Volvo XC40 burnt out clutch and damaged flywheel - can the dealer make me pay?

I have a Volvo XC40 manual which is eight months old and has done 5,600 miles. I had a problem changing gear and a slight burning smell which went away and towards the end of my journey of 10 miles the clutch started juddering when changing gear. The car was collected the next day and taken to the Volvo garage. They stripped it down and could not find any faults, and having checked everything they have now said it is driver error. I was a rep on the road for a large portion of my career and had many new cars and did anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 miles a year and never once had a clutch problem. The dealer is asking for £1,334 pounds to repair! Can you give me any help in fighting my case?

Asked on 28 January 2022 by Barry Hill

Answered by Dan Powell
I'm sorry to read about the problems you've experienced with your Volvo.

If you had owned the car for less than six months, the 2015 Consumer Rights Act would give you strong grounds to argue that the problems were present or developing at the time of sale.

After six months, it falls on the consumer to prove the failure was due to a sudden and unexpected mechanical breakdown. And this is very difficult to do with things like clutches and flywheels.

I imagine the dealer is arguing the failure is caused by excessive wear of the clutch and flywheel. You could counter this with an independent engineer's report, but it will incur further costs and provide no guarantee of a positive outcome.
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