A MUM who bought a Kia with a seven-year warranty is devastated after it broke down and the car maker refused to fix it.
Tanya Dycki, 42, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, bought the Kia Sportage because she thought its warranty would be a "safety net" in the event of a breakdown.
But when the motor's engine sputtered out and it was towed to a local garage, Kia claimed that it wasn't covered by warranty for a baffling reason.
Kia told Tanya, a single mum-of-two on Universal Credit, that she was not covered by the warranty because of a gap in the car's service record – even though she had received a full MOT from a registered mechanic.
Officials also said that the nursery teaching assistant would have to pay £800 for an in-house diagnostic service if it turned out that blame for the break down did not lie with Kia.
Tanya, who is currently hiring a rental car to get to work and take her kids to school, also faces having to pay thousands to the owner of the garage where her car has sat for months.
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She told the Sun: "It's awful. They've completely given me the run-around.
"I bought the car because I thought the warranty was a safety net in the worst-case scenario – but now they've wriggled out of it.
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"It's so wrong and it's really got to me. I suffer from acute anxiety and the constant stress has left me feeling close to breaking down myself – it's totally soul-destroying."
But Kia has now made an unexpected U-turn after being contacted by The Sun, with a spokesman apologising to Tanya and saying her motor will be repaired free of charge.
Tanya's Kia Sportage broke down when oil seeped into the cooling system in her bonnet – an apparently random malfunction.
But Kia told her that her motor was not covered by the warranty because there was a gap in her service history where the terms of the warranty required an oil change by a mechanic.
Officials said that although a late or missing service would not in itself void the warranty, making a claim based on an undocumented service would.
Tanya sent Kia's customer services desk invoices and a stamp she obtained from a registered mechanic who had carried out an oil change as part of a full service on the vehicle, along with its full service history.
But the desk still wouldn't confirm that she is covered by the warranty, leaving her in disbelief.
It's so wrong and it's really got to me – it's totally soul-destroying
The mum also faces having to pay £800 for a diagnostic check which Kia will carry out itself to decide whether the vehicle is covered by its warranty contract.
One of Kia's customer service advisors told her: "If you've provided the dealer with all the relevant information regarding your service history, they can forward this information to our warranty department who will then determine if there is a different outcome.
"Our offer is that we are happy to cover the diagnostic cost the inspection.
"If it is not a service-related fault and a manufacturing defect it will be covered under the warranty, if it is found the fault is attributed to servicing and not a manufacturing defect, you'd be then liable for the diagnostic cost and the repair."
Tanya also claims that the service manager at Citygate Slough, where her car was towed after the breakdown, told her that if the vehicle is not recovered he will issue her storage fees potentially exceeding £1,000.
Kia's shock U-turn
But Kia has now made an unexpected U-turn after being contacted by The Sun, and is promising to end Tanya's ordeal.
A spokesman said: "There is significant engine and transmission damage to the customer's car, and, gaps or delays in servicing can have a direct effect on the longevity of engine components, hence why it doesn't qualify for a warranty repair.
"That said, however, we sympathise with Ms Dycki and her situation, and Kia can offer goodwill gestures under certain conditions.
"In these circumstances, Kia UK will arrange a goodwill claim for Ms Dycki as soon as possible.
"Subject to parts availability, the car will be repaired as quickly as possible by the workshop, and at no cost to the customer.
"We would also like to apologise to Ms Dycki for the apparent miscommunication that seems to have taken place in this instance.
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"We hope the repair will help her get back on the road as soon as possible."
Citygate Slough have been contacted for comment.
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