Essays : The bitter sting in the TF tail

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Simon Brown tells the unfortunate story of his fault-prone, badly-built TF and MG’s resolute inability to honour its warranty.

MG TF

My MG TF was number 790 built 20 May 2009. I had seen it sitting in the Dealers for about a year before I bought it (they registered it 14 May 2010). In Racing Green Metalic (293), one of only 69 cars in that colour – which was unique to the TF 135, it looked great but I did go in with eyes open to issues given the age of the design. It was within the first batch of 100 cars post-the LE500 so came with leather seats (subsequent cars had cloth seats) – as you can see from the photograph above, the car looked fantastic.

Within a couple of weeks I had some bird ‘lime’ and, despite very careful removal, this left a dull ‘splodge’ on the rear wing – I just put that down to luck (well aware that’s not covered by warranty). Then, well within the first six months, the black grilles (front especially but affected side pods, below rear bumper as well) started rotting – the Dealer removed the fronts and was amazed at the rot (the rust across the rear was considerable).

The Dealer advised that the factory response was to grind off the rust and re-paint but refused given the state of the rust and the replacement parts were put on order – we wait and we wait. The parts are shown on back order, then NLA then back order again. Eventually, I get a call with the option of chrome or black – I chose chrome and these weree fitted and car looked good.

Subsequently, on cleaning the car, I note that paint is shedding off the rear bumper in clumps. MG Motor UK’s response was that ‘ we knew we had a paint problem with the LE500 but not with the TF135,’ The rear bumper was re-painted under warranty. The car then broke down in the fast lane of the M4, just outside the Newport tunnels, and had to be taken back to the Dealer by AA Relay- that was down to a faulty Lambda sensor.

The bumper and front bodywork then started to shed paint with what looks like dandruff appearing across the whole front of the car. Any bird lime eats straight into the paintwork – I dreaded coming out to the car after work in case more birds had ‘done their business’, chips appear across the rear deck also. After lots of phone calls (note I am having to make all the calls) to MG and to the Dealers, a full re-spray was finally agreed. The car looked fabulous when returned – I hoped this was the last of the issues.

Unfortunately, within weeks the boot lid became harder and harder to latch – I ended up parking up around the corner so not to wake the neighbours as I slammed the boot lid to latch it – and at least 3 trips to the Dealers failed to fix to resolve the issue. The engine warning light then came on – another faulty Lambda sensor. The part was put on order and we wait and wait. I chased the factory and had an e-mail promising they were speaking with their Parts Manager, but weeks go by with no response. A new Dealer fixes the boot lid.

The TF then piched up an offside rear puncture. The specific Goodyear GSD2 tyres that came with the car are NLA and you cannot fit the newer GSD3. This meant that I had the cost of replacing two rear tyres with Toyos as you cannot have different tyres on the same axle. Despite all tyre pressures being OK and tread OK, the car thereafter felt unstable on the motorway with any kind of side wind.

Then I noticed that every black bracket under the bonnet had started to rust, paint was peeling off under the bonnet (with rust underneath) and, most concerning in the ‘hole’ in the body where the bonnet latches into, there was just a mass of rust inside.

Meanwhile, my local Dealer had given up on MG so I transferred myself to a bigger Dealer near work in Cardiff. They have a go at the boot lid and stated that the sensor is unique to the TF engine (not compatible because of the revised emission control set up with the old MG Rover parts, not with the MG6 engine) .

Driving home in traffic the boot lid popped open of its own accord again so I diverted straight to my local Mazda Dealer to start looking at MX5s – I had completely given up at that point.

I offered my car to the MG Dealer and, despite three e-mails, I got no response. I rang around and got a great deal on a new, fully lo-aded MX5 Venture. I part-exchanged the MG and was quite honest about the engine warning light – this meant that some garages only wanted to give me £4000 for the car (registered for two years at that point with one year warranty) – but I found a garage that offered more and bit their hand off.

Now I have owned a Triumph Dolomite, anAcclaim and, for nearly 20 years, a Solihull built TR7 DHC but none have had issues anywhere as serious as the above. On a positive the engine required no oil or water between servicing.

My main gripe is that I made all the calls, all the chasing to the Dealer and the factory. There was no attempt by MG to build any brand loyalty and no interest at all in my car. There was no thought by MG that if I was well treated I may buy another MG in the future. It was exactly as if they built these TFs just as a pilot build to test out all their processess with no thought for the customer. I could not believe that well within the warranty period of a new car I would not be able to get parts.

That’s why, you see, I just sense anybody with an MG6 will just have to make the calls and sort their own cars out – and eventually may well give up . I think MG are in the UK just to say their brand is British in order to gain some kudos for the Chinese market.

In a few years time, we may all be driving around in Chinese-built cars – but only when they have learned how to mass produce to German/Japanese standards and given some thought to the customers.

The list of problems
All the below occurred within year two of the three-year warranty period
Car built May 2009
Bought and registered from a main MG Dealer in May 2010

Wrote to MG Enthusiast and What Car? (both published) positive articles about the car – Initial few months loved it!

Electrical

  • Airbag warning light on intermittently when driving – three trips to the Dealer – factory advised Dealer of wiring updates which was then sorted.
  • Loss of power and breakdown on the motorway/recovery back to Dealer – faulty lambda sensor replaced by Dealer.
  • Engine management light on when driving – faulty lambda sensor again – this time part NLA part on back order and never sorted (several months – two Dealers and escalated to MG – sold the car with light still on) – advised part is unique to ‘new’ TF. MG Rover and MG6 parts not suitable (how many other parts fall into that category?).

Bodywork

  • Front MG badge replaced (faded).
  • Rear bumper re-sprayed due to paint peeling off when washing the car.
  • All black grilles replaced with chrome due to significant rust (inital response from MG was for Dealer to grind and re-paint)
  • Authority to replace grilles and due to parts on back order took 3 months to sort.
  • Full body re-spray due to continued paint issues (all bird lime immediately burned through lacquer, paint chipping front and rear of car)
  • Request for warranty re-spray end of March, authorised end of May, sorted finally late June – just before MGLive!
  • Advised had plenty of paint on the car but problem with lacquer (as with previous LE500 cars)
  • Bootlid harder and harder to close and then would unlatch whilst driving – three trips to one MG Dealer then one further trip – never sorted
  • After re-spray paint, started to strip off rear bumper again and bird lime again started to burn into paint (despite removal same day).
  • Underbonnet rust start to appear (see attached) on bodywork and all bracket components under the bonnet

Tyres
Cars sold with tyres that are no longer generally available (Goodyear GSD2) GSD3 replacement not validated for the car. Rear puncture (accept fact of life!) required both rears to be replaced with Toyo (Factory advise either Toyo or Falken). Rear Toyos and front old GSD2 made the car feel very twitchy on crosswinds.

Miscellaneous

  • Two recalls (for info) rear suspension and elastic straps for roof to aid dropping of roof (I don’t have issue with recalls).
  • Outstanding body and parts issues were escalated to Dealer and MG with deadline, initial response was positive but no follow through from dealer or MG so I decided to sell the car with one full year of warranty remaining. Upfront with Mazda Dealer over re-spray and outstanding part on order. Two MG Dealers used, neither provided positive support.
  • Vehicle traded for new Mazda MX5 with one year warranty left on MG (felt this one final year would be ‘eaten up’ by all the problems).
  • Several significant ‘attacks’ on MX5 from incontinent seagulls (one occasion car completely covered!) all removed with no paint damage at all. I don’t dread going out to the car after work to wonder what I will find anymore! Five months in and nothing at all to report on the MX5 – a fantastic car.

MG had made no real attempt to provide speedy effective support (at a time they were launching MG6). Emails tended to be answered with ‘keep us posted on how you get on with the Dealer’. Agreement for warranty work would take weeks, even months.

I would still have the car if the parts had been available and if the bodywork had not been so shocking (mechanicals fine and no oil or water required between servicing – temp gauge fine). I previously owned Dolomite, Acclaim, TR7 (yes, even a Solihull TR7 DHC!) and Rover 600SLDI (so I have a track record of buying British) – none of those had this amount of issues (nor did a Fiat Barchetta and being a temperamental Italian had cause to be!).

I am not looking for an apology – it’s too late for that – but feel other TF cars sitting in nice and warm Dealers are potential bodywork time bombs. MG completely failed to provide the level of customer support required to build loyalty for the new brand.

Hope you MG6 guys have a better time of it!

55 Comments

  1. Car seems like a throwback to the bad old days. Would’ve honestly thought that even a fairly modern car wouldn’t have been such a dog in terms of quality control. I think you’re right when you suggest that MG are going through the motions when it comes to their operations in the UK. I’ve noticed articles from a guy whose running an MG6 – would be interesting to see how his ownership experience pans out over the next few years or so.

  2. To be honest, I have heard of similar dismay by owners of SEAT, BMW and just last week, an ex colleague who’s 3 month old Pug 508 has had to be towed off the motorway 7 times by the AA!!
    I’ve owned BMW’s for the past 7 years, and although they have had the odd issue, the dealer has always been very helpful (Els – Bishops Stortford).
    If you get a dealer who doesnt care, that can make all the difference (Statstone BMW in Chesterfield – dealt with them once.. never again!!).

  3. the chinese in my oppinion often replace engeneering knowledge with too much “entusiasm”…..and hope that the problems will solve
    is like the owner of the factory i was the manager….he forced to put on the market products that we know that not perfectly reliable beacouse the customers will test our development….naturaly i ended my contract

    my MGF had and still have its problems but not from bad assembling of the bodywork and electronic faults
    is a shame what the chinese done with the K engine

  4. What shambles.

    These kind of stories can make or break a company, especially MG who need every sale they can get!

    I thought my rusting 8 year old 406 was bad.

  5. My Glass Eye is streaming. The Chinese have not only replicated, but exceed MG-R’s ability to manufacturer and market an old-hat shambles. Genius. Some people feared that all of Longbridge’s Heritage was lost when the Chinese let it go under, but clearly this is not the case. See my MG ZR160 blog from 2005 for similar tales of woe.

  6. Although I have not yet sampled the ‘new’ MGs built under SAIC’s ownership, I have recently been in communication with them over another matter. I was very polite and positive in my email to the company. I even sent a copy to MG Motor UK Limited’s MD which was returned to me unanswered or acknowledged 42 minutes later by SAIC’s mail system, even though I had sent it to MG Motor UK Limited. No joy there,then; clearly I am not important enough to show courtesy to.

    After resending my first email nine days later because I had not received a response or acknowledgement to the original one, I received a reply from the individual with MG Motor UK Limited. The tone of this email was actually quite arrogant (as other people also pointed out when they read it) and left me in little doubt that their approach to Customer Service will not translate into future business from me. A shame because the apprentices and those who work on the assembly line are so approachable and helpful. They really do want Longbridge and the MG brand to be successful. Even the dealers, particularly the one in East Devon, are friendly and helpful.

    However, those in a higher position at MG Motor UK Limited do not inspire me to support the company compared to other companies building vehicles in the UK. Sorry.

    I fully understand the frustration of Simon Brown and although it pains me to say this, because I like supporting British manufacturing jobs, I would have probably followed the same route as he did and bought something else. MG it may be, there is only so much hassle a consumer can take before they jump ship and seek alternative support from a rival make.

  7. I can concur with the above article. A nearby MG dealer threw the towel in after just a matter of months, citing the dismal quality of the TF as the main reason.

    I have worked on the SAIC TF models and can wholeheartedly say that the fit, finish and quality of many components is nothing short of appalling.

    SAIC seem to have no desire to support TF owners, the parts are nigh on impossible to source and obtain without difficulty. And what does come through is woefully poor.

    Anti roll bar drop links made of glass and bottom ball joints that were bordering on lethal along with pathetic undersealing and some really horrible welding away from view made me shudder to think that things could stoop so low!

  8. @9 where was this series of TF bodyshell built? i know Mayflower built the shells pre-collapse,would i be correct in understanding these werechinese built?
    I know early MGF’s used to go “reel of cotton” underneath after 3 or 4 years and the coolant pipes always needed changing but steel spung models were no different,indeed the biggest problems i encountered with them after HGF was front shocker bush wear and radius arm problems.
    The above article is very disappointing but no MGF/TF ever built was any good in terms of quality or rust protection,setting that aside,lets not forget the roots of the thing-the metro.

  9. My TF LE500 is now 4 years old and I have been very happy with mine. Its true that some TFs had problems with paint but luckily mine hasn’t. Quality wise its on par with my previous MGF.

    I am not convinced that the lambda sensor mentioned above is a different part to earlier TFs but you never know!

  10. Did they find some steel from a Fiat factory from the seventies as I thought this kind of premature rust had been banished 30 years ago? This is just not on and might explain why the only MGs I seem to see are the real old school ones from the sixties and seventies, and some people reckoned these had quality issues.

  11. “I think MG are in the UK just to say their brand is British for some kudos for the Chinese market”
    Totally agree, seems worrying trend is starting to appear.

  12. I have the same problem with Honda. I bought a Civic Estate in 1999 and within six weeks I drew attention to a fault in the vehicle. The MD. K.W.KIER refuses to explain why he will not authorise rectification to an admitted fault despite one of their employees being visibly shocked when he drove the vehicle and authorised a proprietary after market kit, which he claimed was a ‘goodwill gesture’.
    I’m afraid there has never any sign of ‘goodwill’ extended to me in the thirteen years since I bought the bloody thing.

  13. One would think it’s a re-ash of the TR7 story our friend from America told us a few years ago when he discovered the history/receipts and (b)logs on his latest purchase(Truett ? was his name) shocking 30 odd yrs ago, is there a word for this in 2012? Don’t think that kit cars are THIS bad!!!
    Anyhow, £67M for such a historical badge was cheap, next gen “MG” will be GM platform, so choose Vaux astra, chev cruze or MG something!!!Sad, disappointing, frustrating but true…
    Am I the only one to think that “communist” chinese are more capitalist (greedier) than traders in the City or wall street?
    Add up awful stories of appalling work conditions surrounding the fruity company upon launching their new phone5, no wonder the UK “manufacturing” of the 6 is limited to next to nothing, wages bill must be higher for the few bolts screwed in Birmingham than the full built of the car itself!!! How long is it gonna last?
    Mark my word, there will be a press release stating that ” manufacturing MG’s in UK isn’t a viable operation (financially), but saic is proud to have revived a prestigious badge from oblivion” but forget to say “this was our aim, hence we did ALL we could to sabotage its revival up to this point. Now that only our workforce (ie: 21st century slaves) will be solely building our gm’s in drag, we will bother our a*se to shift as much metal as we can…
    Isn’t 15K+ quite dear for a car this size built by workers paid peanuts, a Focus is hardly any dearer, but it’s built in Europe by workers well paid(comparatively)with civil rights, they can afford to buy what they produce, but the most important fact, they won’t get killed if they go on strike or simply protest for better working conditions.
    I remember this phrase from a late French comic called Coluche: Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, Communism is the opposite…Accurate in the 70’s, more so today.
    In the 70’s Ladas had the decency to be REALLY cheap hips of junk, not so for the 21st Century MG TF, still, you can double its value by filling up the tank and put 12 month tax!!! LOL

  14. A catalogue of trouble.. I’ve only seen a couple of the Nanjing MG TF’s and they didn’t have that new car look to them – even when they were.

    It seems MG Motor UK dont have much interest in the TF and only built them to get the MG name back on UK roads before concentrating on the “6”.

  15. one of the reasons I like Jaguars and Land Rovers is because you can just about always buy parts for them no matter how old ore new they are. Same with some of the Triumps mentioned above. Yes you would think that If MG had done their homework any parts made would be backwards or frowards compatible for a start….and yes you would think MGUK -SAIC would be trying harder to ensure these problems dont end up on the WWW!! alex

  16. Ref the Lamda sensor – I can confirm two MG dealers advised me it was a different part (something to do with the N series emission control being different from K series and MG6) – If they were both wrong then it was just more months of wasted effort and time – true or not I gave up through lack of interest….

  17. Beats me why any sane person would touch a MG with a barge pole. The British Motor industry has never been in a better place than it is today and there are any amount of well made, good quality British made cars available if you want to support the home team. The only “heritage” associated withe the latest MG cars is the truly awful quality and miserable ownership experience. Just dont do it. You dont deserve it!

  18. So sorry to hear about your troubles.

    Two points.

    I had an original MGF from nearly new and had no end of trouble – suspension collapsed, subframe weld broke, wheels wouldn’t align, etc. At the time my I ended up driving my TR7 (which I’d kept) into the dealer (Lloyd Rover, Carlisle) to see how the repairs were going to my MGF (they had it for months). I was going to sell the TR7 when I’d got the MGF sorted but in the end I decided to keep the ‘7 and sell the F!

    Can’t speak for MGs, but Chinese Roewes are not built well. I was in a Beijing showroom a couple of years ago looking at a 750 and it was a shocker, awful paint and shutlines. This hardly bodes well for the MG…

    Regardless of the built-in problems of the MGF design, or the rubbish finish of the Chinese MGs, perhaps the most disturbing thing is the attitude of the British dealers. They obviously don’t give a damn – nothing new there, then – for an MG Rover dealer…

    I’ve also had an MX5. If there was ever such a thing as a series-one MGF built by Mazda then that would have been by dream small modern sportscar – the MX5 itself lacks character compared to the ‘F, but it’s sooo much better made.

  19. Agree that the MX5 does lack character but nice to get a long bonnet view (lacking in my TR7 and MGTF) which I had on the barchetta. From the rear the MX lights do look a bit like a Toyota 2000 GT but still not convinced by the ‘smilie’ front. The barchetta had the best ‘bottom’ in the business, looked a bit of a grump from the front, but overall stole my heart. It will be interesting to see how the new Alfa/Mazda partnership works – a reliable jap build with Alfa flair could be a match made in heaven – or hell depending on Alfa dealers, and when I last dealt with them they tended to be from the MG dealer training school!

  20. Sorry to hear about the car and its troubles Simon and with reference to your last line, I have a MG6 and I can say there are no such parts problems with this model , but I can only speak for myself of course.

  21. Thats good news Evans – and I mean that. I do hope they are treating you well and the MG ownership proposition is to expectation. It appears from a previous post that there are satisfied TF owners out there also which is some comfort at least – it just was not to be in my case.

  22. very pleased to hear that Evans, and from a previous post from a TF owner who is happy. Clearly the ownership proposition is good for some at least, just did not work out in my case.

  23. Not good reading at all. It isn’t just the list of faults that’s alarming but also the lack of dealer and factory response, care.

    Maybe my earlier comment (ref the MG6 driver Mike Humble encountered) was a bit soft, optimistic!!

  24. For those of us who hoped that the re-born MG would gain in strength, reputation and sales this is one of the most depressing things I’ve read on aronline.

    I had three F’s/TF’s (all MGR era and, yes, each in turn suffered HGF)the last of which I sold in January for a MINI Cooper S.

    I thought that in a year or two I’d buy a second hand TF LE500. They looked an attractive proposition, nearly new quality, a refettled K series engine plus air and leather.
    Having read Simon’s story I’ll think again – a sorted and HG replaced original TF now sounds a better bet!

    At least Simon said that the engine in his SAIC TF had not required oil or water top up’s. Do we know that the N series really has cured HGF, I wonder, or are there horror stories there, too?

  25. @30
    as MGF mk1 driver and owner….Ford solved the HGF problems with the multilayer gasket and new oil rail (to solve the probklems in the Land rover K installed cars)

  26. Yes Ben I had no issues at all with overheating and the car required no oil or water between services which was good news. I do not know how unique the N Series is in the TF (I understood that Lotus had a hand in helping re-engineer the engine to get through emissions) its the unique nature of parts that you would need to check as with only 900 built I am not sure how easy supply will be in a couple of years time given experience only two years in, and of course a really really good look at the bodywork!

  27. @31:

    That’ll be news to the petrol FL1 owners on Landyzone. The advice there is (unfortunately) to buy with the BMW diesel, or to not buy at all…

  28. @36 which come with a multitude of thier own problems,injectors,boost valves,VGT problems and ECU failures,never mind the usual mass airflow meters and pcv filter.The Freelander 1 was total crap.Tip to toe.

  29. @37,38 but the kit on lighter cars like the F works
    (i agree that puttink a 120hp K 1,8 engine into a frelander 1 was a total madness-the car to heavy and the engine with no enough torque -ok is also an 1,8)

  30. Surprised?

    Nope….I remember what they were like when they were new when MGR made them. They were bodily ok but at the time they were built in a huge state of the art factory with 300+ dealers to back them up and mechanics who knew them well.

    I did say 4 years ago when everyone started getting all sentimental about the TF being built again and hoorah for England that before MGR finally went bust the TF was old hat and hard to shift then, only when huge discounts were applied could you sell them and most of the time that was to die-hard MGR fans (I am one of those)

    I had 10 off them as company demos (I worked for a dealer) and enjoyed them all, a great little car and huge fun to drive, but that was 10 years ago and things have moved forward alot since, plus 2 seater sports cars are less and less popular, even the evergreen MX5 is a poor seller now.

    Sad but true, it was a pointless exercise that was bound to fail and I feel for those who bought them and will be left high and dry when MG Motor etc gives up on the UK, if sales of the MG6 (and that its not a praticualrly good car) are anything to go by I give it two years.

    Sorry, been in the trade too many years to flower it up.

  31. If you want a TF, but a late MGR built one for £2000 and that way you know what your getting and dont have too much to loose and parts will be easier to source. That way its great value for money will probably be better built.

  32. The TF was far too out of date for 2010, not that any of the issues experienced above are to do with that. It does seem like a lemon you were sold and, even when they made progress in sorting the issues, the psychological damage had been done. It would be churlish to suggest these kind of stories are exclusive to MGUK, it’s how they deal with them going forward that is the key to success or failure I think.

  33. @43 Now there’s a thought. I’m sure someone at MINI has already thought of it. However, as the Coupe shows, really the waistline is too high.

  34. Regarding comments about the TF being too old to re-start production. Yes, by the late 2000’s it was getting on a bit but it was not without appeal or demand. Hence it was put back into production – business logic and an obvious way to re-establish the brand.

  35. Just a shame that the TF paintwork issues and dealer support had nothing to do with age and everything to do with how they manufactured and supported the car (having seemingly fixed inherited issues such as the dreaded HGF). Sounds like they are doing a better job with the MG6 – long may it continue.

  36. Oh’ dear. This is certainly a sad story Simon. I have commented on other parts of this website about just what MG are up to. Some contributors here have probably hit the nail on the head – Siac actually don’t want to succeed!
    I guess this fact is staring us all in the face but we just don’t want to believe it.
    As has been said, the rust problems on this car are in themselves totally unforgivable in this day and age. My 10 year old 916 Alfa GTV Spyder V6 has not the tiniest spot of rust anywhere and is totally unaffected by bird droppings on its perfect metallic blue paint. It is also 100 percent reliable and is just coming up to 100,000 miles. Apart from suspension bushes and bent wheels courtesy of Wiltshire’s pot holes it’s darned near perfect – as your MG should be!

  37. Just past 12k miles on the MX5 (8 months in) exactly the same route to work and usage as the MG. Nothing to report – paintwork remains perfect (despite the seagulls doing their best!) no chipping paint,no breakdowns. Sad to say but they certainly know how to built (and paint!) a car properly,I have enjoyed enjoying the car rather than stressing about the problems.

  38. I’ve been reading the comments about the TF paintwork with interest. I have a TF LE 500, bought in October 2009. It’s been a catalogue of problems, mostly minor apart from the paintwork.

    I used a dealer in Eastbourne for my servicing etc who was brilliant. Sadly they’ve now thrown in the towel because MG support was so poor and they were owed thousands in warranty work which they’d done with MG’s approval. They contacted MG on my behalf when I identified a problem with the driver’s door, where there’s blotching in the lacquer and a huge smudge effect, which may be an overspray of lacquer, or where something brushed against it when it was tacky. MG said it was nothing to do with them and it wouldn’t have left the factory like that so it must have been something I had done!!! At the time I couldn’t be bothered to pursue it, but did revisit the issue again last year when I noticed that a lot of the paintwork / lacquer appeared to be oxidising. Although it looks shiny once it’s been washed and polished, no amount of wax will help the feel of it, which is very rough in places. A close inspection shows that much of the paint is quite ‘dappled’ in appearance.

    By the time I approached MG again I had to go via another dealer, who had only recently picked up the reigns with MG. They were absolutely shocking. No communication, nothing that you would call ‘service’ at all. They told me they had sent photos to Keith Harris at MG but in fact I later found out they had sent a picture of the wrong part of the car taken badly in poor light, accompanied with a report saying that my ‘complaints’ about the paintwork were not warranty issues since they were caused by standing water where the car had been parked outside.

    My emails to MG protested about the inaccuracy of the dealer’s reporting – the car is kept in a garage and I only drive it in dry weather (sad I know); on top of that I had paid my dealer £300 at the time of purchase for the paintwork protection treatment. MG just weren’t interested and stopped even answering my emails. Meanwhile the only dealer within 50 miles of me is useless and untrustworthy (in my view).

    So here I am with a 3.5 year old car with just over 6,000 miles on the clock but which looks as though it’s about 20 years old. The only new car I have ever purchased, traded in an older TF (which looked gorgeous by comparison) intended as a lifetime keeper and looking at it is just a heart-sink moment.

    I’ve now received a letter about yet another recall to the suspension (I have already paid for new ball joints as one failed last year and MG refused to honour it under warranty (a driver issue apparently) and I had to pay for a pair to be replaced.

    So overall a tail of woe. I do my best to support the modern marque and I’m wishing that I didn’t join the MX-5 club too.

  39. Sarah : try a clay bar and lubricant. meguiar do a little kit, but there are probably others available . You will be amazed how this will remove the contaminants and leave surfaces smooth as silk, which can then successfully be polished . If you live near the sea, as you seem to do, it may well be salt contamination

  40. Thanks for your reply Chris. Sadly I have already tried this. It made no difference. I’m a few miles inland from the sea so would be surprised if sea salt was responsible. And as stated above, the car does v little mileage and is kept in the garage. my other car is a 10 year old 4×4 and looks better than the MG despite being out in all weathers. Just got to save up for a respray I think.:-(

  41. Really sorry to hear your experience Sarah, I think mine came to a head sooner as I was using it as a daily driver. The sinking feeling is horrible and you just don’t expect bodywork issues and lack of factory support on cars built in the 21st century- I do hope it gets resolved in the end one way or the other!

  42. A friend of mine had a similiar issue with the paint on his MX5, Mazda failed to pay as they said it was down to the paint protection treatment being incorrectly applied, he ended up buying an Audi TT

  43. I had all the above on my LE500 plus a/c compressor replaced (2 weeks without car as wrong compressor supplied to dealer).

    Paint peeling never sorted will probably have it re-sprayed before selling. Paint code CAJ Graphite Grey micatalic not recognised by paint suppliers.

    Poor build quality has always been a ‘BL/Rover’ problem and the Chinese have used the same processes. We bought a new Mini in 1985 and found the paint peeling away from the primer then. Nothing changes.

    Having said all that, I’m looking to buy a RV8.

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