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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I bought a user car ( Audi A3 1.4 TSFI 2008) from a car dealer

Resolved Question:

I bought a user car ( Audi A3 1.4 TSFI 2008) from a car dealer just over a month ago. Before the sale I was told by the dealer the car had the engine misfire problem and was easily rectified. The dealer has tried to fix the engine misfire problem twice before the sale and failed to do so in its entirety. At the point of sale I was told the engine misfire has been fixed even though the car was still displaying the same symptoms when I first test drove it. The dealer told me the problem will go away with time. After a week I returned the car to the dealer as I wasn't happy with the problem and I asked to fix it. A week later the car dealer told me they couldn't find any problems with it and asked to collect the car (40 miles away from where I live which costs me in time and money). After a month the car broke down and I took it to an independent garage where the fault was fixed but the full car diagnostics has shown another serious and very expensive fault to fix which the mechanic believed was responsible for the original engine fault. The fault was identified as the timing chain stretch and it's not covered under the warranty supplied with the car. If the chain will break that will cause a catastrophic damage to the engine which will effectively render the car as a write off. I have now been offered by the car dealer to carry out the repair but they ask me to pay for the parts while they will pay for their own labour. I don't trust the dealer to be able to carry out the repair to a satisfactory level as they don't have all necessary Audi equipment to do so. The dealer estimated cost of repair is much much lower than quoted by other garages which leads me to believe that work won't be done to a good standard and will potentially lead to irreparable damage to the car in the future. I now want to either return the car to the dealer for a full refund or have it repaired at a reputable Audi garage. However, after presenting these choices to the dealer I was refused and told that my only option is to let them to repair it and I will have to pay for the parts. I'm aware of Sale of Goods Act that could be to my advantage. What are my options in this situation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

What is the cost of the parts please?

Customer:

The part normally comes as a kit. The car dealer gave me a figure of £90 and said they will buy parts separately rather than a kit. An independent Audi garage told me a genuine Audi kit will cost £200.

Alex Watts :

Ok - I would say that you will pay, but without prejudice to taking the matter further

Alex Watts :

This will at least get it repaired and fixed, which is what you want

Alex Watts :

If you refuse and take them to Court it could take forever

Alex Watts :

After the work has been done you need to take the following steps:

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


 


If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.


 


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


 


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.


 


Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


 

Customer:

Am I not entitled under Sale of Good Act to request the car dealer to pay for parts and labour?

Alex Watts :

That depends - because it is second hand the rights are far more limited.

Alex Watts :

It depends on age, condition, price paid, miles etc.

Alex Watts :

But that would all take time

Alex Watts :

You want the car fixed

Alex Watts :

You could take them to Court and it would take 6 months

Alex Watts :

But then you are without a car

Alex Watts :

Or you could pay and then sue

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify matters?

Customer:

A little bit.Do you think I need to send them a letter outlining the history of buying this car and let them know I'm prepared to pay for the part (a gesture of goodwill on my part) even though I don't trust them to repair it to a good standard?

Alex Watts :

Yes I would send them a letter. You can always get it inspected by a third party afterwards

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

What does enter Judgement and enforce mean?

Alex Watts :

Enter Judgment means get a CCJ

Alex Watts :

Enforce means you can send in bailiffs, freeze bank account etc

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

I see. What's the estimate cost of taking this claim to small claims court?

Alex Watts :

It really depends how far it gets

Alex Watts :

Please see:

Alex Watts :

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees

Customer:

In your experience what's likelyhood of me winning this claim? And what steps should I take from now on to ensure I have everything to succeed with this claim?

Alex Watts :

Litigation is never certain, but it does sound like you have a valid claim

Alex Watts :

You just need to take the steps I outlined above. Chances are they will settle once they get the claim form

Customer:

Ok, thanks. What's the range of costs associated with small claims court costs?

Alex Watts :

£35 - £500

Alex Watts :

But any costs are added to the claim if you win

Customer:

This repair when carried out improperly could lead to a permanent damage to the car engine. Is it reasonable to request the car dealer to issue a warranty on the repair?

Customer:

Do you think I should mention in my letter to them if the repair is not carried out properly I will take them to small claims?

Alex Watts :

You wont get the warranty and it is not something they are obliged to offer. However they must act in accordance with S.13 of the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 by acting with all reasonable skill and care.

Alex Watts :

Yes the letter is a reasonable proposal.

Alex Watts :

Does this answer the question for you today?

Customer:

What will be the basis of my claim if the car is repaired? What if the car is repaired to a poor standard but the fault doesn't show immediately

Customer:

effectively making the car a ticking 'time bomb'

Customer:

What are my options there?

Alex Watts :

If the car is repaired then you claim the cost of any losses back, ie the cost of the part.

Alex Watts :

If the car is repaired at no cost, you have no claim, the damage has been made good

Alex Watts :

If you have the car repaired you can get a second opinion on the fix

Alex Watts :

You can't refuse the repair and get someone else to do it

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

So, I will only be able to claim the cost of the part (£90)? I believe I've been sold a faulty car and I would like to claim a full refund.

Customer:

I signed the agreement to buy the car nearly 4 weeks before the actual sale duet to the dealer fixing the faults. Since the purchase of the car I had to hire a car twice while the car I bought has been back for repair for further two weeks. I've paid for the car £7200!!!

Alex Watts :

As a used car you have very limited rights.

Alex Watts :

Please see my answer above

Alex Watts :

The Judge will consider the price, age, defects etc

Alex Watts :

You could try and take it to Court and it would be a small claim

Alex Watts :

The cost of a £7000 claim is around £750

Alex Watts :

You have to give them a reasonable opportunity to fix and mitigate your loss

Alex Watts :

If they are saying they will pay for the repair save for the part of £90 that is reasonable

Alex Watts :

Therefore you should allow the repair and sue for the £90 item

Alex Watts :

You can try and claim a refund, but based on the fact the car is used, any claim is not without risk

Customer:

I understand that. On what basis will I sue them for £90?

Alex Watts :

On the basis they will repair the car because it was faulty and it has been in before and it should have been fixed

Customer:

Ok. If the car sustains a further or permanent damage following the repair what will be my options then?

Alex Watts :

You could sue for any cost of repair/replacement

Customer:

What would be the time limit for such a claim?

Alex Watts :

6 years

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else

Customer:

The car was sold with one year limited warranty from a third party warranty provider (Warranty 2000). Is it true that by law the car dealer should provide me with 3-6 months warranty cover from the date of purchase irrespectively of any other additional third party warranties? After 6 months anything that will happen to the car will be my responsibility in terms repair costs unless I could prove it otherwise.

Alex Watts :

There is no law saying you are entitled to a warranty

Alex Watts :

The dealer does NOT have to give one

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify the position for you?

Customer:

Ok, thank you. That will be all from me.

Alex Watts :

Great.

Alex Watts :

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you leave today

Alex Watts :

If the system wont allow you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

Ok, will do. Thanks.

Alex Watts :

Thank you. Have a good weekend

Customer:

Thank you.

Alex Watts :

All the best and do take a moment to rate before you go

Customer:

o

Alex Watts :

?

Customer:

Would I be able to claim for car hire, transport cost and other inconvenience cost resulting from this car fault?

Customer:

Sorry about the typo before.

Alex Watts :

Probably not - because you have a duty to mitigate your loss.

Alex Watts :

Ie minimise it

Alex Watts :

It would not be reasonable or proportionate.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify for you?

Customer:

yes, thank you.

Alex Watts :

Great. Have a good weekend and of course remember to rate before you go

Customer:

Ok, thanks.

Alex Watts :

Thank you

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