Why doesn't my dealer's Mercedes-Benz MoT cover include replacing a suspension boot?

I'm an avid reader of your column and I'm rather upset about a recent garage experience. For the past two or three years, the Mercedes-Benz dealer at Warrington has been sending me a printed MoT reminder with complimentary £500 cover should my car not pass its test next year. The conditions were that it's serviced at a Mercedes-Benz dealer in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations (done) and that the MoT is also carried out in their workshops (done). Steering, suspension and brakes were covered.

When my 37,000-mile E Class failed recently on front lower wishbone arm wear, I assumed it would be covered. But no. The service manager said that there was an integral rubber boot that had worn, and this was wear and tear and wouldn't be covered. As you can't buy the boot separately it would be a £468 job to replace the arm. I pointed out the unfairness of this and they told me an insurance company underwrites the deal, and I should ring them. I said my contract was with Mercedes-Benz and I did not want to negotiate with a third party. No insurance company name, nor conditions appeared on the card sent to me. I chased them up a week later and they told me the part was covered after all, but my policy had expired because I had the car tested a week earlier the previous year. Again, nowhere on the promotional card did it state this was a strictly 12-month deal from the date of last MoT.

Asked on 11 October 2012 by BA, Wigan

Answered by Honest John
I told BA to tell the dealer who sold him the deal to threaten to take the matter to the Small Claims Track of the County Court. The complimentary cover is a term and condition of his servicing contract with the dealer. He paid for the service and that 'consideration' amounts to paying for the MoT cover. He did as I suggested and the dealer relented.
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