Case studies

Case study 1

Each year The Motor Ombudsman helps thousands of consumers and businesses to resolve disputes. Here are some recent case studies of how we resolve disputes


“The garage has had our car for approximately seven months and it is still not repaired. The updates have been infrequent and no progress is being made. The car has been returned to us twice, supposedly with the repairs done, but we have had to take the car back to the garage within days as the engine malfunction light has illuminated and the car was very low on power.

The service we have received from the garage has been appalling. We were told that we would receive an update. To date, this has not been received. We have been completely fobbed off and we are no nearer to getting our car repaired and returned, despite our patience and co-operation.”

Accredited business’ response:

  • The engineering company that inspected the vehicle at the time advised that the only solution to resolving the problem was to fit a replacement engine to the vehicle. The customer has had a copy of the engineer’s report.
  • All the garage did, which has been carried out at cost, and as authorised by the customer, was to remove the cylinder head and inspect the vehicle. The cost for doing this would have been around £250+VAT. Bear in mind that the warranty company had paid for a starter motor.
  • The garage has increased, without prejudice, the goodwill payment to the customer to £2,000. This in theory will give the owner the car back in a running state which it was not in when it came in with a replaced engine which cost the customer £1,100. The garage has since spent a considerable amount of time trying to get to the bottom of the problems which they have not been charged for.

Our decision:

It was recognised that a number of breaches of the Service and Repair Code had occurred which are as follows:

  • Clause 3.4 – The garage undertakes to guarantee all service and repair work against failure. It will inform the customer where parts are provided with a manufacturer’s warranty. The garage will tell the customer about the duration of any warranty or guarantee and how to exercise it.
  • Clause 6.1 – The garage will take effective, immediate action in order to ensure that a customer receives a just settlement of their complaint.


  • The consumer was happy to accept the goodwill payment of £2,000 on the basis that the vehicle is now in a working state.