When Adam Henderson’s 2008-plate Honda Civic’s sunroof blind started to stick, he asked local dealer Lookers Honda in Derby to investigate. Staff there said the mechanism wasn’t operating properly and advised that it needed a strip clean and new sliders fitted.
Thankfully, the 12-month Honda Happiness Guarantee for approved used cars sold to Adam with his Civic still had three months to run. However, when he asked his dealer to make a claim, he was told Honda UK’s policy had changed, and that it would no longer sanction such a repair. Neither would Lookers cover the estimated £300 cost as it had in the past.
Adam thought this sounded odd, and contacted Honda. It advised him to press the dealer to raise a claim. This he did, only for it to be rejected on the basis that the blind came under the guarantee exclusion: ‘Upholstery or decorative facings of any part of the vehicle’s interior or exterior, including sunroof blinds.’
A copy of the guarantee’s terms and conditions, which included this clause, was sent to Adam, but when he checked the policy he’d been sold with the Civic, he found no mention of blinds, so he went back to Honda. This time he was told the claim was now being rejected because the blind was part of the vehicle ‘body’, and thus excluded.
Totally bemused, Adam called Helpdesk. ‘I feel I’ve been really let down,’ he said. ‘I specifically purchased this car because it supposedly came with the protection of a warranty, so faults such as this would be rectified, yet they don’t want to know.’
We contacted Honda UK, submitting the two conflicting documents in support of Adam’s claim. Within a couple of days, Honda’s customer service team sent Adam a letter of apology and informed him the necessary parts had been ordered for the work to be completed under warranty. All Adam needed to do was call his dealer and make the booking.
What if this happens to you?
- Keep the terms and conditions of any guarantee sold to you with your car. Then, if anything goes wrong, you can refer back to them to see what’s covered.
- If your dealer refuses to submit a claim, contact the maker’s customer service team and ask to see its warranty policy.
- Ask for all communication to be made in writing and keep dated records of any phone calls.
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