Financial Ombudsman Service uphold complaint for quality of vehicle over one year after sale


The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld the consumer's complaint and directed the finance company to pay for the engine repair.

Author: Dennis Chapman
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 9 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

A case recently reported by the Financial Ombudsman Service shows how traditional court cases may be increasingly bypassed using the Financial Ombudsman Service ombudsman route.  A consumer purchased a car on finance. 

The car drove satisfactorily for a year but just after, the engine failed.  The diagnosis by a mechanic was that the car hadn’t been serviced properly for a number of years before sale with metal build up in the oil.  The consumer complained to the finance company who maintained that because the car had operated satisfactorily for over a year there was no case to answer.  The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld the consumer’s complaint and directed the finance company to pay for the engine repair.

This presents a very different route which dealers will need to increasingly get to grips with.  The Financial Ombudsman Service is a free service.  The Financial Ombudsman Service have relied on evidence of a mechanic who may not be sufficiently impartial or qualified.  The finance companies are keen to ‘obey’ the Financial Ombudsman Service and therefore there will be pressure from finance companies to get the dealer to pay such a claim.

What was an important aspect of this case was that the seller had not produced any documentation for a PDI or service when the car was sold.  Any evidence as to quality you can gain at the point of sale is vital in cases such as this.  Always seriously consider having an MOT carried out as well to counter any safety related issues after sale.

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.