Corroded oil cooler

The consumer’s issue:

“I bought my car within the manufacturer’s warranty period, and then had the policy extended. The vehicle has had many problems, but the most persistent is with the oil system. The latest diagnosis is that the oil cooler requires replacement, but, because it has corroded, the claim isn’t being accepted by the extended warranty provider. I believe that this issue should be covered and I am looking for them to reimburse the £461.31 I paid for the repair.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • Under the terms and conditions of the warranty, corrosion is not covered, and as the consumer agreed to those terms when buying the policy, there is no reimbursement due.
  • Additionally, the manufacturer covered the cost of the diagnosis which we think is reasonable in the circumstances.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The adjudicator concluded that there was no breach of the Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products.
  • The extended warranty had exclusions, and these were made clear in the terms and conditions which showed that failures due to corrosion would not be covered by the extended warranty.
  • The adjudicator noted that concerns over the car having an underlying issue would need to be referred to the seller, as they are liable for the quality of the car, or possibly, they could hold the repairer liable for failing to repair the car sooner.
  • The consumer was unhappy with this position so they asked for the case to be referred to the ombudsman.

The ombudsman’s final decision:

  • The ombudsman agreed with the adjudicator that no breach of the Vehicle Warranty Products Code had occurred. The policy clearly excluded corrosion-related failures and all parties agreed corrosion was the cause, so the extended warranty provider did not need to pay.
  • She also explained that the OEM no longer had any liability as the manufacturer’s warranty had expired some time ago.
  • If the consumer wanted to pursue this further, it would need to be against the seller subject to demonstrating that the fault was present at the point of delivery.