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Car Purchased with fault garage will not support repair

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Hello hope you can help me,


I have recently sent the below mail to the garage my car was purchased from, after a few days I chased them for a response they then asked me to call them, which i did, needless to say they are not willing to support the repair. They advised they are no longer liable as the car has been out of their possession for a long time and the car is out of warranty. I kept calm on the phone and advised them to send their response in writing witch they refused to do.


Could you please help to advise what my next step should be?



Good morning,


On 22/09/2015 I purchased a BMW M3 from yourselves (Registration xxx xxx). I have recently had to purchase two new rear tyres due to increased wear on the inside of both of the tyres due to a fault on the car which existed prior to the car being sold to me.


The increased wear has been caused by the rear Camber/Tow alignment on the back wheels, upon discovering this I immediately transferred the car to an alignment centre to have the wheels aligned however they are unable to complete the operation as something has been damaged/bent on the rear right wheel they are unable to determine how this has been caused.


Upon checking through the history of the car an alignment operation was also attempted by the previous owner and could not be completed due to the same issue therefore the car was sold to me with this fault.


I would like for yourselves to either pay to have the problem fixed and refund the cost of the new tyres + alignment (receipts can be provided if required) if you are unable to fix the fault then I would like the purchase price of the car to be refunded.


I have attached pictures of the wear caused to the tyres, MOT certificate so you can calculate the milage completed on the tyres which where fitted to the car when you sold it to me (the new tyres where fitted a few weeks before the MOT was performed), the receipt for the original tyres and the previous alignment report to which you will see the previous garage also could not fully complete the alignment due to the same problem.


Please also note your receipt advises the car was sold to me with 70,000 miles on the clock milage was actually around 71000 miles, I myself have only done 2253 miles in this car.


I have been advised that due to the increased tyre wear the car is not safe to drive over long distances as this can obviously cause a blow out, alignment needs to be corrected before the car is 100% safe to drive.

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It seems to me that you are within your rights – with qualifications.


The legislation governing your contract with the dealer is the Sale of Goods Act. Section 14 requires that the goods that you purchase be of satisfactory quality and remain so for a reasonable period of time. Clearly on the evidence that you have here, there was an existing defect when you bought the car. There seems no doubt about that. Therefore you are protected by the Act. However, I would be interested to know why you didn't look at the history of the vehicle before you bought it?


Section 14 is subject to any qualification which is that you should buy the item free of defects, save for those which might be apparent from a reasonable inspection


2C(b)where the buyer examines the goods before the contract is made, which that examination ought to reveal, or




Basically this means that if you had access to the car's service history before the purchase and you had an opportunity to inspect it, then if you failed to notice or you failed to appreciate the existing defect, under the Act, the dealer would have no liability towards you. Basically section 2C (b) places a responsibility upon a purchaser to be diligent if they carry out any inspections. Please note that it doesn't place a duty upon you to inspect the vehicle and so in fact it might be safer for a purchaser not carry out any inspection – but to see what defects materialise after the contract. A bit of a strange predicament, really!


So what's the position with you? Please can you tell us something about the service history and whether you had access to it before the purchase.


Let me say, that it is entirely possible that the seller might not think to raise 2C(b) in his defence. You would be under no obligation to put him on notice of it. I'm almost certain that this exclusion would be overlooked – but I'm letting you know about it anyway in case it comes up.

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Thank you for your prompt response.


The only information I was exposed to prior to the sale was the cars service book and previous MOT certificates. The receipts where found stuffed inside the back of the wallet which contained the cars manual along with the previous keepers receipt for the car and various personal details of his, these where found a few months after the sale had took place, but all I did with them at the time was took them out and stored them in a safe place.



Can you please help to advise what you think my next action should be.


Thank you for your help.

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Well given that Christmas is almost upon us, so there are going to be delays anyway. I would write to the dealer and tell him that you do not accept his position and that it is clear that he has sold your vehicle with an existing defect and therefore it is not satisfactory quality within the meaning of the Sale of Goods Act. Tell him that you are setting about getting quotes for repairs and that you will let him have copies of the quotes plus a list of the losses and expenses that you have been put to. Tell them that once you provide him with that information, that you will be giving him 14 days to settle the matter or else you will be starting a legal action in the New Year.


Then do exactly as you have said. Get the quotes. Itemise all of your losses. And then send him all of that in a 14 day letter before action. At the expiry of the 14 days, begin the action. Don't bluff. Don't get delayed. If you don't stick exactly to the deadline that you set, you will lose credibility and you will make life more difficult for yourself.


Make sure that in your own mind you are prepared to ring the legal action. On the basis of what you say, your chances are better than 95%. Spend some time looking through this forum about bringing a County Court action. There is also a lot of information in our Consumer Survival Handbook which to an extent goes over what is already on this forum, but in a more convenient single place.


Bringing a small claim in the County Court is not difficult but it is worth being prepared and knowing the steps so that you will be confident about what you're doing.


As you can imagine, we are happy to help you.

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Hi again,


I have hit my first curveball, I have typed my first letter as per the above however I have approached 3 garages so far and none of them can determine the exact fault without stripping the car down at a cost, they have all advised it is not possible to determine the cause by looking at it, obviously once the vehicle is stripped down they are then in a position to repair it or put it back together.


Should I reword the above first letter as I will be advising them I am going to get quotes which I cannot obtain without the vehicle being stripped.


Please help as not sure how to move forward.

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Oh dear, i fear this is not going to end well.


Something has been damaged/bent is not a diagnosis, nor is the fact that a previous rear alignment was attempted. Something has been damaged/bent would be fairly easy to diagnose visually and if it wasn't it's probably down to an out of spec adjustment which can be fixed by a competent engineer.


In a latter post 3 'garages' cannot verify the problem. It needs a four wheel alignment conducted by a competent person on good quaity equipment (Hunter) and an adjustment made or a definitive 'This is bent' statement made. It should not need stripping.


The OP has had the car over 12 months, albeit done only a few miles, but I think the sellers liability is negligible, a simple pot-hole or raised manhole cover at any time could have done it.


Scan the proof's you have from all the attempts and tyre centres but be wary of court action as this would be very easily defended.





42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Hello and thank you for the above response.


I have attached a copy of the alignment report which was performed by the previous owner to myself.


The garage which attempted the new alignment could not provide a print off as their printer was out of order at the time. However if I was to return to them I am sure they would do this without any issues if required.


I believe the garage is competent (garage used was Chemix Website address https://www.protyre.co.uk/tyre-centres/protyre-chemix-wednesfield.aspx) they use laser alignment.


They advised they loosened the bolts to adjust the rear tow but they moved it as far as the adjustment allowed and the alignment was still off the scale, the alignment centre did not advise that something was bent it was another garage which I used quite often and I had both mechanics speaking to each other at the time.


Please confirm how you think I should proceed with this, really appreciate your help. If you need anymore details please advise.

Alignment Report.pdf

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I'm not a BMW expert but i would say whoever fit the rear springs, which are probably not genuine but pattern parts has had the rear lower arms off to do it and they've not set it up correctly when they rebuilt it. There is nothing in the attachment to say anything is damaged or bent but it is outside of the spec.


Low profile cars, tyres and suspension is notoriously difficult to set up and i would still be nervous about court action.



42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Thank you for your responses.


Should I diagnose the fault correctly have it repaired then look at court action once I know what the fault was?


Is it worth me taking it to another alignment centre as per your comments above as they will not be able to adjust the tow/camber either as the adjustment has been adjusted as far as it can go?


Thank you



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  • 3 weeks later...



I took my car to the above garage they have confirmed the rear trailing arm in bent and needs to be replaced.


I have managed to locate the part 2nd hand for £155 which I have ordered and have a garage which will fit it (not sure on labour costs yet).


So far because of the above issue I have spent approximately (as I need to dig receipts out):-


Two Tyres £230

Wheel alignment attempt number 1 £50

Wheel alignment attempt number 2 £60

Trailing Arm £155

Insurance £100 (time insured but have not been able to drive approximately £50 per month)

Car Tax £50 (Taxed but again been unable to drive approximately £25 per month)


Also due to the car standing another problem has now developed! Battery has broken and will no longer hold charge due to running down and not being charged by the car as I have not been able to drive it, I have tried to recharge it but it will not hold any charge, car starts off jump leads, as soon as ignition is turned off and back on battery is dead, new battery cost is around £110.


So an approximate total to date is £755.


Any suggestions on how I should move forward with this please to reclaim the costs from the garage I purchased the car from?


Really appreciate all of your help.

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Sorry to be a pain, is anyone able to help with the above I now finally hopefully have the part required to repair the fault and the car is booked in to be repaired next Thursday. will then need to be aligned again.

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