The consumer’s issue:
“My 2001-registered vehicle had evidence of corrosion, but this was not picked up by the respective dealerships when they serviced my vehicle. When I made a complaint to the vehicle manufacturer, my claim was rejected as they said that the corrosion was caused by external factors although they did not clarify what these actually were. I have an independent report from DEKRA confirming that the corrosion must have developed due to the manufacturing process.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We have rejected the consumer’s claim due to the corrosion being the result of an external influence.
- When we reviewed the DEKRA report, we advised that repair to the corrosion will not be economical, as the cost would exceed the value of the vehicle.
- However, we are willing to offer the customer a goodwill gesture of £600.
The adjudication outcome:
- The case was considered in-line with the New Car Code, with particular reference drawn to the manufacturer’s commitment about the vehicle being built to a high standard.
- As the supplier of the warranty, the manufacturer is expected to put right any manufacturing defects which have been diagnosed within the stated warranty period.
- The consumer had provided an independent assessment of the vehicle contradicting the information put forward by the manufacturer.
- Therefore, the adjudicator only partially upheld the customer’s complaint.
- This is because the adjudicator did not believe that the repair should be free of charge repair if it exceeds the value of the vehicle, as it would place the consumer in a position of betterment.
- As an outcome, the adjudicator recommended a cost of repair up to the value of the vehicle and the reimbursement of the fee paid for the DEKRA report.
- On a balance of fairness, The Motor Ombudsman could not accept the decline of the warranty claim, but equally, could not accept that the consumer should be placed in a position of betterment. As such, the above remedy was seen as a fair outcome by both parties.