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Kalahati

Bought a faulty van from a trader?

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Hey guys,

 

Quick brief for you.

 

I bought a second hand van today from a dealer for £3700 + £740 VAT. I found it on autotrader the day before. There was no admittance of any fault in the ad. There hardly ever is on autotrader adverts.

 

I'm 30 miles from the dealership so it isn't too far from me. It seems that the gearbox crunches in 1st gear, which wasn't present during the test drive as it was a brief one. The van is a semi-automatic so it is a very situational fault whereby it only happens if I'm crawling slowly and the van decides to drop to 1st. There was little traffic during the test drive so the fault didn't appear during this time.

 

As I got closer to home the problem started happening. I bought the car from a trader who has 100+ cars in stock so they seemed very established.

 

My question is, where do I stand in this? - Am I able to get a refund or repair? - I feel disheartened as the van seemed perfect during the time of purchase but 30 minutes later I'm having gearbox issues. I haven't contacted the dealer yet as I would like your advice as to how I should proceed.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Kalahati

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You can reject the van and get a refund

The dealer may think other wise but the courts will be on your side if need be


If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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How would you advise me in discussing this with the dealer? - I'm not a fan of confrontation and I imagine these guys are well versed when it comes to situations like these and therefore know what to say to manipulate the situation to their liking?

 

Thanks.

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Are you a business or was the van bought for personal use and insured as such ?

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Are you a business or was the van bought for personal use and insured as such ?

 

The van was registered to me and not to a business. The van was bought to move frozen food around and for my mother to drive as her current car just died. It's been insured via Directline as any other car would be.

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Can you give a bit more info on the moving frozen food around pls, it can make a huge difference ?

 

 

By what you say it is insured for Social, Domestic & Pleasure and nothing else ?

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I'm not entirely sure on the insurance as my Father done it.

 

The frozen food is because my mother has a small burger van in an industrial estate. She was using an Audi Estate to bring the small bits and pieces she needs daily. The van will do this job now.

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The van would be more for commuting as such. She takes one bag with her full of utensils and a small box no higher than my shin with food. It's not filled to the brim or used to carry massive amounts of goods. Just a few bits of bacon, sausages, butter. Those kind of things.

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The amount of stuff she takes with her would happily fit in the back of my Yaris. If this helps at all.

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I have just spoke to the guy on the phone and he has suggested that I should bring the van to them next week Tuesday, seems a bit far away but it's a fair request none the less.

 

Phone call was straight forward and pleasant. He said he spoke to his mechanic and that he said the gearboxes in these vans can be problematic as well as saying that they used the van themselves for a period of time and this fault wasn't present, strange. He said they may have to refer the van to the actual dealer (Renault) if they cannot pin-point the issue. There was no discussion as to whom will cover this cost. Is it fair to assume it will be them?

 

Thanks.

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Yes it is fair to assume they will meet the cost. If there is a problem with the gearbox, then it was sold as not of satisfactory quality.

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If this is a Renault van the gearbox is actually a manual one with some kind of robotic device strapped to the top to make it work as an automatic. I had one in a Renault trafic and it was nothing but trouble. Cost me £3000 in the end as no-one but Renault can fix the bits on the top that turn it into an automatic and it's them that usually fail. If you search google for Renault van automatic problems you will find lots of posts on the Renault forums. Good luck with the dealer, any hint of a problem and I would be rejecting ASAP!

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I took the vehicle for repairs on the 26th May 2015 (Tuesday) to demonstrate the issue to the mechanic on a short test drive. He seemed convinced that it was simply my driving technique that caused the crunch despite the fact it's a semi automatic. After a while I think he realised that there is in fact an issue with the van. He said that the van will be seen by a Renault mechanic by 29th May 2015 the latest.

 

I called today and was told it is now booked in for the coming Tuesday (2nd June 2015). It's causing me an inconvenience at this point as I feel this issue may drag on unnecessarily. I'm not at all blaming the trader of intentionally selling me a faulty van but I'm just not prepared to have to go through all these loops and hoops.

 

I have 3 days remaining until it'll be a solid 2 weeks since the purchase date. What are my rights in asking for a refund under SOGA whilst maintaining a fair and understanding relationship with the dealer?

 

Thanks.

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Sod the fair and understanding relationship with the seller, you can bet your life he knew there was a problem with it at the time of sale and if he didn't then he should have.

Seems to me you are one of the pushovers that car dealers love, don't be.

 

 

Write them a letter giving them five working days ie until this Friday coming and tell them that if it is not fixed, you will formally reject the van for a full refund. Go there this afternoon and leave the letter at the desk.

 

 

Don't pussy foot around, they know what they are doing. Firstly denying there is anything wrong and now keeping you hanging on for an answer.

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Thanks for the reply buddy. My concern here is keeping a smooth relationship between the trader and I. I agree that I may be somewhat pussy footing, but this is in an effort to not introduce hate in to the mixture as the trader can drag this out as long as he legally can, which will cause further inconvenience to me.

 

I will do as you advise, thank you.

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I wasn't inferring that you swear etc, just be firm with no please or polite requests. Mention SOGA and give him the five days and no more.

 

 

It matters not if you make him coffee or clean his shoes, it won't change his attitude which is to keep the money you have paid him and do nothing in return, this is how car dealers work.

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I will keep you updated as you've invested your time and interest.

 

Thanks.

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I've had a reply from the trader and here are some relevant extracts from the e-mail:

 

Having left the van with us we would of course said we would be in touch to give you an update as soon as we had some valid news. No specific dates were mentioned.

 

We tested the van ourselves and could not find fault in the way the van should be driven given that it has an automatic gearbox.

 

This gearbox has no syncro in first gear and consequently should not be changed down manually from 2nd gear to 1st whilst the car is moving as you appear to do.

 

To satisfy everyone we then booked the car into a Renault Main Agent for the gearbox to be tested and reported on. The earliest date available was Tuesday 2nd June.

 

I feel there is no reason to return your money as all issues are being dealt with.

 

Thoughts?

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That seems comprehensive but no reason why they couldn't have contacted you saying nothing to report as yet. You should ask for a copy of the Renault Agent test report which must be on proper dealer headed paper and with their stamp on it.

 

 

If indeed the first gear is non syncro, then you will have to change your driving habit.

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This is what confuses me. I spoke to a gearbox specialist and a local garage just to confirm what the trader said.

 

I was told that it does have a synchro for first gear and that this gearbox is the same as the manual gearbox internally.

 

I'm not entirely convinced that one should drive in such a way to accommodate a mechanical fault.

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I'm not entirely convinced that one should drive in such a way to accommodate a mechanical fault.

 

 

No you shouldn't. Go to the nearest dealer and without mentioning why, ask them. Even phone around the country to some main dealers and ask. If it does have syncro first, and I can't think of any other vehicle that doesn't, then call their bluff and demand

a refund within 48 hours with a thread of court action if they don't.

 

 

Are you out of pocket on anything else in connection with the van ?

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There is no other loss other than time and fuel having to return the vehicle back to them.

 

The van has been seen by main Renault garage and it seems that they have diagnosed the vehicle as faultless. I am beyond confused.

 

The trader up to this point as been constantly telling me that it is I who is inducing the fault by changing the gearbox myself manually when I have expressed numerous times that I was simply emulating what the van does in automatic.

 

I've been consulting the Renault forums and they all believe that the gearbox is failing or isn't operating as it should. A crunch should not be felt or heard during downshifts.

 

The dealer said I shouldn't force the gearbox down from 2nd to 1st despite it does it in automatic mode. This is what a forum member said in regards to that (and other extracts):

 

"It's supposed to change into 1st at speeds less than 7 km about 4/5 mph."

 

"I cant believe it does not have synchro on first, don't think I have seen a car/light commercial in the last 30 years that did not have synchro on first and anyway its the box that's changing down not you."

 

"No. Nothing to do with your driving style. Box failing."

 

As I have said earlier, I have consulted a gearbox specialist (specifically these gearboxes) and a local garage to me who performs manual conversions on these vans and they have both confirmed that first gear does have a synchro and that it is probably damaged, or possible the synchro hub.

 

I have formally rejected the car, admittedly via e-mail only as to see if the trader would address this or to see if he would purposely infringe my rights by having me believe otherwise. I know the van is busted but he is telling me that I should collect within reasonable time.

 

It doesn't help when a Renault garage is saying it's faultless but what makes me suspicious is that he values the Renault diagnosis over my own sources as "they are the ones who manufacture the product" despite the necessary experience my sources have. The garage can be just as clueless as anyone else, it's not as if the employees as this Renault garage are the individuals who have personally designed, engineered and manufactured this vehicle.

 

I'm at a loss of what to do. I'm not collecting a gearbox crunching van .

Edited by Kalahati

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You really should accompany someone on the test drive to prove your point. Try another dealer or do you actually have proof that the van was checked out by a Renault dealer ?

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I don't have proof that Renault has inspected the van. I have requested a copy of the report. I have no other choice but to accept back a broken van. The trader wins this time.

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No, he doesn't win. That's how these hammy car sales win because people just give in. ' You' take it to a dealer and get a report, if it comes out in your favour, and there was a charge by the dealer, then you bill the seller for a refund and repair or you reject for a full refund and the report cost.

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