My numerology for March said that money would be flowing out fast…. I wasn’t too surprised, as it does that most months. The first week was true to form: bill for son’s OT treatment after breaking a finger playing football (he saved a goal but it cost over R1000 in all, and it wasn’t even a major league match); filling at the dentist for Youngest (where she was hugely stoical and put up with it without a murmur); fairies purchased as a reward for the above (and middle daughter was owed one too for dental treatment previously unrewarded – I reckon this is the one area where bribes are essential!).
What I hadn’t been bargaining for, and what the numerology was obviously talking about was our car: our beautiful car, new to us last year and only a mere spring chicken at 2 years old, still under warranty. It took my husband into Cape Town last week and promptly overheated, dumping him at the side of the road. Annoying, we thought, a pain as it had to be towed to a busy Cape Town garage instead of our friendly local one, to be fixed under the warranty. Irritating, when two days later they hadn’t even looked at it. Infuriating, when yesterday they called us with the diagnosis and said that it probably won’t be covered under the warranty, and by the way it will cost R15,000 to fix. Foot-stompingly rage-making, when they tell us that a bit of mud had covered the heat sensor so the fan hadn’t worked, hence breaking that fan, this pipe and the other something else and perhaps it has a design fault.
Mud is a part of our lives here in winter. The 3km dirt road that leads to our smallholding is un-tarred and any amount of rain is enough to turn it to a clay ploughed field. So if the mud from one summer rainstorm is enough to wipe out the car, then it is never going to survive a winter here. It’s a design fault, they tell us and perhaps you’ll just have to clean the fan every time you go out in the car. Well that is three times a day in the school week. We realize that even if we get it fixed we will most likely have to trade it in and get something else less mud-sensitive or the winter will be a nightmare.
So here we are stomping our feet and trying to make our case with the dealer and then the manufacturing company. Eventually they say they will send an inspector …next Thursday, in ten days time and it has already been at the garage for a week …(hair tearing and steam boiling from ears at this point)
So we don’t know what will happen next week – I’m keeping fingers crossed that they will cover the repair costs. But if they don’t, I’m going to tell everyone not to buy an Opel Zafira, unless they are city creatures who never go near a speck of mud in their lives, because the Zafira doesn’t like mud and is very expensive to fix. Anyone have Jeremy Clarkson’s contact details here? I’d like to register it as a crap car, even though it has a nifty way with extra folding seats in the back.
Luckily the numbers said that money would flow in nicely from May onwards!