Worn gear knob

The consumer’s issue:

 “I took my car in for a service at the business, and upon collecting it, I noticed some interior damage that was not there before. The leather on my vehicle was badly worn and scratched, and I believe that my gear knob may have been swapped at the dealership.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The customer’s complaint was regarding wear on the gear knob, and the customer first complained that the knob had worn excessively during the service work.
  • We could not agree that the leather covering had worn to the extent shown in such a short space of time, but was simply a wear and tear issue on a 10-year-old car.
  • The customer supplied two pictures, one from before, and the other from after the service. However, this was inconclusive as the lighting in the first photo was insufficient to confirm its real appearance and there was no confirmation of exactly when the photo was taken.
  • We therefore refute the allegation that the gear knob had been swapped.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The adjudicator found that the pictures sent by the consumer was not evidence that could be relied upon, as there was no way to substantiate when they were taken and it would be unfair to rely on this as evidence in order to deliver the adjudication outcome.
  • The adjudicator decided on the balance of probability that it was unlikely that the business would have swapped the gear stick, as they would have had to have had that particular spare to hand on the day that it was at the garage.
  • The adjudicator did not believe it was possible to apply the extent of wear the consumer was complaining of in the couple of hours the business had the vehicle.
  • The adjudicator therefore decided that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the business.


  • The customer and accredited business accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator and the case was closed.