2013 Porsche Cayenne cooling system problems: aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously

Aluminium Cooling Pipe Exploded Spontaneously


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
11,400 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace pipe (1 reports)
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2013 Porsche Cayenne cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2013 Porsche Cayenne Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 032014

Cayenne Diesel V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,352 miles


click to see larger images

aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously aluminium cooling pipe exploded spontaneously

I write to you to assist. I purchased my brand new Porsche Cayenne Diesel in April 2013. On the 3rd of April 2014, I smelt something burning for about 20 minutes then as I was driving towards a robot in traffic at about 10 km an hour; I heard a loud explosion. The car adjacent to me on the passenger side told me that something exploded under my car and now there was water gushing out from under the left front passenger side of the car. I smelt burning. I stopped on the side of the road, there was no object or anything under the car on the road where the explosion occurred. I was 300 meters away from my home so drove slowly to park the car into my bay. The warning light that came on was "check coolant level".

I called the Porsche road assist number to be assisted on the next day. I spoke to Mr Martin. I told him that the car seem to have "? Overheated, then something exploded and now water leaking from left side of undercarriage" . He advised that I should not drive the car and took the details of the car and said that he would send out someone. I did tell him that the car is parked in my bay at home. At about 13h30, a truck arrived from Porsche to fetch my car. I was advised by the driver, Mr Brian,that he was told to fetch the car and the towing was covered fully because my car is on a motor drive plan and that there was no cost as this car is 1 year old. He did not do any assessment on the vehicle as he was instructed to just tow the vehicle. I asked him as to why someone didn't come out to assess the car. He said that, that is the usual protocol but he was told to just tow the car and that I should not be worried as the motor plan will cover the towing. He further asked as to whether a courtesy car was arranged as this should have been arranged as the car is still new and within 1 year of purchase. Whilst waiting, he called the Porsche center and spoke to Mr Dian twice confirming a courtesy car at no cost. Mr Dian reassured him that the car would not be at further cost as the car is new and still on the drive plan.

On arrival at the Porsche center JHB,which is about 20km from my house, there wasn't anyone from service to help. I was issued with keys for a Lexus Courtesy car by Mr Brian (the gentleman that towed the vehicle). He said that the vehicle will be assessed and someone would call me later that afternoon.

I was rather disappointed that none of the service staff were available to receive my car and advise me.At about 16h30, a lady called me from Porsche to tell me that she will be informing me about the process and when the car will be assessed by the workshop etc. she said that the vehicle may only be assessed on 7 April but she will keep me informed. I asked her if there was a charge for the courtesy car and she reassured me that there was no cost as I am on a drive plan.

On 5th April, I received a call from Mr Robert. He said that he is not looking after my car, but just calling to inform me that I will now be charged for the courtesy car and towing as he feels that I "bumped an object with my car and damaged the water pipe". I explained to him that there was an explosion under the car and reiterated the sequence of events. He replied by saying "Oh yes,but you drive a Cayenne and it's quite a high car so that's unlikely but I will go and check again and call you back". I told him that if I had bumped something to have cause such an impact to break an aluminum pipe, surely my tire or bumper or undercarriage would be damaged? I told him I will come through to Porsche right away.

When I arrived , I was shown the damage. The water pipe was broken and the "plastic" in that area was eroded. The undercarriage was spotless, no signs of other damage. There was no evidence of an object having damaged the car. From my view, this appeared to be a pipe that exploded. Mr Dian was called and he was adamant that I had bumped this car. There is no damage except for this water pipe and the burnt plastic cover. He said that I should now pay for towing as he believes that the car was in an accident and I should get insurance to pay. He also said that I should pay for the courtesy car. I told him what I was advised and how do you go back on your word and now charge for this. I also told him that it was unfair to pay for towing when the car was parked at my home and no one was sent to assess first. He said that I shouldn't "expect his staff to look under the car" and that Porsche's "never catch on fire ". I did make him aware that I am a gynecologist on call this weekend and to know tell me on a Saturday morning that I must pay for a courtesy car, had I known this, I would have made appropriate arrangements. He then said I may use the car till Monday. I gave him the keys as now I had lost all trust in this dealership and its staff. They would probably come up with a new story on the Monday to make me pay for the car. I also told him that had I known that I would have to pay for towing, I would have contacted my AA road side assist of which I am a member. They didn't follow protocol . Please can you assist. I did not bump this car, the water pipe exploded. I have only done 18260km. The manager is adamant and the customer relation has been destroyed by dishonesty.

I was very disappointed previously as well. I took this car for a service in February 2014 and was told all was well with the car except that the tire pressure of one of the tires was 1bar. After fetching the car from the service, I rechecked the tire pressure and there was a bolt in the tire. So much for a safety check and service by a leading brand. I am so disappointed. I have asked Porsche JHB not to do any work on the vehicle until a full investigation is done. They can not make assumptions and dismiss what I have explained.

I still don't understand how a Cayenne SUV that has not even been off road sustains this kind of damage. Mr Dian said that the loud noise was from something I bumped on the road and that an explosion was impossible. Mr Len(senior service dept manager) have explained that the sound was from the gasket with gas and water that I may have heard as the explosion and that I may not have heard anything when I supposedly hit something on the road.

This car is supposed to be capable for off road driving but seems to get damaged so easily with normal driving conditions. I suspect that the initial aluminum pipe was defective and hence these issues. I am not convinced of the explanation. it really is not about me trying to make Porsche cover for these expenses, it's about principles and a possible defect in the car.the managers have been encouraging me to "make this an accident claim".

I have included pictures of initial assessment. Porsche then failed to communicate with me until I went to them on the 22 April to find out a way forward. I was then just presented with a report that they got from an assessor they chose. If you read the report, it is biased and contradictory. It's as though they were coerced. the damages in the pictures are different from my pictures. The pipe seems to have been damaged further from their pictures which was not the case from the initial assessment. There is no way that the pipe was damaged from an object on the road, without having damaging a bumper which is much lower and softer than the pipe. For a pipe to break into half, surely there should be more damage. This is a defect that was present and now Porsche wants to make this an insurance claim. please note that previous Cayenne models had defective coolant systems and the aluminum used now is a recent innovation.

Porsche is aware that if coolant leaks it damages the engine and hence they don't want to accept responsibility. I suspect foul play on Porsche's side. please assist. This car was not in an accident. the after sales service from Porsche Johannesburg is shocking! They have a no care attitude. For such a leading brand, an SUV that is so timid and easily falls apart should not be sold or manufactured.

- hassim, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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