Spotted a crack or condensation in one of your rear lights on your MK3 SEAT Leon?
If you have, then there's a good chances you're one of the many people who have encountered the poor manufacturing quality from SEAT.
I first spotted a very small crack forming inside the rear light assembly whilst washing my car. It didn't look that bad and I just assumed it was nothing to worry about. Unfortunately the crack expanded over the space of about a week and it spread to quite a significant size.
Eventually the crack led to the outside and let condensation in.
I was initially baffled to what had caused this crack. There was no evidence at all of an external impact. The whole lighting fixture was smooth on the outside and there was no other damage on the car. The car had also been sat on a drive most of the week and had only been parked in a private parking bay whilst at work.
So off to Google and social media I went... and it didn't take me very long to discover that I wasn't alone. I must have seen about 20 individuals commenting about having this same issue, in the same place on the same model.
After a bit more hunting about it became evident that this was a manufacturing/quality control issue. Many forum posts cited dealerships telling them that the issue is caused by the over-tightening of the bolts during assembly. The increased pressure on the light assembly combined with vibrations from driving obviously seems to cause stress which leads to the crack forming.
Can you get it fixed under warranty?
Yes... in short; however I did have to mess about with an unhelpful dealership first.
There were many reports that I saw which suggested that dealerships and SEAT know full well that this is an issue. Unfortunately the person who looked at my car in the dealership was adamant that I had caused the damage and that I'd have to pay for it. This was still even the case after I explained that it's a very common issue and it is known to SEAT. The person I spoke to even mentioned that the over-tightening of the bolts can cause it. They then went onto suggest that I'd had the light fixture out, or that someone who owned the car first did; which is funny because they sold the car to me as the previous owners. I was quoted around £180 to have the unit replaced, I then left the awful dealership and contacted SEAT directly.
I contacted SEAT directly and I also sent them some photos of the cracked light. After a few email exchanges and phone calls with SEAT, they finally agreed to fix the issue. The dealership then called me and fixed it.
The moral of the story is; don't get fobbed of my dealerships!
How to get your light fixed under warranty
Speak to your dealership and if they're not aware of the issue tell them about the mass amount of evidence of this issue on the internet. You may also find the gallery at the bottom of this page useful as it contains photos of this issue from people around the world.
If you don't get anywhere with the dealership contact SEAT directly. If you're in the UK please see the details below.
How to contact SEAT UK directly
SEAT UK, which is just a trading name of Volkswagen Group UK Limited, can be contacted by calling or emailing the following:
Telephone: 0500 222 222
Photo gallery of cracked SEAT Leon MK3 (5F) Lights with condensation