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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I bought a new DFSK van in February 2014. So far the speedometer

Customer Question

I bought a new DFSK van in February 2014. So far the speedometer has gone wrong, then the electronic powere steering has failed, a handle has broken and now the accelerator cable has broken. What rights do I have? Can I ask the dealer to take the van back and refund my money?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Have they put right the faults? Are they repaired to a good standard?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Repairs have been done to most of the faults. The van is currently at the dealership awaiting a new accelerator cable
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
I do completely see why you are aggrieved over this but ultimately we are all hampered by the law to some degree.
This is a purchase to which the Sale of Goods Act applies. That will mean under S14 SGA it must be ‘fit for purpose’. That does not mean perfect but it does mean reasonably good with reference to the price you paid for it, its age and history. This is a fairly recent purchase and it was brand new. Clearly it is faulty and they seem to accept that by offering a repair so that should be no difficulty.
You do have to reject anything you purchase under the SGA which has a fault if you have not already ‘accepted’ it. What it means to ‘accept’ an item depends on the nature of the purchase, the price of the item, the length of time you’ve had it.
It is possible that a Court could say you have accepted this vehicle given that you’ve had it for some months or so before it was returned. There are cases that allowed for much longer periods of time but generally they involved fairly catastrophic failings with the vehicle. In this case, you have also agreed to repairs which have been performed. Also, the faults are not all of a major kind.
The fault was, however, discovered within the first six months of sale so there is a presumption in your favour that it existed at the time of sale.
You do have a right to demand either a repair or a like for like exchange. The dealer can only refuse one or the other if he can show that the remedy is impossible or disproportionate. He is probably relying on the latter.
However, under the SGA, if he fails to act within a reasonable time or causes you unreasonable inconvenience, you are entitled to ask for rescission of the contract and a full refund or a price reduction.
You do seem to be describing nearly a lengthy repair which is significant so you could try to claim a refund on that basis but equally they have given you a courtesy car so its a weak challenge.
Ultimately if they refuse though, they cannot be forced to provide you with an exchange. All you can sue for is damages in default.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69772
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo an update on my DFSK van. The accelerator cable has been replaced however ***** *****ham the owner of Kinghams in Croydon tells me that this is a manufacturing fault and not to put my foot down too hard on the accelerator pedal because it could happen again. I am now too nervous to drive my 7 month old van on the motorway. I have been told that I can send him a letter stating that I reject the vehicle and I do not want a replacement but I want my money back less vat and 7.000 miles usage. Is this true and how do I do this? I also understand that these vans have such a bad reputation that the resale value is between £5000 and £8000 I bought mine this year for £13000. I am now about to purchase a 10 year old van for £3500 with 60000 on the clock which I have more faith in. Please give me your advice
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can try to reject it but in truth it is hard to do. The longer you have had if.
Alternatively you can sue for the cost of repair to a good standard.

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