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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have a 2013 plate Fiat 500 Lounge that is on a PCP

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I have a 2013 plate Fiat 500 Lounge that is on a PCP agreement over 4 years signed in October 2015. In November last year I had to take the car to my local garage due to an issue with the clutch. It turned out to be a seal on the gearbox that ruptured and leaked oil all over the clutch leaving it in unsalvageable. I called Fiat customer care and was told that because i’d Taken to an independent garage there was nothing they could do, I sent them an email and they again replied there was nothing they could do. The bill was for £1020. The mileage was 38500 at this point. I have logged a complaint with motor Ombudsman but haven’t heard anything as yet.

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

Have you contacted the finance company about this at all and if so, what was their response?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The finance is with a Fiat dealership. When I rang the dealership they told me to contact Fiat customer care

OK, thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Thanks for your patience. First of all to be able to hold them responsible you have to show that this defect meant the car was not fit for purpose, not of satisfactory quality or not as described. This will only relate to issues which were present at the time of sale. You basically have to be able to prove that these issues were there when you bought the car or directly resulted from an issue which was present at the time. There is no automatic liability on the seller’s part, especially after a few years’ usage by you.

There is still every chance that this was caused through wear and tear and it is down to you to prove that this was not the case.

If you could show that this was down to a defect at time of purchase, you should have still approached them first and given them the chance to resolve this before going for a third party garage. Whilst this will not completely remove their liability, it can mean that they will not be responsible for the full amount you had to spend, rather just what it would have cost them I they had undertaken the work.

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 if they refuse to resolve this. 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

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a quick second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Ben, I don’t believe the issue is down to wear and tear. The car is only 4 years old, a new car shouldn’t need a new clutch at 38.5k miles! The internet is full of information if failed Fiat 500 clutches!

Ok good, I am not saying it is wear and tear but that you have to consider that this is what they may argue, At this stage though it is down to you to prove that it was a defect, not for them to prove it is not - the burden of proof is on you as it is more than 6 months after purchase. Does this clarify a bit more?

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
it does, thanks Ben

you are most welcome