Short Version - Wey hey! Got car fixed without direct cost to me!
Long Version... Boring, but cathartic to type up
Got a letter back in October from Mazda UK advising me that my vehicle was subject to a Safety Recall and to contact my local main dealer urgently to get it sorted.
Urgently turned out to be 24th December, some 6 or so weeks later.
Took car in, 2 hours later got car back. Didn't get any paperwork and when asked they said something [can't recall what] replaced and a software upgrade.
Week or so later... red warning triangle on the dashboard and a warning message "Vehicle System Inspection Required" - looked in the owner's manual and apparently this warning could mean anything from "low coolant level" thru to "your cam belt is about to shred" - quite a spectrum of possibilities.
Tried "my" garage close to work, but I guess they hadn't returned to work yet, so next day off [2nd Jan] took car to main dealer assuming plug into their computer diagnose and away we go.
Nope they needed to keep the car; a bit of a pain as I had a family funeral to attend down in Kent [same place we said goodbye to my mum, just to add to the poignancy]...
Whilst I knew where I was... I didn't know how to get there or home on public transport, and don't possess a smart phone. Luckily I do possess a brain, and logistics is my profession.
No wheels and a place difficult to get to on public transport, family coming down from Ipswich not interested in diverting into SE London, hire companies not interested in spot hire for 24 hours [got a deal for 48! Err no thanks]. Eventually my wife found one of her friends willing to lend me their car. This poor car never goes outside of London, so I reckon taking it up to "70 mph" on M20 did it a world of good. The poor thing was out paced by a coach on the return journey travelling uphill, but once the hill was crested I was able to pass it again, then leave it in rear view mirror.
A few days later I was given the call to come and collect the car... fearing the costs of a main dealer I put a credit card into my wallet.
"How much will it cost me?" I tentatively asked
"Covered by the safety recall" came the welcome reply.
Phew swerved an expensive cost just after Christmas...
36 hours later... same warning message and red triangle. Finished my working week and took car to main dealer... AGAIN!
"Needs a new vacuum pump and we don't have it in stock so will have to order one" they said.
"Can I have the car back then?"
"No, it's part of the braking system"
"Courtesy car?" I explained that a combination of my start time at work, where I live and where I work... public transport is not an option.
"Yes, but you can only have one for 48 hours"
Not good as still had 2 days with no means of getting to work, and it meant a half day on 2nd day, Sunday, as the dealer closed at 15:00. Cleared it all with Line Manager.
Given I work for a company with 500 odd cars, which is owned by a company with over 3,000 cars my free rides are hard to come by. Especially as the 3,000 are self employed and don't do free rides.
Line Manager gave authority to drop a free ride in system, and my job allows me to select the driver.
Eventually got car back... again covered by safety recall, which I since looked up on the net and would appear to have been the item that generated the safety recall in the first place.
All in all, I am pleased to have had a main dealer work on my car with no expense to me, but wonder if the three trips to the dealer [four including getting courtesy car] were really required.
I guess some problem solving steps needed to be gone thru... and had this been communicated I'd have understood.