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sri_130

Car Breaksdown after 1 Hour of ownership

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Hi all,

 

I'll keep it short and to the facts. This forum will help me form some sort of blog and hopefully you can advise if I'm making the right judgements etc.

 

Basically I bought a used car on Monday for £14,000. After driving it home, it used an excessive amount of coolant and the temp gauge jumped into the red. I took it to an independent specialist the following morning to have it checked over and I then phoned the dealership (where I bought it from) to let them know what is going on.

 

I was a bit disappointed, but was safe in knowledge that I had a 3 month warranty from the dealer (and if all else, I had my statutory legal rights).

 

The Specialist calls me back to state that the head gasket had blown, which could also mean a cracked head (serious stuff) and that a verbal quote for the repair would be £700 ex VAT.

 

I called the dealership up, to let them know.

- They refused to pay anything, stating I bought the car 'as is' which in their words is called a 'trade sale' - I knew nothing about this - simply because I'm not a trader and I never agreed to buy it with this excessive fault or under this trade sale stuff. It was a normal transaction.

- They then offered to pay half of the repair bill as a gesture of goodwill. No thanks. The car was sold with a major defect, this is not my problem.

- They then offered to have it repaired near them. No problem with that, I'm not paying for it to be transported or repaired though.

- Then they said they'd ring me back. We've all heard that one before. Before I knew it, the day had ended, with no call back.

 

Anyway, the first step this evening was to write them a formal letter stating what I WANT THEM TO DO. A letter was drafted stating that I'd like (in the first instance) the garage to attempt the repair - at no cost to me. I've taken this course of action after reading an article here: http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/core.nsf/a/tsusedcars - I know it says its newcastle gov website, but they are in England, even though they talk funny.

 

The only thing I've missed out in the letter, was a deadline of when I wanted sorted, but I hope that A) it wont matter just now B) if I don't hear anything then send them another letter after 14 days/30 days? stating timescales?

 

The car is sat at the specialists (and it might be for some time!) at the moment, so I've immediately stopped using it. I was hoping that the garage would instantly admit they have to repair it and get cracking, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm confident enough taking them to the small claims for the cost of any repairs to put it to a satisfactory standard - but how long (realistically) should timescales be, for it to be repaired? Remember, I am without a car.

 

In the first instance, I'd like a repair, but if they aren't playing ball - should I then go down the full refund route? Problem is, I bloody love the car - its got everything I want (apart from a defect!) and if possible, I'd want it sorted to make me happy. So at which stage, would I pay for the repair then hit the courts?

 

Questions questions questions!

 

I'm awaiting a call tomorrow from the garage for them the clarify their position, they wont receive my letter until Friday, however. But I'm adamant I want it repairing in the first instance, so we'll see how it goes!

 

SRI

Edited by sri_130

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I've woke up and amended the letter before I sent it.

 

Basically to say that they have 7 days to repair it at no more inconvenience or cost to me.

 

I've not had a car since Tuesday morning, so I wonder at what point can I get a hire car? If the dealership rings me today, I will offer them the chance to provide one.

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Your choice, repair, replacement or rejection. They must be given the first opportunity to do the repair though.

 

Seven days to collect, repair and make available for collection is a very fair timescale.

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Excellent, I'm glad you agree! Was a bit worried that the timescale was a bit short.

 

So, when the 7 days have expired (and nothing has been done), I am then right to ask the specialist to repair it - and claim the costs back through money claim? No doubt the specialist will charge me for the diagnostic work in the first place?! I can just add, that value onto the claim?

 

It basically means 7 more days with no transport (+ the time it takes to repair) and I've already had 2.5 days of taxi fares!

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Just one other thing. If the cost of repairs are exceptionally high, the seller can offer you either a replacement or a refund, you cannot demand a repair.

 

Just confirm that is is a proper dealer.

 

You should do all future correspondence in writing.

 

You are correct that the term 'sold as seen' and 'trade sale' has no meaning in law. As you are not a trader, then you have entered into a consumer contract and not a commercial one so you have the sale of goods regulations on your side.

 

Any refusal by the seller should be given one more chance by sending him a copy of the estimate, (it will only be an estimate and not a quote as there could be further problems discovered when the head is removed), and asking him to agree payment. If he refuses that, then you can go ahead and get the other garage to do the repairs.

Of course, you will have to pay this bill, but will claim it and any other assocciated cost back from the dealer. You should make him aware that you will be claim 'all' cost from him.

  • Haha 1

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Excellent. I will keep you posted. If they do offer replacement or refund - more likely a refund, I would accept - just a pity, as I love the car (without its problem).

 

Letter has gone today (recorded), so they'll get it tomorrow and the 7 day clock will start ticking.

 

If there is any further correspondence, I'll post it up here. I've kept a running transcript in a word document, with times/dates/contacts and all conversations (inc a statement from my old man, who was with me at the time of viewing and purchase!). Not sure if that is of any use in law, but it helps me retrace what we did and said. The dealer has already tried putting words into my mouth saying 'you agreed' 'sold as seen' 'trade sale' stuff, when that is pure fabrication in order for them to save hassle and money of resolving the issue.

 

OH - tipped your scales too. Invaluable advice.

  • Haha 1

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Well, the letter will have got there today.

 

No contact from the sellers at all. 7 days to wait....

I might even start drafting the 2nd LBA letter tonight and get everyone's feedback on it. Not much else to do with my time.

Had to visit the specialists this morning as I'd left my house keys in the car, its still sat there, I really miss my M3. :(

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Hi all,

 

I'll keep it short and to the facts. This forum will help me form some sort of blog and hopefully you can advise if I'm making the right judgements etc.

 

Basically I bought a used car on Monday for £14,000. After driving it home, it used an excessive amount of coolant and the temp gauge jumped into the red. I took it to an independent specialist the following morning to have it checked over and I then phoned the dealership (where I bought it from) to let them know what is going on.

 

I was a bit disappointed, but was safe in knowledge that I had a 3 month warranty from the dealer (and if all else, I had my statutory legal rights).

 

The Specialist calls me back to state that the head gasket had blown, which could also mean a cracked head (serious stuff) and that a verbal quote for the repair would be £700 ex VAT.

 

I called the dealership up, to let them know.

- They refused to pay anything, stating I bought the car 'as is' which in their words is called a 'trade sale' - I knew nothing about this - simply because I'm not a trader and I never agreed to buy it with this excessive fault or under this trade sale stuff. It was a normal transaction.

- They then offered to pay half of the repair bill as a gesture of goodwill. No thanks. The car was sold with a major defect, this is not my problem.

- They then offered to have it repaired near them. No problem with that, I'm not paying for it to be transported or repaired though.

- Then they said they'd ring me back. We've all heard that one before. Before I knew it, the day had ended, with no call back.

 

Anyway, the first step this evening was to write them a formal letter stating what I WANT THEM TO DO. A letter was drafted stating that I'd like (in the first instance) the garage to attempt the repair - at no cost to me. I've taken this course of action after reading an article here: Used cars - consumer rights - I know it says its newcastle gov website, but they are in England, even though they talk funny.

 

The only thing I've missed out in the letter, was a deadline of when I wanted sorted, but I hope that A) it wont matter just now B) if I don't hear anything then send them another letter after 14 days/30 days? stating timescales?

 

The car is sat at the specialists (and it might be for some time!) at the moment, so I've immediately stopped using it. I was hoping that the garage would instantly admit they have to repair it and get cracking, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm confident enough taking them to the small claims for the cost of any repairs to put it to a satisfactory standard - but how long (realistically) should timescales be, for it to be repaired? Remember, I am without a car.

 

In the first instance, I'd like a repair, but if they aren't playing ball - should I then go down the full refund route? Problem is, I bloody love the car - its got everything I want (apart from a defect!) and if possible, I'd want it sorted to make me happy. So at which stage, would I pay for the repair then hit the courts?

 

Questions questions questions!

 

I'm awaiting a call tomorrow from the garage for them the clarify their position, they wont receive my letter until Friday, however. But I'm adamant I want it repairing in the first instance, so we'll see how it goes!

 

SRI

There are no warranties with a trade sale so the dealer is talking fecal rubbish. If you have a warranty then its clearly a retail sale and subject to SOGA or CPUTR 2008.

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Quick Update.

 

Just had a call from the dealer (end of the day mind, which gives them the weekend to do nothing), to state that the garage are waiting on their own local specialist to give them an estimate for the work. - they seem to think they can get it done cheaper (fair do's).

 

The dealer has asked if I can give them until 'Monday' to get a definitive answer and price.... and for me to expect a call Monday clarifying it all (I'll ask for this in writing).

 

I stated that I didn't care who repaired it - as long as it was satisfactory and resolved ASAP, as it is now becoming an inconveinience to thumb lifts.

 

So, Monday it would seem, may hold promise - although I must admit, I am not keen on 'I'll call you back' etc, so if nothing is heard Monday, I may send them another letter confirming the conversation we've just had and reminding them of my own 7 day request to get it resolve.

 

Transcript updated to reflect! Have a good weekend.

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Quick Update.

 

No phone call received today (surprise surprise) as was promised on Friday.

Will draft up the next letter and post up here tomorrow (in preparation for sending at the end of the week).

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It would appear that I spoke too soon. Call received this evening.

 

The garage would like to collect the car from its current location, tomorrow. They have their own repairer.

 

I have agreed, asking them to ring the specialist (at the cars current location) in order to deal with them direct and arrange transportation.

 

I have written this letter, which I'll post tomorrow to confirm the position. Please let me know if you think it is acceptable.

 

Dear Sir,

 

RE: *** Registration: ******

 

I refer to our recent telephone conversation at 1800 hours on Monday 20th July 2009 and can confirm that I am happy for your company (or subsequent repairer) to collect the car from its current location at ******.

 

In relation to my previous letter, sent on the 16th July 2009, I feel that a target of Friday 24th of July 2009 is an unfeasible deadline in which to have the car repaired by your own preferred specialist. I would allow the extension of the repair to be extended to no later than Tuesday 28th July 2009. I feel this is an acceptable timeframe in which to have the problem resolved, given this would be the 13th day after which the problem was reported to you.

 

Please could you confirm your acceptance and receipt of this letter by faxing a signed copy to: ****** addressed for my attention.

 

Regards,

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I wouldn't rush him and Tuesday seems a tad soon. If he picks up the car tomorrow he will start it on Wednesday, remove the head and strip it, take it to an engineering firm for skimming and testing.

Then there is the head rebuild and the fitment to the car plus testing.

 

It can't be determined how long the engineering firm will want it, they may be busy.

 

I would say Friday to be realistic, but your choice.

 

In your letter, make sure you ask for the test result and skimming confirmation on the company headed paper of the engineers.

 

All heads where the gasket has gone and the temp risen into the red must be skimmmed.

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No problem, I'll amend for Friday. You're right, I don't want it rushed anyway.

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Check with a garage if you have 'stretch' bolts on the head, if so they 'HAVE' to be replaced. All types should be really, but stretch must be.

 

The easy way to check that is to ask if they are tightened to an angle/degree or a torque. If an angle, then they are stretch.

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Its an BMW E46 M3. Does that mean anything more needs to be asked? I know the 3.2 beast is a tuned animal. Back when I used a spanner, a 1.1 pushrod required little to no maintenance!

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Update.

 

No phone call today, so that means no car collection. Yet another day passes. They should receive my 2nd letter tomorrow.

 

Some users on another forum have detailed thier experience of this garage and have stated that once your car is collected, expect a minimum of 4 weeks for it to be fixed! I'm not happy about that, albeit I did state they have until next Thursday to fully resolve it.

 

I just want it sorted now. Work is stating I need to be mobile next week, so I'm going to need a car ASAP.

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I wouldn't push him on the collection. If he fails to collect after he has received your letter tomorrow, then you can claim you have given him every chance to do the repair and a reasonable amount of time to do it.

 

You then will be able to take it to the garage of your choice and get them to fix it, (you will have to pay the bill though), and then you can take him to court for reimbursement of the repair bill, plus court fees.

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I wouldn't push him on the collection. If he fails to collect after he has received your letter tomorrow, then you can claim you have given him every chance to do the repair and a reasonable amount of time to do it.

 

You then will be able to take it to the garage of your choice and get them to fix it, (you will have to pay the bill though), and then you can take him to court for reimbursement of the repair bill, plus court fees.

 

I'd prefer it to be repaired by the specialist where its sat anyhow. yet they were the ones suggesting collection and repair elsewhere (then i find, they take an ice age + I'd have no car + no cash..) I just don't feel easy about that. But yet, I've sent the letter so its tough poo on my part. Will have to wait and see if they do/do not pick it up before Friday.

 

If the car does get collected, who pays the specialists bill + his storage charge whilst they've been twiddling their thumbs? I'd say that its their problem - it has been 8 days since I reported the problem and nothing has happened.

 

I also need a car for work, next week. So I'll have to hire one. I don't want to send anymore letters (asking them if they can provide one/or pay for one) in case it prompts them to collect it before friday!!!! - which was the deadline in the first letter.

 

My old man just bought a car yesterday and its mint. I've enjoyed mine for exactly 20 miles and 4 hours, so I am envious, jealous and surprisingly angry (I was ok about all this before!!!)

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As they out of hand refused to do anything and tried to illegally get out of their obligations under the soga, and then only saying they will pay half, you were correct in taking it to another garage for diagnosis, and they will have to foot the bill for that.

It was up to them to show there was nothing wrong with it, not yours to show there was, something they failed to do.

 

Don't let your dad get one up on you. Ask him where the fun is in getting a car and just driving it. say lifes boring if you just go from a to b daily with no excitement.

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Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

 

Go and buy another one. If this has happened then there is something else seriously wrong. Forget skimming the head, from what I remember working on M series cars you can't, and £700 to replace the head gasket. Are they working on the minimum wage?

 

Believe me, reject the car.

BTW what's the mileage????

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Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

Reject the car.

 

Go and buy another one. If this has happened then there is something else seriously wrong. Forget skimming the head, from what I remember working on M series cars you can't, and £700 to replace the head gasket. Are they working on the minimum wage?

 

Believe me, reject the car.

BTW what's the mileage????

 

Really?

The cost of £700 was only verbal and this garage is tiny (only two employees) but specifically they are a BMW specialist - with excellent feedback from the locality and friends who've used them.

They also detailed that they prep M series race cars, which must mean they have some know how.

 

The mileage is 80k, its only had 2 owners from new, with full bmwsh. The car is spot on (apart from its current issue) which is why I'd want it repaired in the first instance. but now you've planted that seed, I will speak to the specialist before they commence the work and get their view, might also ring BMW and ask how much they'd charge just for comparison (a few thousands more, i reckon) and see what else they say.

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As they out of hand refused to do anything and tried to illegally get out of their obligations under the soga, and then only saying they will pay half, you were correct in taking it to another garage for diagnosis, and they will have to foot the bill for that.

It was up to them to show there was nothing wrong with it, not yours to show there was, something they failed to do.

 

Don't let your dad get one up on you. Ask him where the fun is in getting a car and just driving it. say lifes boring if you just go from a to b daily with no excitement.

 

Haha, I told him what you said and he then decided to rev his V8, just to rub it in even more, saying "i bet yours doesn't sound like this"... g!t.

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Just had a phone call from the specialists, to say that a transporter has turned up outside!

Not what I wanted, but they've held to their word of collection.

 

The deadline is now next Thursday 30th - as per my second letter. I very much doubt they can acheive that (based on previous customer testimony of a less severe fault)

 

At least I can still reject it afterwards if its not satisfactory.

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What you need to remember is that for every problem there is a cause. So what is it in this case. Yes, a head gasket can blow but you need to ask why? Head gasket failures are no longer a common cause due to manufacturing improvements etc but why did it blow?

 

This case worries me and especially the £700 quote. I cannnot see how they can do it for that.

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I can only speculate/assume as to the reason. Maybe a lack of input from the previous owner and he let it run dry? I don't know.

 

The problem (well, it is and it isn't) is that the garage where I bought it have collected it for repair using their own preferred folks. So its now out of my hands until they say its either too expensive and refund me, offer a replacement car or actually fix it. The £700 quote was from the local specialist where I took the car. So I guess that is now irrelevant, seen as they are not doing the work.

Got until next thursday to wait now. That was the deadline in the second letter.

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