Onboard navigation SIM upgrade

The consumer’s issue:

“When I was negotiating the purchase of my car with the dealership in August 2018, I was convinced to pay extra to upgrade my navigation system, as I was informed that if I did, my vehicle would come with an onboard SIM, thereby allowing me to obtain live traffic updates for three years.

When I collected the car, I was given instructions on how to set up the navigation system, including a code that I needed to enter to make use of its benefits. However, this did not resolve my issues, and I later learnt that my model of car did not in fact include an onboard SIM.

I then raised this issue with the dealership, and I was told that the salesperson would never have said that the vehicle had an onboard SIM at the time of the sale, and that I would need to arrange this myself. I’m unhappy with this, as I certainly was told by the sales representative that it would come with the SIM. I am therefore looking for the dealership to either provide me with a data SIM package for three years, or compensation equal to the cost of me obtaining this myself.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The salesperson that dealt with this sale no longer works for us, but he was vastly experienced and knowledgeable about the model range. As a result, we are confident he was aware that the navigation system upgrade did not include an onboard SIM.
  • We do not think it is likely he would have misinformed the consumer about the navigation system’s function or features.
  • As such, we are not prepared to accept responsibility for the supply of three years’ SIM access, as claimed by the customer.

The adjudication outcome:

  • As there was no conclusive evidence of what was discussed between the consumer and the dealership during the pre-sale negotiations, the Motor Ombudsman adjudicator reviewed the available documentation to decide what they believed was most likely to be the case in the given circumstances.
  • Having done so, the adjudicator noted that, in the correspondence between the consumer and salesperson shortly after the sale was completed, the sales representative expressed surprise after learning that the navigation system the consumer had upgraded to did not include an onboard SIM, and that they had to consult with colleagues to find out this information.
  • As such, it was concluded that, on balance, it was likely that any discussion that took place prior to the sale included this mistaken advice.
  • The adjudicator therefore upheld the consumer’s complaint and asked the dealership to provide the consumer with a SIM card package for three years.


  • Both the dealership and consumer accepted the adjudication outcome, and the case was closed.