Is clutch failure covered by the Consumer Rights Act?

My son bought a 2015 Ford Fiesta ST180 in March 2022, paying £11,000. He purchased it from our local main dealer.

He was driving home one evening and was part way up a steep hill when suddenly the clutch let go. The revs shot up and there was a smell of burning.

The Fiesta had covered 39,779 miles when my son purchased it. It has now covered 42,746 miles. This means that my son has owned the vehicle for less than four months and has covered just 2,967 miles.

The dealer is claiming 'fair wear and tear' and refusing to cover the repair of the car. Do you think my son has a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015? To survive less than 3,000 miles the clutch must have been on the way out at the time of sale.

Asked on 28 June 2022 by Mike

Answered by Dan Powell
The 2015 Consumer Rights Act theoretically gives you the right to a free repair if any problem is found within the first six months, as any faults are deemed present or developing at the time of sale.

Clutches can be something of a grey area, however, with aggressive driving accelerating clutch wear and potentially resulting in damage. If you were inclined, you could burn through a new clutch in an afternoon with a heavy right foot.

That said, I would expect the dealer that sold your son the car to inspect the clutch for signs of damage or a manufacturing fault. If they refuse, say you will take the car to an independent garage for inspection. And if any manufacturing fault is found, you will hold them responsible for the costs.

For your son's consumer rights, see:

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