Wrong interior trim

The consumer’s issue:

I bought a new car with a black and red trim. However, the accredited business ordered a car with a black interior which isn’t what I wanted. The order was changed, but after seven separate delays with it, I took the car with the black interior which had arrived. Nobody kept me updated, and it took five attempts for the business to send me the right finance documentation, including sending another customer’s details, and overall, it has been a really poor experience.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The consumer was kept updated weekly regarding the delivery of the vehicle.
  • The car with the black interior was cancelled and the vehicle with the red interior was allocated, but there were delays at the factory outside of our control.
  • As a gesture of goodwill, we provided a courtesy car to the customer.
  • When the original car arrived, we contacted the consumer to see if she would like to view the vehicle and she was very happy with it.
  • An e-mail containing incorrect information was sent, but was recalled immediately, and a request was made for it to be left unopened and deleted.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The customer’s case was not upheld by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator.
  • This is because the adjudicator could see that there had been delays, but they had originated at the factory. Therefore, there was nothing more that the accredited business could have done and they had provided a courtesy car to keep the customer’s inconvenience to a minimum.
  • Mistakes had been made, but the adjudicator didn’t think that the accredited business needed to do anything further.

The ombudsman’s final decision:

  • The ombudsman felt that the accredited business should apologise directly to the consumer – she had received an apology, but this had come from the manufacturer, and it was clear that the accredited business had made mistakes and communication had at times been poor.
  • The ombudsman recommended that the accredited business take The Motor Ombudsman’s course on GDPR to prevent mistakes happening again in future.
  • Overall, it was recognised that the consumer’s experience had not met expectations, and that the accredited business had tried to do what they could to rectify the situation, meaning that an apology to the customer for the inferior poor service would be sufficient.


  • The accredited business had breached the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Sales and was asked to apologise to the consumer. The case was closed.