“Strong tensions with customers”: at Citroën in Occitanie, the replacement of explosive airbags puts everyone on edge

“Strong tensions with customers”: at Citroën in Occitanie, the replacement of explosive airbags puts everyone on edge

Citroën C3 et DS3 resteront parfois au garage cet été. Midi Libre – JEAN-MICHEL MART

Stéphane Maquignon est le patron des marques Stellantis, Opel, Citroën et Peugeot. Il supervise les 14 concessions Citroën à travers le groupe Tressol-Chabrier en Occitanie. Il parle des difficultés rencontrées dans ses concessions, suite à la campagne de rappel des véhicules C3 et DS3 pour airbag défectueux.

Stéphane Maquignon is the boss of the Stellantis, Opel, Citroën and Peugeot brands. He supervises the 14 Citroën dealerships through the Tressol-Chabrier group, whose network includes 72 multi-brand automobile dealerships.

An unprecedented and large-scale situation

Based in Béziers, he admits "very surprised by this situation". "We have never experienced this type of recall campaign of such magnitude and impact for our customers in the past."

On the dealer side, the situation is extremely tense. After contacting the head of Biterrois after-sales, it appeared that 2,600 vehicles are affected by the recall campaign launched at the beginning of May.

Citroën employees under pressure

At present, only 400 airbags in the affected vehicles have been replaced."This situation generates strong tension with our customers, yet we understand and sympathize. Our front office employees are going through very difficult times on a daily basis, although Stellantis supports us and tries to give us information. We are unable to provide information on the priority of intervention from one client to another", confides the latter.

To ease the traffic jam in the dealerships, hiring took place, to support the registration procedures, i.e. "980 customers at this time day in Béziers".

Currently, ordering an airbag would take ten days, and the same for making an appointment once they are delivered.

The "personal code" takes weeks to arrive!

But the worst perhaps comes from the famous personal code that dealers must request to activate the order of a replacement airbag. & quot;It is given by the manufacturer! Not by the dealer. The deadline depends on the client's profile and determines their prioritization, it can therefore take several weeks", regrets Stéphane Maquignon.

Several class actions are underway against Stellantis, which place the manufacturer's warranty at the center of responsibility. "Of course the client is entitled to take this step because French law gives him the possibility", he admits. And the looming holidays should not help matters, "the tourist flow of the summer season will certainly generate delays for our local customers".

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