Low oil levels

The consumer’s issue:

“I purchased a vehicle from the business, and I have had issues with the engine warning light and oil levels in the vehicle. I have communicated to the business my lack of confidence in the reliability of the car, as the oil levels keep nearing the ‘X’ on the dipstick. I believe I was mis-sold the vehicle, as I only do small journeys and low mileage. I am unhappy, as I cannot be expected to do an oil and filter change every 1,000 miles. I am therefore seeking a replacement petrol vehicle as a resolution to this issue.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • We are not willing to offer the consumer a rejection of the vehicle.
  • The car was purchased from new, and the vehicle order form made it clear that it was a diesel-powered car.
  • It was the consumer’s responsibility to raise concerns regarding the intended usage and miles at the time of the sale.
  • Whilst we will not accept rejection, we would be happy to part exchange the vehicle for a petrol variant.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator made note of the fact that there was no evidence to suggest the vehicle was not of satisfactory quality when it was sold.
  • They also understood that the consumer was unhappy about being sold a diesel vehicle when they only conducted short journeys.
  • The adjudicator was unable to comment on the conversations that took place at the time of sale, but highlighted the consumer’s responsibility to highlight their needs and intended use of the vehicle prior to purchase.
  • The adjudicator was unable to hold the business liable if these needs were not communicated to them by the consumer.
  • There was no evidence to demonstrate that the consumer informed the retailer of their intention to conduct short journeys at the time of sale, or that they requested a petrol-powered vehicle.
  • The adjudicator decided that there was no evidence to support the assertion that the vehicle was mis-sold.
  • As a result, the customer’s complaint was not upheld and no recommendations were made to the business.


  • The customer and accredited business accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator, and the case was closed.