Furious JLR customers have been told to contact their insurance companies after their cars were damaged beyond repair in a flood at the firm’s Derby dealership.
Car Dealer reported last month that Inchcape Land Rover Derby had been left underwater following heavy rainfall in Storm Babet.
Footage posted on social media showed vehicles on the forecourt several feet deep in water, leading to concern about the cars’ condition.
Now, following a site visit, Inchcape has begun contacting customers whose cars have been affected.
Drivers have been told that their cars will have to be written off due to the damage.
Among those affected by the news is supercar dealer Tom Hartley, who yesterday (Nov 9) saw a case against him dropped by the Serious Fraud Office.
The former Used Car Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner previously bought two Land Rover Defenders from the site, for general use by his business at his luxury Derbyshire dealership.
Three weeks ago he told us both vehicles were off the road due to the crippling parts shortages currently rocking JLR.
Now, Hartley has been told that one of the SUVs – an £85,000 model with the numberplate TH2 – will have to be written off as it was being held at Inchcape Land Rover Derby.
Hartley, who starred in a special Car Dealer documentary in May, has now been contacted and told his car is to be written off.
In an email seen by Car Dealer, the industry legend demanded that he be given a replacement vehicle but he has instead been told to contact his insurance company.
In a template message to Hartley, the JLR dealership said: ‘Following our update last week, we are committed to updating you regularly on the situation at our Inchcape JLR Derby dealership and, where we are able to, the status of your vehicle.
‘Unfortunately, our dealership continues to be significantly affected due to the recent flood, and as such remains closed.
‘The full impact of the flood is still being assessed, however after a site visit this week, we can confirm that unfortunately your vehicle will be classed as a write off.
‘If you haven’t already, you should inform your insurance company of this update as soon as possible and make them aware that your vehicle has been involved in an incident due to the flood.
‘We appreciate this may be frustrating, and we are on hand to support you and provide any details required or requested by your insurance company.
‘We are in the process of allocating a dedicated team to handle all insurance related enquiries. As soon as this is in place, we will inform you of the contact details.
‘In the meantime, our dedicated customer contact mailbox remains available if you have any questions of need our support.’
‘I have never heard of the disrespect that we have received’
In response to the message, Hartley has threatened legal action and is demanding that he either receive a full refund or replacement car.
The 62-year-old says he has never experienced such poor customer service and accused the dealership of showing him ‘disrespect’.
He told the brand: ‘Land Rover Derby have had TH2 for over five months trying to repair, telling me that no parts are available.
‘Then I received an email to inform us that the car has been flooded and is a write off. Wow.
‘I have tried calling your customer care number this morning and spoken to a gentleman but find myself getting nowhere.
‘I wanted to know when I was either going to get a replacement car or full refund bearing in mind that I paid £70,000 approximately, plus Urban Kit of £15,000 making the total cost in the region of £85,000.’
He added: ‘To add insult to injury, the gentleman I’ve spoken to this morning claimed there’s no record or information for us owning this car.
‘I don’t know what type of business you run there in that department. You may be aware I have been in the car business for over 50 years.
‘During that time I have never received or heard of the type of service and behaviour/disrespect that we have received.
‘Our other defender is currently parked up at Land Rover Coventry, also not working as it is waiting for parts. Enough is enough and I have run out of patience.’
A spokesperson for Inchcape told Car Dealer: ‘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.
If you have been impacted by the flood then we’d like to here from you. Email [email protected].