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Kwik-Fit's Response to Mail on Sunday Article

Kwik Fit | Monday 13th February 2017 3:50pm

On Sunday 12th February, the Mail on Sunday published an article about the service they received from Kwik-Fit after taking five cars into centres for servicing.  We made a series of recommendations in respect of these cars, the majority of which the newspaper accepted were reasonable, however the article focused on a small number of allegations with which we fundamentally disagree.  We provided evidence to the newspaper to support our case, and offered to re-inspect the cars, however they refused and published the story. It is entirely appropriate and correct that we provide you with further details which counter the allegations made by the Mail on Sunday.

Wheel Alignments

Correctly aligned wheels improve road control and grip, reducing unnecessary tyre wear.

In one of the five cars brought in by the Mail on Sunday, we found that a wheel was out of alignment and advised that it was “ever so slightly toeing”.  As can be seen from the alignment machine reports below, showing the before and after readings, the adjustment we made brought the front toe measurement back within the manufacturer’s tolerance (the report turns from red to green).

Wheel alignment results before adjustments:

Wheel alignment results after adjustments:

After the Mail on Sunday advised us of discrepancies with their measurements, we confirmed that our equipment was correctly calibrated and also found that the publicly available record of the car’s most recent MOT noted that it had movement with its front strut.  Although the Mail on Sunday stated that their expert oversaw an ‘MOT’, there is no record of this on the national MOT system.  The Mail on Sunday was unable to confirm that the strut movement had been corrected since the MOT, and contrary to their view, we believe that this movement could have caused the discrepancy in the readings.

Spark Plugs

The Mail on Sunday also suggests that in one case we claimed to have changed the spark plugs on a Ford KA and did not. The Mail on Sunday notes that it marked the terminals of 3 of the 4 spark plugs with UV (ultra violet) marks. What is meant by the “terminal” the Mail on Sunday does not make completely clear, but of the 4 waste spark plugs we recovered from the centre, one still has the residue of a UV mark on it, thus establishing that it did come from the car in question.

Wheel Bearings

The Mail on Sunday further alleges that we used “scare tactics” to sell a new wheel bearing. Contrary to this statement, the evidence does not support this. Having seen a transcript of the recorded conversation with our staff, it is the Mail on Sunday’s journalist who asks “so the wheel could come off?” Correctly, our staff reply “that’s the worst scenario …it’s very, very rare”. We do not believe this amounts to overselling and our staff repeat the fact that it is in the “worst case scenario”.

Conclusion

Over four million customers come back to us each year because they trust the advice we give them to stay safe on the road, as well as keeping their motoring bills down through preventative maintenance.  We recognise that sometimes we have to tell our customers things that they don’t want to hear, but we believe it is our duty to highlight any safety and maintenance issues we find on their cars, and then let them make a decision once they have all the facts.  As an “outstanding” rated Ofsted training provider, we make a significant investment in training our staff and encourage them to give the correct advice, which is why we are happy to show customers the identified faults or for them to take their car elsewhere for a second opinion before having work carried out.

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