NEW CAR FOR OLD?? - BIG TROUBLE!
Miss J traded in her old car and purchased a brand new one from a dealership in September 2009. she took advantage of the government scrappage scheme. Miss J immediately noticed that there appeared to be excessive condensation in the vehicle and raised this issue with the sales team on the handover checklist. Shortly thereafter a serious leak also developed in the rear footwell and the condensation worsened, especially in the colder weather. As a result, she made it clear that she wished to reject the vehicle under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.
The dealership insisted that tests and repairs should be carried out before they could consider a formal rejection of the vehicle. A number of repairs were carried out on the vehicle throughout 2010 and Miss J was offered as a goodwill gesture the sum of £500.
Unfortunately, the issue of the excessive condensation and damp continued and Miss J reiterated her request to reject the vehicle in May 2010. The dealership insisted that the vehicle was of satisfactory quality and continued to insist on further tests and repairs. As the weather began to get colder, ice started to form on the inside of the vehicle as a result of the defects.
Miss J by this stage had had enough and decided to seek legal advice in December 2010 from Tim Hotchkiss who is based at ABD's Wootton Bassett Office. Tim is a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives and specialises in Consumer Disputes. Tim sent a letter before action to the dealership making it clear that the vehicle was not of satisfactory quality and that it was deemed to be faulty at purchase. This was because Miss J had found faults with the vehicle within 6 months of purchase. Tim quoted and relied on all appropriate Statute and Case Law to support Miss J's claim.
Following a productive meeting with the dealership, it was agreed that Miss J would accept a brand new '60' plate vehicle with higher specifications. This agreement included a 3 years manufacturers warranty and half a tank of fuel to cover travel expenses. This result was far more beneficial financially that a straightforward refund.
This case is considered to be unusual in that Tim was successful in negotiating a replacement vehicle some 15 months after purchase and Miss J was VERY happy indeed with the outcome.