Faulty fuel filter

The consumer’s issue:

“I took my car in for a service, and shortly after, fuel was leaking from the vehicle. I called my emergency breakdown provider, and they concluded that the service had not been completed correctly and the fuel filter was to blame. I therefore want my money back for the service, and to be reimbursed for the costs I incurred to rectify the issue.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • When the issue occurred, we had already agreed to a full refund for the work that was carried out.
  • A cheque will be raised and sent to the consumer, and as a goodwill gesture, this will be for the sum of £199.
  • This is equivalent to the total invoice value of the service that was carried out, and is not just a refund of the cost of the fuel filter and labour.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator noted that the evidence clearly showed that the cause of the loss of fuel was due to ill-fitting of the fuel filter which was replaced at the recent service.
  • The remedy under the Code and the law was clear on this point – if the business fails to meet its obligations under either, the consumer may be entitled to a repeat performance of the service or a refund of up to 100% of the invoice value. There were also other considerations in this case to take into account, such as when the consumer incurs costs that may also be claimed for.
  • The adjudicator therefore determined that, under the circumstances, the consumer’s rights in terms of the law were, for either a reduction in the cost of the service which had been incorrectly carried out (i.e. up to 100% of the value) or to be reimbursed for costs that the consumer incurred, usually whichever is the greater.
  • After reviewing the facts of the case, and based on the above, the correct remedy in law would have been to reimburse the customer £199 for the service, or £235.33, whichever was greater.
  • As the consumer had already been reimbursed for the sum of £199, the adjudicator awarded a further cheque for the remaining £36.33.


  • Both parties accepted the adjudication outcome and the case was closed.