17 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

New EV sales process weak link in chain, figures find

While EVs continue to become more user-friendly, new figures suggest that the dealer experience for those buying electric cars is leaving something to be desired, with 41% of consumer complaints around EVs submitted to The Motor Ombudsman’s dispute resolution service during 2022 relating directly to the purchase process.

83% related to new cars, with 17% dealing with used cars. 10% of complaints resulted from
delivery delays. Other complaints covered high pressure sales techniques, missing vehicle documentation, the provision of inaccurate information, lack of communication from retailers, and sudden order cancellations. 16% of complaints related to brakes, gearbox, suspension and tyres faults. 14% of complaints were about software and electrical issues, with keyless entry, windscreen wiper washer jets, app and software update failures, and sudden system malfunctions receiving regular mention.8% related to interior systems, encompassing infotainment, wing mirror screens, and Sat-Nav issues. Exterior issues accounted for 6% of complaints, down from 11% in 2021, with bodywork damage and missing or faulty external parts receiving regular mentions. Charging, battery and range issues received the smallest portion of complaints, with 5% each emanating from these areas.

20% of those who made a complaint opted for compensation, with 18% going for a full refund.

Commenting on the findings, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman Bill Fennell said: “Encouragingly, concerns about electric vehicles, which were brought by consumers to our dispute resolution service in 2022, made up less than 1% of all the contacts received by The Motor Ombudsman. What our latest data has also shown, and mirroring last year’s trend, is that customer service and the purchase process have once again proved to be the main bones of contention for EV buyers and owners. This means there remains a need for businesses to continue to ensure that their communications, sales and handover processes are comprehensive, fair and transparent.”

For more information, visit: www.TheMotorOmbudsman.org/electric-vehicles