Why was the warranty on my £469 scooter a non-starter?

When it failed because of ‘damp and cold weather’, a repair was a no-go

I purchased a Xiaomi Mi electric scooter for £469 from Halfords on 1 July 2020. As the weather got colder I noticed it was losing power and speed, and at Christmas it completely stopped working and charging. It is under a two- year warranty.

I contacted Halfords and returned the scooter as requested. I have been told that I must pay £285 for a repair as it was “out of warranty” due to liquid damage.

Halfords says the damp and cold weather can cause condensation inside of the battery.

While it has apologised for any inconvenience, it will not help with a replacement, a refund or a repair.

At no point was I made aware that the product was unsuitable for use outside, or in cold or damp seasonal weather. I don’t have the money, and am still paying off the original purchase.

MS, London

Most buyers paying that much for a scooter would expect to be able to ride it in cold or damp conditions.

Halfords’ website says these scooters’ warranties cover everything including the battery and electronics – but not, apparently, in your case.

Somewhat hidden in the warranty section of the website it says riders should not “ride in the rain or through puddles which can cause water damage to internal parts”.

Happily, Halfords has had a change of heart. It says: “It was reasonable to expect the product to last for longer. We’ve been in close contact with the customer and as a goodwill gesture, we have arranged payment to the manufacturer for the necessary repairs to be completed.”

You are very relieved.

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Contributor

Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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