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Fobbed off by dealer who sold us our car...

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We bought a little Citroen C3 (I know! - it was my Wifes choice not mine!!) from a large independent car sales room back in February this year,it was 05 reg (2005),we agreed with the salesman that it would come with 12 months warranty as part of the deal,i did ask him at the time for the warranty agreed to be put in writing - this subsequently did'nt happaen.Anyway car was fine for 8 months until September when the fuel injection light came on,Mrs took the car back to the dealer for them to look at it,they looked at the record on the computer and told Mrs that it did'nt have a warranty,Mrs duly argued the point and told them to ask the salesman about this as he was the one that sold us the car initially.A few minutes later lady came back and said thats fine it is under warranty and we'll look at it,they then gave Mrs a loan vehicle.Next day they phoned and said they could'nt find what the problem was even though they had put ti on the diagnostics machine,Mrs picked the car up and went away with themsaying if theres any further problem bring it back.

Today car started cutting out with engine management light on,so took it back into said dealer for them to sort out.Once Mrs got there they once again said it had no warranty on it,at this point i turned up to pick Wifey up as they had no loan cars in,sales manager (salesman who had sold us the car had susequently left between Septembers car problem and now) took us into the office and informed us that we had no warranty as their company only gives 3 months warranty on cars over 4 years old.We informed him that we had specifically made sure at the very start of the deal with them that we would have 12 months warranty with the car,guess what? - he wriggled "its not in writing" and "well that saleman has now left" etc etc.

My question is to you knowledegable people who know thes things - me and the Wifey know we got a full 12 months warranty with the vehicle because we sat down with the saleman and agreed this,also does their taking the car back in in September and giving us a loan car and making no charge imply that we have actually got the 12 months warranty we had agreed on?.

PS,the sales manager also pointed out that on our paperwork we initially got at the point of sale it was written (which we did'nt notice) "no warranty inplied nor given" - i know a business selling vehicle cannot put this on anything other than trade sales.Thanks for reading this and i'd really appreciate any ideas.

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Hi, very tricky one - technically you haven't much to go on, but as you say, they have looked at the car before. However, if you try this route, my guess is they would pass it off as a "goodwill" gesture. You might even find that the salesman you spoke to got them to look at it as a favour to avoid you causing him grief.

I would make a written complaint first to the general manager, MD, dealer principal, or whatever the top man calls himself, stating what you have said above, and give them the opportunity to fix it.

One thing that is worth a try is to find out who administers their warranties - if it is a policy underwritten by a seperate company you may be able to contact them to find out if they have authorised any work on your car previously. That way, even if the warranty is no longer valid, they would have to sort it as the issue was brought to light during the warranty period and not rectified.

Worst case, the good news is that it's unlikely to be anything major, those little French cars are notorious for coil packs and sensors etc, so if you can't get them to rectify it, it shouldn't cost you too much. Do try not to use it too much in the meantime, though, as you can end up with other components failing.

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