Dent during repair

The consumer’s issue:

“I took my car to my local dealership so they could carry out a routine health check. After collecting it the next day, I noticed quite a big dent on the front passenger door, which I knew wasn’t there when I took the car in for the work. I complained to the dealership, and they told me that, because the dent was noted on their job card, it must have happened either before I brought the car to them or whilst it was in their public car park. The business offered to cover 50% of the cost of fixing the dent, but I wasn’t happy with this, and I think they should be taking full liability for the damage. I’m therefore seeking for my car to be repaired at no cost to myself, as well as compensation of £5,000 to cover my additional losses.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • We carried out a bodywork check on receipt of the vehicle, and the dent which the consumer is claiming was caused by us, was clearly marked on the report that it was present at the point of delivery.
  • As a gesture of goodwill, we offered 50% towards the cost of fixing it, but we are not prepared to offer anything further to rectify the issue.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator looked at the evidence presented by both sides and acknowledged that the consumer was passionate about this issue.
  • However, they felt that, as the dent was on the bodywork check undertaken by the dealership, it was most likely there when the car was delivered to them by the customer.
  • As such, they thought it was unlikely that the dealership caused the damage and, consequently, supported the goodwill gesture offered by the business.
  • The consumer did not agree with the adjudication outcome, and asked for a final decision from the ombudsman.

The ombudsman’s final decision:

  • The ombudsman came to the same conclusion as the adjudicator for broadly the same reasons.
  • They appreciated that the consumer felt very strongly about what had happened, but unfortunately the evidence did not support their complaint.
  • The documentation showed that there was a dent on the front passenger’s door when the car was first dropped off at the dealership and, without anything from the consumer to show this was incorrect, the evidence had to stand.
  • While the customer was adamant that the damage was caused by the dealership, on balance, the ombudsman felt that it most likely was not.
  • Therefore, the complaint was not upheld in the consumer’s favour, and the case was closed.