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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Thank you help in advance. Law is Sale of Goods

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Hi. Thank you for your help in advance.
Law is Sale of Goods Act - Car Purchase / Dealer failing to repair :
My father & I purchased a 2006 MX5 car for my mother and father (two months ago) to enjoy before my mother is not with us anymore (she is dying from Cancer and has early Altzeimers disease). The car was bought from a dealer 250miles away. My father and I paid for the car using our VISA cards. The car is registered in my mothers name. The air con unit failed on the drive home. The dealer demanded it be returned to him for inspection not repair. My mothers hospital appointments and treatment prevent this. My parents took it to an a/c expert and also a Mazda main agent who both diagnosed the fault and the repairs required, both providing estimates and reports. The dealer now steadfastly refuses to pay. Demanding the car be returned for inspection and repair. There are no T&C's in the dealer paperwork stating what is required to happen in the event of a defect with the car. We have written to the dealer re Sales of Goods Act etc. and the dealer refuses to acknowledge it stating I do not agree to any repairs until I have inspected and made good. He has seen both the experts reports and estimates. We have to now use the small claims court to ask a Judge to rule. I have Lasting Power of Attorney on both health and finance if it is required to produce.
What laws / sections of SoG Act do I quote ?
What names do I add on the form as Claimants ? Myself and my father as we bought the car, my mother as owner or me as I hold LPA's ?
My parents want me to deal with this matter for them.
Thank you.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have the repairs actually been made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben, Thank you for your reply. My father took the car to the a/c expert who had to replace a pipe and run some tests to produce a report. The tests were to discover if there was a fault in the condenser unit. But the a/c had to then run for ten days to see if it was holding and generating pressure / leaks etc. It failed these further tests after the required ten days. The initial pipe fix,test and report cost around £150. The new repairs to repair the condenser unit are estimated at £500 via the a/c expert and £750 via Mazda. These repairs have not commenced yet.

When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. These have been replaced now but if you bou8ght the car before 1 October then the new laws would not apply to you.
The law states that the goods must be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose. If they are not, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller. 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.
If the goods are not as described, of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, you have the following rights:
1. Reject the goods and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within a 'reasonable time'. This period depends on the circumstances, although it is generally accepted to be within the first month after purchase, so must not be delayed. If it has been a couple of months since purchase you are unlikely to be within time to do so.
2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement without causing any significant inconvenience.
You cannot force the dealer to accept a repair elsewhere and then make them responsible for the costs. They have the right to be given the opportunity to make the repairs themselves. The only time this could be avoided is if it would cause significant inconvenience for you. Unfortunately what amounts to significant inconvenience is not defined in law and it would depend on the specific circumstances.
So if you are going to quote the law then you would need to mention the following:
Section 14(2), Sale of Goods Act 1979 - here is an implied term that the goods supplied under the contract are of satisfactory quality
Section 48B(2), Sale of Goods Act 1979 - If the buyer requires the seller to repair or replace the goods, the seller must repair or, as the case may be, replace the goods within a reasonable time but without causing significant inconvenience to the buyer;
Section 48B(5), Sale of Goods Act 1979 - any question as to what is a reasonable time or significant inconvenience is to be determined by reference to the nature of the goods, and the purpose for which the goods were acquired.
The claim should be made by whoever made the purchase and entered into a contract with the buyer. If that was you and your father then it would be you two that appear as claimants.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben. Thank you for this. "The only time this could be avoided is if it would cause significant inconvenience for you." This certainly falls into care and welfare for those with Cancer & Dementia. It can take stress levels for carer and sufferer to areas doctors try so hard to avoid.i.e. my mum asked for two months every hour whose car was that. She now knows its hers. So to lose it we go back again.

How do we protect ourselves if we give the car back to them for repair. They could just run off with the car and take our money ? Or is that a police matter ? Same principal as an end result for both my mum and dad. I have seen case law where the judge ruled in favour of what we are asking ? Thanks again.

Well yes they can, but you can't really think that far and refuse to give them the car back just because they may do the unlikely thing and not return it to you. If that was to happen then you would still have the court route to pursue them for the purchase price or it could also be a criminal matter which you could report to the police. But do not refuse to give it back because you think that will happen - it will not assist you here.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Ben. Your quote " "The only time this could be avoided is if it would cause significant inconvenience for you." is not about them potentially stealing it. I am actually refusing to let them have the car back because of the detrimental effect this action would have on my mother and father because of the undue stress it would have on my parents and the increased health care this action requires upon my mother, and father as her full time carer. This is not stress as we know it. Dementia sufferers live in a bubble that has to be protected or the condition worsens.And then add in the fact she is dying of Cancer....I would see this as significant inconvenience....

Importantly. All the offers are coming from a man we have no dealings with, have never met, who is not mentioned on the dealers partnership details and is refusing to say who or how he is connected to the sale of the car or company. So why believe what he is saying ? It's just headed paper....

However this same man who we have not met but pertains to be 'sales assistant' for the company is making an offer to collect the car, assess and repair it using a specialist air conditioning company (however they fail to confirm the name and contact details of said company to confirm an appointment or existence - which means they will do a temporary repair, by themselves and likely not fix the defective a/c condenser which our two reports confirm is the fault).

There is complete breakdown in trust.

To confirm then. If we small claims this matter after repair then a Judge would either rule in our favour, their favour or somewhere in between i.e. £800 bill but ask both parties to pay half ? Am I correct here ? It's only £70 to ask a Judge to make a ruling isn't it ? Small claims have limited costs if we lost yes ? Thanks again...

Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. 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
Hello again, I certainly do not disagree with you that there is going to be significant inconvenience, but just need to make you aware that it is for you to convince a court that this was the case and that there was no other option. For example, why could you not get a hire car and then charge the dealer for these costs, etc. I just cannot guarantee that a court will definitely accept this argument so I am making you aware of this. Personally I agree with you but my view is just my own.
Anyhow, moving on, if you were to go to court you are correct in what you have said may happen. They may rule fully in your favour, they may ask you to pay a proportion of the costs or they may refuse your claim and you end up footing the bill for the repairs. Even if you lose, you would not be expected to pay the other side’s legal costs and will only pay what you have paid so far, such as the claim costs and hearing fee. For a claim of £800 it would be a £60 claim fee (if you claim online, or £60 if not) and an £80 hearing fee. Hope this clarifies things for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning Ben. Thank you for your reply. First and foremost is the care and welfare of my mother and father so I would prefer Court. I've placed two previous dealers in Court with success and have four of five legal cases that I can highlight to the Judge to support our actions. The repairs need to be trusted but an expert. The last thing I want is for these dealers to 'repair' it only for it to go faulty again, repeating this whole 'stressful' process and ignoring the further stress this situation would again place upon my parents second time round. The repairs need to be trusted. This car purchase is more than just a car at this difficult time.

Can I submit the claim amount to include costs such as 'my time / mileage rates travelling to a court (500m round trip) etc.' in preparation of a case or do I present these at the time of a hearing should the case go in our favour ?

I look forward to hearing from you. After which I think that's it then. Thank you very much. I appreciate straight talking.

Hello, you cannot claim expenses for travelling to court, etc at the beginning - these are all ancillary costs which will be a given in the circumstances and you do not claim for these - you claim for the actual costs incurred, which are the repairs. However, if you win you could claim up to £90 a day for loss of earnings or leave to attend a hearing, plus reasonable travelling expenses. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ben. Thank you. Very helpful all round. Frankly I would rather pay the application and fees and allow a considerate Judge to rule knowing my parents do not have to deal with these men. Thank you.

I agree, in the circumstances it may be the best solution and you seem to know what to expect from the process anyway, having been through it before, so are at least going in with your eyes open. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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