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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45347
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have just bought a new Nissan van. The van is 'new old stock',

Customer Question

I have just bought a new Nissan van. The van is 'new old stock', so to speak as it was registered in March 2015 but not used so I have bought it from a Nissan dealer at a discounted price. These particular vans used to come with a 3 year/100,000mile warranty but as of September 2015 this was increased to 5 year/100,000 mile from date of registration. Being aware of this, before committing to purchasing the van, as it is unused and in effect new I asked what warranty it would come with and was told 5 years/100,000 miles. I have this in writing in an email.
When the van was delivered there were issues with it which need to be resolved and also when I checked the handbook it stated that the warranty was 3 years from March 2015 (so 2 years left now). I have queried and complained about this to the Nissan dealership and they have apologised but said they can't do anything about it. They have offered me two solutions, 1 - to take the van in and rectify the other problems (one of which is rust spots) and return it in a satisfactory condition with an engineers report or 2- If I'm not happy about the warranty issue they will collect the van and refund me the purchase price.
I don't want to return the van, partly because I like it but mostly because I have had my company livery fitted already and I don't need the hassle., However, I feel I have been sold short as the warranty, especially in a scenario where a year of it has expired already, was an important factor in my decision to buy. They have refused to honour the five years saying it was 'an honest mistake' and will not offer me any compensation toward me purchasing one later on.
I would really appreciate some solid advice on this.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much would it cost t buy an additional 2 year warranty?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Based on the van being 3 years old ( in two years time) an online warranty company would charge approx £550.00 per year
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
You were promised a specific warranty, which in your case as 5 years. They claim this was issued in error and it may indeed be the case. Errors do happen. There is a legal principle of ‘mistake in law’ where a genuine error by a party which is relied on by both sides to enter into a contract can make the contract void. If that is the case here, and only a court can decide if that was the case, they could just offer you the full amount back and ask for the return of the van. This would place both parties in the position they were before the purchase was made. If this was not an error or would not qualify as an error in law you could hold them liable for breach of contract. In these circumstances you would keep the van and you may purchase your own warranty to extend it to 5 years and then pursue them for these costs. They could refuse to acknowledge any liability for these of course, in which case you must pursue them more formally, such as by going to court for the amount owed. Doing so would be a relatively low risk exercise because even if you lose you would not be responsible for their legal fees and you only have to pay for the court costs, which will be a couple of hundred. So you could give it a go, hope that by doing so you will prompt them to reconsider their position and compensate you rather than having to waste time and effort defending a claim and be done with it. Even if they do defend it and won, you will simply be a couple of hundred down for the court costs but would not have to pay for their legal fees. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can take to pursue this further, up to making a claim, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45347
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for your reply Ben but I'm not entirely sure of the best way forward.
The length of warranty, especially as I had in effect already lost a year due to it running from the date of registration, was a consideration before purchasing. Having already had the van sign written (albeit removable vinyl lettering) and the interior fitted out with racking, which was all diarised for the next working day after delivery, I really don't want to give it back. I'm not asking for any extras, just what was quoted for leading to my decision to purchase. On a smaller matter, I was also offered fitted floor mats which I haven't received and they have said that was only if I was leasing rather than purchasing. Again, this is not the case and i have it in an email.They have offered to collect it and carry out remedial work as there are rust spots inside the doors. Basically, although I knew it was registered a year ago it was unused and therefore I was expecting it to be in new condition but in reality it looks like it has been sitting in a car park outside and then just driven to my house with minimal prep, another reason to want the full offered warranty.I don't wish to get into a great stressful debate with them, I just want to know if they can get away with this or if there is something I can quote at them saying 'according to XYZ you offered this before I paid you and so you have to do AB or C by law...' but simply and without having to start going to court or giving the van back etc.....
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Looked at simply this is a breach of contract matter and that is what you can quote to the,. They promised you something, you accepted it and made the purchase based on that – it has become a legally binding term of the contractual relationship. So you can refer to this and be clear that their actions now amount to a breach of contract but what I am saying is that even if you are 100% correct you cannot force them to honour their promise – if they refuse only a court can assist you and allow you to apply your legal rights. Whilst you do not have to go to court to resolve this you could use the preparatory step to put more pressure on them. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. (this is as far as you could go without actually having to go to court) 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks.... I understand letters before action etc as i have had to use them against non paying clients unfortunately..... But the added frustration here is that the sales guy says he is not permitted to give me the name of anyone higher up the chain to contact, all he can do is give me their 'Customer Service Centre' phone number, and we all know how useful calling them would be! Also, if I tell him that I'm going to enforce the issue, can they refuse to do the remedial work or insist on taking the van back from me? I'm guessing not as I've paid in full for it? The trouble is, a two year shortfall on the warranty not only takes away peace of mind, it also affects the sale value if i decide to sell within what would have been the warranty period. All these things were considered but I'm not in a position to easily give it back as i now rely on it for work, my previous van has now gone.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
they cannot insist that they do the work or get the van back - they cannot force you to go down either routes. Similarly, you cannot force them to adhere to the promised warranty either. So in the end if they outright refuse to honour that all you can do is either return the van for a full refund or get the warranty yourself and pursue them for compensation for it
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok Ben. I think getting your advice is money well spent as i didn't know what to do. Seems unfair that you are offered (and pay for) one thing and then receive something quite different and can't do anything about it! I've just been reading some poor reviews of the dealership on Trustpilot... so this is no real surprise. Not the end of the world, thanks for your time, Hugh.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
You are welcome, best of luck!

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