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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70778
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I took my car into the above Garage (Martin Matthewson) with

Customer Question

I took my car into the above Garage (Martin Matthewson) with just an coolant warning light coming on, and asked them to investigate, following between 45 mins to an hour they came back to me and said all was ok, there was just a blockage.! I thanked them for their prompt action and off i went.Within no more than about 3 miles from leaving Martin Matthewson an engine warning light came on saying engine overheating.! I pulled over immediately and call the garage to explain what has now happened. They advised me to Put the fan on (to draw heat away) and to drive back to the garage where they would have another look. I asked if this was a good idea driving, but they said "its not far so should be ok" upon getting back to the garage after stopping a couple of times due to the engine overheating, they said that if i could leave it there for the day, they would carry out some other tests to get to the bottom of it.At about 16.30 that day, i had a phone call from the garage, stating that all was complete, they have pressure tested the engine / head, and it was indeed just a blockage and not a head gasket issue and all was fine. I asked if they had test driven it following their works and they confirmed that they had carried out a couple of test runs and there was no issue. So the car could be picked up.I got the garage just after 17.00 and again they explained what they had done and that a engine pressure test was carried out and all was ok. Once again, i thanked them for their time and efforts and i drove off, this time I got about 5 miles away and the Engine over heating warning light came on again, so i pulled over straight away.
I called the garage and explained that the SAME issue was happening, and i was concerned..! once again, they advised me to "Limp" back to the garage, once again, i asked "if this was a good idea" and was told that if it over heated, then pull over and let it cool down..!! following about a 30 - 40 min Slow drive back (due to me stopping several times, i got back to the garage where they said that they would investigate further…..After between 7 and 10 days they came back to me and confirmed that the cylinder head had a crack in it…..and quoted me Circa 4k to get it fixed.My issue is that I went into the garage with only a coolant level warning light on, and following confirmation that all was ok, I now find myself with a Cracked Cylinder head and a large bill..!!! surely this should have been picked up / highlighted what the “Pressure test” was carried out..!!I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I live in the UK, and the Garage is in the UK, no not spoken to a Lawyer yet.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Spoken to the Motor Ombudsman, but as the garage is not affiliated they cant look into it.!
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: not at present
Submitted: 5 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hi there. I am sorry to learn of the issue you have had with this. How long ago was this please? and what are you ideally hoping for given the circumstances, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
in February 2020
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** are you ideally hoping for given the circumstances, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I feel that if the coolant issue was resolved during the 1st inspection then I would not have driven the car away twice and damaged it more, to the extent that the engine needed to be replaced.!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

When a consumer enters into a contract for services, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that such services 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 frame has been agreed)

- Provided at a reasonable cost (unless a specific price has been agreed)

In addition, any information exchanged in communications between the parties, whether written or verbal, is binding if the consumer relies on it to proceed with the services in question. If there are problems and the trader cannot satisfy the above criteria, which are legally expected of them, the consumer will have certain rights

In the event of substandard work, the trader should either redo the parts of the work which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to the customer. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience. If this is not possible, the consumer can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. That is something which should be negotiated between the two parties. However, if the trader refuses to resolve the issues, the consumer can consider getting someone else to do this and either deduct these costs from the balance that is still owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred as a result.

In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that the following steps are followed:

1. Collect all documents relating to the work (e.g. quote, contract, correspondence, etc.).

2. Contact the trader and explain your problem. Ask them to resolve any issues and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (7 days is acceptable).

3. If the matter is still not resolved, write to the trader repeating your complaint and how you would like them to resolve the issues. Say you are giving them a final time limit of 7 days to resolve the problem or you will have to consider taking legal proceedings to recover your losses and any additional costs. This is also known as a ‘letter before action’ and there are plenty of templates if you do an online search for one.

4. If the trader fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you could consider taking legal action by seeking compensation. Remember that court is a last resort, however threatening it can be a good negotiating tool because it shows you are serious about resolving this and may prompt the trader to reconsider their position.

5. Finally, make sure that you keep copies of all correspondence, in case it is needed in the claims process.

If you wish to take the matter further and issue legal proceedings, assuming you will just be claiming financial compensation, you may pursue your claim via the County Court’s online portal at https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim.

You may also wish to consider reporting them to Trading Standards, which you can do via the following link: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

I hope that your query has been answered to your satisfaction. I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that if you needed any further clarification with this query, you should not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to help. For now, thank you for using our services.