Motor Ombudsman receives record EV complaints

The Motor Ombudsman has recorded the highest quarterly volume of consumer complaints about electric vehicles (EVs) during the opening three months of 2023.

A total of 273 disputes were logged during the first quarter of this year, compared to 104 for the same period in 2022. In March alone 115 complaints were received from consumers about EVs.

Customer service and a consumer’s experience at the point of buying an electric car drove the majority of complaints, with dissatisfaction around cancellations and delays for the delivery and handover of new vehicle orders, incorrect vehicle specifications at the point of delivery due to parts shortages, and the miscommunication about the provenence of a vehicle when it was sold.

For those who encountered purchase issues, around 70% were in relation to a brand new car, with the remainder originating from the acquisition of a used model.

Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director, said: “Reflecting the trend seen during the past two years, the level of customer service provided by a business and a consumer’s experience at the point of buying an electric vehicle were the most notable elements of discontent during the first quarter of 2023. Furthermore, expectations that a consumer’s car should achieve the quoted range for a full charge was also one of the main talking points, with greater variations in the actual figures being achieved becoming more noticeable in the cooler temperatures that we experienced since the turn of the year.”