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Sold a car which broken down after 2 hours!!!!!!!


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Firstly, thank you for reading my post....

 

Secondly, I'd like to ask everyone who can help for a post on my thread.

I sold a car which, few weeks earlier had a new campbelt and a water pump done. The car was driving well and was in constant use. I sold the car as I don't need it anymore due to a job change. A couple who decided to buy it traveled about 120 miles to get it (on a train).

 

They had a test drive, we agreed a sale price and they ended up paying via internet transfer. They left with the car and over an hour later they called to say they cannot drive faster than 40mph, one more hour later they called to say the car broke down completely and there is plenty of smoke coming from underneath the car. As I agreed to keep the insurance until end of the day for them, I rang the breakdown cover who attended to the vehicle, took them to a nearest safe place and left them. I found out from the insurance company that the recovery team suggested a broken campbelt (!?!) and that the car has been left on a petrol station and the couple rushed to the nearest train station to get back home which was 30 miles away!

 

I texted the couple in the morning urging them to ensure they take responsibility for the car as it's their own property now and they should move it asap to not be issued with parking charges etc. They texted back saying they are giving me 2 options - 1 to take the car and give them the money back, 2 to deal with the dad of the girl who is a lawyer. I texted back saying that as far as I'm aware I have fulfilled my legal obligations as a seller and from now on would like to be contacted in writing.

 

So, I have now received two emails asking to provide 'honest description of sale activities' and was given a deadline of 24 hours to do so.

 

Everything I put in the ad was truth, at the moment of sale I was sure the car is in a good state and was absolutely shocked with what happened.

 

I replied to the email with a very brief description of the events from that day stating that my knowledge as to what happened after the buyers drove away in the car is limited and I requested a full explanation as to why they want to take the case to court. I now have to deal with the person who claims to be a lawyer...

 

Although I think I have done nothing wrong, and what happened is just a pure bad luck, I am afraid that there is a chance for the buyer to force me to take the car and give the money back! I actually don't know what happened with the car, I only know what was suggested by the recovery team....

 

I'd appreciate help and suggested course of actions as I am 100% sure the case will end up in court, with the difference that I don't have a dad - lawyer who can defend me for free...

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I think that you are liable for the situation and that in the circumstances you will have to refund them.

 

Even though you are a private seller, they are still entitled to enjoy the use of the car from a reasonable time. The car has broken down almost immediately and as they say in legal terms - the purchaser has been deprived of substantially the whole benefit of the contract.

I would start dealing with your purchasers and refund them their money in order to avoid further problems and expenses.

 

If it can be confirmed that it is the cam belt which is broken then get this in writing and begin a claim against the garage which claimed that they had replaced it. You have an excellent chance of success against them for all of your related expenses.

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ok... what about the fact that I have been using the car on a daily basis and there was nothing wrong with it then? I don't actually know if it was a campbelt, what if it was another part? Something I genuinely wasn't aware of??? What about 'sold as seen' - they had a right to take the car to a mechanic and have it checked which would probably reveal some hidden issues I was not aware of??? How can I defend myself in this case?

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As said above, I don't think you can defend yourself from this. If they had used the car for some length of time, they might not have had recourse, but the car broke down almost right away.

 

 

I wouldn't fancy your chances in court with that timescale with or without a lawyer.

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Not sure I entirely agree with the above.

 

However, we need to consider what part the garage who did the cam belt plays in this. Has the OP contacted them? Also, isn't the OP entitled to at least have the opportunity to inspect the car himself? How do we know that the breakdown wasn't caused by the driver?

 

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Surely The Buyer Has To Mitigate The Sellers Expenses. If They Realised There Was A Problem And The Car Wouldn't Go Over 40Mph, But Continued On Until A Total Failure 1 Hour Later, Then The Seller At Worst Should Only Pay Estimated Repair Costs For Initial Fault, Not For Damaged Caused By Buyer Continuing To Drive.

 

I'd Suggest Getting A Mechanic To Diagnose Problem And Causes Before Going Any Further.

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I don't think you need to do anything.

you sold the car,they tested it,they where happy,they paid you,you signed over the logbook,so its no longer yours

as long as you are a private seller then its buyer beware.

I would not offer them any money as part payment as that is almost like admitting guilt.

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I don't think you need to do anything.

you sold the car,they tested it,they where happy,they paid you,you signed over the logbook,so its no longer yours

as long as you are a private seller then its buyer beware.

I would not offer them any money as part payment as that is almost like admitting guilt.

 

 

That's how it normally works, but I wouldn't fancy his chances in court.

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to me it seems everyone is guessing, what needs to happen is to get WHY the car has failed, until there is a inspection carried out then i would not be giving anything back. All we know is that it might have been caused by their driving.

 

i would say to them to get evidence to back it up & until they start to issue court proceedings they are all talk. go & get advice from citizen advice to find out what they say.

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A cam belt can let go due to several reasons. A tensioner letting go for instance. As that isn't something that could be foreseen then in the strictest sense I'd say it is pure bad luck and down to the buyer. The threat of action by daddy the solicitor is unlikely. You could immediately point out their illegal actions in driving a car they had bought and not insured.

 

Out of interest what was the car and how much was paid?

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Seems like the garage that fitted the cambelt was at fault. Surely there should be some warranty on the work they did?

 

Secondly if the belt has indeed gone the engine will have undoubtedly be very badly damaged. By that I mean more than just the valves bending which is expensive enough. Usually within a few thousand miles after the head has been rebuilt the bottom end will give up.

 

I found this out the hard way. I bought a car that had unknowingly to me had a belt snap in it's passed. 12 months later I needed a full engine.

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Seems like the garage that fitted the cambelt was at fault. Surely there should be some warranty on the work they did?

 

Secondly if the belt has indeed gone the engine will have undoubtedly be very badly damaged. By that I mean more than just the valves bending which is expensive enough. Usually within a few thousand miles after the head has been rebuilt the bottom end will give up.

 

I found this out the hard way. I bought a car that had unknowingly to me had a belt snap in it's passed. 12 months later I needed a full engine.

 

 

Why a full engine, why not a short block ?

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