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Fatally flawed Vax V027 Rapide XL Upright Carpet Cleaner

By John Donovan

My low mileage Vax Rapide XL upright carpet washer has come to the end of its life, not because any working part is broken or worn out, but due solely to the fact that it has a fatal design fault.

The machine is far too heavy for the handle at the top of the machine.

The photograph below shows that the handle in question is completely broken in one place and badly fractured at the top.

I contacted Vax customer service, but was fobbed off on the basis that: –

  • The machine is beyond its one year warranty.
  • For health & safety reasons, Vax will not directly supply a replacement Handle assembly. For some reason Vax has not revealed the cost of the new handle assembly.
  • Because it is over 5 years old, Vax will not carry out an in-house repair and instead, suggests that I find an independent repairer. I have pointed out that the costs involved are likely to make it an uneconomic proposition, even if I do manage to find anyone willing to it.

So it appears that the machine is destined for the skip, even though there is nothing wrong with it, apart from the broken handle, which was never fit for purpose. The machine has always felt miles too heavy – a negative factor featuring prominently in user reviews.

From the pictures I have seen, the defectively designed handle appears unchanged on current Vax Rapide XL machines. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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