Excess oil filling

The consumer’s issue:

“I purchased a brand-new coupé in November 2019, and a year later, I took the car to a franchise dealership for its first scheduled service. On collection, I immediately noticed that the vehicle was losing power and was not functioning correctly. I therefore returned to the business to investigate the issue, and they conceded that the engine had been overfilled with oil. However, even after the dealership had drained the excess oil from my car, I continued to have the same problems.

To resolve my complaint, I am looking for the dealership to refund the cost of the service, and provide me with an extended warranty in the event that this issue causes me problems in the future, equating to a sum of around £2,000.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The consumer’s vehicle came into us for a service in November 2020, and returned later that month where one litre of oil was drained from the system.
  • The vehicle was visually and electronically checked, and no faults were found relating to the oil level. The only fault was in regard to the fact that the fuel level had been run too low on three recorded occasions as per our documentation.
  • We spoke to the customer, who did not want to bring the vehicle back for us to look into the issue and also did not want to take the car to their local dealership. This gave us no opportunity to investigate the reported faults.
  • In light of what had happened, the consumer was offered 20% off the cost of the next service as a goodwill gesture. We are unable to provide the refund of £2,000 being sought by the vehicle owner.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The consumer had the burden of demonstrating the issues encountered with the vehicle were the result of the workmanship of the dealer. On this occasion, the adjudicator was satisfied that it was likely that a failure to conduct the repairs with reasonable skill and care had caused damage to the engine, meaning this element of the consumer’s complaint was upheld.
  • Whilst the adjudicator appreciated the overfilling of your engine oil may in some situations cause engine damage, unless the damage could be concluded that it was the result of a servicing error, the dealer did not have an obligation to provide an extended warranty.
  • He also explained that, as the dealership had taken action to rectify this shortcoming at no cost to the consumer, as would be expected, no further action was required by the business at this time.


  • Neither party objected to the adjudicator’s findings, and the case was closed.