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Burnt out clutch

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On the 28th of October I bought my daughter a second hand Suzuki Swift which was immaculate and came with a 3-month warranty. I have since found out that the garage offers the warranty - not with a recognised Insurance company.The car had done 69000 miles with full service history.

After 1000 miles the clutch has started to slip badly.

I contacted the garage and they told me they would not repair it as it is normal wear and tear.

I therefore contacted them again and asked that the clutch be repaired under the 'sale of goods act.

This is the letter I sent to them:


Dear Sir.

On the18.10/2012 we travelled down to Blackburn to purchase a Suzuki Swift from youas a present for our daughter. We have a receipt stating that there is a3-month warranty on the vehicle.

To date,with the mileage at 71000 the clutch has failed. We have only driven the carfor just over 1000 miles

I havecontacted you today with regard to a claim on the warranty, and have been toldthat the clutch is not covered, therefore, I do not wish to make a claim under your warranty for the clutchfailure, I wish to make a claim for the repair of the clutch under ‘The Sale ofGoods Act’

The Sale ofGoods Act states that if a failure occurs within 6-months of purchase, then thefault was there when the item was purchased from you.

Therefore, Iask that a decision is made within 7-days that you either, repair, replace, orrefund the monies paid to you.

I enclose aquotation from a small local garage (rather than a main dealer which would betoo expensive) for the cost of the repairs.

If youdecide to repair the item yourself then you would have to make arrangements torecover the vehicle.

As a gestureof goodwill I would be willing to pay £50.00p towards the repairs.

I hope thatwe can come to an amicable agreement, but I expect an answer within 7-days.


This is the reply we had from them:

I am saddened to read your letter given that I am trying to help you, the sale of goods act states that faults that occur within the first 6 months of sale must be proved by the supplier not to be evident at the point of sale, given that you collected the vehicle from Blackburn and drove it back to Anglesey and have since been driving around in the vehicle since the 18th of October it seems reasonable and just to suggest that the clutch was in good working order at the point of sale and legally speaking this would be sufficient, however not withstanding this point I am trying to be reasonable and fair with you and your daughter and having met you and you myself thought that I could have arranged the repair to our mutual satisfaction, I have just called the first parts supplier in the local directory up and asked them for a price on the part only, they quoted £49.10 plus Vat compared to the price you have quoted me of £145.15 plus Vat, a large difference I am sure you will agree, my local garage have Quoted me £50 plus Vat to fit a total cost to me of £99.10 plus Vat compared to your quote of £285.15 plus Vat, a huge difference I am sure you can appreciate.

Given the above information and the fact that I try to be more than amicable and pretty flexible with my valued customers I will offer to replace the clutch at my local repairer and ask that you call to make those arrangements with myself even though the part is diminished through fair wear and tear for a vehicle of this age and mileage and not an actual mechanical failure.

If you still feel that this is not acceptable I can only advise that you speak with the OFT trading standards.

The problem is is that I cannot get the car to them to have the repairs carried out, without it costing me a great deal of money (a recovery company quoted £300 !!)

I have been told that under the sale of goods act in trying to get the repairs done I should not be out of pocket -

Can someone advise me please?

Many Thanks

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Hmm. Sorry to say that I think the dealer has covered his obligation by agreeing to replace the clutch which after 1000 miles, i'm not so sure that they are obliged to do. Clutch's are a very grey area when it comes to wear and tear, especially when it's a normal slipping issue. Plus it's feasible to burn out a brand new clutch in under 1000 miles!


I think you are going to have to take this partially on the chin and negotiate with the seller him contributing the equivalent amount of what his repair has quoted being £99.10 plus vat. I think under the circumstances, the fact that you are so far away isn't the seller's problem. Had the clutch failed after say, 50 to 100 miles, then that would possibly be a different matter all together. Don't think you will get anything better under the SOGA TBH.


I am happy to be proven wrong on this but I don't think I am.

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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.


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Agreed. Ask for the £99 and have it repaired yourself.

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