Worn piston rings

The consumer’s issue:

My car has an engine fault, which has been diagnosed as a problem with two of the pistons. I consider this to be a sudden breakdown of a covered component, so I have asked the warranty company to cover the cost of the repair.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The customer contacted us to say that they had a problem with their fuel injector and that their car was at a garage.
  • We received a partial diagnosis from the garage, but they could not provide an estimate until the engine was stripped, and the extent of the damage identified.
  • The consumer was advised that, if they consented to the engine being stripped, we would send an independent engineer to inspect it. We equally informed the customer that they would be liable for covering the cost of stripping the engine if the warranty claim was denied.
  • Following the customer’s authorisation to strip the engine, an independent engineer inspected it, and found that the engine fault was caused by wear and tear to the piston rings, an issue not covered by the policy.
  • As a result of the findings of the independent engineer, we did not find that the fault was covered under the warranty, and the customer’s claim was therefore declined.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator concluded that the warranty did not cover faults caused by wear and tear.
  • This demonstrated that the business did not have an obligation to pay for the customer’s repair costs under the terms of the warranty agreement, and no award was made by the adjudicator as a result.


  • Neither party requested an appeal regarding The Motor Ombudsman’s adjudication outcome, and the case was closed.