Watchdog: Antara can’t be rejected despite recurring rust

Vauxhall required three separate repairs for rust, but finance firm won’t allow rejection

You don’t expect a new car to rust, but if it does and your franchised dealer accepts a manufacturing fault is to blame, you’d be right to assume you’re entitled to a refund.

That’s certainly what Vauxhall Antara owner Jeff Rogers expected when he spotted rust just six months after buying his car on finance from Vauxhall Dalgety Bay in Fife, Scotland, last October.

Jeff of Telford, Shropshire, took the car to Greenhous Vauxhall Shrewsbury, whose service director Paul Thomas wrote to confirm it was "a manufacturing issue which may have been influenced by the vehicle not having the correct amount of paint protection applied during the build process". It fixed the first patch, and then a second, but when the 65-plate car was booked in for a third repair, a frustrated Jeff called Auto Express.

“It’s ridiculous. This isn’t how a new car should leave the factory,” he moaned. “And it begs the question what other quality issues have been overlooked?”

He argued he should be entitled to hand the car back, but his finance provider Barclays disagreed. A customer services rep wrote to confirm: “I am unable to meet your request of rejecting your vehicle due to the length of time that you owned it. Vauxhall advised us that they are happy to repair your vehicle free of charge. We feel that the resolution they have offered is fair and reasonable.”

We argued that the fixes weren’t dealing with the underlying paint protection problem, and suggested Jeff contact the Financial Ombudsman, who can intervene in disputes over cars bought on credit. After reviewing his case, a spokeswoman for the Financial Ombudsman told Auto Express: “Our investigator has told Barclays that he should be able to reject the vehicle.”

She added: “Barclays thinks a repair is more reasonable, as the rust is only minor. However, our investigator is of the opinion that the customer is entitled to a product which is free of any defects.”

Barclays has now asked for the case to be referred to a higher-ranking investigator whose verdict “is final, and legally-binding to both parties, should the consumer accept it”. A final decision is due later in December.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
1 Mar 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Hot car deal: quirky Nissan Juke hybrid for £172 a month
Nissan Juke dynamic
Deals
26 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: quirky Nissan Juke hybrid for £172 a month

10 smallest cars on sale 2024
smallest cars on sale
Best cars
28 Feb 2024

10 smallest cars on sale 2024

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
19 Dec 2023

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
12 Apr 2023

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
The best electric cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024