Kwik Fit battery blunder leaves driving instructor out of pocket and without car

Fast fit failed to fit correct battery to customer's start-stop equipped car on TWO occasions

Kwik Fit battery blunder leaves driving instructor out of pocket and without car
Ms Sammy originally took her car to Kwik Fit in Paignton where the first of two incorrect batteries were fitted.

A self-employed driving instructor has claimed she’s been left out of pocket after Kwik Fit fitted the wrong battery to her car on two occasions, Derbyshire Live has reported.

Sammy Thomas said her problems started in November when her car battery failed while on a family trip to Devon.

A roadside recovery operator from Green Flag jump started her Ford Focus, which is equipped with start-stop, and directed Sammy to the only garage open on a Sunday in Paignton – Kwik Fit.

A new one was fitted and Ms Thomas made her way back home to Derbyshire.

Just a few days later she found herself calling Green Flag once again because her car wouldn’t start.

The car was again jump-started, allowing Ms Thomas to drive to Kwik-Fit in Burton where another new battery was fitted.

However, the following day her car failed to start.

Ms Thomas took her car elsewhere and mechanics Arnold Clarke Garage in Burton spotted that the wrong battery had been fitted to her car.

AGM battery

Vehicles equipped with start-stop systems require an AGM battery, rather than a traditional SLI battery.

A spokesperson for ECOBAT Battery Technologies previously told GW: “The AGM battery is a formidable piece of engineering that, unlike a traditional SLI battery, is designed with a high cyclic (charge/discharge/recharge) capacity and the ability to recharge extremely quickly.

“Over their design life, which was projected to be around four years, they are expected, due to the vehicle’s start-stop system, to make 350,000 engine starts, compared with the 30,000 expected by an SLI battery in a non start-stop vehicle.”

Ms Thomas claims Kwik Fit’s mistakes left her £3,100 out of pocket in lost earnings and expenses just before Christmas.


A spokesman for Kwik-Fit has accepted that the wrong battery was fitted on the car twice and has offered £2,500 compensation.

But Ms Thomas has turned this offer down, she says, claiming it is £600 short of what she lost.

She said: “I had to cancel a driving test which I was still charged for.

“One pupil majorly affected by this stopped having lessons with me as she said she was dissatisfied by the service.

“There has been a loss of students as there was a lot of ill feeling.

“I am living in my overdraft and Christmas was dreadful due to the money but we managed.

“It was a disastrous time to have no income.

“I am still providing students with free hours they are owed as an apology as a consequence of that week.”

Related: Kwik Fit hit by computer virus knocking out IT systems

A Kwik-Fit spokesman has accepted that the wrong battery was fitted to the vehicle twice and apologised for what happened.

They said in a statement: “We accept that incorrect batteries were fitted and we have apologised unreservedly to Ms Thomas for this.

“We have based our compensation on her claim for expenses, the loss of earnings of 33 lessons at £27 each, the compensation she offered her own pupils, plus a gesture of goodwill.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to Ms Thomas and her pupils, but feel this is a very fair offer.”

Ecobat has predicted that a fifth of battery replacements will be AGM by 2020 and warns that garages require special tools and fitting procedures to prevent their premature failure.

Share your comments below.

Home Page Forums Kwik Fit battery blunder leaves driving instructor out of pocket and without car

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #170862 Reply
    Nicholas Smith

    That’s an expensive headache for Kwik-Fit.

    #170866 Reply
    Tim Hubbard

    We had a new customer in yesterday for service and mot and when checking lights the n/s headlamp had every fixing bolt missing.The customer had a new head light bulb fitted by KWIK FIT on her Fiesta last April.

    #170880 Reply

    Why people still use this company is beyond me. They treat the staff like poo and employ numpty’s !!

    #170885 Reply

    If you recall the add “You can’t get quicker than a Kwik Fit fitter”.

    #170906 Reply
    Philip Dunmore

    If she is earning £3000 per week why is she financially struggling?
    Bad decision using QF. Reputation is the pits for good reason. Find a good independent by recommendation and stick with them. Any emergency repair, get them to check ASAP.

    #170907 Reply

    Always change batteries like for like , it’s best practice

    #170908 Reply

    With the complexity of modern cars you can’t be to careful it was a simple but costly mistake lm afraid it won’t be the last.

    #170909 Reply
    Neil Cogan

    There are a lot of cheap batteries out there but you need to check what is standard on the vehicle and replace like for like because if you fit a cheap/wrong battery on the vehicle it could take out modules which would cost hundreds to put right.

    #171454 Reply

    This is something we’ve encountered on more than one occasion, and as todays cars become more and more complex I can only see it increasing. As an independent garage we have for many years covered all makes but over recent times we have moved our business to specialise because it is almost impossible to be up to date on all makes. AGM batteries are advanced technology and on many vehicles have to actually be coded to the vehicle using diagnostic equipment. As hybrids and EV’s become more common place, how long before a major tragedy occurs at the likes of KwikFit.

    #171455 Reply

    That’s what happens when you use a two bob out fit like quick fit!!!!!

    #171465 Reply

    Should stick to selling parts and leave the fitting of parts to professionals !

    #171980 Reply
    jim walker

    you cant teach a monkey to stand on its head and pick its toe nails so why expect mechanics to know anything about electrical engineering, if they were taught properly then they would know the very simple rules regarding different battery types, how to tell one from another and how to fit and charge them. this just goes to prove how badly trained most of the uk’s mechanics are. go to Europe and compare training and regulation of mechanics, they could wipe the floor with us

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)


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