The consumer’s issue:
“I took my vehicle for its service at my local franchise dealer on 23rd October 2017. On the 14th November 2017, I noticed that my nearside rear tyre had developed a bubble in the sidewall, and decided to put the spare tyre on before starting my journey. However, I was unable to get the defective wheel off. When I removed the wheel, I found that the hub/alloy was badly corroded and fused together, which prevented the wheel from being removed. I later found the rear offside wheel was the same.
My car was inspected during its annual service at the business and nothing was detected. On the health check report I received, the rear drum brake condition was noted to be good, but I am now questioning if the car was actually inspected correctly as the health check also noted that the tyre size was 185/60/16 H-81. However, when I checked the tyres myself, they were labelled as 185/50/16 H-81.
I would therefore like my car to be checked and inspecting carefully to make sure that the inspection was carried out correctly the first time around. I would also like my seatbelt to be rectified as this issue was raised with a member of staff when I dropped my car off for the service. I would also like the cost of my replacement tyres redressing as well as compensation for the additional stress and inconvenience caused.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The business supplied all relevant invoices and documents.
- The customer has complained that the rear wheel was seized and that they could not get it off. It is not part of our service to remove the wheels, and therefore, we would not have seen the corrosion.
- We check the thickness of the brakes but this can be done by looking through the wheel spokes and via an inspection hole for the rear drums.
- As a goodwill gesture, we are more than happy, at no cost to the customer, to get the car back in and remove all the wheels, and to clean and grease the wheel hubs to stop this from happening again in the future.
The adjudication outcome:
- Following a review of the submissions, the adjudicator found that the Service and Repair Code of Practice obligates the business to take a certain standard of care and skill when looking over a vehicle.
- This incorporates the duty to act to the standard of a reasonably skilled technician.
- In review of the evidence it appeared that the mis-identification of the tyre size was a human error, and that the business had indeed serviced the vehicle and undertaken the checks with the due care and skill.
- As they would not have means to identify the corrosion, there was no way they could have prevented it, and to this end, they are not liable for replacing the parts.
- The issue of the seatbelt would have been considered chargeable, and the consumer was not asked to pay for such an investigation.
- The goodwill offered was considered satisfactory to bring the matter to a close.
- The business made an offer to the customer, which suited the adjudicator’s expectations of them under the Code of Practice and was upheld as the resolution.
- The dealer was asked to undertake the repair at the earliest mutually convenient time.