Initially AMG customer services offered me a set of winter tyres, I refused these at it would have meant that the tyres would have to be changed 6 times during my ownership and I feared the wheels would be damaged. They refused to budge on this and I went to the ombudsman.
This is the letter I received from the ombudsman albeit after 5 months, if you need any further info let me know.
I will have a set of 20 inch AMG wheels with winter tyres for sale in March 2020 as I can't see me getting another GLC unless they solve the issue, shame in that it is a great car apart from this.
Our process of Early resolution
In regards to your complaint, we refer your contentions over to the business with the evidence you intend to rely on.
The business will then be given an opportunity to respond to that case file upon which we will offer our opinion as to whether we consider this to be a reasonable outcome or if the matter requires formal adjudication.
The business' response
Initially I would like to highlight some information to better explain the customer’s concerns.
As indicated in the internal letter sent to Retailers, the tyre skipping concern has been investigated by our technical specialists as well as independent experts such as DEKRA who concur that the cars remain completely safe to drive. The concern is more pronounced in cold weather and when larger wheels and low profile tyres are fitted. This is due to the flexibility of the tyre sidewall.
Mercedes-Benz Cars UK have looked to assist customers wherever possible to alleviate this comfort issue as a gesture of goodwill. In order to do this, tyres must be sourced that not only have the required flexibility in cold weather but also meet with Daimler AG approval.
Depending on the wheel and tyre size combination this is not always possible. Tyre characteristics and availability are something that are outside of our control. The All Season tyres mentioned in the internal letter sent in February were subsequently deemed to be unsuitable for the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and so alternative options must be considered.
The customer has been offered 19” winter tyres or a 50% contribution towards 21” wheels with summer tyres. I understand the customer has declined both of these options.
We are now able to offer the customer a further option of having 20” wheels with winter tyres installed. This will mean the tyres do not need to be removed from the wheels when changing from summer to winter tyres and so alleviating the customer concern of possible wheel damage.
Whilst I would be happy to make arrangements with Mercedes-Benz of Poole for these wheels and tyres to be installed at no cost to the customer, we would not look to cover additional charges incurred during future swapping of these wheels or the storage of the removed wheels.
Outcome of Early resolution
In review of the submissions of both parties, I would note it is asked of me to consider whether there is reason to escalate the matter to adjudication, or if the outcome offered is to my mind reasonable.
I must note that the manufacturer is only liable under our code of practice for certain provisions that concern their advertising information, their customer care, the warranty provisions etc.
As such I need to consider whether this is a rejection issue, for which the consumer should be contacting his retailer, or as the business asserts a comfort issue which can be alleviated by provision of changing the wheels.
I can see that if these wheels are fitted to the vehicle, this may alleviate the issue which would therefore not be a defect of the vehicle as prescribed by the law, and so would be suitably remedied by the offer made.
As such I would support this as a way to remedy the issue at current, and suitably meet their liability under the new car code.
Having considered your complaint, I don't think I have enough evidence to uphold it in full. However, the accredited business has offered to change the wheels to a suitable remedy as a gesture of goodwill.
After considering all of the evidence, I think this is a fair way to resolve your complaint and would therefore encourage you to accept this.
If you disagree with the gesture offered, please let me know your reasons why - within 10 working days - and I will see if it changes my mind.
Charles Woodgate AffIMI
The Motor Ombudsman Limited
Tel: 0203 5100487
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2017 GLC AMG43 premium plus, night pack, leather, intel lights, 360 camera, side steps. = sadly gone
Now GLE450 Premium plus, Selenite, Black/White Nappa leather, Tech plus pack, Driving assistance pack, Tow pack, Off road pack, 22 inch wheels.