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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a problem with a Toyota Rav4 2.2 diesel which I bought

Customer Question

I have a problem with a Toyota Rav4 2.2 diesel which I bought new in May 2015. Wednesday 11/11/15 whilst driving I noticed that the “Low Oil Level” warning light was showing. The next morning I checked the oil level and saw that it was below the low mark on the dipstick. I contacted Ron Brooks service department and the car was checked at Ron Brooks Friday 13th November. It took 1.5 litres of oil to bring it back to the full mark on the dipstick. Ron Brooks service told me that they would have to carry out a 1000 mile usage test and that if it was no more than one litre per 1000 miles, this would be considered normal. I was horrified by this statement and contacted Toyota UK by email at Toyota UK Complaints (*****@******.***). I rejected the car but had to continue to use it to complete the 1000 mile test which showed that my car uses 0.4 litres of oil per 1000 miles.
I knew nothing about the notion of a consumption level of one litre per 1000 miles being acceptable and am astonished that Toyota are using this. Can they rely on a contract term about which I was ignorant? These vehicles were on sale from 2013 and I actually bought the same model then and had no trouble. The dealership general manager told me that mine is the only one they have had this problem with. I am prepared to take court action.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Sorry if I am missing the point but I'm not sure what the fault is? Obviously there will be some oil usage and 0.4 per 1000 miles doesn't seem excessive.
Are you asking if there is a claim?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The complaint is the level of usage. I have owned many cars before including 7 Toyotas none of which has required oil level top ups between services. The car has a capacity of 5.9 litres of oil and goes from the top level to the low mark on the dipstick after consumption of one litres. Therefore 0.4 litres per 1000 miles means (if I allow it got halfway down and then top up) that I have to refill with oil every 1300 miles which is 8 times between each service as the service interval is 10,000 miles.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
do you consider this reasonable
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
will I receive an answer please
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have to leave. Please email your answer to***@******.***Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
That isn’t a ground to reject it easily. Apart from anything else, depending on the dates you might be outside of the first six months of purchase which delivers the burden of proof to you although, in practice, it wouldn’t make much difference overall.
Whatever is in the contract on this point is a non issue. This isn’t an issue of contract. It is an issue of compliance with the Sale of Goods Act or the Consumer Protection Act in it’s new form.
The only test is whether or not this is ‘fit for purpose’. Whether it is reasonable or not really is a matter of industry accepted expectations of this type of vehicle. A 2.2 isn’t the biggest type of car but it isn’t the smallest either.
I’m afraid that I couldn’t tell you that it is unreasonable to have to top up between services. Eight times might be considered excessive but it isn’t going to allow a rejection I’m afraid.
It might indicate a fault that they might have to put right but no more than that. You can ascertain that by seeking the view of an independent mechanic.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Based on my previous experiences, the level of usage seems incredibly excessive to me. I have never ever had to put oil into a new car between services so this level of top up is a farce. However, I am where I am and will have to deal with it. Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
I have generally had to top up oil but, in fairness, not eight times.
Depends on the type of vehicle I suppose.
But if it evidences are underlying fault then you need to get a mechanic's opinion of that.

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