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Kwikfit Small Claims Address


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And my story is best summed by the letter I sent to the local depot (went in, comments in letter), head office (by registered post), and by email to the CEO and their support email address - no response from any channels other than the chat I had with the the local branch manager:


Kwikfit (GB) Ltd,

ETEL House,

Avenue One,

Letchworth Garden City,

Herts, SG6 2HU

Copied to: Simon Green, Kwikfit, Unit 2, Knights Park Road

Basingstoke, RG21 6XE

Re Car Registration: xxxxxxxxx

Dear Sir/Madam,

On the 24th April 2016, I brought in my car (BMW 4 series M-sport xdrive) into the above Basingstoke Kwikfit to have new front tires fitted. The Kwikfit deport in Basingstoke (Knights Park Road) fitted two new tires to the front of my car. The rear tires were left alone as they had plenty of tread/life left in them.

Recently, my car developed mid gear judders which have gradually been getting worse over the last 4-6 weeks. Believing there was something wrong with my car, I took my car into BMW for maintenance.

BMW diagnosed the problem as being with the tires that Kwikfit fitted. BMW report that the wrong tires were fitted to my car. Not being an expert, I had a long conversation with BMW regarding this problem and BMW have explained that the tires fitted are not correct for my car. Kwikfit fitted a W grade tire whist they say that an Y grade tire should have been fitted.

BMW report that this should have been ‘obvious’ to anybody with any technical knowledge as:

1) The existing tires would have been an Y grade and would have been shown on the tires removed

2) The grade of tires is listed on the BMW technical web site, service guides and is made available to organisations such as Kwikfit

3) The required tires were detailed in various places on the car (such as the driver’s door tire information panel)

4) The new tires should have matched the old tires just removed in terms of size, width, speed rating and Grade.

According to BMW, the result of this tire change is that the front 2 incorrect tires have been ‘fighting’ against the rear two tires causing damage to my car. BMW have suggested that the wrong tires could also have been potentially dangerous to myself and my family at mid speeds (30-50 mph).

I find this situation appalling, and I hold Kwikfit completely responsible for this situation.

As a result of Kwikfit fitting the wrong tires, the following has occurred:

1) BMW have replaced all 4 tires. The 2 new front tires are worn more than they should have been due to the four tires fighting, but have been retained for evidence/return to Kiwkfit. The rear 2 tires have also been replaced as the tire fight has caused excess wear resulting in the tires now being illegal and one of them developing a small split/puncture because of the excessive wear. BMW replaced all four tires as they deemed all tires now unsafe. There is a bill to pay for these replacement tires.

2) BMW have run a diagnosis of the initial problem. This diagnosis is being charged to me, and I attach the invoice with the diagnosis for your information

3) BMW have had to keep my car for 7 days (Thursday 11th August to Wed 17th August) whilst they replaced the tires and ran a full diagnosis for further damage to gears/drive chains etc.

4) As a result, I have had to borrow a car for a week at great inconvenience to myself and the person who I borrowed the car from.

5) I have had to waste four hours of my time dealing with this issue (not including any further action).

The above items are of physical or of monetary loss resulting directly from Kwikfit’s ineptitude. But what is worse, is the knowledge that through either known or un-known action, Kiwkfit have potentially put my family’s safety at risk.

On the afternoon of 19th August, I went into Kwikfit and spoke to the Manager (Simon Green) and had a very odd conversation. He first of all apologised and then said it was nothing to do with them. He further said that there was no difference between W, X, Y or Z grade tires and that they were identical. Well, if what he said was true, and that they are identical, why would 4 grades of tire even exist?

I repeat that I hold Kwikfit 100% responsible for all of the above situations and issues, and I give you 14 days to respond on how you are going to correct this situation.

For your information, I provide a BMW report showing the results of the diagnosis, clearly stating that the wrong tires were fitted, that damage was caused to the rear tires and the cost of the corrective work. BMW are happy to provide further information and even attend a hearing should this progress to a small claims court (which would incur further cost which I would redirect back to Kiwkfit).

If after 14 days (10 working days) from the date of this letter I have not received a satisfactory response or a response that I am happy to accept, I will pursue this to the full extent of the law.

Yours Sincerely

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Of course the other thing is, if BMW had not spotted this, KWIK FIT have made my insurance invalid between them fitting the tires and the day that BMW replaced them. Only just found this out when googling about different tire speeds. If tires do not fit the manufacturers recommended size and specification, your insurance is automatically void.

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And small claims process has started..... £70 court costs added to the bill.


I trust you included County Court Acts Interest.


If the Judge accepts it (they sometimes take into account your own behavior), at 8% pa on a daily basis it is way above what your money would earn.

It was set in different times!

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Yep - BMW did check out the drive chain (all good) but found that it had buggered the gear-transfer-whatsit (I did not catch the name of the part, had a long name) which they had to order from Germany. They managed to get it done under warranty (somehow). It does mean my car has been off the road for yet another week, but as I can only sue them for actual loss of money (rather than perceived loss by inconvenience).



Kwikfit did call me last night - a chap said he had finally picked up my emails and wanted to start an investigation - wanted me to start emailing through everything which I said NO to... I explained that they already had the letter at their office and branch with the initial BMW assessment and that I had already started the court process. He said he would try and find the letter (registered and signed for 3.5 weeks ago, so they do have it somewhere) and would get back to me. I said 'take your time' - BMW are putting an evidence pack together, and I would prefer to see them in court so that once I have a judgement, I would be free to post anywhere and everywhere to warn others without hitting libel issues. His attitude was (and I quote, because I record all my phone conversations) "sounds like BMW are scare mongering". Grrrrr



To be honest, I am more annoyed now about the fact that they had invalidated my insurance by fitting the wrong tires. If I had had an accident (my fault or somebody elses) my insurance would be invalid which means that I would be facing:



1) 6 points on my licence

2) a £900 fee (driving without insurance)

3) Paying for car repairs myself of the cost of replacing a £48k car.

Edited by jaffab
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try to fool me they quoted £250 + VAT for brake pads and shoes to be fitted (Guarantee for life) oh! yeah (non transferable guarantee no doubt, well job done local garage £78, enough said ,


even local so called Tyre dealers brakes etc state £178 - hope people take note from now on!

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Something doesn't add up to me - in that BMW are saying that the speed rating of the tyre is to blame. W rated tyres are rated to 168 mph and Y rated tyres are rated to 186 mph, yet the performance data that I can find on the cars, says that they are limited to 155 mph.


I had a conversation with a traffic policeman the other week and we talked about the 4 wheel drive BMW that he was driving, I was told that they have encountered wind up problems in the transmission due to differing tyre tread depths and that they now have to check the tyre tread depths daily and ensure that they are all within 1mm of each other.


I suspect that the problem is down to having just the front tyres renewed and not all four.

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First read, but here goes :-


1. For the UK courts, and the required attention to detail you will need to see this through, use tyre (round rubber thing), not tire, as in get sleepy.


2. I don't think many people would agree with No.1 and certainly not the split\puncture bit.


3. I bet the BMW Warranty folks would love to know as well, how they were charged for a 'gear-transfer-whatsit' which failed, but not because of a manufacturing defect.


Four tyres for the price of two, good luck.


j66 in post #11 may have a point.


ukguy2k, nothing in this thread relates to tracking.........................




44 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Ok - so current status is (from the court tracker)....



A bar was put in place for Kiwk Fit (GB) Ltd on 16/09/2016



Kiwk Fit (GB) Ltd filed a defence on 16/09/2016 at 16:02:12



I have a nice fat pack from BMW for the court- they were very helpful which has in various places that



1) Damage to front and rear tires was caused by the wrong tires competing against each other (they explained it in four different ways)

2) They have provided copies of the tire information plate (which I could have taken photos of, but nice to have independent from BMW), plus copies of the manufacturers specifications

3) Copies of photos of the damage to the car including the tyre wear points and splits

4) Copies of some legal documents regarding the downgrading of tire speed rating (see example quote below)

5) Screen shots from Kwikfit web site with similar wording regarding 'the importance of tire speed rating'



I appreciate what others have said before about 'I spoke to a policeman friend of mine...' etc - but I am going on the technical reports from BMW (who will be independent in terms of the court date and know what they are talking about, rather than "my mate down the pub says..." type things).



b. Speed Rating


If you fit tyres with lower speed rating than the original fitment, the new tyres will not support your regular speed. This can result in unfortunate

occurrences. And the insurance company can refuse to entertain your claim, citing that the car was not road worthy and had been ‘modified’. In fact in some

countries, it is illegal to drive on tyres with lower speed rating than the original fitments.

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Regarding fitting the wrong speed rating, even the Kitfit web site (BMW included printouts of the pages) say the same thing....



If you are unsure what speed rating you need, be sure to check your vehicle handbook. Choosing a lower speed rating than that recommended by your vehicle manufacturer could potentially invalidate your insurance.





And also provided by BMW for me....



The Motor Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2001

“ 16. Tyres

6. Each wheel on each axle shall be equipped with a tyre which has a load capacity such that when the axle is loaded to its maximum permitted axle weight, the weight transmitted to the road surface by that tyre does not exceed that load capacity.


7. The speed capability of all tyres fitted shall be not less than the maximum design speed of the vehicle.

Edited by jaffab
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The bar in place is just to prevent you from obtaining default judgment as they have now filed a defence. See what they have to say in their defence and it will be interesting to see what they have to say about fitting lower than manufactures speed rating tyres. Last time I looked online for tyres, they say you can go higher speed rating but not lower but always check with manufacture first. If it's 4wd I think all 4 should be the same speed rating and if 2wd they should have the same speed rating on each axle.

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Yep - been down this route before so know what a Bar is - I await the Kitfit defence with interest, Just to make sure I have sufficient paperwork to blow them out of the water when I get a date, spoke to my insurance company (Direct line) and asked the question...


"Completely hypothetical,say I took my car into somewhere and they fitted a couple of tires below the required speed limit, would I still be covered?"

Response: "No, its a change to the specification of the car"

"And the person fitting the tires would know this"

Response: "Yes - but people make mistakes. But any decent tire fitter would know what they are doing and would not make that mistake"


Direct line were very nice, and sent me an email to that effect (and even added the comment saying that a tire fitter would know this, which was nice of them), without charging me. So another bit of evidence to the pack. The only job I have now is to type up the voice recordings I have of all the phone calls to Kwit Fit and from BMW just so I have that as well.

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If you started the court process on 13th and they have filed a defence on 16th that's bloody quick. I'm surprised they didn't first acknowledge the claim to give them extra time to digest the situation and get their legal bods on the case. Just have to wait and see what their defence is.

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I appreciate what others have said before about 'I spoke to a policeman friend of mine...' etc - but I am going on the technical reports from BMW (who will be independent in terms of the court date and know what they are talking about, rather than "my mate down the pub says..." type things).


The Policeman had stopped for a chat about a vehicle that was showing as not taxed (it had been taxed an hour earlier), I'd never met him before.


Any how I think that you need to be 100% sure of these speed ratings, not knowing exactly what model you have, I've taken a look at the technical specifications on BMWs web site https://www.bmw.co.uk/en_GB/new-vehicles/4/grancoupe/2014/technical-data.html . To summarise they have 3 derivatives of BMW 4 Series M Sport Xdrive listed and they all have W rated tyres listed for them.


The 4 series model with the highest power output engine of the range has a top speed of 250Km/h and the W rated tyres that Kwik Fit supplied are rated to 270Km/h, Y rated tyres are rated to 300Km/h which is well in excess of the cars maximum speed.


On the MOT for class IV vehicles, tyre speed and load ratings are not part of the test.

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Reading a few notes that BMW gave me, it says that the speed rating is just a term, and has more than just speed within the factoring (after all, the UK speed limit is 70, so we would never need any tires that are rated over 70mph). Other factors that go into the speed rating (according to BMW) are:



* Compound hardness

* Heat displacement

* Cornering Adjustment

* Grip

* Braking Capability



Then there was a load of text, which I repeat below:

Speed ratings indicate so much more about how a tire performs than its maximum speed. Tires with higher speed ratings are better equipped to get rid of heat; they also offer better cornering, gripping and braking, which is why we think of it as a ‘performance rating.’ Tires that have been downgraded in speed rating flex and squirm under pressure, causing heat-build up and compromising traction and tire life—situations that can lead to blowouts, especially in the heat of summer.

That rating is based on rubber compound as well as tread stability, design and casing construction. Tires with bigger inter-locking tread blocks squirm less than a lot of little tread blocks. Less squirming means more staying on the road.

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A quick google of some of the text confirms it is indeed lifted from an American web site - from the Bridgestone tyre information international site. But then a jump to the UK Bridgestone site has almost the same wording. I am getting the feeling that despite BMW stating over and over the tires were not valid for my car, my insurance saying the tires made my car uninsured, BMW stating several times that the wrong tires caused damage, that others feel that lower spec tires are ok.



A quick google seems to suggest that lower than manufacturer specd tyres should not have been fitted and it indeed made my cars insurance invalid (thus making my driving of it illegal). Even the kiwk fit web site says the same thing.



And then we have (a quick google):

"The association of British Tyre Manafacturers"



Although in the UK the law only requires that tyres are capable of meeting the national speed limit, do not be tempted to fit a lower Speed Symbol tyre than originally fitted because it is important to note the "Speed Symbol" is not only an indicator to the tyre’s maximum speed potential, but also an indicator of how well it copes under braking, cornering and acceleration. In most European countries the speed symbol of replacement tyres must by law be equal to or higher than the original fit tyres.

For obvious reasons the tyre’s load capability must as a minimum match the loads imposed by the vehicle, statically and dynamically. UK law does stipulate replacement tyres must have a Load Index equal to or higher than the original fit tyre.

Tyres form an integral part of a vehicle’s suspension, braking and steering systems. When replacing them it is very important that not only the tyre size is equivalent to the original fit tyres, but that the "Load Index" and "Speed Symbol" are equal to or higher than the original fit tyres.


The AA


The tyre’s speed rating represents the top speed the tyre is capable of maintaining. A letter that appears on your tyre’s sidewall illustrates the rating (see example above).

Best tyre pressure gauges 2016

It essential you choose a tyre capable of travelling at speeds in excess of your car’s maximum speed – even though every tyre is capable of maintaining speeds of more than 70mph.

You could find your car insurance invalidated by using tyres with a lower speed rating than appropriate for your car.



Auto Express


It essential you choose a tyre capable of travelling at speeds in excess of your car’s maximum speed – even though every tyre is capable of maintaining speeds of more than 70mph.

You could find your car insurance invalidated by using tyres with a lower speed rating than appropriate for your car.



Uk Tyre Speed Rating


We’ve mentioned that this rating is very important, and there are several reasons for this. The most important reason is safety. When travelling at high speed, it is fairly obvious that your wheels, and by extension your tyres, are turning much faster than at slow speeds. This generates more heat in the fabric of the tyre. If the tyre is run at a higher speed than its rated maximum it could be prone to catastrophic failure. Of course, this type of blow out might happen while you are still travelling at high speed, so the consequences are easy to imagine.

As a result of the safety implications of using the wrong tyre speed rating, many insurance companies state that insurance cover will be invalidated if tyres with the wrong rating are fitted.

As tyres with a higher tyre speed rating tend to be more expensive than those with a lower rating, people have argued that because there is a speed limit of 70 mph in the UK, then it is unnecessary to fit tyres rated to a much higher speed. It is also true that a car fitted with the wrong tyre speed rating is unlikely to fail its annual MOT test as long as it is in good condition. However in response, the insurance companies point out that the higher tyre speed rating also ensures that the tyres are able to deal with higher acceleration loads and the stresses of higher speed cornering, even if the maximum speed is not exceeded.

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