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Faulty Meriva

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Long story but bear with me.


Firstly £750 might not seem like a lot of money but to me it is.


26/01/15 Daughter and her Boyfriend and my Son all went with me to look at a car from a trader. The salesperson showed me round the car which was clean but a bit untidy inside. No bother a good valeting will do the trick. I was invited to take a test drive around the block but I struggled because I hadn't driven a manual for over 2 years. Car struggled a bit on take off which I thought was down to me.


On returning to the compound the salesperson invited my family into the garage to look at the car with me. Whilst there I noticed (for the first time) a light was illuminated on the dashboard. I asked the salesperson what it was. "Just a service light to indicate it needs servicing". Who am I to argue with a motor trader employee.


I also noticed a crack about 8 inches long in the windscreen. A defect that had not been noticed by the salesperson or the owner.


I negotiated a discount of £50 for the new windscreen (my excess was £75 - dope!). The original price was £800 so I got the car for £750. A bargain (I thought for a 54 plate car in good nick). I was given a receipt with intelligible writing on regarding the sale.


Drove home - stalling twice! Again I blamed myself.


Decide to give the car a service (as I always do when buying a car). Bought the service items and waited for a friend to help by supplying trolley jack and ramps. He wasn't available until Wednesday 4th February.


He turned up ready but before he started he noticed that this "service" light, as I was told, was the engine management light! "Take it back to the garage " he said. Sold as seen I said. No such thing he said get it back.


Called trader; owner on holiday but his colleague (a lady) listened to my problem and suggested I take the car in for a scan the next day. I took my "mechanic" friend with me as witness. The lady greeted us and explained the garage mechanic was on his break. She asked me how long I had the car. I told her 10 days. "Nothing for you to worry about" she said.


After half an hour the result of the scan came. She gave me a scribbled note telling me to go to an auto electrician to have the car scanned properly (?); apparently their scanner doesn't pick up everything! "why should I pay?" I asked. "sold as seen" she said. (oh that old chestnut). She advised I rang the owner the following Monday.


On the way home the power steering cut off twice and I had to restart the car. I put the a/c on and the car kept stalling until I turned it off again. Got the car home and I haven't used it since.


The next day i remembered something about the "sold as seen" excuse so i researched the net. Trading Standards and CAB both say there is no such thing as sold as seen. Both also say that if I decide that the car was not fit for purpose or as described I had the right to ask for a full reimbursement.


I rang the trader and spoke to the same lady who I met the day before. I advised her of my right to cancel the contract and asked for a refund. She said she could not authorise a refund and that I had to put my request in writing. I duly did so. i sent the letter recorded delivery in time for the owners return on Monday (today).


I rang the owner at 16:30 today (the letter was signed for at 10:35 by him. He hadn't read it and asked me what it was about. I explained all of the above. his response is "the vehicle was sold to you without any inspection or any work carried out or any intention of any work being carried out". Isn't that the same as "sold as seen"? But posher?


He would not listen to my complaint of wrong information by two of his employees. He just kept repeating the above statement.


My question: have I been a fool or is he wrong?


Give yourself a medal if you've read this without falling asleep. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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"My question: have I been a fool or is he wrong?"






An around the block test is not enough, a minimum of 10 miles is required and if there is dual carriageway nearby, include that in the drive.

Why didn't you take your mechanic friend instead of the family.



Your problem as described above is the engine management light is on but you don't know why.


As you rightly say, there is no such thing as 'sold as seen' between a trader and a consumer, (well there is but we wont' go into that here as it doesn't apply).


The dealer must show that there was no faults with the car during the six months after purchase, so it is up to him to fix the management light.


Write to him again describing the faults and say that you are going to take it to a dealer for diagnosis as he has refused to look at it and that you will either return the car for a full refund plus the cost of the diagnosis or if the problem is small and you get it repaired, you will bill him for the repair and diagnosis.


Age, mileage and price come into the quality of any product, but it must be fit for purpose and under the sale of goods act, this one doesn't seem to be.


You really do need to find out what is causing the management light to show.



Please, don't talk to him on the phone again, or even in person, unless you can record the call.

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