Heating and air con claim

The consumer’s issue:

“In November 2021, I purchased a 24-month extended warranty agreement for my used 63-plate diesel SUV that I had bought privately a month earlier. At the start of the policy, the vehicle’s mileage was just under 90,000 but, in January 2022, I noticed that the air conditioning had stopped working, and the central locking system was defective, as the front passenger door was not opening from the outside.

I made a claim on the policy to have these parts repaired under the warranty. However, this was declined, as the policy provider said that I had failed to have the vehicle attended to by a rescue operator at the roadside, so these components would not be covered under the warranty, despite being listed parts. I didn’t have the car recovered, as it was not undriveable, and was not unsafe to drive.

I explained this to the warranty provider and challenged their decision, but they were still not willing to authorise the repair work, as the vehicle was not seen at the roadside. An offer of a 25% discount for upgrading to a full plan was made, but I did not think was acceptable. A final offer was presented for immediate cancellation and refund in full and final settlement, but I declined this also.

As a resolution to my complaint, I am looking for the business to honour their warranty and provide full cover of the cost of the repairs to the air conditioning and central locking system, which amount to £766.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • Before the inception of the policy, the consumer was provided with quotations for products that best matched the age and mileage of the vehicle. Following this, our sales agent contacted the consumer to discuss the agreement in greater detail.
  • As the consumer had not decided to purchase the full policy, a cheaper alternative was offered.
  • Our sales advisor explained to the consumer that the lower cost warranty required the vehicle to be recovered back into the garage in the event of failure. We also offered them 18 months for the price of 12 in line with a promotion that we were running at the time.
  • The consumer acknowledged the terms and a quotation for the plan was provided.
  • The following day, during a phone call with the consumer, our sales advisor further explained the differences between the full policy and the discounted one, and emphasised once again that, for the latter agreement, the vehicle needed to be recovered back to a garage by the consumer in the event of failure for the claim to be covered.
  • The discounted policy, which was half the price of the full equivalent, was accepted by the consumer after they had read the terms and conditions, and the plan started in November 2021.
  • In January 2022, the customer called our repairs team, and reported a fault with the heating and central locking systems. An estimate was then provided by a garage to repair the vehicle at a cost of £766.
  • As we learned that the consumer had driven their vehicle into the workshop and was not recovered, the claim was consequently declined.
  • The consumer did not agree with our decision and explained that the policy had been mis-sold to them, and wrote to our CEO.
  • We used our discretionary part of the plan purchase by the consumer to offer them the opportunity to upgrade to the full policy with a 25% discount off the price. An additional offer was also made by our CEO to allow them to cancel their policy and to obtain a full refund of the premium paid. However, both the offers were declined.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The adjudicator remarked that the consumer had the evidential burden of showing that the faults reported with their vehicle were covered under the terms of their warranty policy.
  • They also explained that the warranty provider was only required to cover the costs of repair when a listed component suffers from a failure and the vehicle is recovered back to a garage and is not driven.
  • After reading the terms and conditions of the warranty, and having listened to the phone calls between the consumer and the sales advisor, the adjudicator confirmed that the claim had been declined correctly, as the evidence showed that the consumer had driven to the garage.
  • The consumer, upon their request for further information, and an explanation of the difference between the policies, was informed that the vehicle needed to be recovered at the roadside as a correct claims procedure.
  • Therefore, the Vehicle Warranty Product Code had not been breached by the business, and the case was not upheld in the consumer’s favour due to them not following the terms of the policy.


  • As the consumer did not respond within the 10-day working period provided, the case was closed.