Installation of customer-sourced parts

The consumer’s issue:

I took my vehicle to the garage to replace my thermostat and alternator. I provided the parts as I managed to get them at a good price. Following on from the repair, the vehicle failed to start. I lost faith in the dealership and so I took it to my local dealership, and I was upset to be told that the fault was due to the incorrect installation of the alternator by the first business.”  

The accredited business’ response:

  • We stand by our workmanship, and we advised the customer that the parts she wanted us to fit were not of good quality. We told her that it wouldn’t cure the fault.
  • She insisted that we carry out the repair, and we followed her instructions. Therefore, there was really was nothing more we could do as the faults were the result of the bad quality parts supplied.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The case was assessed by The Motor Ombudsman in line with the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair, and the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (as a guide).
  • The adjudicator considered all of the information provided, and it appeared that the invoice from the second garage confirmed that the alternator had been fitted poorly, but did not deem it to have caused any damage. Therefore, they did not uphold the customer’s complaint.
  • Whilst the vehicle owner has protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 for repairs completed without reasonable care and skill, the same law places the burden on to the consumer to demonstrate this.
  • The case was closed, but the customer was given the opportunity to provide further evidence for review by the adjudicator to support her argument.