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joannem1965, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 264
Experience:  I am a solicitor
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A customer part exchanged a car which runs fine when hot, but

Customer Question

A customer part exchanged a car which runs fine when hot, but in less than 24 hours we discovered that it has a major mechanical fault that is only apparent when the engine is cold. Do retailers have any rights against the customer?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  joannem1965 replied 4 years ago.

What redress are you seeking from this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We requested that the customer return our vehicle, collect his part exchange and we would refund his money in full, or, suggested he contribute 50% (being £1,000) towards repair costs. He responded with he knows his rights and we should have checked the vehicle before taking it in part exchange. As mentioned, we did test drive but the fault is only apparent when cold and he delivered it to us when the engine was hot.

Expert:  joannem1965 replied 4 years ago.

What is the problem?.

Is it a common fault?

Did he say the vehicle was in perfect working order?

It would be impossible to take vehicle to you cold as he
would have to drive it to you.

How much did he get in part exchange?

How much was the other vehicle?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It has a gearbox fault that is only apparent when cold. I don't know the exact details of the fault but we have been informed this model is renown for it.


The customer purchased a vehicle from us for £10,000 and we allowed him £3,000 for his part exchange.


The customer was asked if his vehicle had any problems and he advised it did not.

Expert:  joannem1965 replied 4 years ago.

I think what helps you is the fact that the customer was asked if the vehicle had any problems and he said that there were not when clearly there were. It appears that he misrepresented the vehicle.

This is probably one of those which could go either way if you ended up in court because you are supposed to be the experts in this and he is a layman.

If he will not pay up for the repair then you are faced with suing him in the Small Claims Court and letting a judge decide the issue. I don't think that this is a case because of your position, as a motor dealer you are in very strong position although you might want to press the misrepresentation angle. This is a breach of contract issue because however the case is dressed up, there is a contract between the two of you and the seller did misrepresent the car.

It really depends on whether you want to go to the trouble of taking him to court.
Can I help any further with this today?