Corrosion and coolant contamination

The consumer’s issue:

“I purchased a vehicle where the dealership had welded the rear exhaust brackets to repair a corrosion problem. However, 1 year and 11 months later after buying a car, there is still evidence of corrosion, and is therefore not an adequate repair. The dealership states that the corrosion is a wear and tear issue because of how long I have owned the car.

Additionally, there is a problem with the coolant bottle. The dealership is offering to flush and change the coolant, and they have said that this needs to be done every 4 years. However, I believe that flushing the system and changing the coolant will not solve the problem as there seems to be oil contamination in the coolant bottle which may have been caused by the head gasket.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The vehicle has covered over 7,000 miles since it was bought by the customer.
  • The consumer has failed to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s servicing schedule, as well as the extended warranty terms and conditions.
  • Previous offers by us to investigate the issue further and to contribute towards the cost of repairs have been rejected by the customer.
  • There was a repair carried out to the exhaust bracket prior to the sale, but there was no evidence of corrosion.
  • The main corrosion on the exhaust was on the other side from where the bracket had been welded.
  • There was also no coolant bottle contamination when the car was sold.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The evidence reviewed by the adjudicator did not show that the exhaust was corroding at the point of sale, and he was therefore unable to uphold this part of the customer’s complaint.
  • Since neither party had reached a conclusion on the cause of failure of the coolant bottle, and that both parties believe it required further investigation, the adjudicator did not hold the business responsible for the cause of the contamination, because this was unknown.
  • The adjudicator put forward the business’s offer to the customer to inspect the car at no charge to them in order to determine the cause of failure, whilst also providing a goodwill contribution towards the cost of the repairs.


  • The customer accepted the remedy suggested by the business and the case was closed.