The cambelt broke in my car long before the recommended replacement - should the manufacturer offer a free fix?

I have a 2014 Skoda Octavia vRS TDI with 88,000 miles and a full service history. It isn't due another service for 8000 miles, but the cambelt has just snapped. I don't know what engine damage has been caused because the mechanic is reluctant to start stripping down before Skoda are contacted. The manufacturer recommendation for cambelt replacement is at 140,000 miles or five years, or whichever comes soonest. So I am over a year and 52,000 miles short of this recommendation. I've contacted my local Skoda dealer and they have advised me to contact Skoda UK, which I have done. The dealer says that this is unheard of. I have asked Skoda UK to cover the costs of the repair etc due to keeping to their recommendations. I'm aware that if they don't this could cost me a lot of money. Is there any advice you can give me in relation to dealing with Skoda?

Asked on 13 March 2018 by Lee Marriner

Answered by Honest John
This is fairly rare but if the timing belt fails the engine generally self-destructs, which is why we err on the side of caution by recommending a timing belt/tensioner/waterpump/alternator belt change every five years or 60,000 miles. If Skoda doesn't cough up, I think you should take the matter to Small Claims because they fundamentally misled you over the potential life of the belt.
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