Drivetrain faults and failures made up most of an increased number of service and repair disputes dealt with by the Motor Ombudsman via its alternative dispute resolution service during this year’s first quarter.
Of all the 466 complaints from consumers in figures released today (Apr 27), 271 (58 per cent) of them related to the drivetrain. Within that category, the intake manifold proved the thorniest issue, with 49 (18 per cent) complaints.
The total number of complaints was up from 446 during 2020’s first quarter.
Bodywork complaints were second at a much lower 83 (18 per cent of the total complaints). The paintwork quality was the most significant problem there at 22 disputes (27 per cent).
In third place overall was the chassis at 52 complaints (11 per cent), with tyres making up most of those (22 complaints, or 42 per cent).
The rest comprised electrical (32 complaints – seven per cent), interior (17 complaints – four per cent), security (seven complaints – two per cent) and accessories (four complaints – one per cent).
Of those who had a preferred form of resolution, more than a third (37 per cent) asked for a full refund for a service or repairs.
More than a quarter (29 per cent) wanted a free repair to correct the perceived diagnosis or workmanship issues.
The average claim value for a service and repair dispute was just over £2,000 in the first quarter – up by some £450 from the opening three months of 2020.
Chief ombudsman and managing director Bill Fennell said: ‘With a car made up of a multitude of components and moving parts, the service and repair complaints that we receive from consumers vary significantly in both their scope and complexity.
‘Identifying the key trends of what is causing disputes across our codes of practice and sharing what we are seeing across the automotive sector is one of our main roles as an ombudsman.
‘This ultimately allows us to feed back this data to the industry and help our accredited businesses to make further improvements with their products, services and processes for the benefit of consumers.’