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Halfords overfilled engine oil then bodged repair then denied liability! Legal action starting! HELP needed!**SUCCESS**


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Okay Ill explain this again. Directions happened August/September time..Halfords said due to technical nature they'll bring to court a 'expert witness' and 3 other witnesses, I assume those 3 people are the staff involved. Thats it. I said I will bring 2 witnesses, don't want to disclose why because Halfords are watching but 1 is a incident witness and was there at the time and the other is relevant to the case because of some help ive been receiving from someone on the forum and investigatory work we've been done on the case. So as far as the court/judge know thats the current status..and ive been told a preliminary hearing will happen..so i guess the judge is wanting to know why halfords want a expert witness? Like I said I want a mechanic expert witness, as Halfords solicitors say they haven't heard the audio of admitting liability and 'i have to prove they overfilled it without doubt' or I have no case. So my understanding is if I want to add a expert witness the court says I must write to them..so I haven't done this yet because I need to speak to the mechanic..but thats the situation. Can anyone prep me on any questions i should prepare for at the prem hearing?

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"'i have to prove they overfilled it without doubt"

 

Actually that is misleading, you only have to prove on the balance of possibilities they did. I suspect their legal team have forgotten the difference between civil law and criminal law :)

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Six witnesses sounds disproportionate for a small claims hearing. I can't imagine the judge would be amused with Halfords rolling out 4 witnesses for a case like this.

 

If expert evidence is genuinely required, in small claims you would normally be expected to co-operate with Halfords to have a single, jointly appointed expert. Two experts is absolutely not usual in small claims.

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Right i see..well I haven't written to the court yet to change anything, I thought to seek advice here. Its just that theres two causes of damage, firstly the overfill but also when halfords held the vehicle for numerous months to 'investigate' at their store it was stood in the same position and not moved..which caused parts of the vehicle to seize.

 

If you look back through this thread you'll see all of that...so I want my own vehicle maintaince expert who viewed the car at the point of damage and towed it on return then to be a witness..but now am thinking perhaps a written report on company paperhead might be better?

 

Just someone on here who was helping me told me to contact AA/RAC as judges look on their reports more highly, but RAC and AA both stated they would not let me use their reports in court. I've later discovered this is as they have a car parts contract for their breakdown cover with Halfords and probably why alongside being scared of going against Halfords.

 

Anyway Ive double checked Halfords directions and in the part where it says witnesses including yourself they put 3. (As I said before..i reckon thats the 3 staff members involved who I have audio of..)..Also on directions where it says will you rely upon a expert witness and ask the court for written permission..Halfords solicitor the firm- foot anstey have put - 'Yes..Due to the technical nature of the issues in dispute,the defendant respectfully requests permission to rely upon evidence from an expert in vehicle engine maintaince.'

 

And they've said from 27th Nov-5th Dec 2015 they're witnesses aren't available. So is this preliminary hearing about my witnesses or their evidence or both sides evidence? What will the judge ask/want from me?

Edited by Conniff
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"'i have to prove they overfilled it without doubt"

 

Actually that is misleading, you only have to prove on the balance of possibilities they did. I suspect their legal team have forgotten the difference between civil law and criminal law :)

 

Well that was my thoughts too, from reading I have to prove to a high probability that they overfilled the car..and the audio evidence/recording mixed with the fact they did a repair..isn't that accepted liability anyway in my eyes? But apparently their solicitor says any repair that was done was a 'gesture of goodwill'..if you didn't damage someones car why would you repair it under a gesture of goodwill? It makes no sense to me ..Furthermore to me even if it was done as a gesture of goodwill, then that repair botched lol and caused damage..which they can't deny liability of..but perhaps their solicitor is just trying it on..no doubt.

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I'd imagine the hearing is for the Court to decide on if an expert witness is necessary.

 

As has already been said by both me and Steam it'd have to be a jointly instructed expert engineer and not your mechanic friend who inspected the car.

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I can't ;understand this expert witness bit. They can't be to deny it was overfilled, that don't take an expert. Could it be that they are going to attempt to deny that an overfill can damage an engine, if so there are a million who can testify otherwise.

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Well that was my thoughts too, from reading I have to prove to a high probability that they overfilled the car..and the audio evidence/recording mixed with the fact they did a repair..isn't that accepted liability anyway in my eyes? But apparently their solicitor says any repair that was done was a 'gesture of goodwill'..if you didn't damage someones car why would you repair it under a gesture of goodwill? It makes no sense to me ..Furthermore to me even if it was done as a gesture of goodwill, then that repair botched lol and caused damage..which they can't deny liability of..but perhaps their solicitor is just trying it on..no doubt.

 

not a 'high' prob, but on balance re the evidence.

doesnt really matter if it was a 'goodwill gesture', if negligent, then negligent. or if in contractual breach. did they say that the repair was 'without prejudice' or without admission of liability :)

even then as you say the repair itself was botched.

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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It doesn't matter what 'their' solicitor says, he is there to get them a win and thwart you in any way he can and if telling you a load of bollox stops you claiming, then he has earned his money.

 

If they offered a repair as a gesture of goodwill, goodwill for what. Can I just go in off the street and say my motors broke and they will fix it as a gesture of good will, more mens testicles.

 

No one does something for nothing, so they felt guilty about something. Maybe because they are supposed to be professionals and they didn't act or do their job in a professional manner.

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It doesn't matter what 'their' solicitor says, he is there to get them a win and thwart you in any way he can and if telling you a load of [naughty word] stops you claiming, then he has earned his money.

 

If they offered a repair as a gesture of goodwill, goodwill for what. Can I just go in off the street and say my motors broke and they will fix it as a gesture of good will, more mens testicles.

 

No one does something for nothing, so they felt guilty about something. Maybe because they are supposed to be professionals and they didn't act or do their job in a professional manner.

 

I agree with you all..I really can't see how they can deny anything with the audio..but the solicitor claimed at mitigation he 'hasn't heard the audio' and 'I have to prove Halfords overfilled the vehicle' so maybe they will try and say as they claim the car was at 'minimum' level of engine oil when their '3 staff checked' that the amount they put was right and couldn't cause an overfill and their 'expert' will back this up....

 

Obviously this is where my photographs of the staff member doing the top up disproves their lies and cover up story alongside some other quite strong evidence lol.The issue i have and am unsure how to raise this in court is that I don't know which company their 'expert is from' wether he has a contractual or fleet obligation to them..and i feel that as Halfords have sourced this 'expert' that he will be bias..would I be allowed to tell the judge this or would be a stupid move?

 

And as for did they ever tell me the repair was without liability or prejudice, no they never did and I have emails to prove it. When the car broke down after their first 'repair' that they state was a 'gesture of goodwill', they gave me a courtesy car and said 'they'd investigate how such a overfill could happen and damage to the cat/sensors' and then thats when they cancelled the car hire early and told me they didn't overfill it..a complete u-turn on liability from before.

 

Also I'd like to state the mechanic I'm using is not a friend, I emailed 4 garages RAC/AA etc and none would testify or allow me to use their findings in court, Ive found out that RAC/AA won't get involved because they have parts contracts with Halfords. Only 2 mechanics would give me a written report with permission to use in court, one i found who has a garage and is a small local garage/set of father/son mechanics and another who has a garage 15 miles away in Mansfield, Nottingham.

 

Both mechanics are witnesses to the damage incurred as at that point I paid them to inspect the car and tow it, so thats why I wanted reports from them or them to be expert witnesses. I have never used either mechanic before except the tow guy but that was years ago lol (had good cars except this botch job!!.)

Edited by Conniff
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Even if it was at minimum, he obviously didn't adhere to the makers book. It will say how much is between the min and max mark and that's not normally more than 1 ltr. But even if you don't know, you pour some in, give it a min to get down into the sump and then dip again and continue doing this until it's on the max mark.

Most long experienced servicing mechs wouldn't just pour in without dipping to see how it's going.

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I agree with you all..I really can't see how they can deny anything with the audio..but the solicitor claimed at mitigation he 'hasn't heard the audio' and 'I have to prove Halfords overfilled the vehicle' so maybe they will try and say as they claim the car was at 'minimum' level of engine oil when their '3 staff checked' that the amount they put was right and couldn't cause an overfill and their 'expert' will back this up....

 

Obviously this is where my photographs of the staff member doing the top up disproves their lies and cover up story alongside some other quite strong evidence lol.The issue i have and am unsure how to raise this in court is that I don't know which company their 'expert is from' wether he has a contractual or fleet obligation to them..and i feel that as Halfords have sourced this 'expert' that he will be bias..would I be allowed to tell the judge this or would be a stupid move?

 

And as for did they ever tell me the repair was without liability or prejudice, no they never did and I have emails to prove it. When the car broke down after their first 'repair' that they state was a 'gesture of goodwill', they gave me a courtesy car and said 'they'd investigate how such a overfill could happen and damage to the cat/sensors' and then thats when they cancelled the car hire early and told me they didn't overfill it..a complete u-turn on liability from before.

 

Also I'd like to state the mechanic I'm using is not a friend, I emailed 4 garages RAC/AA etc and none would testify or allow me to use their findings in court, Ive found out that RAC/AA won't get involved because they have parts contracts with Halfords. Only 2 mechanics would give me a written report with permission to use in court, one i found who has a garage and is a small local garage/set of father/son mechanics and another who has a garage 15 miles away in Mansfield, Nottingham.

 

Both mechanics are witnesses to the damage incurred as at that point I paid them to inspect the car and tow it, so thats why I wanted reports from them or them to be expert witnesses. I have never used either mechanic before except the tow guy but that was years ago lol (had good cars except this botch job!!.)

 

The engineering expert must be independent and know how to write Court compliant reports.

 

Your two engineers are not independent as you've paid them to work on your car.

 

The expert, if the Court orders one is needed, will have to be sourced and agreed upon jointly with the other sides solicitor probably. They won't be biased.

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hi brownguy

i was posting a bit in cheek re WP/Liability. liability for negligence, or any contractual breach, cant be excluded.

even if a repair is in settlement, it wld still have to be done properly and rectify the position.

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
hi brownguy

i was posting a bit in cheek re WP/Liability. liability for negligence, or any contractual breach, cant be excluded.

even if a repair is in settlement, it wld still have to be done properly and rectify the position.

 

okk

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone just an update. Have been having a good few phone calls with the county court and your all right, the hearing which I have this Friday is regarding expert evidence for the case.

I just wanted to ask, what are the rules on discussing mediation? Just Halfords solicitor has sent me an email saying Halfords are willing to drop their expert evidence to do away with the expert witness hearing. I therefore responded to Halfords solicitor and told them that Halfords have had every opportunity to resolve the matter and if Halfords want to drop their witness (who can only speak on a general tone of cars as he has not seen mine) they are welcome to but i want to bring an expert witness to court and I then just mentioned their position at mediation and why I would bring an expert witness and they replied telling me that you are not allowed to discuss anything that happened or was said at mediation outside of court..I assume to even the other party and that they want to hear the audio now that I have of the staff from the store..how would you all proceed..I'm a bit worried to copy and paste emails with even blanked out details to the forum as Halfords lawyer is giving me the impression I cannot share any info or get any advice as such or ill break court rules..?

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The engineering expert must be independent and know how to write Court compliant reports.

 

Your two engineers are not independent as you've paid them to work on your car.

 

The expert, if the Court orders one is needed, will have to be sourced and agreed upon jointly with the other sides solicitor probably. They won't be biased.

 

 

Ive found someone else, sorry to not update you guys. Mechanic before mentioned in this thread was someone who towed the car. I have found someone now independent. Found someone a while ago but didnt post it on here to give halfords upper hand, they now are aware as i thought they'll know at the hearing anyway..

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What I said was that your expert evidence could be useful and that it would be a good idea to get Halfords to agree it in order to reduce time and trouble

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What I said was that your expert evidence could be useful and that it would be a good idea to get Halfords to agree it in order to reduce time and trouble

 

Yes your right you did bank fodder. Correction made. I have sent you what you asked, if you could get back to me would be great as the hearing is this friday

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Ive found someone else, sorry to not update you guys. Mechanic before mentioned in this thread was someone who towed the car. I have found someone now independent. Found someone a while ago but didnt post it on here to give halfords upper hand, they now are aware as i thought they'll know at the hearing anyway..

 

We've been telling you that for a while.

 

You need to stop trying to hide things like it's some kind of game.

 

Remember, it should be a cards on the table approach as you'll need to source and instruct an mechanic expert jointly with the Defendant.

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We've been telling you that for a while.

 

You need to stop trying to hide things like it's some kind of game.

 

Remember, it should be a cards on the table approach as you'll need to source and instruct an mechanic expert jointly with the Defendant.

 

 

Yes your right..Bankfodder explained this to me..I have dealt with the situation now by sending them the evidence they asked for..so will see what happens as the preliminary hearing is tomorrow..

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Well I sourced my own independent mechanic..Halfords asked me to send the audio+the mechanics report, did that and heard nothing back so far. The mechanic basically has said you can tell all halfords did is drain the oil by looking at the car due to the damage characteristics and in his opinion halfords mechanic misread the engine oil dipstick which it was led to the overfill..but he also said just draining the oil which is what halfords did in the repair isn't the correct way to correct an overfill..so their 'gesture of goodwill' fix as they claim was botched too.

Of course today was a hearing about the expert witnesses, Halfords refused to let me use the independent witness I sourced as they say I sourced him so he'll be bias, so the judge said we must source a expert witness thats independent that we both agree with and we must split the cost 50/50 with the successful party who wins repaying the other 50%. I told Halfords solicitor i have strong doubts about them picking someone who isn't contracted or in Halfords pocket, but their solicitor claims they'll use a 'random list'..so as i have to agree it i'm going to come to that bridge when I need to but am unsure how without sounding unreasonable I can truly gain a independent unbiased expert.

In the meanwhile, I also asked the judge if i can use the audio+video evidence in court and have special equipment bought in to do so..the judge asked me for what purpose and I explained..Halfords tried to argue it was recorded without permission and disclosure has to be made and blah blah it breaches some rights or some rubbish, but the judge just asked me why I recorded them..just told the truth really, was given contradicting information by the staff..so he said I am allowed it for the purposes of court and he's granted it in directions for use, which I think is a big blow for Halfords..but he did say I must disclose it to Halfords which has already been done anyway lol 2 weeks before the trial date.

For now this expert witness has to come out by end of Nov, expert report done by January and February the trial..so yeah things are going well and am happy ive been granted audio rights and video rights..

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