Autotech Training delivers customised course

Faced with increasingly technical vehicles, and a record rise in complaints around Electric Vehicles, The Motor Ombudsman has worked with Autotech Training to equip its case handlers with a foundation of automotive technical knowledge.

In the first technical training of its kind for the automotive dispute resolution body, the ‘Tech for Non Tech’ course was exclusively created by Autotech Training for The Motor Ombudsman.

The overriding objective of the course was to ensure its case handlers held a good foundation of technical knowledge to understand the common faults of both ICE vehicles and EV’s which in turn would give them greater confidence in advising customers.

The Motor Ombudsman recently revealed that, between 1 April and 30 June, motorists logged a total of
291 cases on electric vehicles with its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service. This figured surpassed the previous tally of 273 in the first quarter of 2023, which marked the first time the service had witnessed in excess of 100 contacts about electric cars in a single month.

While the growth clearly highlights the greater number of consumers getting behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, the main concerns focused on issues including braking and the regenerative system.
Challenges around EV range, with many owners reporting that they were unable to travel the distance on a full charge originally quoted by a retailer or manufacturer, was slightly less in the second quarter compared to the first. However, the greater number of complaints logged from January to March could be attributed to the colder weather which has a detrimental impact on range.

There are many variables which can reduce the range of an electric vehicle, from using the heating or air
conditioning to speed and the weight of a vehicle and for a vast proportion of new EV owners, there is a
fundamental lack of knowledge which is at the root of many EV complaints.

Keen to support its customers, and help them build greater awareness, The Motor Ombudsman worked
with Autotech Training to create a course which would directly meet its needs. Following an initial meeting at Motor Trader’s EV Retailing Summit at the end of last year, Autotech Training designed, built, and delivered the two day ‘Tech for Non Tech’ course for The Motor Ombudsman.

In total, 34 delegates were trained by Autotech Training’s own experienced trainers over a period of six
days. Split into three smaller groups, each cohort received one day’s training at The Motor Ombudsman’s
Westminster Head Office, and a second day’s training at a Suzuki garage.

“While the delegates didn’t require hands-on learning, as they do not repair or maintain vehicles, we felt it was vital to support the learning process that they had an opportunity to see and touch some of the vehicle components they were being trained on,” comments Autotech Training’s Head of Operations, Alistair McCrindle. “The Motor Ombudsman’s commitment to upskilling its case handlers will support the transition to EV and help customers as the evolution of the vehicles they drive continues at a fast pace.

We created the course working in collaboration with The Motor Ombudsman to ensure that what we delivered directly met their needs. We also remained flexible throughout the entire process of building and delivering the course in response to specific questions and issues surrounding common faults. From
developing a greater EV awareness to understanding basic diagnostics and DPS faults on an ICE vehicle.”

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and MD of The Motor Ombudsman, comments:

“Despite the volume of complaints around electric vehicles creeping up, in relation to the growing numbers of EVs on the road, the figure is relatively low which demonstrates that the majority of EV owners have a positive experience. By offering advice and sharing knowledge, we can help alleviate some of their concerns and drive down complaints. This is why training our case handlers, through Autotech Training, and equipping them with a good solid foundation of knowledge has been so important.”

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