Bubbling paintwork claim

The consumer’s issue:

“I’ve notice bubbling of the paint, both on the tailgate and the front wings of the car. I have had the vehicle looked into by a franchised bodyshop repairer, which took pictures and recorded the paint depth. My car is 11 years old, and I’ve been told that this defect isn’t covered under the 12-year anti-perforation warranty. I know many people who have had similar problems, and their repairs were covered under the warranty agreement. I’d therefore like the vehicle manufacturer to honour the claim and cover the cost of the repairs.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The 12-year body protection (anti-perforation) warranty only covers “through corrosion”, where the metal itself rusts from the inside out.
  • The defects the consumer is complaining about are symptoms of “edge and fold” corrosion, and these were only covered for up to three years from new.
  • As the faults aren’t covered under warranty, no goodwill is available. Therefore, we are unable to cover the cost of repairs.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The adjudicator didn’t uphold the complaint. He said there was no evidence of through corrosion, and the manufacturer had no obligation to cover the repairs.
  • The adjudicator offered the consumer the opportunity to have an independent inspection of the fault.
  • However, the consumer disagreed with the outcome, and asked for an ombudsman to look into the complaint.

The ombudsman’s final decision:

  • The ombudsman agreed with the adjudicator’s assessment of not upholding the consumer’s complaint.
  • She said for the repairs to be covered, the corrosion must have started from within the metal panel, and developed outside and externally.
  • The ombudsman found that any corrosion arising because of a paint defect or some other external influence, wasn’t covered by the anti-perforation warranty, meaning that the manufacturer did not have to complete repairs.
  • The ombudsman also said that she was unable to comment on the outcome of other individual complaints. This is because each case is looked into separately and decided on their own merit.
  • The ombudsman said that, any goodwill offered by the manufacturer was at their sole discretion, and is not something that the ombudsman could enforce.