As she bought the car after 1 October 2015 her rights would be under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The law states that the goods must be:
· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when you receive them;
· as described – they must match any description given to you at the time of purchase; and
· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for
If they do not match the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Your rights will not be against the manufacturer as they will only be responsible if there was a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee with the goods. Also note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage, faults that were pointed out at the time of sale or if you change your mind and no longer want the goods.
If the goods do not meet the criteria mentioned above, you will have the following rights:
1. Reject them and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within 30 days of purchase.
2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if she is too late to reject the goods she can ask the seller for a repair or replacement. If a repair has been arranged but has failed, or if a repair or replacement are not possible, she is still entitled to ask for a refund, or a price reduction. Alternatively she could get a second repair or replacement at no extra cost to her. However, the retailer can refuse if they can show that her choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative.
A useful rule is that if a fault appears within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not meet 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 fault occurs more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that they did not meet the statutory requirements set out above at the time of sale. So if this was to go to court she would have to prove now that these issues were there at time of sale.
As she is outside of the initial 30 days and is too late to reject them, she can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. She can quote the applicable rights she has under the Consumer Rights Act as mentioned above. If they appear reluctant to assist, write to them one more time, warn them that they have 7 days to comply and inform them that if they fail to meet their legal obligations, you will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings to seek compensation for your losses.
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