Okay, further to the above renewal letter. I have phoned RCI today to tell them that none of their three options fit my circumstances and that I want to return the battery to them. They said this scenario has been discussed internally but they’re not really prepared for it. They don’t know what’s involved in removing the battery or what it might cost. They said it’s likely that the vehicle will have to be returned to the dealership and there’ll be a charge for removing it. They’re letting me know!
Did you ask them what would happen if you didn’t do any of the above and cancelled the DD?
The letter does go on about not wanting the car, but if you wanted to fit say a petrol engine then you want ‘your’ car but not the battery.
Anyway please continue to keep us informed, very interesting.
Did you make an offer to buy the batteries. I think it might be the first case RCI have to deal with. It will be interesting to see what’s the outcome. Please keep us posted.
Strange that the letter makes no mention of costs for the new agreement.
Also annoying that they are going to credit check you again to see if you qualify for the finance.
Look forward to the reply, you would have thought that Renault would have examined every angle of this by now
This is the latest e-mail from Renault regarding the process to return the battery:
Removing your Battery
In order to remove the Battery Unit that is in your Renault Twizy you would need to visit your closest Renault ZE Specialist Garage. They will then be able to liaise directly with Renault UK regarding any charges and the Battery returns process.
I am aware that you also mentioned your possible intention to store the chassis and then have a new battery installed at a later date. In relation to this query I would like to inform you following internal conversations at RCI, that we would be unable to provide you with a replacement should you do this. This is a policy that we have in place and we simply cannot provide a battery as a stand-alone unit, the battery and chassis is supplied as one despite potentially having separate finance agreements.
I was NOT told this at the time of purchase, and therefore I believe that I was sold the car under false pretenses. Assuming this was the same for you (most of us) - It might be worth talking to Trading standards. It is certainly an unusual case where you are being black mailed to pay for something you don’t need/want but must have to be able to keep something you own.
If you cancel you phone line or contract and return the sim you still keep the Phone and can restore it latter.
It all sounds very underhand.
But they didn’t say one can’t keep the Twizy, just that they want the battery pack back, and they are not prepared to supply one with a new pack in the future. That’s bullocks!! A car manufacturer has a duty to supply parts and I am sure the battery pack is a part. Isn’t there a law that says car manufacturers have to make parts available for X number of years even after production has ended.
To be quite honest I think these are the first cases they are coming across and they are not really sure how to handle it. They haven’t really thought it over properly, expecting people will just continue paying for the rental. I think they are making rules up as they go along. Whether those rules will stand up to legal scrutiny is debatable. I think they will have to clarify the situation asap.
I am now communicating with them via letter only. All responses will be posted here!
I pointed your issue out on another forum and this was what was said.
“They can’t send a bailiff to collect the battery as they are not allowed to remove the car as it belongs to you. Renault would have to remove it on your driveway. Legally, as soon as the lease runs out and you have requested they collect it and have not obstructed them, then I don’t think there’s much they can do. Imagine a phone company forcing you to resign a contract. I’m hoping at that point, to save them expense, they will offer you the battery at a reduced cost to keep it.”
Why should you return the battery by driving to them? They can have the battery if they fetch it. Better to let you purchase it or offer very cheap lease option.
I hope that’s the outcome and set a precedent.
What puzzles me in the Renault response is that the battery is linked to the Chassis. Therefore if they take the battery back it will still be linked to the chasis. If it can be re-purposed on another Twizy then it would mean they could re-purpose a battery for a Twizy without one, which defeats their argument about supplying one in the future.
Actually it is not Renault directly stopping third party batteries it is Sevcon who supply the controlling hardware. To access that and change it, means you need the Sevcon equipment, which cannot be purchased without first attending one of their training courses. These are both very expensive and infrequently ran.
A bit more on the legal side :-
"Ah, no, it gets far far more interesting than that.
If they took the matter to court, they would end up with a financial remedy, I do not believe the court would ever order the battery removed once it is made clear this effectively destroys the value of the remaining car. If you owed someone for fixing your engine of an ICE, the court would never rule that the repairer could come along and simply take the engine from the car. That would have to be truly exceptional circumstances for that to happen.
Once they assign a value to the battery, you pay via the court what they say the battery is worth, and it is then yours.
I suspect, not that it has yet transpired, that you could force Renault to sell the battery to you by legal means. They are walking straight into a pickle with all the conditions they are making up, if a few folks stand up to them. "
Having sleep on this I think that it is RCI and NOT Renault that are wrong here. Have you approached Renault directly about the Purchase now or latter of a battery? RCI obviously don’t understand and just want to collect the money.
I’m sure Renault would have a different view as this practice is not fair trading. To say you cannot have a battery in the future is wrong.
You are absolutely right here. As I said they (RCI) haven’t given it any thought, expecting people to continue paying for the rental, and now they are confronted with the situation and they are just making rules up as they go along.
Mind you they must be consulting Renault as to what to do. It will be a very interesting test case.
I’m in more or less the same position as you, only in Spain and “my” contract expires on the 24th of may. I will probably have to return my battery. I also intend to take it out myself, as I don’t want to risk them doing something else to the car. Also to prevent them telling something about a possible bad state or damage to the battery I took the car for maintainance yesterday and asked explicitly for the battery state. They (unknowingly about my problems) accepted to put their findings in written form, which where “battery ok, state of health 99%”.
Now, for a little history: My Twizy is second-hand and the previous owner has been paying the batterie fees until now that the original contract expires (3 years). When I first purchased the Twizy, we wanted to transfer the battery contract to me, but this was supposedly not possible. They wanted him to pay a compensation for finishing the contract early which ammounted almost to the remaining contract fees. Then I had to sign for a new contract also paying some extra money for the paperwork. At the time I didn’t even get to see the contract.
Now I wanted to buy the battery (preferably) or make a new contract. As for the purchase it has been a no, no for now. But the conditions of the contract seem unacceptable to me. The contract has continuously mentions to restrictions to MY car, where as I am only leasing the battery. It even goes so far as to stipulate that, after the contract period has finished, until you give them documents proving the sale of the vehicle, they will consider that you haven’t returned the battery and still charge you, this time not as a loan, but as a compensation for usage. It doesn’t make any distinction on wether you have really returned the battery or not. Nowhere does it make any provision for returning the battery. I cannot sign such a contract !!!
I’m still negotiating, but I fear I’ll have to return the battery. In my converstations with RCI Banque, they threatened also that the battery removal has a price (they even suggested a fairly high one, by the way) and they said something about recycling. In the spanish contract, there is a provision at the end of the “Usage and care” section, that says that the lessor (RCI) will take care of financing and organizing the withdrawall of the waste of the leased goods. For now I haven’t mentioned it to them, I hope they don’t read this forum.
They have told me that they cannot change the contracts, as they are just translations from the original french one. So I gess your british ones are similar. I have now a little collection of the spanish, french and german ones and indeed are very similar.
I’ll try to keep you posted about my negotiations. If nothing comes out of it, then I’ll have to return the battery in a week !!!
Please keep us informed. It will be interesting to see how Renault handle the situation.
So that are saying the battery and the chassis is supplied as 1… How can they charge you if they want it removed… Dig in… A 4 year old battery will not be worth much… £200 or free… It can’t be worth them chasing it…
What happened in a nutshell is nothing! I replied to Renault’s renewal letter on May 14th telling them none of their options fitted my needs and I would be happy to either 1) Buy the battery for £1000+VAT, 2) Pay £15 rental per month for 1500 annual miles or 3) Return the battery. I haven’t ever received a reply as of August 5th. The MOT ran out on the same day as the battery hire agreement (the car’s 3rd birthday) so I kept it off the road for one month and then I had it MOT’d on July 1st. I’ve been using it since then. If Renault ever get in touch and want the money then I shall want the equivalent amount for storing and insuring their battery which I offered to return to them or pay for.
That’s interesting. I have said previously maybe they wouldn’t bother, as long as they have collected a few years rental. It’s just too much of a nuisance for them to pursue it, and legally it’s in a grey area. Maybe that’s the case in your case.
However if all of us do it, then they may react differently. Hope they don’t read this forum and know of our intentions :