Drivetrain issues form majority of service and repair complaints for April 22 YTD

Drivetrain issues form majority of service and repair complaints for April 22 YTD


Drivetrain issues were the source of the majority (64%) of service and repair disputes brought by consumers to The Motor Ombudsman during the opening four months of 2022. For comparison purposes, this represents a slight increase on the figure seen in the first quarter of last year (58%).


The drivetrain category used by The Motor Ombudsman encompasses problems relating to powertrain (engine), brakes, the fuel system, and the transmission. Snapped timing chains, severe engine shake, and clutch failures, were amongst the complaints reported by consumers between January and April 2022. However, the majority of consumer concerns related to the engine (refer to the tables below).


The volume of customer service disputes ranked second at 11%, with vehicle damage sustained whilst in the care of a garage, not receiving a courtesy car, and having to wait for lengthy periods for spare parts, being just a few examples of the issues that needed resolving.


Ranking third were concerns about the body and chassis of a vehicle, each accounting for 9% of the service and repair disputes (down from 8% and 11% respectively in Q1 2021). Amongst the reasons for vehicle owners bringing their complaint to The Motor Ombudsman were active suspension failures, noise emanating from the wheel bearings, water ingress on light clusters, and poorly applied vinyl wraps.


Electrical and interior issues were each responsible for 3% of new complaints (compared to 4% and 7% respectively in the first three months of last year). Problems encountered with a vehicle in this category, included air conditioning failures, temperamental window switches, and quality concerns with seat coverings.


Issues with security systems accounted for just 1% of the problems, including central locking systems, as well as alarm systems that activated spontaneously during the day and night.

Consumer issues reported by vehicle area and component (Jan to Apr 22)

Components generating the highest volume of consumer complaints (Jan to Apr 22)

To download and save a PDF of the infographic below highlighting the principal reasons for service and repair complaints reported by consumers between January and April 2022, please click here.


Resolutions sought by consumers to their service and repair disputes

From the consumers who submitted a service and repair dispute during the first four months of 2022, the majority stated that, either a full refund (28%), a free-of-charge repair (25%), or compensation (22%) would be their preferred award to close their service and repair complaint.

When applying a monetary value to their preferred resolution, consumers stated an average value of £2,900, which is higher than the average of £2,461 recorded for the whole of 2021. However, this is significantly higher than the £118 medium net monetised detriment experienced by consumers recorded by the 2022 detriment survey conducted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Where a complaint was upheld in the consumer’s favour during the 2021 calendar year, the average award was £184 (around 7% of the average claim value).