Gearbox fault from servicing

The consumer’s issue:

“I took my ’11-registration car for a major service in June 2019 and, within two weeks, it had broken down with a gearbox fault. I therefore returned to the garage and they advised that the gearbox had failed, but they would not accept responsibility for its repair. They offered me a goodwill gesture of £250, but only as a reduction on my repair bill with them, rather than being a cash sum. As such, to resolve my complaint, I would like the garage to provide this compensation in cash so I may use it at another business.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • We accept that we completed a major service on the consumer’s car in late June 2019, and that around two weeks later, the car was brought back to us with a gearbox failure.
  • Whilst we are sympathetic to the customer’s situation, the fault was in no way related to the workmanship we provided when we serviced their car.
  • We have made the goodwill gesture in recognition of the consumer’s loyalty to us, and to try and assist them at a difficult time, but this is not an admission of our breach of the Service and Repair Code.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator considered the evidence supplied by both parties and noted that, whilst the service and gearbox fault arose within a short period of each other, there was no evidence to suggest that they were linked.
  • As such, the adjudicator was satisfied that the dealership was not obligated to provide the consumer with any compensation, and that the goodwill offered appeared to be a reasonable gesture in the circumstances.
  • The adjudicator also said that no inference could be drawn from its provision other than that what was expressed by the dealership in its response to the complaint.
  • The adjudicator therefore did not uphold the complaint in the customer’s favour, but recommended that the consumer accepted the gesture of goodwill as a fair resolution to their dispute with the business.


  • Neither party responded to the adjudicator’s decision, and the case was closed.