The consumer’s issue:
“I purchased a used ‘15-plate hatchback in March 2019, as well as a 12-month extended warranty. Shortly after buying the car, a rattling noise was happening while changing gears, and the engine eventually would cut out.
I called the warranty provider to register a claim, and I was advised to take the vehicle to a garage for investigation. The business identified the fault to be a failed dual mass flywheel and the vehicle was undrivable. The warranty provider initially said they would cover the claim, but they then reversed their decision and refused to pay for the repairs.
In order to resolve the complaint, I would like the warranty provider to cover the full cost of the claim. The terms of the warranty state that all mechanical and electrical parts are covered if the fault is due to a sudden stoppage of its function, which is exactly what happened.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The consumer contacted us on 19 June 2019 to report a possible gearbox failure. Our claims handler advised of our claims procedure and asked for the repairer to call us once they had diagnosed the cause of the failure.
- The repairer submitted a claim on 21 June 2019 via our online portal for a failed flywheel and clutch assembly. They confirmed the flywheel failure was due to excessive wear and deterioration, which in turn caused damage to the clutch assembly.
- There was no evidence of sudden mechanical failure, so we declined the claim in accordance with the terms of the warranty.
- Having reviewed all the information and the diagnosis report, we maintain that our decision to decline the consumer’s claim is correct.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator reviewed the evidence and found that, whilst the flywheel and clutch assembly had suffered from a fault, it did not demonstrate that the cause was due to a sudden and unexpected mechanical breakdown.
- The evidence, including the report from the garage, showed that the flywheel had suffered excessive wear, which was not covered under the terms and conditions of the warranty.
- Having reviewed all the information from both parties, the adjudicator did not find a breach of our Vehicle Warranty Code. Therefore, the complaint could not be upheld in the consumer’s favour.
- The adjudicator advised the customer that they could contact the selling dealership to see whether they would be willing to assist, if they deemed the fault to have been present at the time of purchase of the vehicle.
- Neither party responded to the adjudication outcome, and the case was closed.