So here’s a nice little tale of people power to make you feel better about the world on a frosty Friday. A chap I know with a 5700-mile-old Polo GTi was told by his dealer that his brake discs, which had gone wonky and were juddering badly after just 11 months, were ‘consumable items’ and were therefore not covered under warranty.

So this chap writes to VW in Germany and to the company’s UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, merely asking for clarification that this is so. And to begin with not a lot happens.

Although the people at the dealership appear to be ‘firm but fair’ in the attitude, they won’t budge an inch to begin with, informing my friend that items such as these are covered only for the first six months. A bill of over £250 looks likely at this point.

And then a few days later VW’s UK customer service department gets in touch, saying that they’ve instructed the dealer to replace whatever parts need replacing free of charge.

They also express disappointment that the dealer hasn’t been more supportive in the first place – because the dealer, apparently, is flat wrong; even though discs and pads ARE classed as consumables, they’re covered by VW’s warranty for 12 months, not six as my friend had been told.

And in any case, said VW’s customer service dept, ‘resolution of the problem should have been looked at favourably given the low mileage of the car (5700) even if the 12-month period had been breached'.

So there you go. My friend now says his faith in VW has been ‘restored to some extent’ – although the experience has still left a slightly sour taste on his palate. Understandably.

Conclusion: don’t take no for an answer. And if in doubt, speak to the people who matter, the ones at headquarters, if something doesn’t feel quite right.