The consumer’s issue:
“I opened the driver’s door, and when I attempted to shut it, it would not close. I got out of the car and attempted to shut the door and found that the door protector would not retract. After numerous attempts to close the door, the protector separated from the mechanism (undamaged).
I therefore contacted the dealership, and they explained that they were certain that the vehicle manufacturer was “no longer” covering door protectors under warranty. I booked the car in for the business to have a look at it, and I spoke to the vehicle manufacturer’s customer service department the same day to discuss what the dealership had told me and my current problem. They could not offer any immediate solution, and I explained that I could not close the driver’s side passenger door and hence could not drive the car.
After the appointment with the dealership, the servicing department attempted to make a warranty claim on my behalf, but the manufacturer declined it and gave no explanation or justification for doing so. Since logging the case with The Motor Ombudsman, three out of four doors now have the same problem on a car that is still under warranty.
To resolve this issue, I am looking for the manufacturer to acknowledge that there is a defect with the door protector mechanism, to honour the warranty, and to replace the defective parts which have not been damaged due to abuse or misuse.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We have reviewed your case, and can confirm that the door edge protectors are an adjustment / wear and tear item, so are only covered under the warranty for six months or 6,500 miles, whichever one comes first.
- This issue is not deemed to be a manufacturing defect, so we are unable to provide financial support towards the repair. It also occurred outside of the terms of the warranty and therefore we cannot provide any financial support.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator stated that the consumer raised the issue outside of the warranty terms and could therefore not hold the business responsible for covering the cost of the repair.
- Under the New Car Code, a business is only responsible for covering the cost of manufacturing defects within the valid warranty period.
- As a result, whilst the adjudicator could not ask the business to operate outside the terms of the warranty, he was satisfied that the warranty terms had been made clear to the consumer.
- The customer’s complaint was therefore not upheld in their favour.
- The customer and accredited business accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator, and the case was closed.