Warranty Direct says it has discovered clear evidence of garages adding on extra unnecessary work to car repairs – and the trend has been increasing over the last 6 months.
What’s more, it says franchised car dealers are most guilty of this. In one case, says the warranty company, a customer was quotes £2200 more than actual repairs necessary.
It is a further hit in what’s already been a bad spell in the press for car dealers. Which? magazine, last week, slammed dealers, too.
Warranty Direct illustrated a number of cases its independent undercover assessors discovered:
The Company uses independent inspectors to assess quoted work where its engineers have raised suspicions.
• A Peugeot dealer said fuel contamination would require an entire fuel system to be replaced, costing £2895. The actual repair needed only a fuel filter, costing £131.
• A Vauxhall garage said both front dampers, springs, track control arms and ball joints needed replacing, costing £720. Only 1 front spring actually needed replacing, for £170.
• A Volkswagen Golf owner was told a new wishbone and anti roll bar bushes were needed, costing £293. they actually took the car in to have a glowing engine light investigated – a £21 fix.
• A Mercedes E-Class owner took their car in to have a differential oil leak repaired. They were told new lower ball joints were also needed, adding £138 to the bill. They were unnecessary.
‘It’s a sad state of affairs, but some are simply going too far,’ said Duncan McClure Fisher, MD of Warranty Direct. ‘We’re finding ourselves policing dealers on behalf of our customers.
‘This is a worrying development, and we are releasing our findings not only to protect the motorist, but also to allow some unscrupulous garages to get their houses back in order – in the interests of the industry as a whole.’
These findings add further weight to customers’ suspicions that dealers are taking them for a ride.