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Holden Commodore owner refunded because of 'loud' V8 engine

By Tim Robson, 22 Jan 2020 Car News

Holden Commodore owner refunded because of 'loud' V8 engine

A Holden Commodore SS-V owner wins long battle to secure a refund after complaining that the car's V8 engine is too loud

A New Zealander has won a battle with Holden, securing a refund on his 2015 SS-V because the engine was deemed to be too loud.

Hang on… too loud?

Now sure, our friends over the ditch might not be used to the thunderous rumble of a decent V8 engine – after all, it’s all about camper vans and hired Camrys in the Land of the Long White Cloud, right?

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In this case, the gentleman in question bought a Holden Commodore SS-V VF2 through a dealership for $47,995 in 2019 but quickly observed that the 6.2-litre motor appeared to be producing more bass rumble than it really should have been.

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In fact, he described it in documents as a “guttural knock”.

You can guess what happens next; the four-year-old car was whizzed back to the dealership, who took a look and determined that nope, it’s just your normal, everyday “guttural knock” that we all have to live with in this enlightened day and age.

It's worth noting New Zealand consumer law covers buyers of used cars, though not as comprehensively as for purchasers of new cars.

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In the dealership’s defence, the noise did go away after a few minutes of warming up, according to service documents tendered to court.

Well, our man wasn’t taking that lying down, according to stuff.co.nz. And so began a long tale that included sending a recording of the noise to Holden New Zealand which, after commissioning an inspection, deemed the noise to be “a normal characteristic” of the popular LS3 engine.

2017 Holden VFII SS V Redline Commodore wheels.jpg

The man disagreed, and then enlisted a specialist engineering firm to inspect his mouthy motor. Their verdict? Excessive piston slap in one of the eight cylinders, to the point where the racket under light load would scare a New Zealand cricket team into a horrendous Test series defeat.

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Under advice not to drive his SS-V lest the rogue piston do more damage, the owner took his case to New Zealand’s Motor Vehicles Disputes Tribunal, under the auspice that his howling Holden was not of acceptable quality.

And would you know it? After months of run-around, our man was granted a complete refund of his purchase price of $47,995 on his too-loud Commodore V8.

No word on what he has bought now, but we’re guessing it will be a lot quieter…