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European cars provide electric shock

19th July 2011 Print

The car most likely to suffer an electrical fault is the Renault Megane, with a staggering one in three sustaining a malfunction each year, according to Warranty Direct.
With cars increasingly packed full of technical wizadry, it’s perhaps unsurprising that electrical faults account for 27% of all car failures, up by about 17% on five years ago.
Overall, nearly four in 10 cars go awry each year and electrical problems are among the most common causes of breakdown, with repair bills running as high as £2,500.
While the Megane is not necessarily known for its gadgetry, the French hatchback’s electrical gremlins contribute to an overall failure rate of 50 per cent, with the Peugeot 607 and BMW’s sporty Z4 close behind as the next most likely cars to ‘short circuit’.
The top 10, compiled by Warranty Direct using data from the 50,000 live policies that contribute to its website, indicate a potential Achilles’ Heel for European cars, which feature exclusively.
Top 10 cars to suffer electrical faults

Make - Model - Chance of failure
Renault Megane (02-09) 34.66%
Peugeot 607 (00-10) 31.28%
BMW Z4 (03-09) 29.86%
Renault Modus (04- ) 29.61%
Audi A2 (00-06) 29.02%
Land Rover Range Rover (02- ) 28.75%
Land Rover Discovery (04- ) 26.94%
Audi A3 (03- ) 26.58%
Smart Roadster (03- ) 25.67%
Audi A4 Convertible (05-09) 24.44%

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “Electrical faults are extremely common and the amount of computer technology we demand in our new cars today is to blame.
“We pay a huge number of claims to fix highly complex systems such as the electronic control units at the heart of modern cars. 
“Often problematic to put right, owners can end up visiting expensive franchised dealers to fix faults.”
Just under a third of drivers who own the opulent Peugeot 607 pay for electrical glitches, possibly due to its well appointed cabin and relatively luxurious specification. 
BMW’s Z4, with its clever electric folding roof, is third, followed by another Renault and a brace of Audis and Land Rovers. The quirky Smart Roadster and A4 Convertible complete the rundown with around a quarter incurring problems with their electrics.
According to Warranty Direct, nearly four in 10 vehicles will develop a mechanical failure during any 12-month period. However, the figure varies dramatically depending on the make and model.
Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit, or go to for a quote.