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Faulty cam belt - help!


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Hello,

 

I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'll try and keep this short lol.

 

I purchased a genuine Fiat cam belt from shop4parts.co.uk. It was fitted by my local garage. 2 days later the car died due to cam belt failure. The garage investigated the belt failure and concluded that the new belt was faulty. They then hired in an automotive forensic expert (who typically does court work for trading standards) to investigate and he too came to the conclusion that the belt was faulty.

The engine was declared as beyond economical repair and a replacement engine was fitted costing a total inc fitting of £768 :-(

 

I've since contacted shop4parts and they have offered to refund the belt but the refund of the replacement engine would have to come from Fiat. I've contacted Fiat and after two weeks of waiting & chasing they have finally told me they are unwilling to offer anything, it has nothing to do with them and I need to contact shop4parts.:confused:

 

I dont see why I should swallow the cost of a manufacturing fault. But should I be chasing Fiat or Shop4parts.co.uk for reimbursement of the cost of a replacement engine?

 

Thanks.

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Shop for parts liability will only be for the part not any consequential loss, however you could take them to court and see where you go from there.

I would check that the part is actually genuine, not a cheapo fake. did it have all the respective part nos. and Fiat nos. Where did they get it from! surely fiat parts or OEM would only come from Fiat! check with manufacturer do they actually supply shop for pats? IMHO Fiat will not be liable at all. This is where its best to get garage to supply and fit part then you would have a claim against garage for all of it.

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Yes the part was genuine and shop4parts is a known Fiat parts supplier.

 

I've filled in the small claims forms already, but I'm not sure, should I be specifying shop4parts or Fiat as the defendant? It's a manufacturing fault so I keep thinking it should be Fiat. Or should it be shop4parts who would then claim from Fiat?

 

The belt has been changed on the replacement engine by the garage using their own supplier. I originally thought it would be best to use genuine fiat parts rather than go for any unknown manufacturer or copy parts hence why I went for the Fiat belt originally. Lesson learnt I suppose.

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no i think you have a claim against the suppier under soga.

 

its up to them to then take this up with fiat.

 

don't be fobbed off.

 

incidently, i know i read somewhere in the motorpress about fake genuine parts for fiat getting into the supply chain in italy, that was about nov last year.

 

hth

 

dx

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DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

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Thanks, that puts my mind at rest because so far I've just been bounced between the supplier and Fiat, but now I can just contentrate on the one. :)

 

I'd doubt it was a fake part if it was that long ago. Probably just one of the few belts that got out of the door with a fault which was not picked up on.

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Hopefully I'm getting somewhere. Fiat, the idiots, in all of the messing about wanted to inspect the belt originally so I sent it to them a while ago (shop4parts told me to contact them to be reimbursed originally). Now Fiat convieniently deny ever receiving it which threw a spanner in the works with shop4parts saying they cannot proceed with out it.

 

However as (I think) under Soga its the suppliers responsibility to collect it I've told shop4parts that if they want it, its up to them to get it back off Fiat, I have already had an independent automotive forensics expert verify the manufacturing fault so there's no reason why I cannot be reimbursed and if they do not then I'm going to submit the county court claim forms I've prepared to initiate legal proceedings.

 

They have just replied saying that they have forwarded the matter to their insurer :???:. Is this a good sign? Why is an insurer is getting involved too? :?

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I wonder why you supplied a belt to your garage in the first place? As they were doing the work, if they had also sourced the parts, you would have had a simple claim against the garage instead of this mess. Anyway hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wish you best of luck but it will be an uphill struggle. I think your claim would be against shop4parts and this will be the simplest route. Then if you are successful, shop4parts can decide whether to try and pass it back to Fiat or not. How much was the independent forensic inspection of the belt?

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I went with the Fiat belt thinking that it would be a good quality, original part, many people on the fiat forums use them and the belt the garage wanted to use doesnt have a good reputation.

 

Well their deadline is up and I've heard nothing other than "we have forwarded the matter to our insurer". Why are they doing that though? Is there some product insurance policy available to cover faulty parts that will pay out? If there is, hopefully that will make life easier.

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did you get any photo's of the belt, or the engine that was damaged.

 

when you got the new cambelt, did it come with a cambelt tensioner???

 

remember, fiat is a big company........

 

they'll be quick to say you changed down a gear to quickly, locking the engine, and thus stripping teeth from the belt.

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Who is saying "we have forwarded the matter to our insurer"? Is it Shop4Parts? If so they probably have some liability insurance. Trouble is it just brings more players onto the scene with scope for delays etc. Your best bet is to claim the £768 or whatever you want off Shop4Parts, give them a time to pay up, say 14 or 21 days and also say if you are not payed, you will commence a claim in the small claims court to recover the amount from them. That way it leaves you with only one party to deal with. Shop4Parts can deal with their own insurers, you don't have to be involved with that.

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Yes it came with a tensioner and can get pics of the belt and engine too.

 

They've missed the deadline so I think I'll email them today and let them know I'm submitting the court documents today at 5pm. Just in case they want to come back with "oooh, hang on I'll just send you the money now".

 

Thanks for all your help :D

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hopefully I'm getting somewhere. Fiat, the idiots, in all of the messing about wanted to inspect the belt originally so I sent it to them a while ago (shop4parts told me to contact them to be reimbursed originally). Now Fiat convieniently deny ever receiving it which threw a spanner in the works with shop4parts saying they cannot proceed with out it.

 

Hi there, I used to work in a Fiat dealership so maybe I can help. Fisrtly, I don't think they are 'idiots'. They obviously were interested in the belt which, to be honest, they need'nt have been. I don't know if shop4parts is a genuine Fiat agent or not so Fiat will want to satify themselves that it was indeed a genuine Fiat belt. All genuine Fiat parts are traceable as they have serial numbers on them. And don't forget, cam belts have a shelf life of around 5 years as well so do you know how old it was? And which Fiat centre did you return it to... i'm presuming it was Warrington which is the UK parts centre? And did you send it by trackable post seeing as it was 'evidence'?

 

In a nut shell, you really should have had the garage who fitted the belt supply it because then you would have had a simple claim against them. Your claim is deffinately with the supplier and not Fiat (unless the supplier is a Fiat agent).

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I've just had a visit to their site and it is completely illegal.

 

No name, phone number or company number. There is an address in their Privacy policy (which is itself illegal).

They are not a registered company with companies house

They are not registered under the data protection act to receive and store data.

No mention of the distance selling regulations and return states 5 days only.

Well have a look for yourselves:

 

1. General

a) These terms and conditions shall apply to any order accepted by SHOP4PARTS.

b) Any order accepted by SHOP4PARTS is in all cases subject to the availability of the good(s) ordered and any agreed dates for the delivery of such good(s) shall be made in good faith but shall not be deemed to be of the essence of the contract.

2. Product Information

Any application lists, catalogues or advice provided by us as part of our sales service is as accurate as possible. In all instances it is the responsibility of the purchaser to assure himself that the parts supplied are suitable and CORRECT for the application involved.

3. Damage or Loss

The customer must inform SHOP4PARTS in writing within 5 days of the date of delivery of any good damaged or lost in transit or otherwise and no claim for damaged or lost good can be made by a customer against SHOP4PARTS if such notification has not been made within the time aforementioned.

4. Force Majeure

We cannot be held responsible for contingencies beyond our control such as strikes, lockouts, shipping delays, fire, war etc. All confirmed orders may be partially or wholly suspended without liability on our part. In such an event the purchaser will have no claim against us for loss or damage either direct or consequential which may result.

5. Returned Goods

a) SHOP4PARTS shall not be obliged to accept the return of any good(s) ordered by a customer.

b) All orders that have been correctly supplied and returned as incorrectly ordered by the customer or no longer required shall be subject to a 25% minimum handling charge.

c) Goods ordered incorrectly by the customer must be returned, carriage paid, with the appropriate paperwork, for inspection by SHOP4PARTS or the manufacturer.

 

They have been notified of their attempt at locking customers out of their statutory rights, and for not registering under the data protection act.

Edited by Conniff
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Found this about them: may usefull contact info.

Domain name:

shop4parts.co.uk

 

Registrant:

Shop 4 Parts

 

Trading as:

Shop 4 Parts

 

Registrant type:

UK Partnership

 

Registrant's address:

33 Robinhood Way

Clifton

Brighouse

West Yorkshire

HD6 4LA

Unknown

United Kingdom

 

Registrar:

Namesco Limited t/a Namesco Ltd [Tag = NAMESCO]

URL: Namesco-Domain Names, Hosting, Dedicated Server Solutions and Broadband ADSL, Namesco Limited

 

Relevant dates:

Registered on: 05-Nov-2001

Renewal date: 05-Nov-2009

Last updated: 07-Jul-2009

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well... I have an update.

I didnt get anywhere with them with resolving the matter out of court so it was submitted. I hoped they would offer something once they got news of court action but instead they got their solicitor to put in a defence. I have their defence here now. Can I legally post up what I submitted and what they entered as their defence?

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Well... I have an update.

I didnt get anywhere with them with resolving the matter out of court so it was submitted. I hoped they would offer something once they got news of court action but instead they got their solicitor to put in a defence. I have their defence here now. Can I legally post up what I submitted and what they entered as their defence?

 

Yes, please do.

 

Have you been in touch with trading standards about this?

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Cool. I've not been in touch with trading standards - yet. This is what I entered on the mcol site to start my claim. It's fustrating how little space you get and the inability to attach any evidence.

 

The Cambelt on my Fiat Punto was changed on

the 2nd of June using a genuine Fiat belt

kit and water pump supplied by Shop4parts

costing £80.51. It drove perfectly fine for

nearly three days but randomly stopped.

The car was recovered to Ian Jones -

Kington for investigation. Upon

investigating the fault, they discovered

the engine timing had gone out and many of

the valves in the cylinder head were bent.

The engine was deemed beyond economical

repair. An equivalent 2nd hand replacement

engine has been sourced and fitted to the

car at a cost of £703.24 on the 8th of

July. Ian Jones has examined the old

engine and timing belt kit and has come to

the conclusion that the timing belt has a

manufacturing fault. They also hired [NAME REMOVED],

an Automotive Expert Witness and

Forensic Practitioner who confirmed the

belt itself as faulty and the fitting of

the belt was correct. I'd like to be

reimbursed for losses incurred due to a

faulty part from shop4parts.

 

This is their rather lengthy reply...

 

1. The defendants primary position is that Shop4parts exists only as a trading name of A M & C Wilcox Limited, it is not a legal entity and as such the Claimant cannot proceed against it.

 

2. The remainder of this defence is without prejudice to the above contention.

 

3. the brevity of the Particulars of Claim has made it impossible for the Defendant to respond to them directly. The Defendant is embarrassed by the Claimants failure to plead his claim, however in order to assist the court the defendants position with regard to the Claimants claim is as follows.

 

It is admitted that:

 

a. The defendant supplied a genuine Fiat [cam] Belt kit and replacement water pump to the Claimant.

It is not admitted that:

a. The Claimant owned a Fiat Punto.

b. The cambelt was changed on the 2nd June.

c. The kit supplied by the Defendant was used in this installation.

d. The Punto drove perfectly fine for nearly three days.

e. The Punto randomly stopped.

f. The Punto was recovered to xxx garage.

g. The investigations revealed that the engine timing had gone out, or that many of the cylinder head valves were bent.

h. The engine was beyond economic repair.

i. A 2nd hand engine was sourced and fitted for a cost of £703.24

j. The kit had a manufacturing fault.

 

It is averred that:

 

a. The report of [NAME REMOVED] is not CPR compliant and the Claimant cannot rely on it.

b. The Claimant has failed to advance any legal basis for his claim against the Defendant.

 

4. The Claimant is put to strict proof the installation of the belt was done correctly, using all correct tools and to the manufacturers specification. Unless and until suck is forthcoming, the defendant avers that the Claimant cannot prove that the original installation was correct or that the kit supplied by the Defendant was defective.

 

5. The Claimant has failed to provice any documentary evidence in support of the sum claimed for the replacement engine and is called upon to do so. Unless and until the same is forthcoming, the defendant is unable to consider this head of loss any further.

Edited by alanfromderby
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Seems that you are floored at the first hurdle and not named the defendant correctly; also your expert witness/engineers report must be from a competent source with the correct qualifications to have any weight and creditability. Also can you proove the belt was installed correctly!! You also need to submit all recepts for the work done and the replacement engine/fitting. Firstly to Wilcox, so they can consider and respond before you think about court action.

Its a long winded process and with no guarantee of success. good luck.

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They have not been forthcoming with their name, until now. So I could only go on it being shop4parts :-(.

 

The expert witness has lots of letters after his name. "LLB, Cert Ed., CAE, MIMI". I don't have a clue what any of those are lol. But he apparently does quite a bit of work for trading standards. Anyone know what any of them are?

 

I submitted all recepts and letters to Wilcox/shop4parts originally. But having never been through this process before, there was just a text box with a limited number of characters and seems to be no way to submit any evidence. Or am I missing something?

 

Am I able to go to the courts with the evidence they are asking for and explain that they are not forthcoming with their name (as above)? Or am I going to have to start out again and fork out for another small claim because of the name?

 

If so, I may see if I can go through a no win no fee solicitor this time so they can talk in legal terms instead of my poor and probably slightly amusing attempts to lol.

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It is essential you name the defendant person or company correctly or it will fail! you must have had an address though to serve the papers?

LLB - law degree!

Cert Ed - certificate in education pre or post grad?

CAE - certificate in advanced english?

MIMI - ????

  • Haha 1
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I would of spoken to trading standards about thie earlier, certainly before going to court. However, you could write to the court indicating you now have the defendants correct name ect and ask the details to be transfered. I take it you submitted copies of all correspodence to and from the defendant with the court application. This will proove you did'nt have the correct title of the defendant when making the application. You can also obtain an affidavit from your expert witness but you should make sure he would be willing to attend court if necessary. If he does work for trading standards, then i'm sure the court will be satisfied with his qualifications.

  • Haha 1

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Yes I have an address for them. But everything they have sent was "shop4parts". I even checked them out on google street view and even their building is signed "shop4parts" too.

 

Unfortunately I didnt submit any correspondence with the court application . There was no option to on the moneyclaim website to do that and was wondering when I get the chance to do so. I'll get hold of the court on monday and see if/how I can do that. Along with getting the case transfered to the correct title.

I think the expert witness will probably make a charge for an affidavit. Can I add the cost to the claim though?

 

In terms of correspondence, I have the shop4parts invoice, a letter from the expert witness to the garage saying that he has photographic evidence, they "should not incur the expense of a civil procedure report or any other works", that he has informed trading standards of his evidential findings and that there is no evidence to support the view that liability rests with the garage plus a letter from the garage saying that the belt was fitted correctly and that the belt failed. I have another letter from FIAT saying that shop4parts are who i should deal with and that shop4parts can then progress the claim with FIAT. I do have another letter somewhere from shop4parts that says they will refund the belt kit only, if I return the belt but nothing more. Although I can't as FIAT refuse to acknowlege they received it.

 

Anyway, thank you to both of you for your help :cool:. This is turning into a fairly steep learning curve for me lol.

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You will get the opportunity to submit the correspondence at some stage so make sure you got it. You can add all expences relevant to the case to your claim. As I said before; you should of sent the belt by trackable post as it is evidence. The court may want to see it also. Which department of Fiat did you send it?

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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