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Second hand car failed within 2 hours and 30 miles of purchase.


wallers
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Hi,

 

Please bare with me, I hope I will post enough information.

 

I purchased a 2004 Diesel Micra 1.5 DCI with 63000 miles on the clock. It was described as being in great condition, service history, 2 lady owners etc..

 

It was pretty slow when I test drove, but I thought that was how it was.

 

I Picked the car up on Saturday after being messed around slightly over the radio being coded. Driving home on the A45 I was thinking it's really slow, tried to do 70, trying being important. Was just crossing the bridge at stonebridge and the engine died. I coasted to a halt wondering what was going on. Turned it off, cranked it, it started but only after a few cranks. It died two more times trying to get to 60. I pulled over and rang the dealer. He was apologetic and would get back to me about what to do. He rang back later asking me to drop the car off with him so his mechanic could look at it.

 

I dropped the car off on Sunday. I discovered that the car drove OK at no more than 40mph. It would cut out above this speed and did so 6 times in a 10 mile stretch of the A45. So the car was basically unusable which I discovered within 30 miles of purchase.

 

His mechanic says that it's the fuel pump because the fault code F0089 appeared which is the fuel pressure regulator. He said he will pay for the labour if I pay for the parts. I don't think I should pay for anything. He made out it was like a favour for me and that it's a wear and tear item. He wanted me to commit there and then, but I didn't feel comfortable in doing so. I asked to ring him back in the evening.

 

I rang him in the evening to discuss I started with my "do you mind if I ask you a few questions" to which he replies "no". So I start with "What did you do to discount it being an injector problem" to which he replies "You obviously don't trust me, you should speak to the mechanic, I'll text you his number".

 

I speak to the mechanic, who speaks to me as if I'm an idiot (OK I bought the car). It's the high pressure fuel pump, he knows this because the computer tells him. It may well be this, but my bond of trust has gone.

 

The mechanic is evasive when I ask if the pump is new, he says "it's not reconditioned. "It's used, but it's a good pump".

They won't do a back leakage test on the injectors to see if they're blocked, because the computer said it's the pump. I said to the mechanic "When the high pressure pump fails it tends to release swarf into the fuel filter which is passed on to the injectors" he replies "Oh, Renault ones don't do that". Which is very unlikely.

 

I don't want to pay for anything, I shouldn't have to. I'm not sure where I stand with the sale of goods act in regard to repair or refund. As I don't trust the dealer or the car as the fuel pump failing may have caused other issues with the fuel system I would prefer refund, but i don't know if I'm really entitled to this. I can foresee this conversation not going well.

 

I see that he is trying to be accommodating, he offered to do a cam belt change in with the work, but as said I have no trust and wouldn't even know if this had been done.

 

Any help is appreciated.

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Personally, if the car goes wrong straight away, I wouldn't want to trust it and I would reject it there and then.

 

If you decide to do that, then you are entitled to a full refund, but you must stop driving the car straight away.

 

Send a letter/fax/e-mail to the dealer, saying that you are rejecting the car under the Sales of Goods Act 1979, as being not of satisfactory quality and not fit for purpose, and asking him how he wants to get the car back, whether he wants to collect it, saying that you are prepared to drive it back to him as a gesture of good will although you are under no obligation to do so. Tell him that you will expect a full refund on return of the vehicle, by the same means that you paid him.

 

If you are rejecting the car, then you do NOT have to accept repair as remedy, but if you were to decide to accept the repairs, it wouldn't necessarily end your right to reject should the car fail again. My personal preference would be to give the car back and congratulate yourself that it failed straight away and not in a few months time!!!

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The dealer actually has the vehicle at the moment, I dropped it off on Sunday. It was certainly easier this way. Should I not contact him by phone to tell him that I am rejecting the car under the SOG or should I go straight for the recorded delivery letter path?

 

Would it look bad if it got pushed all the way to court if it didn't appear that I'd given him enough time for rebuttal. If he denies that the SOG applies or refuses refund should I collect the car or leave it with him. Sorry I've just never had to do this before.

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The dealer actually has the vehicle at the moment, I dropped it off on Sunday. It was certainly easier this way. Should I not contact him by phone to tell him that I am rejecting the car under the SOG or should I go straight for the recorded delivery letter path?

 

Would it look bad if it got pushed all the way to court if it didn't appear that I'd given him enough time for rebuttal. If he denies that the SOG applies or refuses refund should I collect the car or leave it with him. Sorry I've just never had to do this before.

 

That simplifies things considerably. Do as Bookworm suggests giving him 14 days to respond with your full refund. Come back to us if and when you get a response. If they contact you saying the car is ready for collection, tell them to keep it! Send any letters by recored delivery and obviously keep copies.

 

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 professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

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

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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With respect, your diagnosis of the fault is very wrong for a start and it seems like the mechanics is correct. Fuel filter is before the pump for a start. If the pump fails in the way you believe then the leak off test will not prove anything. In fact the pump couldn't get pressure to feed the injectors therefore the engine will not run. The fact it does confirms to a greater extent the mechanics diagnosis in that the fault lies within the pressure regulator which is a unit on the back of the pump. As it is a used vehicle it is not unreasonable for the dealer to replace with a used unit. The issue is if it does indeed reach top speed and behave normally. Therefore think carefully about rejecting the car if the dealer claims it is repaired. I'm not so sure Bookworm is 100% correct on accepting a repair as used cars are very different from new where his view would apply. I'll leave the legal stuff to those though.

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With respect, your diagnosis of the fault is very wrong for a start and it seems like the mechanics is correct. Fuel filter is before the pump for a start. If the pump fails in the way you believe then the leak off test will not prove anything. In fact the pump couldn't get pressure to feed the injectors therefore the engine will not run. The fact it does confirms to a greater extent the mechanics diagnosis in that the fault lies within the pressure regulator which is a unit on the back of the pump. As it is a used vehicle it is not unreasonable for the dealer to replace with a used unit. The issue is if it does indeed reach top speed and behave normally. Therefore think carefully about rejecting the car if the dealer claims it is repaired. I'm not so sure Bookworm is 100% correct on accepting a repair as used cars are very different from new where his view would apply. I'll leave the legal stuff to those though.

 

OK, I stand corrected :)

 

I would assume that the mechanic is replacing the pump as it is easier to replace than the just the FPR. My worry is that if it isn't the FPR on its own and it is the pump that has been failing this may have damaged the rail and the injectors. I suppose that if I accept repair like you say the issue is if the the car can attain top speed and drives correctly. I would assume that if after replacing the pump it does cure this, any claim under the SOG act would be moot. I would have to get the car back and then check for other damage which the dealer may then be liable for.

 

Before I go angering him I would prefer to know that I'm right in what I'm doing. I'm currently veering toward repair but not at my cost.

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I'm not so sure Bookworm is 100% correct on accepting a repair as used cars are very different from new where his view would apply. I'll leave the legal stuff to those though.
I am. ;-) Second-hand or not, statutory rights can not be restricted. :-)

 

(and it's "her" view. ;-) :-D, but don't worry about it, you won't be the 1st nor the last to make that mistake)

 

Oh, and Wallers, if you go for repairs, you are quite right that it shouldn't be at your cost, none of it.

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Well, I contacted consumer direct again. They again advised like on here to reject the car because of the short period of time between purchase and brake down. "As I haven't had time to accept the car". They advised me to call the dealer, which I duly did. It went as well as I expected. He made me an offer of £400 less than what I paid for his trouble, devaluation and adding an extra owner onto the car. He said that he knew his rights, the part had been ordered for the car, trading standards couldn't do anything and that he'd see me in court in 6 months to a year. I politely declined his offer and agreed to disagree with his view point.

 

I think that asking for all the work to be carried out at his expense would have gone over just as well.

 

My next step is writing my letter and sending it recorded delivery. I think that my consumer cynicism has been recharged by this!

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Oh dear... This only confirms that you are better off getting shot of him now rather than later. He might think he knows his rights, he apparently doesn't know yours! :razz:

 

Even if the part has been ordered for the car, it will be down to him to get the car fixed whether he fixes the car for you or for a new buyer, so that's quite irrelevant tbh.

 

From now on, keep everything in writing, I would strongly suggest not having any contact with him on the phone. ;-)

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So, I'm constructing my letter from various sources on the internet. This is mostly Dom Littlewood's letter. I'm not 100% of my description of the problem. I want to keep it factual and not hyperbolic!

 

There are 3 problems: The vehicle struggles to accelerate. The engine on the vehicle is difficult to start. The vehicle will cut out when travelling at more than 50mph (it's more like 60mph but I can't be exact).

 

Should I mention all 3 or just the cutting out. The others seem more wishy washy. Should I mention that the fault is dangerous? Or is that subjective?

 

Should I mention the exact time that I informed him of the problem?

 

This is the letter:

 

"RE: Faulty goods and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)

 

On the 21st of August 2010 I bought a 2004 Nissan Micra 1.5 DCI from you for £3000 which has stopped working.

 

The problem is that the vehicle will cut out when travelling at more than 50 miles per hour. This problem was reported to you at 13:44 on the 21st of August 2010 and the vehicle was returned to you on the 22nd of August as such I have not had sufficient time to accept the vehicle.

 

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) states that when a consumer buys goods from a trader they must be: as described; of a satisfactory quality; and fit for any purpose made known at the time of sale to the seller.

 

This legislation also states that the seller, not the manufacturer, is legally obliged to sort out a problem if the goods do not meet these requirements.

 

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) says: if goods break within the first six months after purchase then there is a presumption the goods were faulty when sold.

 

My goods are not fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality and I wish to claim a full refund of my goods under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 as amended.

 

Please respond to my complaint within 14 days from receipt of this letter. "

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Can't help with the fault part, I'm afraid, but I think the letter is all wrong, as you seem to be holding him to providing a remedy, but you are rejecting the car. Can you please tell me what you have decided to go with in the end so we can help you phrasing this better? Are you going for repair or rejection?

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Ok, that makes more sense. :-)

 

keep it simple:

 

Dear Sir,

 

RE: 2004 Nissan Micra 1.5 DCI, purchased on 21st august 2010

 

This is to inform you that I formally reject the above vehicle, as is my statutory right under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended).

 

The problems which started as soon as I had bought the car (of which you are aware, since you have the car in your possession) clearly show that the car is neither fit for purpose nor of satisfactory quality, and I therefore expect a full refund of £3000 within 7 days of this letter.

 

Yours, etc...

 

 

 

Send recorded delivery.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Apologies if this appears twice, my post got eaten.

 

So, the time passed and I didn't hear anything. I checked the delivery status of my letter and it's being returned to sender as not collected or delivered.

 

Consumer Direct say to write another letter, enclosing the old letter, proof of postage etc.. threatening trading standards, small claims and requesting a full refund.

 

I assume this is the correct course of action to take.

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Personally? I wouldn't bother with recorded delivery. If you go to your Post office and ask for a certificate of posting, that is all the proof you need to show that you sent it. If he refuses delivery of recorded then you're stuck. If you send it normal, then you don't have to worry about that, because you will have the proof you sent it, and if he wants to say he never received it, he can try to sue the PO for having failed to deliver, but that's not your problem. ;-)

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Apologies if this appears twice, my post got eaten.

 

So, the time passed and I didn't hear anything. I checked the delivery status of my letter and it's being returned to sender as not collected or delivered.

 

Consumer Direct say to write another letter, enclosing the old letter, proof of postage etc.. threatening trading standards, small claims and requesting a full refund.

 

I assume this is the correct course of action to take.

 

You should send a final letter before action saying that

 

'Further to my previous letter of (DATE), I am dissapointed to note that you have failed to respond to my complaint. I therefore write to advise you that I intend to commence proceedings to recover the money paid to you being (AMOUNT) via the small claims court 7 days from todays date unless a payment of the above mentioned amount is recieved from you. Should this action be necessary, I will also be claiming interest on the said sum from the date of purchase until the date of judgement or payment which ever is sooner, this will be in addition to any court costs. I would advise that you seek legal advice on this matter as no further reference wil be made prior to the commencement of proceedings.'

 

Yours ect ect.

 

mark the letter 'Final Letter Before Action' and send by recorded delivery or you could post a copy through the seller's letter box.

 

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 professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

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

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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  • 1 month later...

Well, time ran out. I've issued my claim through MCOL and I guess I'll see what happens in 19 days time!

 

Interestingly I received the first recorded delivery letter I sent to him back yesterday. It was refused.

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As a matter of interest, how did you send the LBA letter?

 

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 professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

 

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

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 sent it twice. One by recorded which has been refused, and the other was sent with proof of postage. They probably arrived in the same batch, so I would assume the other letter went in the bin.

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I just wondered if you dropped one through the letter box. In any event, you can show the court that the letters were sent and it is irrelevant whether the seller read them or not. As far as the court will be concerned, he got them. I do hope you included interest in your claim!

 

Please keep us posted.

 

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 professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

 

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

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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  • 3 weeks later...

So, I have a question, which is more of a worry. I had another letter returned to me by the Royal Mail, I expected it to be the refused Recorded Delivery one, but it wasn't. I've got the other final letter which was sent 1st class with proof of postage. It has RTS scribbled in window and a Royal Mail sticker with 'Addressee Moved Away'. Which is not only brilliant, but more than a bit of a lie.

 

So, the small claims court letter would have been sent by post, so I assume he can try and return that to sender as well. Where does that leave me? Should I wait until the 27th and see what happens, or produce another and put it through his door?

 

If I assume it's received and then rejected with some nonsense reason. I assume I can get a default judgement, but I don't see what that gains me really.

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