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Advertiser: Toyota Ireland
Medium: Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The Toyota Hybrid Service webpage stated:
“Having completed a Hybrid Health Check, you are covered by one year or 15,000kms Hybrid Battery Extended Care. In the event of an issue with your Hybrid battery during this time, we will replace it free of charge.”
“With a national network of highly trained Hybrid Experts, highly affordable Hybrid Health Checks and up to 15 Year Battery Care*, servicing your Toyota Hybrid has never been easier.
What is the Hybrid Health Check?
Our experts carry out all the hybrid specific checks your car needs to make sure everything is working efficiently and effectively. Having this done annually will mean your Toyota is eligible for a further 1-year/15,000 Kms of Hybrid Battery Extended Care, up to a total of 15 years with no mileage limit.”
“15 Year Toyota Hybrid Battery Extended Care
On top of our comprehensive 5 year or 100,000 Km Hybrid Battery Warranty, customers can benefit from our Hybrid Battery Extended Care which ensures an additional year or 15,000 Kms (whichever comes sooner) of care.
The Toyota Hybrid Battery Extended Care Programme has been carefully developed to provide you with reassuring protection where in the unlikely event of the Hybrid Battery failing, it will be replaced free of charge.
This can be renewed up to the 15th anniversary of the car's registration, with no limit on total mileage. Hybrid Battery Extended Care is included when you have a Hybrid Service carried out on your vehicle by the Toyota network. Taxi's are only eligible for 5 Hybrid Battery Health Checks.
The Hybrid Health Check is included with every Hybrid Service.”
The complainant had a Hybrid Health check in a Toyota dealer and nine months later the complainant’s hybrid battery failed, and they were advised by the dealer that the battery was damaged beyond repair due to rainwater ingress from the roof of the car and they were charged €1,100 for a replacement battery that was second hand.
When they enquired about the replacement battery offer under their Hybrid Health Check service, they were advised that the age of their car (2007) did not guarantee the hybrid battery. The complainant considered that this contradicted the advertising claim as they had not exceeded the 15,000km limit.
The advertisers stated that the Hybrid Battery Extended Care ran in line with the terms of the original manufacturer’s warranty provided with the vehicle, the terms of which were explained in detail in the Service and Warranty book originally provided with the car. They said that the terms excluded failure of the battery due to external factors such as flooding, abuse, vandalism, damage, improper maintenance, entry of water etc. and that it was detailed in the Terms and Conditions document that would have been provided to the customer by the Dealer at the time of the service in addition to their Hybrid Health Check report on the specific vehicle. They provided the Executive with a copy of the Terms and Conditions document.
The advertisers said that they noted that the complainant had been advised of the cause of the failure of the battery due to external factors i.e., a water leak from the roof which had subsequently caused damage to the hybrid battery. They said that the terms and conditions document specifically stated:
“Toyota Hybrid Battery Extended Care conditions This Extended Care does not cover any damage:
i) Caused by entry of water, corrosion or contaminated fluids.”
The advertisers said that upon inspection of the vehicle and damage, it would then be incumbent for the dealer to provide the customer with details/estimation of the related cost of repairs to include rectification of any ancillary damage identified.
The advertisers subsequently advised that they had amended the webpage to include a direction to the fact that terms and conditions applied together with a direct link to the relevant terms and conditions.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the hybrid extended battery care ran in line with the original terms of the manufacturer’s warranty and they also noted that a copy of the extended care terms is provided to customers by the dealer at the time of their service. The Committee considered, however, that a reference to terms and conditions applying should have been included in the advertisement to alert customers to the fact that terms and conditions applied. The Committee welcomed the amendments to the advertising to include the reference to the terms and a link to the relevant terms, however, in the absence of such a notification at the time of the complaint, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
In view of the amendments made by the advertisers, no further action was required.