DAB radio character shortage

The consumer’s issue:

“Shortly after buying my car, I noticed that text was not displaying correctly on the DAB radio, due to there being a shortage of characters. The car has been to two different businesses on numerous occasions to try to fix the issue, but no solution has been found. I have also been dealing with the customer relations department at the vehicle manufacturer who have kept saying that the car is working “as per its design intent”. Wanting to find a satisfactory solution to this problem, I decided to e-mail the manufacturer’s CEO directly as I was getting nowhere. However, this was also in vain.

Any help or advice that you can give will be greatly appreciated, because all I want is for my car radio unit to work correctly. I believe the UK/European specification is to display 128 characters of text and my car displays a maximum of 64. I can spend £50 on a DAB radio from any high street retailer, and it will work correctly, but on a car that costs upwards of £25,000, it does not. Thank you for your help and I hope I have explained my dilemma clearly.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The customer made contact with a complaint about the text on his radio, as it would not show the correct content, such as the name of the artist and song. The consumer felt that it did not have enough characters to do so.
  • This issue was investigated, and various tests were completed as recommended by our technical department. The outcome was that the vehicle was working according to its “design intent”.
  • We provided the customer with the outcome of our investigations, and completed all necessary updates on the vehicle.

The adjudication outcome:

  • It was recognised by The Motor Ombudsman that the vehicle manufacturer was in breach of the New Car Code, as well as UK and EU legislation.
  • The adjudicator made a recommendation for the consumer to be provided with a satellite navigation system within a period of two months that complies with the EU and UK regulations, and that allows the long form text to be displayed (i.e. it is not truncated).
  • The business was also asked to complete a training course on the Consumer Rights Act to familiarise themselves with the law around consumer rights.