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Bought a used car - Dealers responsibility?

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I have just bought a used - VW golf with around 48000 miles , 8 yrs old and its 20 days since I have bought it.


When the car was sold , the dealer said it comes with a standard warranty of 30 days and I also bought an extended warranty on the car. During the sale the dealer mentioned that the vehicle was in a good condition and they have done checks. The only problem is with some scratches which he would get re-painted.


After having the car serviced, the following things have come up


1.Brake pads - 20% worn out

2.Tyres - Front tyres only have 3 mm tread

3.Lower arm bushes split

4.Exhaust clamp behind cat before centre exhaust blowing requires new


I understand that points 1 and 2 are like wear and tear , but what about 3 and 4.


The dealer mentions 3 and 4 are normal maintenance items as well and he wont cover for these.

These are things we cant pick up during a test drive or inspection as its not obvious.


When the vehicle was sold, he mentioned that they have done health checks on the vehicle and all looks okay. Do you think the dealer has responsibility for 3 and 4, as its not even a month since I have had it?


Also there was no paperwork provided for the standard warranty.


I feel he has misrepresented the condition of the vehicle to me and not provided all the facts & also that he has a responsibility to fix the items as its not even a month since I have had it.

Please advice

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The fact that the exaust is blowing is a Very obvious fault and would fail an MOT on this point.

I am not sure what exactly you mean by lower arm bushes, however I assume they form part of the steering geometry .


This being the case it may be possible to argue that there was an element of criminality at the point of sale as it is an offence to sell an unroadworthy vehicle.

The only problem being is that in the case of dispute you will require an independent inspection to support your claim, such as AA or RAC and of course there is a cost implication of going down this route.


I would also be tempted to try and verify the mileage.

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Thanks crocdoc for replying. The bushes refer to the 'front lower arm bushes on the suspension', if thats the correct terminology.


I got the car serviced at a main VW authorised dealer ( a different one than the one I bought the car at) and they have given me a report that has included the 4 points mentioned.


The dealer i bought the car from seems to have ignored my e-mail where I mentioned to him that these issues must have been present during the point of sale and wasnt informed to me.

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I'm not sure what the requirement are for an MOT - but I am sure that a blowing exhaust would be a fail.

20% brake pads doesn't seem to me to be a problem.

3mm tread is within legal limits - but at the safety limits recommended by most manufacturers

Lower arm bushes split is probably an MOT fail


MOT fail items mean that the car should not have been sold in that condition and the dealer has acted illegally.

In addition to any warranty you are covered by the Sale of Goods Act which requires that goods must be of satisfactory quality and must remain so for a reasonable period of time. Satisfactory - means the kind of quality which would be reasonably accepted y a reasonable consumer.

It seems to me that your dealer - in addition to being in breach of the law relating to the sale of vehicles in safe condition (which may be a criminal matter) is probably in breach of the SOGA as well. - Mind you why anyone should buy any car from a dealer who is only prepared to stand by it for 30 days, beats me. Didn't you hear the alarm bells ringing?


My approach would be to get a written quote for repairs and to give it to him with a promise that if he didn't cough up wihtin 14 days I would issue a county court claim and that if you won, a copy of the judgment would be sent to Trading Standards and anyone else who might be interested.

I wouldn't want the dealer to do the repairs. He is not trustworthy. Keep out of his clutches!!

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Lower suspension bushes in my view could be deemed to be a serious fault and therefore raises the question of negligence on the part of the seller.

I would e-mail the retailer again and and request his written response, (keep copies ) Obtain quotes for repair and inform him that if he does not repair the faults you will raise a small debt action for recovery plus costs.

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Thanks for the advice. I am tempted to fix it myself by paying up and then see if I can claim it back from the dealer

The fact that these dealers play around makes me think that this is going to be a long process and dont know how long it is going to take to get the resolution ( which means my car still has the defects till then)

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Dont be tempted to fix things up otherwise you will have been deemed to have accepted the car and wont be able to return it. The bushes may be important if they affect the handling of the vehicle and thus be something that would cause an MOT failure. If this is so then your complaint has more strength to it as the car is not roadworthy and the dealer should be told that Trading Standards dont take kindly to that sort of thing.

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I was just checking the paperwork and the car has had an MOT(pass) on Dec 6th 2012 - 48110 miles (approx)


The issue of the bushes and exhaust clamp was picked up (in the service) on Feb 13th 2013 - 48350 miles (approx)


The MOT was done by the same dealer who sold it. Makes me wonder that the MOT wasnt done properly unless the bushes and clamp could just go really bad in a matter of around 200 miles (after MOT was done)

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Lower arms bush split is very debatable as to whether or not it is an MOT failure and in general will not affect the geometry of the car unless that obvioulsly split that the rubber material was splaying out at the ends. In fact some non hydraulic bushes are purposely split. You cannot either unfortunately rely on the dealers during servicing work as they frequently quote for work that is wholly unneccessary and I have even seen instances where a design feature has been said to be needed to be relaced.


Claims here that the dealer has acted illegally need to be taken with a pinch of salt.


The only area of contention you have is the exhaust and again this is open to interpretation. The test is usually to block off the tail pipe which by nature will cause the joint to blow. Given that the MOT tester has given it a pass i.e. in his opinion it is ok and will last till the next year. This does not mean it is right or wrong but his opinion it is safe. This sort of ties in with the bush question as well. As the MOT is from the same garage that did the service all they are doing is confirming the MOT ADVISORIES which do not mean the car is not of satisfactory quality.


In reality you are being sold unnecessary work from a franchised dealer and the selling dealer has done nothing wrong.


Just go and ask him to sort out the blow......anything else is really pushing your luck especially by taking court action.

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A car with a slightly blowing exhaust can pass a MOT and I've passed plenty, I only tend to fail them on petrols if the leak is bad enough to affect the lamda reading.


The bushes are adviseable if there is no excessive movement in them.

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The first thing to do is to write to the dealer and send the letter to them via recorded delivery and keep the receipt. In the letter give them them an option to repair the car. If they refuse you can get repaired somewhere and keep the records, photos, video, etc. Then get of your local trading standards, small claims court, etc. If you want to really want to give the dealer something to think about, then start a website with your complaint. As soon the search results start showing the dealer name with a problems customer and car, they will think twice about being difficult. A one page website with photos, facts with links to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook should cost not more than £100 to set up.

Edited by ims21
Slight Mistake
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