A Jaguar Land Rover customer whose car was written off in a brutal flood at Inchcape Land Rover Derby says ‘security bouncers’ at the site are refusing his insurance company access to the vehicle.
In a templated email seen by Car Dealer, the group instructed affected owners – including supercar dealer Tom Hartley – to contact their own insurers.
However, claims have now come to light that the firm is refusing to co operate with assessors and blocking access to affected vehicles.
One customer told us that his Range Rover is being ‘hidden and held hostage by Inchcape’s security bouncers’.
The owner says he contacted his insurance company, as instructed by the dealer group, and arranged for an assessor to pay a visit to the stricken vehicle.
However, he was refused access to the site, meaning the claim cannot be fully processed.
The customer, who has now enlisted the services of a solicitor, slammed Inchcape’s customer service and accused them of passing the buck.
He told Car Dealer: ‘Having read your recent article regarding the disgusting post flood service being offered by JLR Derby, I want to let you know of my experience, which mirrors Tom Hartley’s and some!
‘I too am being entirely ignored by all staff, whilst my apparently ‘written off’, previously beautiful Range Rover is being hidden and held hostage by Inchcape’s security bouncers!
‘I even tried to send in an insurance assessor, who was refused entry to the site.
‘The only contact I have received has been generic messages telling me that Inchcape are here to assist, by telling me to seek help from anyone but them!
‘I have employed a solicitor and will be contacting Tom Hartley and others affected by this fiasco.’
‘Inchcape not accepting liability’
Another customer to contact Car Dealer has told us that Inchcape is not accepting liability for the damage, amid concerns that his insurance company may refuse to pay out.
The Jaguar owner says that his car initially went into the dealership in August following a recall in relation to faulty Traction Battery Modules (TBMs).
The car, which had less than 5,000 miles on the clock, was then one of many to be written off in the flood but Direct Line has since told him that his policy ‘does not cover loss for faulty manufactured vehicles’.
He is now concerned this will mean his insurance will be void, leaving him out of pocket to the tune of several thousands of pounds.
‘Sedgwick International UK [a third party working with Inchcape] have told me that Inchcape are not accepting any liability for the customers cars that were in their care at the time they were flooded, regardless of how long they had been there or why,’ he told Car Dealer.
‘My insurer (Direct Line) have told me that the Motor Legal Expenses policy does not cover loss for faulty manufactured vehicles.
‘I would argue that the car was fitted with the faulty TBMs by Jaguar at time of manufacture and therefore it is ultimately the responsibility of the manufacturer, Jaguar, to put any shortfalls right.
‘If the car had not been fitted with the poorly manufactured faulty TBM, then it would not have been in the dealer’s care for more than two months and therefore not been written off whilst in the care of the dealership when Storm Babet struck.
‘If the good replacement TBMs were available from Jaguar, then the car would have been repaired in August and therefore not been written off whilst in the care of the dealership.’
Car Dealer has approached Inchcape for a comment via Jaguar Land Rover.
Last week, a spokesman for the dealer group said: ‘Our dealership continues to be significantly affected by the recent flood incident and while the full impact is still being assessed, unfortunately a number of client vehicles have been damaged beyond repair.
‘We have a dedicated team who are supporting impacted clients on next steps and our absolute priority is ensuring clients are kept mobile.
‘We understand the inconvenience the severe flooding has caused, and will continue to assist clients throughout the process.’