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How can I best protect my consumer rights with a Motor Trader?


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Hi. I'm looking for advice as to how to proceed (or not) with a purchase of a car. I took a test drive of a Freelander 2 advertised on a local motor trader's web site. It is an '07 GS Model with 50,000 miles. I liked the car and agreed to pay the asking price of £10,995 so long as they agreed to take my car in part/ex for the price I wanted, which they did.

 

The Freelander's MOT lapsed in June 13. As part of the deal, the trader agreed to MOT and service it (oil and filter). MOT has 4 advisories: two were for deteriorated rubber bushes (wear and tear?), and one was to indicate that the under-tray obscured some components, and another to indicate that engine covers obscured some components.

 

I paid for the car using a bank transfer, having borrowed the funds from my parents to fund the purchase. I collected the car on Wednesday 7th August at 11:00. The car fuel gauge indicated 3/4 of a tank of diesel. This 'Distance to Empty' display gradually rose to c 250 miles, and I drove about 240 miles. The fuel gauge dropped to just below half full.

 

On Friday 9th August at 09:30 I was driving close to my home when the car went into 'limp' mode while driving up a hill. The error message on the dash stated "reduced engine performance" for about two seconds, then the car stalled and would not restart.

 

I walked home and spoke with the dealer who, after some persuasion, agreed to return my part/ex car and bring a mechanic to assess the problem. The mechanic brought one of those devices that plugs into the car's management system and there were about 10 fault codes, but the one that stood out stated something like "reduced / no fuel pressure forced engine shutdown". The mechanic alleged that the other fault codes were not important or were related to the pressure fault.

 

The mechanic insisted the car had run out of fuel. I doubted this and described the fuel gauge / DTE etc. He guessed that the fuel sender unit had jammed, and that the car had run out of fuel even though the gauge read half full. He put about 10 litres of fuel in the car and freewheeled the car somewhere flat, and restarted the engine. I was then offered the car back, and it was suggested that I keep a fullish tank while they ordered the part from Land Rover and fitted it later. Instinctively I declined, and asked them to take the car away and fix it and only offer it to me when the fuel system had been fully tested.

 

It was explained to me that the repair may take a week. In turn, I responded that I was on leave for two weeks so it may be the end of August before I can swap vehicles again.

 

Which brings me to my query. I have read through some of the threads on the boards, and looked at summaries of the SOGA 1979 and I guess I could ask for a refund, but I may have a fight on my hands. I like the car, and what I'd like to do is to have it independently inspected for any other faults before accepting it. Clearly I should have thought of that before agreeing to buy it, but I can't change that now. Or, can I write to the dealer and set out my rights under the SOGA and explain that if I accept the car, I will have it immediately inspected and I will return it for any necessary repairs?

 

Any advice very much appreciated. Many thanks, Paul.

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they are entitled to repair it sadly.

and its for them to decide if they wish to refund ay this early stage.

 

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer1_cars_and_other_vehicles_e/cars_buying_a_secondhand_car_e.htm

 

however, I agree totally you should follow up the 'faults' and leave them in no uncertain understanding that, should, this occur again, then you wish the matter resolved.

 

it might also be to your advantage to ensure this 'episode' is documented rather than verbal only

 

don't wan them turning around and saying prove it after 6mts!

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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oh and yes, get him to get an ind report done and paid for too

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Well so far the seller seems to have fulfilled his obligation to you and is agreeing to rectify the outstanding issue on receipt of a new part plus offered you sensible advice. However, I think I would of asked for the advisories to be put right prior to purchase.

 

I'm not sure that the seller would be obliged to accept a formal rejection at this stage. He should have reasonable opportunity to inspect and rectify in the first instance. I suppose he could of advised you about the fuel gauge being 'suspect' but then again, he may not of known himself. Obviously it's your prerogative to have the car inspected (which you could of done pre-purchase), but I don't see any point in writing to the seller with ultimatums at this stage. Your statutory rights will still be intact if any further inherent faults come to light.

 

Providing they allow you to keep your old car while waiting for the repair to be carried out, I don't see a problem so far.

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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DX and Sailor Sam - thanks to you both. I'm reasonably sure that they did not know about the dodgy fuel sender unit, and I accept they have fulfilled their obligations so far. Just so I am clear, my understanding is that a refund is now at the discretion of the seller, so I'm going to assume that isn't an option.

 

The option of having an independent inspection is mine, and I would have thought the seller would reasonably expect me to pay for it, as I would have had to have done pre-sale. Based on my experience with this dealer to date I think it is unlikely that they will agree to pay for it.

 

The SOGA infers that the car should be "of a satisfactory quality" - free from minor defects, safe and durable for a reasonable length of time. When assessing satisfactory quality I should take into account price, age, mileage and condition at the time of sale. I guess my question is: If, having undertaken an independent inspection, faults are found, can I reasonably ask to have these repaired (excluding wear and tear) so that the vehicle is free from minor defects, safe and durable for (6 months)? Should I tell the dealer that is what I am going to do, or just do it and take a view following the inspection?

 

And thanks again, Cheers, Paul.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]46095[/ATTACH]

 

This is a known issue on some Land Rovers and in particular the Freelander 2. It is highly unlikely that the dealer knew about it or even the previous owner as it strikes randomly but more so if the vehicle is left to stand.

The definitive repair is attached and I think LR might still cover this under warranty but you'd have to ask. Overall the Freelander 2 is the best performing LR in terms of reliability and even currently enjoys best in class from qualified industry research (not the usual magazine unqualified data you read about). Issues to watch for at this age and mileage are diff pinion bearing and wheel bearings but repairs carried out by good specialists are quite reasonable.

 

Join the freel2.c.o.m. forum as well and above all go on a LR experience day. You'll be amazed at what the car can do. And just wait for the snow and ice to come and then really enjoy it. Hill decent just leaves you in awe!

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Heliosuk - thanks for the excellent definitive repair which I will pass to the dealer when I speak with him tomorrow. I'm going to get the car checked out fully and ensure that the service was performed to manufacturers specs. Any minor defects, as opposed to wear and tear; I'll also ask for them to be fixed. Once that has been completed then I'll feel happier.

 

Thanks again to everyone for their help,

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If you go to the LandRover.co.uk web site you will find that you can subscribe for a quite reasonable fee most of the technical information in a system called TOPIX. And as I said, join the Freel2 forum as the is bucket loads of stuff and banter there which will help now and in the future.

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Pinion and wheel bearings shot at 50,000mls??????????????????

Now let me think--who was it that suggested that i buy a freelander2? LOL

 

Not so sure I said shot Scania, just to watch out for. This is the mileage to watch out for early indications of failure, not that it will as to a greater extent it depends on the operating conditions. Info is just based on stats I know about.

 

As it happens, much of Freelander 2 was based on what is known as the EUCD platform, shared with Volvo, Ford and Landrover being the junior partner. So much of the engineering was Swedish based and derived. :-(

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't your latest hack Swedish engineered? :wink:

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I also had a good conversation with Consumer Direct (?) on 0845 40 40 506. They advised that the dealer was in (probably unknowingly) in breach of SOGA by supplying a vehicle with a defect. They were remedying that breach by repairing it. If I chose to have an independent inspection and no defects were found (that were not defects caused through wear and tear, misuse or neglect), then I was liable for the cost of the inspection. If defects were found, which were not caused through wear and tear, misuse or neglect, then the cost of the inspection could be claimed back from the dealer as a consequential loss as a result of their continued breach of SOGA. The dealer could be asked to repair the defects.

 

I called the dealer today and they were happy for me to collect the car and undertake an independent inspection. They just asked me to bear in mind the age and mileage of the car, which seems reasonable to me.

 

I'll let you know how I get on over the weekend!

 

Thanks again everyone.

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I suggest you get the car checked again to see what fault codes are highlighted. It may be best to pay and get a Landrover dealer to do this, but be prepared to pay their hourly rate which may be up to £100.

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