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LTKY

Used car - approved dealer - rust under paint

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I recently bought a used car from an approved dealer from the brand of my car, hardly 3 yrs old model.

 

During the negotiations for the price I listed a few things that needed fixing/repairing. Among them was a small rusted paint chip on the roof of the car. The dealer said we don't need to put it in writing and they will sort out everything.

 

There were a lot of things to check including the paperwork at the day I picked the car. I forgot to look at the chip but all the rest was done as agreed and because it was raining it was impossible to see the chip.

 

A week later I noticed the chip was there which disappointed me a lot. I thought it's a small chip and will have someone to touch it up at a garage. Due to workload I ended up looking into it 1 month later and to my surprise I found another rusted chip in the middle of the roof. In both chips the rust has moved under the paint by a few millimeters. The chips themselves are also small, a couple of mm in diameter.

 

BUT, after showing it to 3 different garages for a quote, every single garage pointed out that it requires the entire roof to be repainted as the damage cannot be fixed on the chips locally. Quotes ranged from £300 to £400!!

 

I think this is unacceptable and the dealer must accept responsibility. It also affects my potential to sell the car at a good value in the future. I am a bit worried they might claim I cause this, but the specialist told me that it takes more than 5 months to get rust forming. Also I had two witnesses who saw the rust and heard the dealer agreeing to repair.

 

I wanted to know my rights as a consumer and where I stand with this? Also I need some advice how to approach the dealer and if they turn me down, what are my legal options?

 

many thanks!

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Can you tell us what car it is. I would think you are on good ground as the issue was pointed out at the time of sale. The next thing is that the paint will usually be covered by a manufacturers warranty and this is where it could get messy.

 

To confirm your quotes, yes they are correct, it has to be the panel sprayed and if metallic then blended into surrounding panels. The price quoted seems favourable but perhaps on the "too low side" to repair a rust issue.

 

The problem here with the manufacturers warranty is that they cover for 12 years if the problem is caused from the inside out. In your case it's not. However, the position of the chips and rust is semi unusual so you need to compare the leading edge of the bonnet paint with that of the roof. It would be unusual to see paint damage on the roof that has broken through what is known as the "e coat" thus causing the rust.

 

I would suggest initially that you write to the dealer stating your case and give them a time line to respond.

 

Some of the legal peeps here can advise further as I try to stick to engineering and car retail issues as to what's acceptable and what is not!

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Thanks for the response, the car is a Mazda.

Btw, just wanted to repeat that the car is 2nd hand, so the stone chips on the roof were already there. It's not something caused from the inside, it has been there for several months judging from the rust. In fact, considering the car was at the dealer for a few months, it was done by the previous owner, so at least 6 months I'd say.

 

I have bought a year's worth of Mazda warranty but the dealer has delayed to send me my warranty package for two months! They have now posted it, after I kept calling (4 times to be presice) trying to find out the progress of my package. As a result, I don't know much about my warranty terms. But still I blv this is a pre-sale issue that relates to the dealer and the quality of the goods sold. Even if they denied they knew about it, as you said, I did point it out (but it's not documented). Had they refused to repair at pre-sale stage, I could have also turned down the car.

 

I think it's a good idea to keep things in writing.But...wouldn't it be better to speak in person with a manager and show them the problem directly?

I am planning to get the specialist's opinion in writing and put them together with my letter.

Edited by LTKY

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It would be great to have some legal advice from someone pls

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Ask the dealer for an appointment with the dealer principal, sales manager and service manager. For the chip to have caused rust or spider creep it means it must be coming from the inside or that the stone has penetrated the e coat. Until you do this you have not really given the dealer the opportunity to fix. From the post it doesn't suggest you have asked them. Try that and let us know.

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thanks,

 

I have started a communication with the manager over the phone. It seems that they are taking their time but I have completed the first step, which is to make them aware of the situation. Don't want to be misunderstood, what I meant by legal, is to know my rights and what would be the proper solution in this case. So that the dealer cannot propose a convenient solution to them or raise arguments that are not valid against me.

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I obviously have to do with an ignorant dealer here. They don't seem to value their customers or provide a decent after sale support. It's unacceptable that it's been 5 days since my communication with the manager and I am still expecting a call from their side to acknowledge the issue and invite me to inspect my car.

 

I'm afraid I have to take the firm approach, so I'll pay them a visit in person and see the dealer principal and resolution manager. I will request a solution at a reasonable time frame and follow up with a letter.

 

Then if I don't hear anything it will time for contacting trading standards, as I found some more issues with what they promised me on the original sale.

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This is exactly the way it should be done LTKY. You have tried over the phone. Next go to the dealer and confront it. If they deny then the legal peeps here will give you the advice you need. Just a thought from memory, when signing the used car order there is usually or sometimes a bit which lists things that have to be done. Is this the same with your order form?

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heliosuk, this is one of the reasons why I'm concerned with this dealer, if you re-read my first post. Of course, I asked him to put things in writing but the sales executive was too confident about himself, he insisted we can trust he will sort everything out! And he was pretty senior as well. But I have witnesses who were with me at the sale and heard everything, including his promises.

 

Almost everyone insisted I should trust the authorised dealer and stop being concerned at the time. It seems I had it right and they had it wrong, but now I'm the one who is chasing things up...

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The trouble with disputes like these - is the dealer, IF he had 'trapped' the blemish in your snagging list would simply have used a paint pen to repair. Meanwhile a complete repair would require a roof respray, something he would not have conteplated, so whilst you may feel you have been shortchanged, I cannot see how a successful action can be brought. A roof respray is overkill for a couple of chips.

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I finally visited the dealer and spoke to the principal in person. I explained the situation at a very calm tone. They were pretty firm that they will not do the entire roof but promised a good local match and they said something about "baking", so I hope it looks good. They had a list I signed before purchase, which listed only 3 pretty major things that needed attention. I had forgotten about it but still, I told them it doesn't mean anything as it did not contain another 4-5 things we agreed verbally. Among them the rusted chip.

 

buzby I don't disagree, although I am not the one who suggested the respraying but the specialists. Nevertheless, I think it's better than nothing, and perhaps much better than a simple retouch. To be fair, I had to chase it and get to the top before I saw some light.

 

I wonder, aren't we supposed to visit brand dealers to buy proper quality and have peace of mind than bear the risks that come with backyard dealerships?

Edited by LTKY

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Well it's progress at the very least. It's possible to do localised repairs depending on the damage and how well it's done but then to go the extra bit and do it properly by doing the whole roof is negligible. My fear is that they will get one of these smart repair people in to do it who won't get rid of the rust properly, will probably break the e coat causing further issues at a later date and given the huge surface area will lead to sinking next summer/winter.

 

Have you suggested to the dealer that they ask for Mazda Technical to look at with a view to a warranty claim. Paint has to be able to withstand a certain amount of chipping and the most vulnerable areas are on the front of the car. As before, compare the two areas.

 

I'm a bit surprised they don't seem to have tried this approach as it is something they need to do and should be done as a matter of course. What I do know is that manufacturers won't cover this sort of work if a car is for sale, but will if the paint damage occurred after sale. So it might be worth making an attempt to work with the dealer in respect of getting the car repaired properly by Mazda if you see what I mean.

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A roof respray is overkill for a couple of chips.

Actually not. The rust, especially as is spider rust is probably evident around a 5cm radius from the centre of the chip once the paint is removed. You would then need to triple that at least to lose the paint line plus at least 30cm for blending. So if the chip is say 10 cm from the front roof line then doing it properly means you are back half a metre.

 

Do the job right in the first place, first time = happy customers in the future.

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heliosuk, these are the kind of details I was told by a chips repairing service and that's why they suggested doing the whole roof anyway. Can you elaborate on the "sinking" part? it sounds like you know your stuff pretty well, are you into bodyshop work?

 

I know they might be doing a half arsed job with a smart repair. I'm hoping they will treat the rust properly and blend as you said. In fact I was trying to discuss a figure to which they can contribute so that I can have it done properly by an external garage, since they refused. But they turned that option down too because it costs them far less to have the smart repair obviously. What about the paint baking they mentioned? Why is that needed? They said they will need to keep the car for two days.

 

Warranty will definitely not cover me for this, I bet the dealer would try that route if they could. It's a used car past 3 yrs old and the extended warranty I have is pretty clear about not covering any paintwork. I see your point about the chip tolerance but wouldn't that be tricky, i.e the manufacturer could argue the original damage was left untreated for months or years and resulted in rust.

 

I have arranged to take it there beginning of January, so I still have some time to find out more. I'm not sure if there is anything else I could do, but if the job they promised looks bad or develops defects in a short time, I will definitely take this further.

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You might want to consider checking what Mazda's corrosion & perforation warranty covers in terms of timescales as it's usually longer than the standard 3 years mechanical.

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martintweddle, I believe it is 12 yrs and covers exterior panels etc from corrosion showing up from within.

 

I feel you are right and the car should not rust so easily as heliosuk says. The problem is that Mazda can easily argue the damage was from the outside and it affected all the coatings of protection on the roof. The other problem is that my dealer is obviously sh**t as they sold me the car with this problem (shame on them for being a Mazda dealer!) and later refused to do a proper repair. Also, it seems very unlikely that this dealer would help make a claim for corrosion towards Mazda, so I don't have much to argue about and I really don't have the time now to take this further with them.

 

I am going to have to take the car in soon for the chips to be repaired locally. Should I seek advice from the trading standards dept?

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I finally picked up my car from the dealer. I just got the keys, the car was wet in the rain and nobody checked the paintwork with me. It was hard to see anything and I was not pleased with that.

 

On the next dry day I noticed a fairly dark patch in the middle and I could see the seams of the paint job. The rear part was better done, but still, I could see where the blending was ending.

 

According to the experts, I should not be able to observe these details. I got a call from the dealer for feedback and expressed my dissatisfaction. They are pretty far from my house, so this time I sent them an email with pictures and told them I am disappointed and demanded an entire roof panel respray.

 

They said that based on the photos the work does not look up to standard and they are happy to revisit the work. However they are not making clear what they are planning to do. For me it is a lot of hustle to go there again and have them repatch the patches. It is just ridiculous. Should I demand them to cover the costs for an external garage to paint the roof, or simply demand them to paint the roof?

 

They are still standing on the ground that they did not promise a roof respray as a repair before the sale. Now my roof has noticeable traces of paintwork and I can't see why they don't want to do the entire thing properly. Urgent advice needed!

 

thanks

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I did say this would happen LYKY and you have done the right thing in going along with them.

 

However this is your ace in the pack so to speak. Just instruct them that the roof now is worse than before and that the repair requires a complete roof respray in order to keep within the terms of the Mazda warranty and that you understand that that these localised repairs complied with the anti corossion warranty. Which they clearly do not.

 

So it's back in the dealers court now and they are the representatives of the brand.

 

All communication should now be with Mazda uk.

 

I love this thread.

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heliosuk, I've sent you a PM.

 

Why would the localised repairs not comply with the anti-perforation warranty?

 

Do you mind explaining a little more as I want to handle this in the most effective way.

 

I'm preparing a letter for Mazda UK.

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Wow. That's one cracking repair ( NOT, though possibly will be in years to come). Is the car red or pink? See my point?

 

The issue is that they have a set process to follow with approved materials and these touch up/smart repair people don't do that. Not correct materials, out of process repair = buy buy paint/anti corrosion warranty.

 

In your post #2 you mention you have bought extended warranty underwritten by Mazda but in order to get this they have to sign a submission that everything is ok with the car and any rectification work has been carried out prior to sale. This is not the case.

 

So there are two options now, either they respray the roof properly at a Mazda approved bodyshop as they have fouled it up or it's a letter to Mazda San. If you want to run it past me first just send it in a pm.

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heliosuk thanks for the feedback,

 

Actually it's because of the lighting and the photo angle, that some areas appear bright and pinkish. Mainly cloud reflections. The patches are not instantly noticeable from ground level to the naked eye, but as you get closer to the roof, you end up seeing the end of the blending in both areas.

 

With regards to the extended warranty, yes I have one year but it's not Mazda, it's RAC platinum. There are a lot of issues with this dealer. The reason this is important, is because the Mazda pack comes with an inspection certificate of the used car. In my case there was no certificate of inspection or history coming with the car. During the sale they did not make it clear and said it's all coming in the post. I kept asking questions referring to terms within the Mazda warranty but the salesman tackled them smartly always talking bull****. The problem is that I found out two months after they delivered it to me. I contacted Mazda who said that it is up to the dealer to offer the Mazda warranty or another package. When I went to see the GM for the rust I also complained for the warranty. He claimed the RAC warranty covers the same things as the Mazda warranty, but I told him this is true minus an inspection certificate. Obviously I missed a lot of details because I trusted I was dealing with a dealer of the brand. I was wrong!

 

The most ridiculous thing, they claimed the first repair was a "gesture of good will" and that they are happy to revisit the smart repair "free of charge". They can't be serious writing such bull****. I'm now ready to take this to Mazda UK.

 

You have raised a very interesting point about the repair process and how it can affect the anti-corrosion warranty. I guess it's a good point to put forward to Mazda, especially because it's a smart repair on rust.

 

The problem now is that it does not worth suing them, because it could cost me more than the repair. Which makes me think "omg, how did I end up in so much hustle, even though I bought from a brand dealer".

 

The dealer insists that a "repair" promise does not constitute a roof respraying. I believe based on what you said heliosuk, the repair to a rust spot has no compromises. Therefore they have promised for a "proper repair", whatever that comes with. So a letter to Mazda is the least I can do for now. I'd be happy to run it by you, thanks

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The dealer insists that a "repair" promise does not constitute a roof respraying.

 

Only an amateur would say a thing like that.

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Absolutly Conniff and the thing is looking at it if it's not pink now it soon will be. LTKY, can you send pics to Conniff please, he more than likely verify what I say.

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Perhaps you know better why this could happen in the future, but at this moment, I can tell you for sure it's entirely red throughout;)

 

I'm sending more pics to both of you. You will understand what I meant about the angles. The camera sensors cannot always capture the red properly with metallic paint.

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