As soon as Robert Tipper spotted signs of rust around the windscreen of his beloved Skoda Yeti, he hurried to his local dealer, Newmarket Skoda in Bannockburn. A previous paint problem had been rectified under warranty, so he was confident that this similar occurrence would be dealt with in the same uncomplicated manner.
Robert was doubly sure the work would be covered because the rust was, suspiciously, just above the rear-view mirror. Eighteen months earlier, the Marlborough West London Skoda dealership had replaced the Yeti’s windscreen after it had developed a leak in the same spot. After the work was done, he’d noticed small blobs of excess sealant and slight fraying of the roof lining. The seepage had gone, though, and these minor issues caused him no concern.
Unfortunately, this time Robert’s claim for a rust repair wasn’t quite so watertight. It was rejected by Skoda UK on the grounds that removing and replacing the windscreen had invalidated the Yeti’s warranty. Robert would have to find the £850 himself to fix the problem.
Marlborough West London, which had carried out the windscreen replacement, also denied responsibility and refused to help, stating that its work was guaranteed for only a year. It had taken 17 months for the rust to set in.
Next stop, Helpdesk. We appealed to Skoda UK to review its decision, arguing that if the rust was indeed the result of previous warranty workmanship by a dealer in the manufacturer’s network, it would be extremely unfair on Robert to be left with the bill.
Skoda HQ intervened immediately, and found confusion had arisen because two dealers had been involved in the claim. In the months between the windscreen replacement and the rust problem, Robert had moved from London to Scotland and had swapped the services of Marlborough West London for Newmarket Skoda.
In a matter of days, Robert got a call telling him to book in his car with Newmarket, and that the work would be done free of charge.
What if this happens to you?
- Take dated photographs of any defect as soon as you notice it.
- Don’t delay in taking your car to your dealer for an inspection. The quicker you act, the more likely a warranty claim will be accepted.
- If your claim is rejected, gather evidence such as dates of previous repairs, photos and invoices, and send them to the manufacturer.
We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.
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