The consumer’s issue:
“I purchased a used hatchback in March 2017, and in September 2019, I noticed paint coming off the gloss black alloy wheels, leaving white marks. The dealership inspected the vehicle on two occasions, and they submitted a report to the manufacturer to consider the claim under the manufacturer’s warranty.
The manufacturer concluded that the cause of the damage was kerbing, and the problem was therefore not covered under their warranty. I do not believe that kerbing would cause the centre of the alloys to peel. To resolve the complaint, I would like the manufacturer to accept the claim and repaint the alloy wheels at no cost to myself.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The dealership submitted a technical report, and we reviewed the images. Whilst the images differ from the original complaint, we still consider this not to be a manufacturing defect.
- In our opinion, the damage to the alloy wheels is consistent with either kerbing, the fitment of tyres using a tyre balancer, or a pooling of wheel cleaner that is not PH neutral and has damaged the surface.
- In any event, the vehicle is outside of the manufacturer’s warranty period, and therefore the claim was considered on a goodwill basis. As we do not believe a manufacturing defect exists, the consumer’s claim was declined.
The adjudication outcome:
- The adjudicator reviewed the evidence and found that there was no breach of the Code of Practice for New Cars, as they were not satisfied the cause of the damage was due to a manufacturing defect.
- As the complainant, the consumer had the evidential burden of demonstrating that the fault was a result of a manufacturing defect. In this instance, the consumer did not provide any technical evidence to show that this was the case.
- Furthermore, as the manufacturer’s warranty had expired, it had no obligation towards the vehicle and did not have to consider the claim.
- The complaint was therefore not upheld in the consumer’s favour, meaning the adjudicator was unable to recommend any further action to be taken by the business.
- Neither party responded to the outcome, and it was therefore assumed that both parties accepted the decision. The case was then closed.