The consumer’s issue:
“All four alloy wheels on our car are the same age, and all four are showing the same signs of corrosion in exactly the same place. This has been looked at by the dealership who took photographs and referred it to the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty department. The manufacturer then authorised the replacement of three alloy wheels under the warranty, but refused the fourth, due to a scratch, which it argues was the cause of corrosion.
I do not see how the corrosion on this particular alloy wheel can be due to the very slight and faint scratch, and yet the other three, which do not have scratches, also have corrosion in the same place. It doesn’t seem logical. I am therefore seeking for the fourth alloy wheel to be replaced under the warranty.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The consumer contacted our customer care team to advise that the replacement of one of the four wheels had been declined under their warranty.
- Our warranty policy has specific exclusions for surface corrosion on any part other than the sheet metal panels of the exterior body. This is clearly detailed in the warranty booklet supplied with the car and the terms and exclusions on our website.
- The dealership has informed us that three wheels were accepted and one was declined due to a scratch on the wheel which has been caused by an external influence i.e. kerbing.
- Our dealers are fully trained in warranty policies and procedures and did not deem it necessary to liaise with our in-house warranty department due to visible damage on the wheel.
- The customer was offered the option of a refurbished wheel at a subsidised cost.
- Although we feel the correct policy has been applied under the terms of our warranty, we are happy to honour the above offer.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator partially upheld the complaint.
- The adjudicator agreed with the vehicle manufacturer that the scratch was an external influence. However, they did not agree that all the corrosion could be attributed to the scratch.
- This was because it was evident that the fourth wheel was suffering from the same defect as the other three wheels.
- The adjudicator recommended that the customer should pay for 10% of the cost of the refurbished wheel to take into account the scratch, and the manufacturer should cover the remainder of the cost.
- The consumer and manufacturer accepted the decision made by the adjudicator and the business offered to cover the full cost of the refurbished wheel.