Faulty fuel gauge

The consumer’s issue:

“My fuel gauge was not working, so I took the car to my local dealer for the problem to be fixed. It was at the business for three days, but the repair didn’t fix the issue. Later, I had a new fuel sensor, and then a new dashboard fitted, but this didn’t solve the issue either. I spoke to three managers at the business, and they said they’d never seen anything like this. I am therefore looking for a new car that I can depend on.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • Since selling the vehicle to the consumer in September 2017, we have not received any opportunity to inspect it with regards to the issues raised. We did however have a telephone conversation with the consumer in August 2018 where they made us aware of the fuel issue.
  • We offered the consumer the chance to visit us so that we could look at the vehicle, but the customer decided to go to a garage more local to them.
  • We also gave the consumer the opportunity to take their vehicle to a local manufacturer approved garage in Carlisle, which the consumer accepted.
  • The manufacturer’s technical team dictated the nature of the repair, and we understand that the main components that govern the fuel gauge operation were replaced and recalibrated.
  • The car was released back to the consumer, and no further complaints have been raised.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator noted that the seller had not previously been given their chance to see or repair the vehicle, as the Code of Practice and legislation allows.
  • The consumer had also not advised the business of the issue prior to requesting a new vehicle.
  • The adjudicator felt it reasonable to allow the business to have the vehicle inspected so that they could consider how to best exercise their one shot at repair, or to consider whether replacement or a reduction in price was a more suitable option prior to rejection.
  • Following this, a repair was carried out that resolved the underlying issues with the vehicle.
  • However, the adjudicator noted that further costs had been incurred by the consumer that the retailer had not considered or made reference to.
  • As the costs were found to be in relation to inherent issues that were repaired, they were also awarded back to the consumer in full.


  • Both parties accepted the adjudication outcome, and the costs were repaid to the customer as agreed, alongside carrying out the repair.