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Car rejection help request - dealership and finance company won't help!

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Hello,

 

Main details summarised for easy viewing:

 

Issue: Car is in limp mode with a check DPF light showing, Main issue is that car does not automatically regenerate, this happened on the same day I bought the car on my drive from Manchester to the Scottish Borders. Honda diagnostics find no fault codes. DPF has been replaced, issue still exists. Car has had 3 diagnostic appointments (2 via Honda), none find fault codes. Car has had 2 manual regenerations, one worked and within a month was back in limp mode.

 

Car purchased on - 07/07/2016

Issue first presented - 07/07/2016

Issue first reported - 08/07/2016 (by email and phone to dealership)

First intent to reject - 06/01/2017 (by email to dealership)

Rejection raised with finance company - 10/01/2017

Car purchased for ~ £7,500

 

What I've done so far: Raised the issue to the dealership from the day after I found the fault. Have it in writing that they will commit to sorting this issue beyond the 3 month warranty. After a lack of communication from the dealership, refusal to pay for some of the diagnostics and refusal to accept rejection of the car, I contacted my finance company (as they still own the car).

 

What has happened since purchase / complaint: Took the car to Honda to get diagnostics and regeneration, which did fix the issue for around 1 month. I raised the issue with the dealership again 29/08/2016, noting that this issue was present again. The dealership asked me to take it to a local dealer (not Honda) to get diagnostics. All local dealerships said they could not carry out the diagnostics and it would have to be Honda. The dealership did not agree to this then cut communication. I have email chases from myself asking for a response. It took until 26/09/2016 with constant phoning before they spoke to me again. The response reads:

 

"Should they (Honda) find any underlying issue as to why the car is not regenerating itself, then we can address that, possibly with a local VAT registered garage, if that is the case, should the fault fall within items covered under warranty Dace Motor Company will cover the cost of repair within the terms of the warranty, even if the repair takes place outside of your warranty expiry date."

 

Diagnostics were carried out 04/10/2016 and found no fault. Honda suggested replacing the DPF. After speaking with Dace, they told me I had to price getting this done. I did this and got no reply. I then emailed on 23/11/2016 stating:

 

"I've tried calling you several times now and have had no reply from you despite you telling me you would get back to me weeks ago and reception informing me you would phone back when I've called in."

 

I only received a response via phone at the start of December stating that Dace had found a much cheaper alternative and wanted to send a DPF to a local garage for them to fit. I was reluctant to do so, but this was the only option offered. The work was carried out 20/12/2016.

 

Replacement of the DPF did not fix the issue, the light was still on and the car still in 'limp' mode. I was advised by the garage that the DPF may auto-regenerate after driving for a bit and clear this fault. After several attempts at this under the recommended Honda guidelines for DPF regeneration, the problem still remained. The garage then performed a manual regeneration to see if they could clear the fault and were unable to. Further diagnostics were done and again, no fault found.

 

I emailed and called several times again before getting to speak to someone, I requested that the dealership take responsibility for the car and repairs, noting if they did not I'd be looking at getting the car rejected / refunded. Their response was that this would not happen, and that I should take the car again to Honda for diagnostics, but that I should pay for it. I emailed again 09/01/2017 refusing to pay for diagnostics, and again asking them to do so. They replied saying they would pay for the diagnostics but only if there was a fault code relating to the DPF. They also noted that if there was not a fault code for the DPF they would not pay for the diagnostics or any subsequent repairs as it would be something new that has happened to the car and is now outside my warranty.

 

At this point I immediately filed a rejection request with my finance company, who suggested I take it for diagnostics and they would pay if Dace wouldn't. They don't seem to want to help, and keep bringing up reasons that I shouldn't reject the car. Their latest correspondence notes I only had 30 days to reject the car and I've only raised it with them after 7 months.

 

Sorry for the length of this and if I missed anything, I tried to be thorough. I just don't know what to do now. I figured the finance company would help me with this process but it doesn't feel that way. Apart from going down the legal route, I'm not sure what I should and shouldn't do. Any advice would be very much appreciated!

 

Thanks

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I think that you should cut your losses and go down the legal route. At least you then take control the situation because it seems to me that you are being run ragged by everyone.

 

Under the Consumer Rights Act you had the right to reject the car out of hand within the first 30 days if a fault materialised. I'm sorry to say but you should have done this. Even if you didn't actually reject the car, serving notice that you were asserting your short-term right to reject would have at least reserved your position and also it would have put a lot of pressure on them to sorted out once and for all. At the expiry of 30 days, you then acquired a limited 6 month right to reject which is based on your obligation to provide one opportunity to repair the vehicle after which they must refund or replace. Unfortunately you gave up this opportunity as well. If you had asserted that right then once again, you would have reserved your position and would have put greater pressure on the seller to sort the problem out.

 

Pardon my ignorance but I don't know what a DFS is and also you are telling us that the car is failing to regenerate. I suppose you're not Doctor Who and you are not dealing with the TARDIS but other than that, I have no idea what on earth are talking about. It would be helpful if you clarify the technical language you are using the at least once. Thank you.

 

It is not clear to me at all what effect the faults you are referring to are having on your vehicle and your ability to use it. If the faults are essentially depriving you of the use of the vehicle then this would amount to something which in law is called a "fundamental breach/breach of condition" and this would allow you to treat the contract as terminated and to sue the seller for a refund or replacement.

 

If on the other hand it is simply a damn nuisance, then this would be in law a "breach of warranty" which would merely allow you to sue the seller for the cost of repairs.

 

Assuming the worst, that you sue for £7500, you are well within the small claims limit which means that you could bring a simple and fairly risk-free claim in the County Court. However, as you haven't really made clear what the fault is or the effect that it is having on you, it's not possible to give you more specific advice at this moment


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Hi BankFodder, and thanks so much for the quick and full response.

 

You're absolutely right about what I should have done previously, unfortunately my ignorance of this process has only be fixed after the fact.

I could be really clutching here, but my intent to reject was raised on January 6th 2017 and 6 months from July 7th is January 8th, is this wrong?

 

Apologies for not elaborating properly on the issue, if I were the Doctor, this would be the least of my concerns. The DPF is the diesel particulate filter, and is effectively just an expensive filter used to reduce the amounts of particles emitted into the air. They are a legal requirement and without one your car would fail an MOT. When this does not work, the car gets put into what Honda refer to as 'limp' mode, where the power is significantly limited (from 0-60 in ~8 seconds to ~25 seconds). This is to reduce the amount of particulate you can expend before you get it regenerated (burned out). The car still works and can get me from A-to-B but would fail an MOT because of it and means the car is nothing close to the stats advertised.

 

Given the above, do you still suggest I go down the line of suing for the whole value of the vehicle? I wouldn't actually mind keeping the vehicle if it was properly fixed, but replacement DPFs and the sensors that go with can be in excess of £1,500.

 

Many thanks

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It sounds to me as if it is quite a specific and remedy a double fault, presumably with the simple replacement of the filter.

 

If this is correct then I would go ahead and get the filter replaced and then sue.

 

I would go and get two quotes for the work from authorised dealers – people you can trust – and then write to the seller with both quotes. Invite them to carry out their own inspection – give them seven days from the date of your letter to do this. Tell them that if they will not carry out their own inspection and give you their own quotation within that period of time that you will put the work in hand to one of your chosen dealers. Tell them that within 14 days of the date of your letter you want a written agreement from them that they will pay the cost of the repair – and warn them that if anything else is found why the repair is being carried out, that will include part of their commitment.

 

All them that if you do not receive their written agreement to pay by the end of 14 days, that you will begin an action in the County Court to recover all of your losses plus interest.

 

Additionally, you should start reading up on this site and elsewhere about how to bring a small claim in the County Court. It's not difficult but you should know the steps in advance so that you are not taken by surprise and you feel confident.

 

Make sure that you do not commit yourself to accepting a fixed sum, for instance, £1500 when you do not know the full extent of the and the true final bill


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