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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78665
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have just been told by Mercedes Benz that the whole

Customer Question

Hi. I have just been told by Mercedes Benz that the whole convertible roof on my car (4 years old) is broken because it won’t retract. They have quoted me £9000 to repair. Do I have any legal grounds to state this is obviously a car which is faulty? It has only done 24,500 miles.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None. I’m still in shock.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No, thank you.
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

I understand a car you purchased 4 years ago has an issue with the roof and the dealership have quoted you a large sum of money to repair it. Have they told you what caused the fault in the convertible roof at all?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No, they don’t know the cause, which is why I think it is a fault on their part.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

OK thank you and have you contacted Mercedes head office at all?

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello, I was wondering if you have had a chance to consider my initial query above please? I will need your response before I provide an accurate answer to your situation. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi. No I haven’t contacted the head office. I have been trying to contact the service manager at the local branch. I’ve done some research and it looks like there is a known fault that the headliner cords in the model up from mine snap on models before 2019. Mine is a 2018 model and will be the same elective roof mechanism.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

When a private consumer buys a vehicle from a dealer, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you wanted to refer to the legislation directly, please follow this link:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically states that there is an expectation that goods must be:

- of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged

- as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

- fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If the vehicle does not meet any the above requirements, the buyer will have certain legal remedies against the seller. It is, however, important to note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage.

If the vehicle does not meet any of the above criteria, the consumer’s rights against the seller are to get a refund in the first 30 days, which is not an option here, so instead I will discuss the other rights which are:

Repair or replacement. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they choose a repair or a replacement. If a repair is chosen, the seller is given one opportunity to provide a satisfactory repair, meaning that if it fails, the vehicle can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep the vehicle, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with it. That is something to be negotiated with the seller.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

In the event that a refund is issued, the seller is legally able to deduct an amount to reflect the usage costs incurred whilst the vehicle was in the buyer’s possession, such as the extra mileage on the car. Any amount deducted for that must be reasonable and fair.

An important aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that there is an assumption that any issues complained of, which have become obvious or developed within the first 6 months of buying the vehicle, were present at the time of purchase. If the seller disagrees that his was the case, it would be up to them to prove otherwise, if challenged in court. On the other hand, any issues which develop more than 6 months after purchase, are assumed not to have originated at the point of sale and it is for the buyer to prove otherwise if challenged in court.

Once a decision has been made on which of the above rights to pursue, the seller should be contacted, preferably in writing, to discuss that with them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a formal letter before action should be sent, asking for the desired resolution and making it clear that legal action could follow through the courts.

In the event this matters needs to be taken further, the following are the relevant links:

A report to Trading Standards can be submitted first: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

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.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you for your help
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best.