Faulty seat mechanism

The consumer’s issue:

I purchased a vehicle and had to return it to the dealership for an investigation due to a problem with the seat. The dealer subsequently discovered that the seat mechanism had failed. The warranty provider declined my claim for the cost of the repair to be covered by the warranty. The reason for this was because the part that had failed was categorised as trim rather than a mechanical part. I did not agree with this.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • We advised that the rear seat catch is considered as interior trim as it forms part of the makeup of the car’s cabin, which is excluded from the warranty.
  • The policy covers mechanical and electrical failure, and because this isn’t a mechanical part, the cost of the repair will not be covered.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator upheld the consumer’s complaint.
  • This is because trim on a vehicle refers to the items that can be added to the exterior or interior of a vehicle which can increase its appeal.
  • The faulty component has a clear purpose and directly affects the functionality of another component, being the seat.


  • The accredited business accepted the decision and complied in full with The Motor Ombudsman’s recommendation.