The consumer’s issue:
“I purchased a four-year-old hatchback in 2015 with around 50,000 miles on the clock. In September 2019, I noticed signs of corrosion on the back doors, so I took the car to my local garage for an inspection, and the subsequent repair was carried out at a cost of £513.69. I then found out that my vehicle was still within the manufacturer’s 12-year, 80,000-mile anti-perforation warranty, so I proceeded to contact the manufacturer and provided photos of the fault and invoice for the work.
However, they rejected my claim, stating that my car was not fixed by an approved garage. As a resolution to my complaint, I would like the manufacturer to cover the full amount I paid for the repairs so that I am not left out of pocket.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The vehicle had not been seen in our network since it was purchased in 2015.
- The consumer contacted us and raised a warranty claim for the corrosion, but repairs had been carried out by a third-party non-approved garage.
- The customer was advised to take the car to one of our approved centres for the car to be inspected by our warranty team.
- However, the claim was declined as per the terms and conditions of the warranty, which stipulates that repairs must be carried out within our network.
- We will therefore not be liable for the cost of repairs undertaken by third parties.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator acknowledged that, neither party disputed the fact that corrosion existed on the vehicle.
- They also remarked that the manufacturer had taken reasonable steps to establish the cause of the problem, and the terms and conditions of the warranty clearly stated that all diagnostics and repairs had to be undertaken by an approved garage.
- As such, the decision to reject the warranty claim was fair and in line with the conditions of the warranty. This also meant that the business was not in breach of the New Car Code.
- As a result, the adjudicator could not uphold the complaint in the consumer’s favour.
- The consumer and manufacturer accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator, and the case was closed.