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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49817
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Your advise would be appreciated. We are a repairing garage

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Your advise would be appreciated. We are a repairing garage and on the 24th Jan 2015 we replaced a timing belt on a Vauxhall Zafira which has been driving without a problem since then until it broke down last week on the 18th May 2016 and was taken to a Garage a few miles from us. This garage has reported that the timing belt had jumped two teeth due to incorrect fitting, but that they had re-fitted it and timed everything up again and that the vehicle was running fine. The customer has approached us to pay for a new timing belt to be fitted along with a new oil pump because apparantly there was a fracture in the bracket (which this other garage has also repaired) and they authorised the repairs to go ahead on Friday the 20th. We offered to pay for the repair in full if the vehicle was returned to us and provide them with a replacement vehicle FOC but they declined this offer saying they had lost faith in us. We then offered to pay £300.00 towards the cost of the repair at the other garage bearing in mind we had not seen the actual fault, this offer was also declined.
We are being asked to pay for the repair in full excluding the price of a oil & filter change which they have requested.
We have spoken to a Vauxhall Main dealer who have said that it is not possible to fit the tensioner incorrectly as it will only go on one way and it certainly would not have driven for 16 months, however we have not had the oppourtunity to axamin the vehicle.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Have you made your offers to the customer in writing. Please can you also advise whether you provided a warrant for the initial repair you carried out. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The offer was made verbally over the phone, and the parts fitted come with 12 months warranty

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. 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

Many thanks for your patience. When someone enters into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that the work must be:

· Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession);

· Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time has been agreed); and

· Provided at a reasonable price (unless a specific price has been agreed).

In addition, any information said or written is binding where the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or about the results to be achieved.

So if the repairs were not done to an appropriate standard then the consumer would have been able to get back to you to seek that they are rectified. Ideally they should have given you the opportunity to resolve the issues and to make the necessary repairs. There is an option to go elsewhere to do this if they have lost faith in you but this would usually happen if the work was done to a dangerous standard or you have been really unhelpful and not responded to their requests, etc. Going for someone else straight away with no reasonable grounds to justify this could mean that they can only reasonably pursue you for the costs you would have spent to undertake the repairs.

In terms of the actual nature of the repairs and if they were necessary, now that they have been undertaken and you did not have the chance to inspect them, you are really going on what they tell you and perhaps the report of the other garage. This could be a dispute that you and the buyer may not reach an agreement on so if that happens and you refuse to pay, then they have the chance of challenging this in court and letting a judge decide what is fair in the circumstances.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should they decide to make a claim over this, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. It is entirely up to the other party to decide if they want to make a claim over this. It is their legal right to challenge this through the courts but they will have to decide if they want to take the risk as of course the is no guarantee that they will win. So they will need to pay the claim and hearing fees to progress this.

If they do decide to claim, you always have the option of trying to negotiate with them to settle the claim rather than have this heard in court. If the matter does go ahead you will have the chance to defend it and even if you lose, the risks will be relatively small. This is because this will go through the small claims court and each party pays their own legal costs there. So assuming you did not use a lawyer yourself, which you certainly do not have to, of you lose the claim you will not have to pay for the other side’s costs either. You can of course evaluate the situation as things progress and remember there is certainly no guarantee that this will go any further or as far as court.