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Ask the expert: How can I get Cinch to take back my faulty Volvo?

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 3/29/2023 Alex Robbins
Volvo V40 - Alamy © Alamy Volvo V40 - Alamy

Dear Alex,

I bought a 2015 Volvo V40 through Cinch last year. I took it to Volvo to get a health check the first week and they found a slight oil leak from the camshaft cover gasket. This was replaced at cost to Cinch’s warranty company. 

The oil warning light came on a month later, then again a few weeks later. Each time I added a litre of oil. I took the car to a different Volvo dealer, in case the first one’s work had been faulty. It was not, but this dealer found the crankcase cover to be cracked and repaired it. The 90-day warranty had expired but Cinch paid for the repair. 

Then about a month later the oil warning light came on again. I have now done just over 7,000 miles and have added about six litres of oil. I have asked to reject the car, but Cinch told me this is not unusual oil consumption for a car of this age and that I would have to get a controlled oil consumption test carried out at my cost. Volvo’s recommendation was that the engine be taken apart or replaced. Is there anything I can do? 

– SS

Dear SS,

It sounds to me as though the car had problems to start with. To Cinch’s credit, it paid for two repairs.

However, I felt its request for an oil diagnostic test was unreasonable, and its claim that the car’s consumption is normal for its age to be fanciful at best. 

Given that you raised the issue of the car’s engine oil running low very soon after you bought it – and well within the six-month window afforded by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – and given that Cinch had already tried to repair the fault at least once, I believed you had a right to reject the car. I put this to Cinch, but it reiterated its contention that this level of oil consumption was normal. 

I therefore asked how it could make that claim when it would mean the car would run out of oil halfway between each scheduled service. Cinch replied stating that it would reconsider your case. I’m pleased to say that it has now decided to accept your rejection of the car and refund your outlay entirely. A Cinch spokesman added: “We’re sorry this vehicle did not match our high standards on this occasion.”

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