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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71273
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I think I have a litigation issue, I was wondering if anybody

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I think I have a litigation issue, I was wondering if anybody could help me.
I bought a car 13 months ago with about 14,000 miles and 08' plate, when I asked the dealership about the normal questions like does it have the two keys, service book, log book etc, I was told by the dealer that it has everything so I didn't really negotiate on the price.
When I went to pick up the car the salesman told me that he had forgotten the log book, service book and said that he would put it in the post the same week. Six months after buying the car there was a problem with the car and I ended spending about £2,000 to fix it and still no sign of the documents even after calling the salesman on numerous occasions.
I tried contacting the owner of the dealership asking him for some sort of compensation as I felt that the reason why I didn't receive the documents was because they were aware of some problems with the car and didn't disclose it to me, I received an email from the manager saying;

'1. Service history – The vehicle has been maintained by Porsche Centre Bolton and had a service at 8026 miles on 4/11/09 and 14405 miles on 8/11/11 – I can forward you confirmation of this from Porsche Bolton if required

2. Service book and manuals – for this vehicle the handbooks packs are made up on an individual basis – we have requested a copy set be made up and Porsche have indicated this may take up to two weeks

3. Having spoken at length with Porsche I am confident that there could have been no existing issue with the injectors at point of delivery and such a failure as indicated would be an immediate failure as opposed to a pre-existing issue with the vehicle. As you will be aware from your records your vehicle was provided with a 3 month warranty when purchased and the option to extend this warranty was not taken.

I cannot state with complete confidence that the original handbooks were dispatched to you following delivery so please accept my apologies and as I have already stated a duplicate set has been ordered from Porsche. Whilst I can understand your concern at such expenditure on your vehicle after 6 months of ownership I am confident with respect to our preparation of the vehicle, the validity of its service history and also our MBI warranty programme. If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me and I will personally ensure that you are kept updated with regards XXXXX XXXXX service book pack by Rocco with whom you dealt and took delivery of the vehicle from at our Birmingham dealership.'

This email was sent to me on the 29 Nov' 2012 and nothing since. I know that I have to pursue them for the manuals and service but do I ask a solicitor to send them a letter for compensation with what went wrong with the car.


Thank you for your question . My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I am sorry for any delay you are experiencing. Unfortunately there are some bugs online and have been for a while. Its not something I have control over because the site is hosted in California and I am in London.

In order to give you answer tailored to your circumstances I will need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What would you like to know about this situation with your car?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Jo,

I possibly want to ask them for some sort of compensation towards the repairs and if they can't do that than could they pay for extended warranty for the car from porsche.


I felt that the reason why I didn't receive the documents was because they were aware of some problems with the car and didn't disclose it to me, the cost for the manuals and service book is about £80 + VAT which is insufficient sum and I could have got those in two weeks time.


Thanks for the information.

I do completely see why you are displeased with this purchase but unfortunately we are all hampered by the law.

I’m afraid that the absence of documentation does not give rise to any rights to compensation. That would only really have assisted you if any of the assertions they had made had been untrue - for instance, it did not have a service history etc. The fact that they haven’t served physical evidence of it doesn’t mean that you have rights to compensation.

You may still have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act for damages essentially on the basis that the vehicle is not sufficiently durable.

This is a dealer sale and so you are covered by the SGA. S14 demands that goods be ‘fit for purpose’. That does not mean perfect but it does mean reasonably good with reference to the price you paid for it, its age and history. This is a car with low mileage and it was relatively new so its reasonable to expect it to be fairly problem free.

Whatever the length of the warranty, they do still have SGA obligations if the vehicle is not sufficiently durable.

It is fair to say though that, generally speaking, faults that manifest themselves immediately are easier to lay at the door of a dealer than those that do not. 

If the fault developed more than six months after purchase then it will be for you to prove that the car had that fault at the time of sale. At least, of course it did not have a specific fault or you would never have bought it but it may have had the propensity to fail. That is often possible though. You just have to get a mechanic to comment upon the fault and its likely cause.

If it developed within the first six months of sale then there is a presumption in your favour for them to rebut. Unless they can prove on the civil standard that it was caused by some subsequent issue they will be liable.

If this is just £2,000 though then i wouldn’t bother with a solicitor. Its a small claims court sum and so it will be cheap and easy to sue yourself. You won’t be able to reclaim your actual court costs.

Its just as effective to get trading standards to write to them although its right to say that they will not always agree to do so.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
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