Jump to content

Hassle with Thames Motor Group and FCA Automotive Services UK Ltd t/a Jeep Financial Services **RESOLVED**

Recommended Posts

On 8th August 2022 using a credit card I paid Online a £99 deposit to Thames Motor Group towards a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee valued at £28995.  On the Thames Motor Group website it stated that used vehicles came with a 12 month comprehensive warranty and as Thames Motor Group are a franchised Jeep dealership it gave me confidence to go ahead with the purchase. 

On 9th August 2022 a hire purchase agreement for the balance after deposit was signed Online between  FCA Automotive Services UK Ltd trading as Jeep Financial Services and myself.  On 13th August 2022 I took delivery of a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  I am currently two months in advance with payments.  The vehicle has only been serviced by franchised Jeep dealerships with the last service in May 2023. 

The Jeep has a Perforating Rust Warranty on outer panels for 7 years and unlimited mileage.  The Jeep warranty book reads that the vehicle is warranted to be free from perforation due to corrosion.  Less than a year later after delivery on 3rd August 2023 I reported by email to the after sales director at the dealer that there was a bubble on leading edge of bonnet

I was advised by the dealer to take the Jeep to a local Jeep dealer in the West Midlands for inspection however they were unable to help as they did not have body shops.  I was the then advised by the dealer to contact Jeep UK.  I contacted Jeep UK and made a complaint.

I also contacted the finance house to raise a complaint about the bubble issue.  The finance house responded about 8 weeks later stating that they have completed their investigations and are rejecting my claim and sent a final response letter. They also suggested that I trade in or sell the vehicle, but I would lose substantially on either trading in or selling outright.  The finance house stated that as the lender they cannot be held liable for any repairs on my vehicle.  However the issue was there prior to purchase.

I took the Jeep to an approved Jeep UK approved body shop who viewed the vehicle who quoted £3110.90 for the replacement of the bonnet due to the extent of the corrosion as in their opinion the bonnet was beyond repairing as a previous repair had been attempted, but had failed.  This previous repair must have happened prior to the purchase of the vehicle HD18 LVW on 13th August 2022.  The quote was forwarded to Thames Motor Group. 

In December I took the Jeep to another approved Jeep UK body shop and they also pointed out that a previous repair had been attempted and in their opinion the bonnet needed to be replaced as they could not do a repair.  This quote was forwarded to the motor dealer.

Two body shop experts have confirmed that there was a previous repair which indicates that the fault was there prior to purchase of the vehicle.

Under CRA 2015 Sections 9 (2) & (3), 10 and 11 The finance house and the dealer are jointly liable as they are part of the supplier chain . In addition S75(1) of the Consumer Credit Act will also apply If the debtor under a debtor-creditor-supplier agreement falling within section 12(b) or (c) has, in relation to a transaction financed by the agreement, any claim against the supplier in respect of a misrepresentation or breach of contract, he shall have a like claim against the creditor, who, with the supplier, shall accordingly be jointly and severally liable to the debtor.

On 14th Dec 2023 Jeep UK responded to me that they are willing to pay 75% of the cost of replacing the bonnet as a matter of goodwill.  The dealer was advised of this and their response was that they would contact Jeep UK for 100% of the cost. 

On 12th Jan 2024 the dealer advised that the manufacturer warranty claim was declined however they had managed to get a goodwill gesture from customer care at Jeep, the amount they have offered is 75% (£1,944.36) of the provided estimate. This is not 75% of either of the quotes and is a lot less.  The dealer also advised that they have spoken again with Jeep and were advised that Jeep UK would cover 100% of the bonnet repair (not replacement) as a gesture of goodwill.

I have declined the repair offer as two body shops experts have stated that a repair cannot be done and that the bonnet needs to be replaced due to the previous repair.  The fact that two experts have mentioned the previous repair plus the goodwill gesture by Jeep UK proves that the fault was there prior to purchase.

  On 17th November 2023 as it seemed I was not making any progress I forwarded by complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service who responded on the 27th November they would look into the matter.  The last email from FOS was to let me know they were out of office until 8th January 2024.

I now have a dilemma as it seems the FOS are slower than the dealer and finance house so maybe the only way forward is to use the Small Claims Court, but unsure how long it would take for it to progress through the system or whether I should just wait for the FOS to rule.  I will need to demonstrate to the court that I have done everything to try and resolve the issue. Can you claim for something not yet done as do not want to use my credit card to pay balance as I will probably incur interest and it may take me about 4 months to pay off my CC.  Also unsure whether the financial house or the dealer are the defendant or would both be the defendants?

Thanks for any input on this matter.


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • BankFodder changed the title to Hassle with Thames Motor Group

If you take it to the Small Claims Court – it will take at least 14 days to issue the claim. After that, there's a good chance that the finance company or the dealer might bottle out and pay for the replacement bonnet.

It seems to me that there probably isn't a huge discrepancy between the cost of repairs in the cost of the new bonnet which I understand to be about 3K, but how much was the proposed repair bill if that was the way you went?

I understand that you turned down a goodwill gesture to pay 75% of the cost. I'm not sure that this would be the correct approach. It would have been better if possible to accept the offer and then have the bonnet replaced and then sue for the balance.

This would have probably made the outstanding amount so small that it really wouldn't have been worth anybody challenging you on an issue where you are more than 90% likely to win.

With the warranty the you have referred to – it certainly seems that you are completely entitled to have a corrosion free bonnet and you are not obliged to accept a refund at all.
If they didn't put their hands up to a court claim – I expect that they eventually would but I can imagine that it might go to mediation – four months to 5 months. If it didn't go to mediation or the mediation fails then you could be looking at 12 months.

Best advice, I think would be to get the new bonnet and then sue for the difference – but give us some figures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • BankFodder changed the title to Hassle with Thames Motor Group and FCA Automotive Services UK Ltd t/a Jeep Financial Services

By the way, you say that the finance company have apparently carried out an investigation.

I'm quite sure that they have and reveal the content of that investigation to you. Send them an SAR. Let's have a laugh.

I would also send an SAR to the dealership and then compare the results to see if anything is missing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies for the confusion.  Jeep UK will be paying 75% for the replacement of the bonnet therefore the dealer will be responsible for paying the balance of 25%.  However if I opt for the repair rather than a replacement Jeep UK will pay 100%, but two body shops have said the bonnet is beyond repair due to the previous repair plus the extent of the corrosion. 

Even if they did the repair, neither can offer any warranty so in a year or three I may be back at square one if the corrosion surfaces again.  However neither body shop wanted to quote for a repair. I did not reject the offer outright, but said I would wait for a decision from the FOS

In my last email to the dealer which was sent this morning, I pointed out that their used vehicles came with a 12 month comprehensive warranty that includes mechanical and body work.  I attached a copy of this statement to the email.  Luckily I had saved a copy of this many months ago.

I know there used to a cost with the SAR, but does that still apply?  What should I be asking for?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You been here since 2006 and got 6000 posts. You should know the answer to this.

An SAR is free of charge. Use our SAR template and modify it. The SAR won't produce any particular advantages to you in getting the problem sorted out that it will be interesting to see exactly what the investigation amounted to.
The SAR really is a separate matter from sorting out the bonnet and I have already made the suggestion that you accept the 75% and then sue for the rest after the bonnet is fitted.
The alternative is to sue for the whole amount.
If they give you a full and final settlement offer – then probably you should knock it back and sue for the full amount.

Although they will say in vehicle, it was £28,000. You do have additional evidence that it is meant to be free from corrosion quite right that the repaired bonnet would not carry the warranty you want.

Go for the new one. The ombudsman will probably produce some mediocre halfway settlement which they consider is "fair to both sides". You don't want the ombudsman's version of "fair to both sides".
They have had their money 100%. You want your vehicle 100%. That is fair to both sides.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am aware of the Ombudsman and trying it on with the fair to both sides, but if they try that again, I will request it be escalated to a senior. 

Initially your complaint goes to the lowest tier of the process in the Ombudsman system and they hope that you will be satisfied with the decision, but you can appeal for it to be escalated like I did when rejecting a caravan in 2017.

  At that point it was resolved with 2 weeks as the senior person was well aware of CRA 2015 and I had all the necessary proof like with this current issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well please do keep us updated. Frank I have my doubts about the "fairness" of the possible decision even by an ombudsman.
The only thing that worries me is that if the ombudsman does come across with some kind of compromise solution in the interests of "fairness to both sides", that they may then try to rely on this if you go to small claims.
I can imagine that a judge might take that into consideration when deciding on an outcome of claim brought by you

  • I agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks however I am able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the issue existed prior to purchase of said vehicle therefore covered by CRA 2015.  In addition I have forwarded on proof of others that have had the same issue and that it is a manufacturing issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay well please keep us updated. I hope that you have 100% favourable outcome.

Send them the SARs anyway – just in case – and also to get an idea of what they mean by an "investigation".

  • I agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In case it's helpful, some additional commentary:

Although the replacement bonnet cost is enormous and certainly includes a 'we are the main dealer so we can' tax, part of the reason for the cost will be accounted for in Jeep replacing the bonnet with an original OEM, i.e., not a pattern aftermarket, panel. Additionally, I would expect a main dealer bodyshop to paint the bonnet and blend the colour out into the front wings and potentially even across the front doors. They do that to eliminate any visible colour discrepancy between the new paint and the old. If they simply painted the new bonnet, unless their painter is extremely good at paint mixing, you would almost certainly see a colour difference.

In relation to them declining to attempt a repair on the original bonnet, I can see the logic in that. Once corrosion has taken hold, the only genuinely effective way of resolving it is to cut out and replace the affected metal. If you don't, the rust will always come back, eventually. In the case of an easily-replaceable part like a bonnet, you would simply never invest the labour time in fixing it.

You may have it in mind that you want the main dealer to fix the issue and use genuine parts to do so, but if you're open to other options, you could ask that Jeep pay their contribution to you directly. In doing so, you'd be free to arrange for another bodyshop to carry out the repair at a fraction of the cost.

Lastly, something for you to keep in mind and query with Jeep; normally when a panel is replaced under warranty, that new panel is not normally covered under the original anti-perforation guarantee, which is probably not what you would expect. The reason is because that new panel has not been subject to the extensive anti-corrosion dipping treatment the original panels have. You might choose to ask them the question about the replacement bonnet, and if you can get someone to agree it's covered, make sure they put pen to paper.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the additional information and input as it all helps.  It is not the dealer that will be doing the repair, but a body shop nominated by Jeep UK.  The cost is not of any interest to me as it is jointly the dealer and the finance house that will be responsible for the repair.  Jeep UK has already offered them 75% towards the cost of the repair using genuine Jeep parts.  It is the balance that concerns me.

One of the advantages in paying something towards the cost and then claiming back is that you are then covered for another 6 years under CRA 2015. In this case the 25% is over £1000 so to us that is a lot of money as we are both retired.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Surfer01 said:

One of the advantages in paying something towards the cost and then claiming back is that you are then covered for another 6 years under CRA 2015.

Excellent point about the CRA, I was a little too blinkered by the technicalities of the repair that hadn't even occurred to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Another update. 

Jeep UK offered to pay 75% of costs if the bonnet was replaced and I was seeking the 25% balance of about £770 from the supplier.  Alternatively Jeep offered 100% for a repair to the bonnet. 

FOS found in my favour and agreed with myself that under CRA 2015 S9 the supplier has not conformed to the regulation. 

The finance house then agreed to fund the repair and pay £200 compensation. 

I then queried with the FOS whether it would be a repair or a replacement of bonnet that the finance house have agreed.  I suspect the finance house was going to go for the repair.

I told the FOS that I would be rejecting another repair to the repair already done prior to purchase as two Jeep approved body shops have said that they cannot repair an old repair due to the extent of the corrosion and if they did, there would be no warranty. 

FOS then realised that the finance house had been very ambiguous with their reply regarding the repair and is now seeking further clarification on the repair. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done for tenacity.


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Sadly another not so good update. 

The finance house are now stone walling regarding paying the 25%. 

The FOS has now escalated the issue to the next tier. 

The Jeep retailer has authorised the repair and will be claiming back from Jeep UK less the VAT. 

As the issue has been dragging on for several months, if we pay the difference in the meantime, this will result in us paying the VAT and we are unsure of the implications.

  If we claim back the balance from the finance house it reverts to B2B transaction and we are unsure how we would claim back the VAT.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • dx100uk changed the title to Hassle with Thames Motor Group and FCA Automotive Services UK Ltd t/a Jeep Financial Services **RESOLVED**

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?

  • Create New...