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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I bought a brand new Nissan in June last year. It was

Resolved Question:

I bought a brand new Nissan in June last year. It was serviced by Nissan two months ago. Last weekend the clutch failed and Nissan charged me £1800 for repairs saying that the clutch failure was “because of the way the car had been driven.” I have driven Audi’s, Volkswagens, Fords, Vauxhall’s etc over a period of forty years and never had clutch problems before. Can you help?
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Have you had the issues examined by someone independent?

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Hi. No. The car has been repaired by Nissan because I needed it back. I’ve kept the old clutch. I was put off by the potential cost of an independent inspection.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which states that the goods must be:

· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when received

· as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If they do not meet the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller (not against the manufacturer as they will only be responsible under a manufacturer’s warranty that came 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.

In this case you can try and argue that the car was not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose if the clutch has failed after such a short period of time, considering it was brand new.

The rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the goods and request a refund - this must be done within 30 days of purchase or delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this can be done within the initial 30 days or after, if that deadline has passed and a rejection is no longer possible. If a repair is not possible or has failed, the goods can still be rejected for a refund, or if the consumer wants to keep them, they can ask for a price reduction.

3.

However, as it is now more than 6 months after purchase, if you are bringing up any issues you have to prove that they are as a result of a fault or defect, rather than caused by you. That is where it may be useful to use an independent professional opinion. In any event, that would only be necessary if the seller refuses to resolve this and you are forced to take more formal legal action to pursue them for compensation.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the options you have on taking this further. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 26 days ago.
It has a three year warranty by the way.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. A warranty can help but that is in addition to your statutory rights and will only cover the issues listed within it.

In any event, at this stage you have to try and resolve this directly with the seller. If you cannot do so and find out that in the end you have been unable to reach an agreement, you have to consider whether to take more formal action and seek compensation that way.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 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 them for the compensation in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

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 a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.