Can I claim for a punctured radiator under warranty?

I have a three week old car. It showed that the coolant was low so I took it in to a dealer for a check. "Oh it's a new car", they said. "We've topped it up and it's fine now."

Unfortunately it wasn't lost all its coolant on the way home, and amber warnings turned to red, and we had a lengthy recovery via AA.

A more sensible local dealer told us that the radiator is actually punctured, and as it's an external item, it is damage - so not covered by warranty. It costs £1,325 for a new radiator.

How could this happen? I didn't hear any impact, and it was nothing more than motorway speeds. Do I have any rights?

Asked on 9 May 2022 by Andrew Trevvett

Answered by Dan Powell
A flying stone can punch a hole into the radiator. It can also wreck the air con condenser. It usually happens quickly and the sound is masked by road or radio noise.

Sadly this is road damage and not a warranty issue. That said, I'd raise a complaint with the service manager at the dealership that inspected the car. The mechanic should have spotted this problem when you took the car in for an inspection. It's very shoddy service to have missed something as serious as this, as coolant loss can quickly escalate into an overheating and wrecked engine.
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