The consumer’s issue:
“In October 2021, I purchased a used luxury ’64-plate 4×4 and a one-year extended warranty policy. Two months later, and after more than 100,000 miles on the clock, my car suffered a mechanical breakdown. This was in relation to a failure of the gear lever, which I believed to be covered under the warranty policy.
As an extended warranty policyholder, I contacted the warranty administrator in order to report the breakdown, After following the claims procedure, and sending through all the necessary information that was requested, the claim was declined on the basis that the component affected was not listed on the policy. I appealed this decision, as I disagreed with this assessment, but they chose not to overturn it.
As a resolution to the complaint, I am looking for the warranty to be honoured, and for the full cost of the repair of the gear lever (nearly £1,100) to be covered.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We received notification from the policyholder of the fault they had experienced with the vehicle and recommended that they had it recovered to a garage for investigation and to assess the claim.
- We reviewed the information requested from the repairing garage, and the diagnostic report indicated that the fault was attributed to a gear shift control module and not the gear lever, which was covered under the consumer’s listed components policy.
- We therefore informed the customer that this was the case and, that as a result, we would not be able to approve their claim under the terms of the warranty.
- The consumer appealed this decision, and kept calling our business trying to persuade different members of staff that his position was correct and that we should approve the claim.
- Unfortunately, we were unable to assist the customer further on this occasion.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator reviewed the complaint and the accompanying documentation, and pointed out in their decision that the evidential burden was on the complainant to demonstrate that the fault with the gear shift control module was covered within the terms of the warranty agreement, and that cost of the repair should sit with the administrators of the policy.
- The adjudicator acknowledged the presence of the fault with the gear shift control module, but indicated that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that this component was listed as being covered.
- As a result, the adjudicator did not uphold the complaint as there was no demonstration of a breach of the Vehicle Warranty Products Code by the business.
- As such, the warranty administrator was not obliged cover the cost of the repair of the gear shift control module.
- The business agreed with the adjudication outcome, but the consumer did not respond or provide any additional evidence in support of their complaint.
- Due to The Motor Ombudsman not receiving a response from the consumer within the required timeframe, the adjudicator proceeded to close the case.