I see car warranty problems on a daily basis, yet most consumers don’t seem to know their consumer rights. Car dealerships, albeit with the odd exception, tend to rely on tried and tested fob offs instead of treating their customers fairly. These are some of the most common questions motorists face with car warranty problems.

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CAN YOU RETURN A CAR UNDER WARRANTY?

If a car develops a fault within the first 30 days of purchase, you are entitled to reject it under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and seek a full refund. This is often referred to as a ‘short-term right to reject’.

CAN I ASK FOR MY MONEY BACK AFTER BUYING A CAR?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you the right to a full refund within 30 days if the car develops a fault. You do not have to ask for it to be repaired. This applies to new and used cars.

After 30 days, if a fault arises you are entitled to a free repair. You only need to give a car dealership one opportunity to remedy the same fault. If that fails, you are entitled to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and seek a full refund.

CAN I RETURN A CAR IF IT HAS PROBLEMS?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that goods ought to be:

Fit for purpose
As described
Satisfactory quality
Last a reasonable length of time

If the car develops various faults within the first 6 months, you can reject it under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The onus is on the car dealership to prove that the car was free of faults and roadworthy.

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM CAR WARRANTY ON A USED CAR?

Most car dealerships offer at least 1 – 3 months warranty on a used car. In reality, a car warranty is not worth the paper it is written on. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you better cover for free.

DOES A CAR WARRANTY RESET AFTER REPAIR?

A repair under warranty does not reset and give you a new warranty. The original warranty will expire on the purchase of the vehicle.

If something goes wrong within the warranty period and the same fault occurs outside of the warranty period, the warranty would extend for that same issue.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies as the fault was not originally repaired properly.

WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND AFTER BUYING A CAR?

The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 gives you a 14-day cooling off period if you have bought a car online. You also have a cooling off period if the car is bought on finance.

The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 does not apply if you have bought the car in a dealership. You would need to prove that the car was faulty when it was sold to reject it.

COMMON FAULTS

Most cars have a common fault that is unique to that make and model. Some faults are so well-known that they are subject to recalls.

Always Google the make & model for common faults on faulty items first. This overrides the need for an independent report as it proves that the car was faulty when sold.

This motorist had a well-known problem, he tagged in Hyundai and Evans Halshaw on Twitter, it travelled far and wide and caught my attention.

BACKGROUND

This customer spoke about a Hyundai I40 with a vibration under load at 50mph. His car has 62K miles on the clock but the issue was reported at a 60K service. The dealership wanted £600 to remove the gearbox and investigate. Any thoughts?

Hyundai responded by saying that under warranty, a diagnosis charge applies if no fault is found or is not a manufacturing defect. If you can DM (‘direct message’) your full contact details, registration number along with dealership details we can look in to this further.

ACTION

I replied to the thread by saying that given that the issue was reported at £60K and not resolved, is there any leeway here? I made a point of putting in #CustomerExperience and #CustomerService on that tweet so it would be picked up and spread much further to raise awareness of this customer’s problem.

The customer replied by saying that he would have hoped so. The main thing for him is being asked to pay £600 for removal of the gearbox to investigate a reported vibration.

I pointed out that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you more rights than any warranty. Shambles.

Hyundai clutch issues are well documented. Auto Express have actually covered it in a feature. This customer has always had his car serviced on schedule and adhered to all recommendations. He asked me what the best way was to play it with the dealership?

I responded by saying that given that this is a well-known problem and (you) have adhered to all schedules, make your problem theirs by saying just that.

CONCLUSION

I concluded by saying, “I am sick and tired of seeing customers being fobbed off and unfairly treated by firms hiding behind legalese and jargon. Please do the right thing here. A happy customer is a loyal customer and ambassador for you all”. 

If a car has inherent faults since inception and you have adhered to all service schedules, the onus is on the manufacturer and dealership to remedy the issues under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

You do not need an independent report as it is evidenced in the public domain.

I have written about the importance of great customer service and how to encourage customer loyalty. Firms that are not customer-centric will struggle to survive – it’s as simple as that.

You can find out more about how to resolve complaints and motoring disputes in my book.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced car warranty problems? How did you resolve it using your consumer rights?

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