The consumer’s issue:
“I contacted the extended warranty provider after an engine management light lit up on my van’s dashboard, and I was told to take it to an approved repairer to investigate the issue. I proceeded to do this, and I was told I would need to authorise the diagnosis of the fault at my cost. This was done, and the repairer found a fault with my turbocharger, which needed replacement.
The extended warranty provider approved the work, but limited the claim cost to £1,000. As a result, I was only able to obtain an exchange turbocharger, and this unit failed a short time after. I then contacted the warranty provider to ask them to authorise the replacement of the exchange turbocharger with a brand new unit, to ensure a lasting repair, but they declined to do so and said that I would need to take up the issue of the failed repairs with the garage. I do not think this was reasonable, and I am looking for them to provide me with a new turbocharger at no cost to myself.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The consumer’s warranty agreement has a single claim limit of £1,000 and allows for the use of exchange or factory parts in repairs.
- As we have contributed the maximum amount payable under the policy, we are unable to contribute towards any further repairs as part of this claim.
- In addition, if the customer has a problem with the repairs carried out, this will need to be raised with the garage that completed them.
- Therefore, if the consumer wishes to install a new turbocharger for their peace of mind, they will need to bear the additional costs of doing so.
The adjudication outcome:
- The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator reviewed the evidence and found that the warranty agreement clearly stated there was a single claim limit of £1,000, and that the provider had contributed towards the cost of the repairs up to this limit.
- He also confirmed that the agreement allowed for the use of guaranteed exchange or factory units in repairs.
- As the extended warranty provider appeared to have administered the claim in accordance with the warranty terms, the adjudicator was satisfied that they did not need to cover the cost of a brand new replacement turbocharger.
- In addition, the adjudicator was satisfied that, if there was an issue with the completed repairs, this ought to be directed, in the first instance, to the repairer that had undertaken them. At the point of looking at the complaint, no further diagnosis had been completed to find the cause of the turbocharger’s failure.
- As there had been no breach of The Motor Ombudsman’s Vehicle Warranty Products Code, the complaint was not upheld in the consumer’s favour.
- While the extended warranty provider accepted the adjudicator’s conclusions, the consumer did not respond within the allotted time, and the case was closed.