The consumer’s issue:
“My car had a recall for the wipers, and since the repairs were carried out by the dealership, they have now stopped working. If they do work, they will be slow and sluggish, and the driver’s wiper blade has been moved so that it now stops in my line of sight.
Forums and videos online show that I am not the only person to have suffered the same issues. However, the manufacturer has said that there are no known faults, and has been put down to wear and tear rather than the problem being due to the workmanship of the dealer. The timeframe between the recall and the fault appearing was less than three weeks, but as there was no rain during this period, there wipers were inactive during the majority of this time.
I am therefore looking for the costs I have paid so far (£320) to have my wipers fixed to be reimbursed by the dealership.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We do not accept that the consumer is entitled to damages and / or a refund of the cost of repair under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA 2015”) or any other term or law for the following reasons.
- The work was undertaken at no cost to the customer under the recall programme, and with all reasonable skill and care in a manner that would have been carried out by any other comparable dealership. No evidence has been supplied to the contrary by the consumer.
- The manufacturer confirmed that the seizure of the wiper spindle mechanism was unrelated to and could not have been caused by the replacement of the SV linkage.
- The manufacturer of a part is unable to put a specified lifetime on any vehicle component, and the failure of the spindle mechanism was due to long-term wear and tear and exposure to water.
- We did not carry out the recall inspection on behalf of the customer, as the cost was invoiced to the vehicle manufacturer.
The adjudication outcome:
- The consumer had the evidential burden to demonstrate that, the issues that they had suffered, related directly to the workmanship of the dealership.
- Bearing in mind that vehicles develop faults due to a number of reasons, it was not sufficient to state that, simply because the business had repaired the car during the recall, that any issues with the wipers thereafter related to their workmanship.
- As such, in order to uphold the consumer’s claim, the adjudicator would have to be more sure than not, that a failure to conduct the repairs with reasonable skill and care caused the fault.
- Unfortunately, on this occasion the evidence provided did not demonstrate this.
- The adjudicator noted that, online forums reported similar issues, but to rely on this information, which was effectively not certified or unproven, was deemed unreasonable.
- Therefore, unless a professional technical opinion could be provided linking the work of the dealership to the current wiper fault, The Motor Ombudsman was unable to uphold the consumer’s complaint as it stood.
- The customer and accredited business accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator, and the case was closed.