Customer service dominates EV complaints

The Motor Ombudsman has reported that a third (33%) of disputes submitted by electric vehicle consumers were due to an issue at the point of sale or because of the customer service they had subsequently received.

EV buyers who brought their complaints to The Motor Ombudsman over the course of last year, were driven by factors such as vehicle delivery delays, being overcharged versus pre-agreed prices, having vehicle registration issues on collection, and their concerns not being resolved by the retailer to their satisfaction.

Software glitches were the second biggest cause of complaints in relation to EVs (13%), with updates and system errors sparking customer discontent. Similarly, 12% of the difficulties highlighted by consumers in 2021 resulted from the car not charging to its full potential, with component-specific problems relating to the charging flap and socket also brought to the fore.

Surprisingly, batteries and range drove the smallest proportion of EV complaints to The Motor Ombudsman last year at seven per cent and six per cent respectively.

Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Electric vehicles account for a relatively small proportion of the overall disputes that we see on an annual basis. Our latest data analysis for 2021 provides a snapshot of the principal issues affecting the customer’s EV purchase and ownership journey, and where complaints are arising.

“It’s interesting to note that many of the EV disputes being raised are around point of sale issues and the quality of service received, complaints which are equally seen with traditional internal combustion-engined vehicles.”