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The AA damaged BGPA unit in my car due to non-correct battery replacement procedure

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The AA damaged BGPA unit in my car due to non-correct battery replacement procedure

At the end of September last year I got stranded at home because of a dead car battery in my Citroen C4. I phoned the AA, of which I am a member since 2017, and they sent a mechanic to assess the situation. Following his assessment my car battery was replaced by him the same day. Following the battery replacement, I started experiencing problems with my car. The car's dashboard computer screen started - randomly - to display fault messages regarding the electrical circuit and/or the battery. The AA mechanic had suggested this could have happened because the car needed to 'reset' itself, but unfortunately with time the frequency of the messages increased.


I therefore decided to have it checked at an authorised Citroen garage and was given an appointment at the end of January. The diagnostics report, issued by this independent garage, stated that as a result of not following the correct procedures when the car battery was changed, the BPGA Unit had been damaged and needed replacing. The car’s computer fault messages I had been getting were a direct result of the damaged BGPA unit.


The unit has since been replaced at a total cost of £695.


Because the Citroen garage had unequivocally concluded that the BGPA Unit could have not been damaged by anything other than an incorrect battery replacement procedure, I decided to file a claim with the AA for the sustained costs.


After a few weeks of email correspondence, they informed me that they will not refund me as it is their belief that their mechanic has done nothing wrong. During the email correspondence, I had asked them more than once to contact the person at the garage so they could verify my claim (this gentleman at the garage had kindly offered to have his contact details forwarded to the AA for that reason as the garage sees cars being brought in with the same problem on a very regular basis, all due to incorrect battery replacement), but to no avail.


By not contacting the garage and only bringing forward their side of the story, I feel the AA has not conducted a fair nor independent evaluation of the matter. I sought advice with the Financial Ombudsman, but it turns out the AA's Breakdown Service is exempt from authorisation under the Financial Services and Markets Act.

Has anyone else experienced something similar?

According to my garage, they get cases like this in on a weekly basis so there must be others out there.

How have you handled it? Any luck?

Thanks in advance for advice/replies.

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What's a BGPA unit?


Who have you been emailing at the AA?


Ideally, you need to put it down in writing to someone senior at the AA and just have one point of contact, unless you have been emailing the CEO?


Then if you wish to proceed with a small claim to recover your costs, there's a set procedure before you issue a claim form.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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The BGPA Unit is a unit that regulates the electronic circuits in the car.

I have been through the whole claims trajectory with the AA and to no avail.

I've tried the Financial Conduct Authority but they don't fall under that.

That's why I'm seeking advice from people that might have gone through the same issue.

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Start off by getting a written statement from the garage which identified the problem and which has offered to provide details to the AA.

Make sure that the identity of the person who made the diagnosis is clear, together with their level of expertise, years of experience et cetera. Also, the steps they took to diagnose the problem and their findings in detail.

If you can get this statement then we can probably help you go forward. If they want to charge a fee then we can probably help you get that back although try to let us know about a possible fee in advance.

Write a letter to the AA:


Dear Sir/Mdm

Reference number XXX – vehicle make/model/registration number

I'm writing in respect of the damage was caused to my vehicle as a result of the incorrect battery replacement carried out by your mechanic on XXX date.

So far you have rejected my position that your mechanic was to blame. I am now proceeding to obtain a formal statement from the garage and the mechanic which diagnosed the problem and corrected it and for which I have paid £XXX.

I am putting you on notice that if the garage requires a fee for this report that I shall be looking to you to reimburse me in addition to the cost of repairing the damage caused by your mechanic.

If you have comments to make then you should probably make them sooner rather than later.

Yours faithfully

I suggest that you sent this letter straightaway. If your garage wants a fee then you should pay it because their statement of evidence will become essential although it is extremely likely that we will help you recover the fee in addition to the cost of repairs.

I suggest that you send the above letter immediately and then telephoned the garage immediately about the report. If they say that they want a fee for it then tell them to wait seven days. That will give the AA more than adequate time to have received your letter and to raise any objections. If you don't hear from them then you proceed to go ahead and get the report and pay the fee.

If you are lucky then you won't be asked a fee at all – but you will need a pretty detailed report.

Then come back here

Incidentally, I can't for the life of me understand what gave you the impression that the Financial Ombudsman Service would have any kind of jurisdiction over this issue.

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For those interested, the BGPA unit is an electronic control unit that forms part of the car's battery charge circuit. It's responsible for monitoring the battery's state of charge, whether to allow charging, the rate of charge and for monitoring battery health with a view to increasing battery life and performance. It also forms part of the car's automatic response to an accident by isolating the battery in response to an impact, with a view to minimising the risk of post-accident fire.


As it's an electronic control unit (ECU) and contains a microcontroller, it can be easily damaged if the battery to which it is connected is not handled correctly, or if the battery is installed in a way other than that outlined by its manufacturer.


BGPA, by the way, is an initialism of its French name; "Boitier de Protection et de Gestion de L'Alimentation".

Edited by theberengersniper
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initialism = acronym

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Or if you prefer, "Boitier de Protection et de Gestion de L'Alimentation" is the acrostic of BGPA


So now you know

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