Re: Advice - Timing Belt
Well, it's been a few weeks(!) and as promised, here's what's happened.
ARUK were playing hard ball and sticking to their 40% offer. I wrote to the head of customer services saying I was prepared to pay for the cost of replacing the belt and it's associated parts, labour and VAT (£400ish), but not the damage caused to the engine (the remaining £1200).
I began thinking that it was more the fault of the dealership that serviced the car that should have been paying out. After all it was them that were negligent and failed to carry out the servicing to the required standard.
The dealership were very sympathetic, but were not willing to offer anything other than to do the work at a reduced rate. Given that the car is in Bolton and they are in North London meant this wasn't feasible (not to mention the fact that the £71/hr charged by the Bolton dealership was pretty much their discounted rate anyway... normally £117/hour!!).
I informed them that I had taken legal advice, but they didn't believe that they had done anything wrong, carrying out the 3 year service to the required schedule at the time and as the timing belt was not part of the 4 year service, that that too had been carried out to the correct guidelines. They were basically pointing the finger at ARUK and said they would get in touch with customer services to get them to increase their offer. ARUK said it was the dealership's fault and that they didn't even have to offer anything.
After numerous phone calls between myself the dealership and ARUK, ARUK upped their offer to 50%. I spoke to the dealership and said that if they were not prepared to contribute towards the cost of the repairs then I would have no other option than to start legal proceedings against them. Irrespective of who was at fault (either them or ARUK), my contract was with them to service the vehicle - if they believe it was ARUK to blame then it would be up to them to recover the cost from ARUK, not me.
After all, if ARUK had not offered to pay 50%, I would be sueing for the full cost from them, plus legal fees, plus compensation - probably in the region of £2000, considerably more than the £400 I was after. Despite this, they were still unwilling to contribute, so it’s off to the small claims court!
I'm finally due to get my car back this afternoon - the garage in Bolton were not willing to start the work until they knew who was paying and it’s taken them two weeks to order the parts and get the work done.
Not entirely happy with the amount of time it’s taken or that I have to go to court, but at least I’m getting my car back.
I’ll keep you posted on the verdict!