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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70715
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can my car dealership successfully force me to pay

Resolved Question:

Can my car dealership successfully force me to pay for car repairs when the issues have not been fixed? I have left my car with them to scrap if they want. But would they be able to claim storage of the car from me?
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. Is there an agreement requiring you to pay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Jo
No, there is no agreement except that I would pay if the repairs fixed the issues on the car.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Why havent they fixed the car?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The work they did to fix the issue did not fix the issue. Now they want another £1700 to fix the issue
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I added a file with more details of the background. Have you seen this?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, I didn't get it. Doesnt matter. I have got the point.
Did they guarantee success?
Did they tell you there was a risk?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They didn`t guarantee success but they did run diagnostics on the car (for the second time) and told me what would fix the issues. So I agreed. since it didn`t fix it, I don`t see why I should pay.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Is there any suggestion of negligence on their part?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The only part that I consider negligent is them not telling me that their recommended fix was really trial and error.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is not that simple I'm afraid.
The starting point is that they are entitled to be paid the value of the job. Unless you can show negligence on their part which isn't as simple as them not being able to fix the fault. Some cars cannot be fixed. You could argue that the negligence lies in not warning you of that but it is a weaker point I'm afraid.
They won't charge you storage though. What they may do is scrap the car and recover from that. There is a chance of a claim for storage but it isn't high.
They could sue in the small claims court for the value of the job though.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not sure I understand that correctly. So what you are saying is that I take my car to Audi and tell them (as in this case), fix these two issues (ABS and handbrake). They run a full diagnostics on the car and tell me what will fix it. I agree to it. But the fix doesn`t work. So I am still liable for the repairs that did not fix any of the issues that brought the car to them in the first place? Is it not incorrect diagnosis to start with?
Another question is this: since they have not been able to fix it, can I ask them to put back the old parts and give me my car back as it was before? obviuuscly I know not everything can be put back (oil, filters etc)?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not sure if this helps but this is the wording of the recommended fix for the issues I described and their subsequent findings:
“Ref ABS/Brakes issue, found o/s/f abs speed sender connector broken and held by cable tie, requires new loom + wiring repair. Found n/s/f - wheel bearing has excessive play causing incorrect speed reading. requires new bearing and hub + bolt and rotor speed ring for sender. Please see top arm fault” cost £ 843.23
Found both top arms for suspension on both front sides of vehicle bushes split and excessive play, requires new arms + fixings, also spec order both wheel bearing housings + fixings” Cost £1975.97"
“Ref ABS/Brakes issue, found o/s/f abs speed sender connector broken and held by cable tie, requires new loom + wiring repair. Found n/s/f - wheel bearing has excessive play causing incorrect speed reading. requires new bearing and hub + bolt and rotor speed ring for sender. Please see top arm fault” cost £ 843.23
Found both top arms for suspension on both front sides of vehicle bushes split and excessive play, requires new arms + fixings, also spec order both wheel bearing housings + fixings” Cost £1975.97
Obviously that tell me that success is guaranteed but I understood that to mean that the issues would be fixed. The only reason I struck off the cosmetic issues, and I explained to the customer services assistant, is that the car is old so I don`t want to spend on it unnecessarily. And yet what I am being asked to pay for repairs is way more than the car is worth. I have looked at similar cars (age, mileage, size and spec) on Auto Trader so I know what they are going for..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My apologies for all the typos in my last post and duplicating the copy ans paste..
I meant to say "obviously that doesn`t tell me that successi is guaranteed but..."
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, as I've said really, you have to show negligence to escape liability.
It isn't as simple as showing that it cannot be fixed. Some cars cannot be fixed.
It may be that they have been negligent but that isn't proven just because it is not fixed.
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