The consumer’s issue:
“I purchased a new ’15-plate hatchback from a dealership in November 2015. After the car had covered 100,000 miles, I was told that I had to have a battery health check completed every 10,000 miles to keep the warranty valid. I had a service and battery health check at 118,000 miles, and I was looking to book a service in around 130,000 miles. However, in March 2019, with just over 130,000 miles on the clock, the hybrid battery failed.
I took it to the business to have it repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty, but they said the car had missed the 130,000-mile service and battery health check, so they wouldn’t repair the fault.
However, the issue should have been covered under the warranty, because the dealership didn’t inform me that, by having the car serviced early at 118,000 miles, that the next service would be due at 128,000 miles rather than at 130,000. I also tried to book my car in with them, but because they were so busy, I struggled to find a convenient slot. If my vehicle had been booked in earlier, I wouldn’t have gone over the 128,000-mile limit.
I do not accept that the battery failed due to deterioration or wear and tear because only one cell is faulty. Additionally, the fault with the car should have been identified during the previous service when the car would have still been under the warranty.
As a resolution to my complaint, I am looking for the manufacturer to provide a full refund for the cost of the repair (equating to £1,204.90), so that I am not left out of pocket.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We rejected the warranty claim because the consumer failed to service the car within the necessary timescales.
- Additionally, the customer cancelled appointments at the dealership due to work commitments. If they had not done this, the car would have been serviced within the required intervals.
- Although the consumer did not service the car as per the recommended guidelines, we take great pride in the reliability of our vehicles and, given that this vehicle is serviced regularly, albeit not always within the required timescales, we would be happy to make a goodwill payment of £400 to support the vehicle owner with the cost of the repairs.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator found that the service history of the car demonstrated that the consumer was aware of the need to service the car every 10,000 miles. This is because the vehicle had been serviced 12 times, in three years, in order to keep the warranty valid.
- The adjudicator stated that, if a consumer’s preferred dealership does not have a convenient appointment slot, then they are expected to have the car serviced at an alternative dealership rather than going above the service interval.
- It was also stated that, since the consumer had failed to service the car within the required interval, and there was no evidence to support that the fault was caused by a build defect, the manufacturer did not have an obligation to cover the repair costs under warranty.
- Therefore, the complaint could not be upheld in the consumer’s favour, and the adjudicator recommended the customer accepted the goodwill offer made by the manufacturer of £400 as a contribution to the cost of the repairs.
- Neither party responded to the adjudication outcome, so the case was closed.