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Sports car, paid top money, sold it for scrap!

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Hi all,

 

In 2010 I bought a sports car for a price representative of a vehicle of its type in top physical condition. I was advised by the dealer that it had recently had an engine rebuild so I had to drive it gently for 500 miles to bed it in. The car was ultra-high performance and was really an enthusiasts-only model, so I did not view it as unusual that it would have a rebuild after 59,000 miles.

 

One month and two breakdowns later - both of which involved the car being towed to a garage - I took the car to a specialist in that type of vehicle. They said if the engine had been rebuilt, a blind man did it. Furthermore, the engine mounts were loose or missing, as were the battery mounts, and the suspension was a disaster, PLUS the sump was leaking, some hoses were loose or worn, all the cylinders failed compression tests and different types of spark plugs were used in the cylinders!

 

Bear in mind I had been advised to drive it GENTLY, so I had not known all of this was wrong, I just knew there was something up with the car and it wasn't fit for purpose!

 

The car dealer said they never told me the engine had been rebuilt - but this had been part of their sales pitch (due to it being an extremely high performance vehicle)! At no point did they tell me it came fitted with snow tyres (!) or that extensive work was needed - the independent experts estimated £2,000-£2,500 to completely restore the engine. The dealer refused to reimburse me or accept a return of the vehicle. Two further follow-up letters (along with pages of supporting invoices etc) I sent to them by recorded delivery were returned unopened months later.

 

I had two further car breakdowns including the terminal one where the engine was destroyed and I had to sell it for scrap at a tenth of the price I paid just 7 months before.

 

Since the local Citizen's Advice Bureau never answer their phones ("no-one is available to take your call") and I worked unpleasant hours, and the ladies at my local small claims court warned me dealers just declare bankruptcy, I gave up in despair.

 

Two weeks ago I learned I have six YEARS to complain and demand compensation, so I have put together every supporting document I could beg, borrow or steal, and my case basically speaks for itself.

 

Can anybody advise me if something like this happened to them, and how likely I am to get any money back? I am not going for the full value but will pursue up to £3,000. I am still in financial trouble because of that car. All the helplines I have tried direct me to one another and state they cannot provide legal advice, so what's the point in them existing?

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Anyone got any opinions on whether I am likely to get anything here? I cannot really see a counter-argument. The ones I've thought of are:

 

Q: Why did you wait so long to claim for the vehicle?

 

A: I asked the dealer for support and tried to remain in communication with them for several months, during which they failed to accept any liability for the vehicle and its troubles, falsely claimed they had not told me about a supposed "engine rebuild" and failed to collect or accept my recorded mail on two occasions. I received no support from citizen's advice or other agencies and did not have the money to go to a small claims court due to having lost thousands of pounds on the car, not including the unexpected cost of repairs and maintenance. Also, a consumer has at least six years from the date of purchase to take matters to the Court.

 

Q. Why do you not have a purchase receipt for the vehicle?

 

I possess bank statements, a car loan agreement and other documents to confirm my purchase of the vehicle, as well as for repairs and breakdown recoveries for the vehicle. When I initially failed to make any progress or obtain any support for action against the dealer, I destroyed certain documents as I had sold the car for scrap and did not want to be reminded of the significant time and money wasted on the vehicle, or of the significant distress I experienced as a result of the purchase.

 

Q. What are you claiming for?

 

A. Compensation for loss of breakdown no claims discount; compensation towards inspection and repair costs that should not have been necessary were the car in the excellent condition suggested by its price and advertisement; partial refund towards the value of the vehicle since the purchase price did not reflect the unsatisfactory condition or reliability of the vehicle.

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Which make and model of car did you buy ? It might be worth speaking to one of the local car clubs that deals with the marque, with a view to approaching the manufacturer with the claim.

 

If they are one that takes pride in the name they manufacture under, then you might get a response in order to stave off bad publicity.

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A lot will depend on written evidence. Do you have any advertising which states the engine had a re-build or anything else which can prove the car was falsely described?

 

Not sure a manufacturer will be interested unless the car has been lovingly serviced as per manufacturer's schedule all through it's life and is under a certain age/mileage.


Please Note

 

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.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Not sure a manufacturer will be interested unless the car has been lovingly serviced as per manufacturer's schedule all through it's life and is under a certain age/mileage.

 

Not true. Many will do their best to avoid a legitimate claim if the problem turns out to be a fault with the design, or there has been a reported issue with an error in servicing requirement/faulty maintenance schedule/appointed dealer.

 

Of course, without the marque, it is going to be impossible to confirm if the o/p has a case, or bought a lemon

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Not true. Many will do their best to avoid a legitimate claim if the problem turns out to be a fault with the design, or there has been a reported issue with an error in servicing requirement/faulty maintenance schedule/appointed dealer.

 

Of course, without the marque, it is going to be impossible to confirm if the o/p has a case, or bought a lemon

 

Please do not use these words unless you actually read posts correctly, people may take offence. I said "NOT SURE" in my comment. Also for your info, I have worked as an after sales manager in a main dealer franchise so I know how manufacturers are likely to look at such matters. It will heavily depend on matters I said in my previous post to whether they take an interest or not.


Please Note

 

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.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Hi,

 

It was a Subaru bought from an independent dealer who imports performance Japanese cars. I do not have a copy of the advert. They took the advert down when I paid my deposit. I did not save a screenshot of the advert as I did not know I would need to.

 

I had a limited test drive due to the dealer telling me the car had had an engine rebuild so I could not "floor it" and there was no way to detect any of the more serious issues since we were in a city centre driving in traffic. The price I paid reflected a car of this type in excellent condition. I had to sell it to a scrap merchant 7 months later for less than a tenth of its purchase price.

 

The car's condition continued to deteriorate from the first day of ownership and must have had significant problems before I bought it. If needed I will post an exhaustive (and trust me, that is a good word to use) list of all the faults. I would basically have needed to drive up the ramp of a car transporter, fly over the top of the transporter and hit the ground in order to inflict the kind of suspension damage found during the inspection.

 

EDIT: It may put things into perspective when I tell you I bought this from Bradford. When I told my sister (who works for the police) where I bought it from she was horrified.

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Upon the first break down, did you ask or provide the opportunity for the seller to inspect the car? Also, do you have a paper trail of correspondence asking the same question?


Please Note

 

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.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I think you need to put this down to experience as for a start it is a japanese import and as such, given what you say and what has been posted you have no recourse to the manufactuer as has been suggested.

 

So you complaint must be against the selling dealer.

 

The main problem is that you purchased over two years ago so you will have deemed to have accepted the car before taking any action.

 

With this I feel you are on a hiding to nothing. |You according to posts don't even posess the car any more so see little point in going for anything without the hard evidence.....i.e. thecar. I think you are going to have to put this down to experience unless of course you have money to burn.

 

By the way..what made you think an engine rebuild would be required at 59,000 miles? The car in question is not exactly a specialist car or rare.

 

It's like people who own an M3 BMW but the reallity is there are plenty of other standard cars which can pee all over them yet have extended waranties from the manufactuer as standard.

 

Forget it and move on and learn!

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Unless this really was a one off model with special internals from the race departmentl, I don't know of any Subaru model that could be classified as 'ultra performance'.

 

£2,000-£2,500 for a flat four engine/twin turbo rebuild and set up in the chassis really isn't too bad at all.

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