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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Mercedes Benz demand that I pay for the broken down car due

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Mercedes Benz demand that I pay for the broken down car due to fault in design. There was nothing I could have done to prevent the damage.
I kept car in a very good condition and serviced it on time.
How do I proceed with my complaint?

What caused the breakdown?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Water leakage inside the car. Particles of water from condensation got into electrics systems and burned it down completely.

First thing to burn was a speaker of the co-driver. It actually burned and caused tremendous scare to the person that I was driving and to me as a driver.

After the speaker, all the system went down and I could not drive the car any longer. So I took it to the dealership.

I have been asked to look at this for you.

How much will repair cost?

How old is the car?

Leakage or condensation?

What caused the leak/condensation?

I need as much info as possible please. Thanks

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The cost of repair is c.£3,500 to start with. The dealership said that this is not necessary a final price.


The car was bought in 2008 new from Mercedes.


As I was told by the dealership it is a leakage of water, which caused all electronics to burn. They are not clear about what caused the leakage.


The dealership workshop was very confident though that I couldn't have prevented the leakage. They strongly believe that I should not pay for fixing of the car.

This is nothing
whatsoever to do with Mercedes. This is to do with the dealership.

Mercedes has no
liability. Liability rests with the dealership.

Under the Supply
of Goods to Consumer Regulations, goods have to be free of inherent defects for
six years. It is already five years old so you have not much time left and the
burden of proof is high.

The onus is on you
to prove that there is an inherent defect which has been there from manufacture.
You are therefore going to have to find out exactly what it was the cause the
water leak.

Then you are going
to have to take the dealer to task.

I can tell you
that there is a problem with some Mercedes (I had the same problem) whereby the
heater duct outlet gets blocked with leaves and debris, and when it rains, it
fills with water and water overflows into the passenger footwell. In my case,
it toasted the heater motor.

It takes 10
seconds to fix by just poking something through the outlet.

The dealer cannot
possibly say could not have prevented it if they do not know what caused it.

The first thing
you need to do, is find out what caused the leakage of water because clearly,
it has not been leaking in the last five years, and I assume that there is no
recall on the same model.

Armed with that,
if the dealer will not pay for the repair costs, you are faced with getting
them done yourself, paying the Bill, and then suing them for the cost in the
Small Claims Court and letting a judge decide whose fault it is

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The thread remains open.

James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice. This is very informative and helpful.


I will definitely rate as "excellent".


However, could you please clarify one thing - why does the liability rest with the dealership? They are the one who serviced the car. I believe they were the guys we purchased the car from as well, but I am not sure. I am just not sure about the concept - why not Mercedes would be liable?


Kind regards,


No problem. Quite simply because
liability is with the dealer under the Sale of Goods Act and under the Supply
of Goods and Services Act and in contract.

It is not the manufacturers liability,
but the dealer's.