Burnt out clutch repair

The consumer’s issue:

“I bought my car in 2014. However, in 2018, and after 30,000 miles, the clutch was already burnt out. I believe this is completely unacceptable, but the seller doesn’t want to repair the faulty car they sold me. I asked them for their complaints procedure, but they never sent it to me.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The car arrived at our dealership four years after purchase, with the customer complaining of a sticking and slipping clutch.
  • After inspecting the vehicle, we found the clutch master cylinder leaking, the clutch pedal excessively high and the clutch was slipping.
  • The vehicle therefore needs a new clutch and flywheel due to clutch burn out and excessive play in the flywheel, which are both the result of the driving behaviour of the customer.
  • The fault is not due to a manufacturing defect or an inherent problem. As a result, we won’t be looking to repair it.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The evidence provided to The Motor Ombudsman did not demonstrate that the problem with the clutch was an inherent fault present at the point of sale. This meant that the adjudicator could not hold the seller liable for covering the cost of the repairs.
  • Nevertheless, the adjudicator found that the business had failed to provide their complaints procedure when the customer requested this.
  • This was found to be a breach of The Motor Ombudsman’s Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Sales, and the business was directed to apologise to the customer.


  • Neither party requested an appeal of the adjudication outcome, and the case was closed.