DSG gearbox failure

The consumer’s issue:

“My automatic DSG gearbox stopped working due to swarf and an electronic failure of the gear adjuster. A replacement gearbox was required and I was only supplied with a partial contribution from the vehicle manufacturer. I feel that my legal rights entitle me to claim my costs from the retailer, as the gearbox originally fitted to my car was not fit for purpose.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • Looking at the history of the car, it has not been back to us for any work, including for servicing, since the purchase. It has also not been serviced by another Centre belonging to the manufacturer.
  • Nor did we have an opportunity to look into the gearbox to investigate the cause and see if the problem was due to a fault, or was caused by wear and tear, at the time that it failed.
  • The car was taken to another dealership who liaised with the manufacturer who agreed as a gesture of goodwill to offer the customer a contribution of the full cost of the parts for the repair and to pay 30% of the cost of labour to rectify the issue.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator noted that the DSG gearbox requires a change in the oil to prevent any friction that could lead to component failure.
  • The adjudicator reviewed the technical submissions from both parties and ascertained that the cause of failure appears to have been from oil which had on balance caused the breakup of the failed component, which subsequently caused the failure in question.
  • It was therefore not reasonable to award a further contribution from the retailer in addition to what had already been offered in goodwill by the manufacturer.


  • The consumer requested an extension to consider whether to challenge the merits of the decision and the technical information used to make it.