EVs sparking more complaints

Charging point

Motorists’ complaints about electric vehicles and dealers selling them are rising, reports The Motor Ombudsman.

The latest increase may be put down to a greater number of consumers getting behind the wheel of pure battery-driven models, and the cost of living crisis driving more individuals to recoup financial losses, as pressures on household budgets continue to build.

The trouble-shooter dedicated to the motor trade said it received 291 complaints in Q2 versus 273 in Q1, with service and purchase issues dominating concerns and taking up almost a third of complaints. In many instances the problems centered on failing new technology used with the EVs, including apps for systems.

Perhaps because of greater publicity about real range capability, these complaints halved over the six months.

But some of the other issues centered on delayed deliveries, changes to specifications when delivered, lowered quoted part-exchange prices and cancellation of orders without explanation or agreement.

Servicing, recalls and parts issues also came up.

Mirroring the first quarter of 2023, the vehicle chassis and motor area was responsible for causing a fifth (20%) of electric vehicle disputes. Dissatisfaction resulted from braking issues, such as failures of the regenerative system, stuck calipers, and wheel trims bending from brake heat. Electric traction faults also caused tyre blow outs, whilst problematic motors have led to vehicle breakdowns, spurring the submission of complaints to The Motor Ombudsman.

With vehicles increasingly reliant on electronics and software to stay on the move, problems arising in this area accounted for 14% of issues reported about EVs in quarter two. Faults between the high- and low- voltage systems, and boot lids unlocking themselves, were amongst the concerns reported by vehicle owners.

On the subject of apps, which are commonplace on EV interfaces, glitches prevented vehicles from pre-heating and charging, and consumers being unable to register vehicles to activate some user functions.

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said, “What our latest quarterly data analysis is showing, is that despite the volume of complaints starting to creep up, these still account for less than 1% of overall contacts received every quarter, therefore posting an encouraging picture that the majority of EV owners and buyers are enjoying what is a positive experience, with no major causes for concern.”

“The level of service delivered by businesses, and problems encountered at the point of purchase remains a key sticking point for motorists, but there are small signs this is beginning to improve. We will of course continue to keep a close eye on trends that emerge through the rest of this year, so as to keep industry and consumers informed about what we are seeing on the ground.” By Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency

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