The consumer’s issue:
“I bought a car before it was three years old, and it was still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Following the purchase, the tyre pressure monitoring system showed a tyre had low pressure, so I took the car to an authorised retailer a few days before the warranty expired and they simply re-inflated the tyres without investigating the cause of the deflation.
A short time later, the tyre once again had low pressure, so I took the car to a tyre specialist who diagnosed the fault to be corrosion of the alloy wheel around the valve hole, which meant that the valve could not seal properly.
I therefore contacted the vehicle manufacturer about the issue, but they rejected my claim. I would like the car to be repaired at no cost under the warranty since I informed them of the symptoms of the fault within the warranty period.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The customer claims to have visited the dealer days before the warranty expired, but there is no log on the dealership’s system for this alleged visit.
- Also after speaking to the dealer, they felt that the issue appears to have been neglected. The valves had corroded and had been left to the extent where it then affected the alloys too.
- The vehicle is outside of warranty and the fault is not a manufacturing defect, but is consequential damage from the valve.
- We maintain our position not to cover the replacement of the alloys on the basis that the fault wasn’t logged within the warranty period, and when reviewing this case for the award of goodwill, the customer didn’t meet our criteria for financial assistance.
The adjudication outcome:
- Under the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty, an OEM must repair production defects free of charge until the warranty elapses. That is their only contractual obligation to the consumer.
- Once the warranty ends, their liability under the agreement ends.
- A manufacturer is not responsible for the actions of a separate and independent business if they have caused a consumer to lose the opportunity to have their vehicle repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty.
- The adjudicator did not upheld the consumer’s claim and they recommended that they liaise with the diagnosing dealership if they believe that it had failed to use reasonable care and skill in the service provided. Alternatively, they were informed that they could speak to their selling retailer if they deem the vehicle which they were sold not to be of satisfactory quality.
- The customer and accredited business accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator and the case was closed.