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Land Rover U-turns on parts warranty claim

Land Rover has backed down on a warranty dispute centring on the use of non-OE parts following intervention by the Automotive Distribution Federation and the Office of Fair Training.

The issue concerned a claim for head gasket failure on a Freelander, which the franchised dealer, Guy Salmon in Leeds, and Land Rover initially dismissed on the basis that a “non-Land Rover” oil filter had been fitted at a 4x4 specialist workshop – in contravention of block exemption rules.

The ADF consulted the OFT and contacted both the dealership and Land Rover, which initially stood their ground. However after further talks, the decision was taken last week to honour the claim. ADF chief executive Brian Spratt is worried that some dealers and carmakers are still unaware of the changes and requirements brought in by new block exemption rules.

“I feel that the initial rejection of the warranty claim purely on the basis that the vehicle was fitted with a non-Land Rover supplied part, could be a device to create dismay in the mind of the vehicle owner,” he says. “Land Rover’s subsequent decision to accept the claim not only makes the motorist grateful for what may seem a ‘near-miss’, but also places doubt in the owner’s mind as to future servicing and parts supply arrangements.”

Spratt says the ADF and OFT are investigating other complaints.

Land Rover told AM that the matter was resolved in line with block exemption and is training dealers to better understand the full implications of the revised regulations.

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