The consumer’s issue:
“I bought a new saloon car from a dealership in June 2019. I took delivery of the vehicle and found that the near side of the rear bumper was loose. I complained to the dealer the next day, but they explained that all cars of the same make and model were like this, and it was not a fault. I therefore checked several vehicles of the same type on the forecourt, and found that none of the other bumpers were loose. To resolve this issue, I am looking for the dealership to apologise and repair the bumper, which I estimate will cost £5,000.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We do not agree that there is a fault with the vehicle. The bumper is more flexible on one side, as the exhaust is on the other due to the exhaust brackets. This is how the car is made, and we have explained this to the customer.
- The consumer investigated other vehicles on site when they were at the dealership. However, none of the cars that were looked at were comparable models.
- We are unable to fix the customer’s vehicle, as there is no issue with it.
- We would welcome an independent inspection that compares like-for-like cars, but we are unable to pay for the report in these circumstances.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator remarked that the customer explained that the rear bumper on their car was loose, but did not provide supporting evidence to show this.
- They considered it was more likely than not that the bumper was more flexible on one side to account for the fact that the exhaust brackets were on the other side of the car. There was no evidence provided to suggest this was not the case.
- The information submitted to The Motor Ombudsman therefore did not demonstrate that the vehicle suffered from an inherent fault at the point of sale.
- As a result, the consumer’s complaint was not upheld in their favour, meaning that the business did not have to cover the cost of the repair or apologise.
- Neither party requested an appeal of the outcome, and the case was closed.