My used car warranty doesn't cover lack of smartphone connectivity. Is this fair?

The PCM (Porsche Communication Management) system in my recently purchased 997.2 is quite capable of interfacing with a smartphone, but it doesn't. I'm told by a Porsche main dealer that it probably just needs a simple and inexpensive software update. The independent dealer (Porsche specialist) that I bought it from refuses to upgrade it, saying that it's not covered under their own six month warranty, that it might corrupt the whole PCM unit, and that I can't expect a 2009 car to connect to a two year old smartphone. Are they right, or should I send them the bill from my local Porsche Centre?

Asked on 19 June 2020 by martin t

Answered by Andrew Brady
First of all, your car purchase will be covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This requires the car to be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. A radio that won't connect to your smartphone won't cause the car to fail the 'satisfactory quality' or 'fit for purpose' requirements, nor could you argue the car wasn't as described - unless the dealer explicitly said in the advert that it'd be able to connect to your phone.

So that leaves the warranty. The dealer probably uses a warranty from a third-party provider and these vary in quality quite significantly. It's unlikely that it'll cover your issue, but check the terms and conditions of the warranty you should have been given when you bought the car. If you think you have a case, take it up with the warranty company rather than the dealer.

Finally, while it's frustrating, the dealer probably has a point that it's a big ask for an 11-year-old car to work seamlessly with a modern smartphone. The best idea is to suck up the bill from your local Porsche Centre.
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