ABS modulator repair

The consumer’s issue:

“My car required a new or the repair of my ABS modulator. The dealership gave me a quote for £1,500 for a new part, but they also told me that the part could potentially be mended which would be cheaper. I went with the latter option, but when I received my invoice, I found that I had been charged for 3.5 hours of labour rather than the 1.2 hours noted on the quotation. I don’t think I should have paid this much and I would like a refund of £227.70 which is the difference between the two labour prices.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The quotation we gave was for a brand new part.
  • We then suggested that an overhaul or exchange unit could be cheaper and quoted £775 for this.
  • The consumer agreed and the work proceeded with the repair of the existing part.
  • With the labour, this was increased when overhauling the part because it had to be stripped and rebuilt again so it took more labour time to carry out the repair.
  • In summary, the price quoted was the price paid by the consumer.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator didn’t uphold the customer’s complaint.
  • This was because there was no evidence that the accredited business had overcharged for the work undertaken, and it looked like their quotation matched the price that had been paid which is in accordance with the Code of Practice for Service and Repair.
  • The consumer disagreed, as he believed the quotation should have matched the original one given, and asked for a final decision from the ombudsman.

The ombudsman’s final decision:

  • The ombudsman agreed with the adjudicator.
  • Had the consumer asked for a brand new part to be fitted, and then been charged 3.5 hours of labour instead of the quoted 1.2, there may be cause for concern here.
  • However, the work didn’t go ahead and the consumer had a completely different repair undertaken.
  • The explanation given by the accredited business for the increased labour time was plausible in the circumstance, and as such, no award was made.


  • There was no evidence of a breach of the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair, and therefore, the consumer was not entitled to a refund for the difference in the two labour prices.