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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48162
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I bought a new Mazda 6 car in 2009. It has been regularly serviced

Resolved Question:

I bought a new Mazda 6 car in 2009. It has been regularly serviced at the dealers. Recently the engine blew. This was caused by what I find is a regular problem with this type of engine. As the car had only done 63000 miles is there a case for saying that it was not fit for purpose under the sale of goods act when bought new?
The cost of replacing the engine is over £8000 of which Mazda have offered a contribution of £1800. I feel a bigger contribution would be appropriate as the engine has only had one quarter of the expected lifespan of a diesal engine
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you buy it from a Mazda dealer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Can you prove that there was a fault with it at the time of sale?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. Although the garage technicians who investigated the fault stated that it had been building up over all 63000 miles.

There is a lot of information that the fault is a common one on these types of engines

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
When a person buys a vehicle from a dealer they will have certain rights under consumer law, specifically the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPR) and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA).
The SGA is the main piece of legislation, which states that when you buy an item from a business seller it must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and match its description. If the car does not satisfy any of these, the dealer will be responsible.
They will only be liable for faults that were present at the time the vehicle was sold, even if they become apparent later on. However, they will not be liable for fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage or any issues that were brought to the buyer’s attention before the sale.
If the vehicle does not meet the above requirements, the buyer can reject the vehicle and return it to the dealer requesting a refund. However, this will need to be done within a ‘reasonable period, which is usually 3-4 weeks after purchase so it would not be an option here.
If the buyer is too late to reject the vehicle, they could instead request that it is repaired or replaced without causing them significant inconvenience. The dealer may only reject a repair or replacement if it is impossible or disproportionate in the circumstances. If that happens, you are entitled to get it repaired elsewhere and claim back the repair costs, although there is an obvious risk in doing so as there is no guarantee in getting any of the money back.
The general rule is that if the car is returned within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not conform to the statutory requirements at the time of sale. If the retailer disagrees, it is for them to prove that this was not the case. However, if the goods are returned more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that the goods did not meet the statutory requirements set out above at the time of sale. So it is now entirely down to you to prove that the fault existed at the time of sale and that the car did not meet the statutory requirements. This could potentially be done by getting expert reports from mechanics who can confirm this was the case. But you are on the limits of when you can make a claim as any claim must be made within 6 purchase so make are you are still within time to claim. If more than 6 years have passed since purchase then you would be out of time to take legal action.
If the dealer refuses to resolve this issue or accept any liability, you could take legal action against them. However, before going down that route you should try and resolve the issue directly with them by sending them a formal letter specifying how you want this matter resolved and giving them 7 days to respond. Advise them that if they fail to get back to you or deal with this in a satisfactory manner, you will have no other option but to report them to Trading Standards and issue legal proceedings (if still within time) to seek compensation.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks

That was what I expected. Basically I'm looking for anything that will give me a bit of leverage with Mazda to encourage them to make a fairer offer.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
It really depends on how well informed they are about their position. For example if they know you are out of time to claim then there is no reason for them to try and improve their offer and anything they do would be based on customer service rather than a legal obligation. So it would be entirely at their discretion. But the most useful thing here would be some evidence to show that this was a fault present at time of sale so any mechanics reports you could provide would help. Does this clarify things a bit more?
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