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Used car broke down in 5 days REPAIR or REJECT?

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My son bought a used car VW Bora for £2000 from a dealer showroom 40 miles away. After 5 days the car had broken down as the power steering reservoir was empty, and needed RAC recovery. It appears there was a substantial leak in two places and the leak would have been happening over a period of time. Although the car was supplied with a new MOT and nothing was noted advising of the leak.


The repairs from my local garage require a new steering rack and hoses etc. Cost £800 using refurbished parts. My local VW dealership indicate they would use new parts and charge a higher labour charge. A formal estimate will cost £100, but an informal estimate is £1500.


The seller says tough luck over the phone as the car was sold without warranty (my son chose not to buy warranty).


My son is uncertain whether to reject the car or pay for repairs and sue. We have now written to the seller for them to undertake the repairs and so giving them a second chance to say no (this time in writing). We await their reply.


What process should we go through in deciding whether to reject and sue for a full refund, or if we decide to repair and sue for the repair cost?


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It'd be interesting to see if your local Trading Standards Dept have received other complaints about the same dealership.

You say that your local garage have suggested that the leak was prevalent in 2 places and would've been happening over a period of time. Would they be prepared to provide some form of witness statement to this effect should the need arise?

When was the MOT completed in proximity to the sale to your son?

Whilst I'm no expert and would find it difficult to believe that they could take your son's money and say adios when a problem arises within less than a week. Hopefully someone with more know how will be along in a bit.

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You must exhaust all negotiations with the seller before taking other action.


£800 seems steep to me, all you want doing and are entitled to is the leak repairing. You would certainly need 3 written estimates to submit to the seller before getting any work done.


Have a look at the Vosa website and see if there was an 'advisory' issued with the last MoT.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We ahve had the local VW garage inspect the car and they would have failed the mot on a number of points. None of them were listed as Advisory in the new mot given when the car was bought. The repairs total £2000 to get through the mot (apart from the fact that it already has a 12 mobnth one). So, we have now asked VOSA to look at the mot. We will then decide how to persue the garage that sold the car. (who by now, have suggested they will be happy to deal with the original problem). They dont yet know about the discrepancies over the quality of their mot.

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An interesting development. I think you're doing the right thing by collecting as much good quality evidence from reputable sources as possible before going back to the garage the car was bought from.

I doubt they customers to go this much trouble and if VOSA's investigation provides further evidence against them it'd be interesting to see how they recommend you move forward with this.

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