Peeling bumper lacquer

The consumer’s issue:

“I purchased my used ’66-plate SUV from a local dealer in March 2019. I was the second owner, with the car first being registered in January 2017. During the first six months of ownership, the clear lacquer was peeling off from part of the front bumper trim. The remaining three panels are fine, which made me think that this problem is caused by a manufacturing defect. The dealership said this was likely to have been caused by stone chips. As I disagreed with this, I complained to the manufacturer, and asked for the repair to be covered under the warranty.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • We received a warranty claim from the dealer on behalf of the customer in August 2019 due to lacquer which was peeling off from the bumper of the consumer’s car.
  • We asked the dealer to submit a technical report so we could investigate the issue further, which they provided in January 2020.
  • We confirmed with our factory that the bumper does not come lacquered, which means the vehicle has had the lacquer applied since the car was built.
  • Therefore, this is not a manufacturing defect, and the peeling that the customer is experiencing is not covered under the terms of our warranty.
  • As a result, we are unable to offer any goodwill to the consumer in this instance.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The adjudicator noted that the customer had provided photographs of the damage to the car, but there was no evidence to show that the peeling lacquer was caused by poor workmanship or materials used during the manufacturing process.
  • Therefore, due to insufficient information supporting their claim, the consumer’s complaint was not upheld.
  • The customer was advised by the adjudicator they may be able to raise a complaint against the dealer if they were accredited to The Motor Ombudsman, as the car was purchased in the last six years.
  • However, they would need to show that the issue was caused by an inherent fault that was present at the point of sale.


  • Neither party has requested an appeal of the adjudication outcome, and the case was closed.