West Way Nissan in Birmingham has said it’s “not in a position to comment” after it failed to inform the owner of a Nissan X-Trail that their car had been stolen.
The owner, who wrote to the Guardian to seek advice, was referred to the main dealer by their local independent after it diagnosed a turbo failure on the four-year-old vehicle which was just out of warranty.
The owner said: “West Way Nissan diagnosed the same problem and agreed to ask Nissan UK to contribute to the repair.
“After a week, we were told that it was still waiting for a response from Nissan UK.
“After a couple of weeks without a car, I called Nissan UK myself, only to be told that West Way had not contacted them at all.
“It agreed to pay for the parts and authorised a courtesy car.
“Then, on 19 July, West Way told us that our car had been stolen and its insurance would sort it out.
No CCTV coverage
“We later discovered it had been stolen two weeks previously, supposedly from a locked compound, and that the garage only discovered the CCTV didn’t cover the area after the theft.
“We’ve now been told we need to make a claim on our insurance and fork out the excess and potential increase in premiums.”
In a statement to the Guardian, West Way Nissan said: “The process is for the customer to claim on her insurance, who will counter claim on our insurance if they deem it suitable.
“If it is found, following investigation, that there is a counter claim with us, we will be reimbursing any excess she has had to incur.”
Nissan UK also declines to comment on West Way’s poor communication.
It said: “The dealership is following guidance from its insurers relating to this case, and will continue to support the customer and provide them with a replacement courtesy car, until this is resolved.
Responding to the reader’s predicament, Guardian journalist Anna Tims wrote: “Under the law of bailment, the garage is responsible for taking ‘reasonable care’ of vehicles.
“You could take it to court, but would have to show they failed to show ‘reasonable care’.
“If the premises were left unlocked and the car keys easily accessible, you’d have a good case.
“But if thieves overcame robust security and hot wired the car out of there, it’s less clear cut.
“Your best option is to make a claim on your insurance and urge your insurer to pursue the costs so that it – and you – are not out of pocket.”
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