bought a 2.8 LR last year Feb. Had it
serviced by agents as it still has a three year warranty. They would
pick the vehicle up and deliver at his work place. He has been having
endless problems with the gearbox and two weeks ago they promised they
will rebuild the box completely. It got delivered back to him and was
leaking gear oil by the buckets. He phoned them again, they send a
driver and drove the car WITHOUT gear oil back to the agents. He got
it back and we had a look at the gearbox. It was full of silicone on
the outside, and when we drove it around the block it had the most
terrible noise in the box. He has complained numerous times to no
avail. The one person at the agents said he must write a letter to
LR-SA if he is unhappy, cause as far as they're concerned everything's
OK! Well he is loosing about R30k on a trade-in for an Isuzu 3.
petrol. (He needs a lot of power to tow) I support his decision
ENTIRELY as there is NO WAY I'll buy a new LR while the attitude of
the staff and thereby LR agents is so irresponsible, don't give a
sh*t, and who the hell are you anyway.

Give me an old series that I can service and maintain personally


As you may have guessed I have discussed these types of issues with LRSA at the highest level. I have been made a promise by LRSA that any issues we need resolved that have been taken up with the Dealerships first, but not resolved to our satisfaction, must be logged with the LR Call Centre. All calls logged in this way are managed and do not drop through the cracks! I believe that each call is recorded on a system, and given a Call Reference number. The call is then directed to the relevant dealer and is followed up regularly by LRSA. They feel that people complaining, that have not followed this route, cannot be guaranteed service by LRSA as they may not know about the problem, or the wrong people may be assigned to the problem.

The number is 0800 038 188.

I have not tried this route yet, but maybe it's worth a try! I dare someone
to try it and report back.

Stuart Carliell

Unfortunately I have got nothing good to say at this stage
about LRSA helpline, I took up the issues I had from when my rocker
shaft broke a few weeks back. At first I was impressed, they phoned me the day I sent the fax and promised to investigate, however since then they have been silent and when I phone them they often don't return your calls. It is becoming more and more obvious that they don't give a
damn and I wouldn't recommend that anyone buys a new Landy or for that matter BMW.

A final note to that saga was after a couple of months of phone calls (mostly
unreturned), I finally did get some action in that the dealership concerned
was given a "black mark".  Overall though I was not very impressed by LRSA
attitude towards customer service and have decided not to use them whenever possible. 


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