A bubble of rust just above the windscreen on Ian Byers’ Kia Proceed sent him straight back to his dealer, SG Petch Kia in York. The car was under a year old, so it would surely be repaired under warranty?
The Proceed was duly booked in to the workshop and photographs of the rust taken and submitted to Kia. The manufacturer’s response, however, stopped Ian in his tracks. Kia’s paint specialists claimed the rust was due to a stone chip and was not eligible for repair under its perforation warranty.
SG Petch estimated a full repair would cost £434. Ian complained again to Kia customer services and eventually agreed to take the car to Stoneacre Hull, a Kia main dealer and accident repair specialist, for a localised ‘smart’ repair, which would set him back approximately £30.
With no other affordable options, Ian consented, although he still wasn’t convinced by Kia’s stone chip appraisal. Ian said that by the time photographs were taken to support his warranty claim, the rust bubble had broken, which meant he had no evidence to back up his argument that the rust had emanated from under the windscreen seal. In the interim, he repainted the damaged area with a touch-up kit to prevent the rust from spreading.
Ian's handiwork turned out to be a little neater than the professional’s; the smart repair covered an area around four times bigger than the original damage. The surface was rough and painted a darker shade of grey. ‘It’s even more of an eyesore than before,’ said Ian.
This time he had photos of the original rust spot, and of his own touch-up work to show just how much of a bodge the smart repair was. He sent these to Kia, which eventually offered, as a gesture of goodwill, to pay half the cost of a full repair. However, Ian declined and decided to trade in the Kia for a new car of a different make.
What if this happens to you?
- Take photographs of any paint damage as soon as you spot it, and don’t break rust bubbles.
- Take the car into the dealer and ask to submit your own photographs as part of the warranty claim.
- If you are unhappy with a repair, complain immediately, and don’t forget those before-and-after photographs to show how it’s gone wrong.
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