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Howdy folks,

 

I have a swedish 4-wheel drive car. In the summer it started making a rather unusual clicking sound as the key was turned to start it. Knowing my swedish cars well, I knew this wasn't right and immediately had it checked out at the main dealer.

 

It turned out the starter ring gear teeth were beginning to shear off, leaving little for the starter motor itself to "Grab" and left as it was would eventually result in the car being a non-startable ornament.

 

I paid approximately £1300 to get it fixed. - It involved taking out the engine and gearbox. During the repair, they discovered that the "Angle gear" to the rear drive shaft was worn smooth so the car was in fact a 2 wheel drive car. This was repaired for a further eighty odd quid.:-x I think it is fair to say that these faults are inconsistent with this supposedly robust brand.

 

Anyway, being a CAGger, and knowing that Swedish cars of a certain variety are meant to go around the clock before they get major faults like this, I decided to see where I stood. This is what I've been told:

 

 

1) This shouldn't happen

2) The material (hardened steel) in the ring gear is not hard enough for the job

3) Trading Standards say I should make a claim for the cost of the repairs using the "Sale of Goods Act"

 

The car was 5 years and 9 months old when it developed the fault. Mileage 73000 mostly motorway so "start to mileage" ratio is pretty small. Service history complete. Car has otherwise been maintained with no expense spared.

 

The reason I am exploring this - the dealer told me I am not a loyal enough customer to justify a contribution towards the repair. (Since 2000, I have bought 7 cars from them!) and the head mechanic at the dealership said, "Off the record, If I worked somewhere else, this would have been repaired for free, but things are tight at the moment".

 

I have the parts. I have had them examined. I have a mettalurgist lined up who is ready to test them and if the steel is too soft as he suspects, is prepared to go to court. This is a component that should not see the light of day until the car is scrapped in a couple of hundred thousand miles' time.

 

 

So far, I have written to the dealer and the brand UK customer services (Who are totally useless)requesting a refund. The best they came up with was an offer of a deal on a new car! Any thoughts on how to proceed, what to look out for and what stones to turn would be gratefully appreciated.

 

As always, kind regards to all,

 

KV

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Hi Curvaface,

 

I know these days we are seeing cars coming to the showrooms with far better or longer warranties.

 

However, with your car being nearly 6 years old and 73K miles on the clock, you'll have your work cut out to get a "contribution" agreed with the maker or the dealership, particularly as you've already paid for the work.

 

Check out an internet forum for customers of the maker and see if you can find others who've had similar problems. If you can show it is a common fault AND you can get an expert to testify that the metal used is inappropriate, you may be able to cut a deal with the maker.

 

If you've had the car serviced by the dealership, this should certainly be in your favour, as regards getting a contribution.

 

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Thanks for your reply Slick,

 

The servicing is one of the issues we have with the dealer. We have been dealing with this dealership since 2000. We moved house 6 or 7 years ago and continued to buy from this dealership, travelling past three other dealers to buy cars off them out of loyalty. They recommended a local "Branded" service center where we could have our car serviced and each time we bought cars (and traded in) from them they would re-recommend the same company for servicing.

 

They now say that because we used their recommended local service provider rather than them, they will not contribute towards the repair.

 

What I want to clear up before I go ahead with a claim is whether the dealer's obligations under SOGA change because of this service arrangement. The component is a non serviceable item and would have failed regardless of service history.

 

I regret paying for the work but at the time, we needed the car working for our wedding and honeymoon!

 

KV

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What I want to clear up before I go ahead with a claim is whether the dealer's obligations under SOGA change because of this service arrangement.

 

While the SOGA remains the same, now as it was before the arrangement,

the European Directive's recitals are the ultimate authority, e.g:

 

(10) Whereas, in the case of non-conformity of the goods with the contract, consumers should be entitled to have the goods restored to conformity with the contract free of charge, choosing either repair or replacement, or, failing this, to have the price reduced or the contract rescinded;

 

(11) Whereas the consumer in the first place may require the seller to repair the goods or to replace them unless those remedies are impossible or disproportionate; whereas whether a remedy is disproportionate should be determined objectively; whereas a remedy would be disproportionate if it imposed, in comparison with the other remedy, unreasonable costs; whereas, in order to determine whether the costs are unreasonable, the costs of one remedy should be significantly higher than the costs of the other remedy;

 

(12) Whereas in cases of a lack of conformity, the seller may always offer the consumer, by way of settlement, any available remedy; whereas it is for the consumer to decide whether to accept or reject this proposal;

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31999L0044:EN:HTML

 

8-)

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Ok thanks for that perplexity.

 

What does it mean in simple English?:-)

 

And have I stuffed myself by paying for the repair?

 

KV

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Above all else the need is to convince that the goods did not conform to contract; the car was not fit for purpose.

 

On the one hand

 

... This was repaired for a further eighty odd quid.:-x I think it is fair to say that these faults are inconsistent with this supposedly robust brand.

 

On the other

 

"Off the record, If I worked somewhere else, this would have been repaired for free, but things are tight at the moment".

 

... as if the head mechanic is not at all so surprised by the need to repair.

 

:???:

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Well that's what got me going in the first place.

 

My little checklist for SOGA is:

1) Did the goods last as long as expected?

2) Is the fault consistent with age, mileage and use of the car? ( and brand )

3) Is the point of sale more than 6 years ago?

4) Were the materials strong enough for purpose?

 

I answer "No" to each.

I think this constitutes grounds to make a claim. I have seen this fault on various online fora - it appears not to be thet unusual in this brand across the larger models in the range.

Am I missing anything?

 

KV

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