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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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My car is 2 years and 4 months old and still under manufacturers

Resolved Question:

My car is 2 years and 4 months old and still under manufacturer's warrantly. It has broken down on 5 sepearte occasions during the last 4 months resulting in it being with the dealer for 16 weeks out of a 22 week period.
The car manufacturer is accepting liability and continue to repair the vehicle - unbelievably it has broken down again some 2 hours after being brought back from the garage following the latest repair (in total it has had a new top and bottom engine and new turbo). I have told the CM in writing the car is now unreliable, unsafe and not fit for purpose and that I will not accept it and want either a like for like replacement or a very big discount on a new car (for which I would be prepared to contribute an amount towards).
Where do I stand and how strong a case do I have to pursue this and to get a new car?
I have a full record of all of my written correspondance, etc, but advice I have received todate is telling me I would probably have to go to court before a decision could be given and even then it might not be in my favour.
I would appreciate an overview.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can help with this.

tdlawyer :

Your vehicle must be of "satisfactory quality" and "fit for purpose" under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This is, of course, assuming that you purchased it from a dealer - did you buy from a dealer?

Customer:

Yes - it was bought from a Mzda dealer and it was their demonstration model.,

tdlawyer :

And when did the problems first appear?

Customer:

I have already sent a letter to Mazda UK citing SOGA but I have been advised it is up to me to prove the vehicle was sold with the fault.

Customer:

The faults appeared July 6th 2013 and have persisted ever since. There was no issues before then

tdlawyer :

So how long had you had it before the issues arose?

Customer:

May 12

tdlawyer :

Okay. And the cause of the issues - do they say?

Customer:

root cause is failed oil seal which allowed oil get by into the rest of the engine - its now a case of continuing knock on effects hence the unreliability and unsafe aspect and now not fit for purpose

tdlawyer :

And that is not something that, to me at least, sounds like it should be present on a vehicle of that age,

tdlawyer :

So this gives you reasonable grounds to say the vehicle is not of satisfactory quality and that you are entitled to a full refund.

tdlawyer :

How did you pay for the car please?

Customer:

it was paid for in cash - £17,700.00

tdlawyer :

How did you pay the cash - via debit card, credit card or bank transfer?

Customer:

debit card

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then the starting point is that you would say the vehicle is unsatisfactory quality and demand your money back. Because you paid by (VISA)? debit, then there is a scheme whereby VISA may be able to help you with this too - they have something similar to the position with credit cards. With a credit card the credit card issuer is liable to the same extent as the garage that sold you the car, and some debit operators (VISA the obvious one) do a voluntary thing similiar to that. So it's worth speaking to your card issuer to report the problems with the car and they may be able to help you sort this by using their muscle as a large financial organisation.

Customer:

Yes - it was visa.

tdlawyer :

So thats worth exploring.

tdlawyer :

But in terms of your rights, if you can say the car is unsatisfactory now, then you are entitled to your money back in full, even now.

tdlawyer :

Otherwise you are entitled to demand repairs as you discover issues with it.

Customer:

ok so legally I can still seek (or am entitled to?) a full refund under SOGA regardless of age of car and that the faults occurred after 6 months? I don't want anymore repairs as this is inconvenience, car is unsafe,etc.

tdlawyer :

Yes, that's right. The 6 month thing is about an evidential presumption, which if there is a problem within the first 6 months, this is always usually down to the dealer without you needing to say or prove anything else. After that, the burden of proof rests more on you (as it always does apart from the initial 6 months).

tdlawyer :

You have 6 years under Englsh law to complain about goods you purchased.

tdlawyer :

Generally, manufacturers and retailers say you have a year (12 month warranty), but the law says that the goods sold must be "satisfactory" and no mentin is made of time periods etc.

tdlawyer :

Imagine buying a £20k 4K TV. In 13 months, one month after the usual 12 month warranty, it breaks down. I would be arguing it was of unsatisfactory quality and need a refund - even outside the warranty period.

Customer:

ok, would you say it is best for me to send another letter (using CAB SOGA template) or is it better to get a solicitor's letter saying same / similar?

tdlawyer :

A solicitors letter is usually better - they're take more seriously most times!

Customer:

ok - is this something you can do or can you recommend?

tdlawyer :

Not really - we're allowed only to liaise through this chat function. However, this is not specialist law, it's something almost any solicitor should be able to help you with and I would encourage you to speak with local solicitors near to you to help out.

Customer:

ok - I will take that route, many thanks

tdlawyer :

Thanks. Please remember to rate the answer for me today and if you need anything more later, just come back and let me know.

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