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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70105
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have had a mechanical breakdown of my Mercedes C class while

Customer Question

I have had a mechanical breakdown of my Mercedes C class while on holiday in Europe. The vehicle was 8 mths out of warranty (3yrs 8mth old) when the fault occurred. The problem was with bearings failure in the automatic gearbox. The cost to fix it was 2600 euros. Mercedes have told me that because I did not have the repair done by a Mercedes dealer there are unwilling to consider any goodwill compensation.The cost of repair by Mercedes was going to be 6500 euros so I elected to get the work done by a specialist gearbox grage in Italy. They told me that this was a common fault on these cars, which Mercedes denies. Mercedes state that their vehicles are quality products. The question I have is would I have a claim under fit for purpose legislation under the clause relating to durability of the vehicle. I understand it would be up to me to show that the vehicle was not durable.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How much did you pay for the car please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

£18998 in Dec 2009. Fault occurred after 51000 miles driving. I am told that gearboxes in these vehicles should last in excess of 100000 miles driving. The car has been serviced at the specified intervals but NOT always by Mercedes, but by a reputable garage that uses parts that are equivalent to Mercedes parts. Hope that helps

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the information.

The short answer is that there is a claim that you can bring.

The fact that you are out of warranty does not mean you don’t have Sale of Goods Act rights. The warranty is just additional protection added onto the SGA.

Under the SGA you have 6 years to sue. That doesn’t mean it is guaranteed for 6 years but just that the period of limitation is 6 years.

The question really is whether or not this has lasted a sufficient time without fault to be considered ‘fit for purpose’. Fitness for purpose does not mean perfection but just that it must be reasonably good. This has lasted some time of course and it hasn’t collapsed completely. It just needs work. Equally though its a high value vehicle and the repair is expensive so there is an argument in your favour.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C. What do you honestly think would be the chances of success and if I want to pursue how to proceed? Through small claims court?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Realistically your claim would be for the cost of repairs so it would be a small claims court sum. You need to write to them asking them to cover the repairs. If that fails you can issue here

In terms of chances of success, this is a car over 3 years old and a court could think its lasted a reasonable time. It depends on the mileage covered etc but that is certainly a risk. But there is a chance.

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