Not sure how many KitGuru readers would buy a new Volvo, but just in case you do, we wanted to flag an email that’s been sent from Volvo HQ. Following the Toyota brake safety issue, you can’t be too safe and it’s always better to have all of the facts.
We have had this issue pinged in by several readers and the email warnings relating to a mis-badging issue seem to be real.
According to official communications from Volvo, cars affected include the Volvo C30, S40 and V50.
If you’re thinking about a different Volvo model, then that would seem to be OK, but maybe these cars should also be avoided for a while – until Volvo makes some kind of confirmation statement.
At the very least, it seems that the cars in question are being offered for sale ‘incorrectly labelled’. So you could spent £20,000 and find that the Volvo you bought is worth considerably less. Volvo’s warning seems to indicate that the re-badging is enough to lead to fines and, if ignored, your car being towed/impounded/crushed.
Better safe than sorry.
Every KitGuru driver, from an early age, will have been warned by a knowlegable friend/relative about the worst kind of re-badging, the ‘cut and shut’. That’s where a car appears to be a bargain, but it is in fact 2 previously broken cars that have been welded together and re-labelled. Re-labelling of any kind is worrying and, in all likelihood, illegal.
At its simplest level, re-badging can be relatively innocent, to make a car look nicer/faster than it really is. But that’s the start of a run down a slippery slope, with real consequences.
For example, driving without insurance is illegal. If you do not disclose to your insurance company the EXACT make/model details, then your insurance is invalid.
It stands to reason that someone buying a new Volvo would tell the insurance company what it says on the sales receipt/badges on the car. If there is a security issue and ‘fake’ cars are being sold, then in addition to basic safety problems – you will almost certainly be driving without insurance as well.
This is a blow for Volvo, because – traditionally – its brand has been associated with uber-safety and soccer mums. It’s unlikely that people who buy a new Volvo intend to get involved with insurance scams and illegal driving.
They might not make the sexiest cars on the planet, but until this official warning from Volvo, you would have thought it one of the safest options – that you could trust in the brand.
For a company like Volvo to issue any kind of safety warning is a worrying thing. KitGuru would have assumed that they employ the very best back-end hardware, software and security systems to ensure that issues do not occur.
You can find loads of alternatives to Volvo from sites like Auto Trader in the UK.
Volvo also seems to have been embroiled in a series of email phishing scams recently, specifically designed to dig out personal details from potential customers. These were bad enough for Volvo to address them on its main site.
KitGuru says: We wouldn’t recommend anyone takes a chance right now. If you absolutely, positively, definitely need to buy a new car, then scan the web for alternatives until Volvo issues a clear statement that (a) you can trust that the car you ordered is the one you received and (b) that your family will be safe. We scanned the Volvo web site, but there does not seem to be a place where you can ask safety-related questions or contact Volvo’s press department. Unfortunate.