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Used car from dealer - windscreen washer fault within 6 months


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I bought a Nissan Qashqui from a local independent dealer in June this year for just over £5k. The turbo went faulty within 30 days, after an initial appearance of indifference from the dealer they did indeed repair it and all was good. However, we now have an issue with the windscreen washers (both front and back) in that they just don't work. I can hear no noise when trying to use them which leads me to think this it is the washer motor (i have checked the fuse and it is not that). The washers did work upon when we first got it, but over the past few weeks they have stopped working.

 

I contacted the dealer via email yesterday confirming that the car is under 6 months since purchase and this fault has occurred for which i would like them to repair. Their reply has been:

 

"Sorry to hear you are having a minor problem with your Nissan Qashqai unfortunately due to you only having a 3 months major mechanical warranty which would of expired on the 11/09/18 this wouldn’t be something we could cover the cost of.

 

Even if this issue occurred during the first three months of you owning the vehicle the washer jets wouldn’t be covered due to the warranty only being a major mechanical warranty."

 

I have just replied to them that my request for them to repair this free of charge is under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, section 9 "Goods to be of satisfactory quality". I have reiterated that i expect them to repair this free of charge or state their final position on the matter so i can then decide on my next course of action.

 

Can anyone give me their thoughts on whether i am completely in the right to demand repair for this issue on a car bought privately from a dealership just under 5 month ago? If they refuse to play ball, what should my next steps be? I have kept all communication with them via email so i have a clear trail, but if we do have any chat via phone then it will be recorded (i have installed a call recording app - thanks to all the advice on here!).

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I Dont agree with their statement about the wahsers not being part of a warranty but you have bought a car how old?

 

Now I would be looking for a compromise based on you owning it for less than 6 months and the problem probably being wear and tear, which is not covered by the CRA.

 

How about you pay for the part and they fit it for free?

 

Worth a try as you have a very slim claim for this being covered by law.

You could ask Nissam UK technical peopel how long the washer is supposed to last and see if they will intervene for the sake of their good name.

You might get the part free the and pay for fitting.

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The car is 8 years old. They have replied to my last email confirming that they would not repair it free of charge.

 

As for the law, can someone help me understand things? If am wrong then i have no problems in holding my hands up and getting off my high horse! :-) I was under the impression that if a fault develops within the first 6 months since purchase (which includes buying a used car from a dealer) then the fault would have been deemed present at the point of purchase and it is up to the seller to prove otherwise.

 

The washer motor worked when i bought the car but now does not work. I would deem this to be a faulty washer motor which was on the way out when purchased and just took a few month to finally conk out. The fact that it worked for a period of time when i bought the car didn't mean that it did not have an inherent fault within it.

 

I paid £5k for a car that is 8 years old, so i don't think it is reasonable to expect the windscreen washers to work for longer than 5 months. I certainly don't view it as wear and tear. If it was tyres or brakes then that would be something they could argue 'wear and tear'.

 

It's no hardship for me to arrange repair of the windscreen washers myself if i don't have a leg to stand on. But at the same time, if it is the dealer's responsibility to repair as it is within 6 months then i will stand my ground. If anyone could explain how the CRA applies to this situation then i;'d be grateful. Thanks.

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The car is 8 years old. They have replied to my last email confirming that they would not repair it free of charge.

 

As for the law, can someone help me understand things? If am wrong then i have no problems in holding my hands up and getting off my high horse! :-) I was under the impression that if a fault develops within the first 6 months since purchase (which includes buying a used car from a dealer) then the fault would have been deemed present at the point of purchase and it is up to the seller to prove otherwise.

 

The washer motor worked when i bought the car but now does not work. I would deem this to be a faulty washer motor which was on the way out when purchased and just took a few month to finally conk out. The fact that it worked for a period of time when i bought the car didn't mean that it did not have an inherent fault within it.

 

I paid £5k for a car that is 8 years old, so i don't think it is reasonable to expect the windscreen washers to work for longer than 5 months. I certainly don't view it as wear and tear. If it was tyres or brakes then that would be something they could argue 'wear and tear'.

 

It's no hardship for me to arrange repair of the windscreen washers myself if i don't have a leg to stand on. But at the same time, if it is the dealer's responsibility to repair as it is within 6 months then i will stand my ground. If anyone could explain how the CRA applies to this situation then i;'d be grateful. Thanks.

 

The burden of proof rests on the dealer but it's not a difficult one to prove.

The windscreen washers either worked at the point of sale or they didn't.

They did (as you said) and now they don't.

It's been several months before you've brought this to the dealers attention so it would be reasonable to assume a judge could be convinced that they were working, have been working for some time (as you haven't mentioned it before) and now they are not.

 

This is just a fault that has developed post sale and you'd be hard pushed to argue otherwise.

You may think it was "on the way out" but that could be said for most components of an 8 year old vehicle, they are all "on their way out" it's just subjective as to how long before they are "out"

 

I'd say you would have a better chance of getting some joy appealing to their better nature on this one, rather than trying to take them to task.

Edited by dx100uk
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It all boils down to what is consistent with an 8 year old car.

Have you asked Nissan how long they would expect a washer motor to last?

 

As said earlier, try being nice and agree to foot soem fo the bill but ask Nissan UK first as they might just send you (or garage) part FOC and the you can agree a price for fitting.

 

It was working when you bought it and its breakdown cant really be said to be foreseeable.

The rights you have after 30 days for second hand goods are wrapped up in its description and price as well as age and obvious condition.

Edited by dx100uk
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Either way under Consumer Rights Act 2015 if there is an issue with goods purchased the consumer has the right to request a repair at the expense of the dealer.

 

If the dealer cannot do or refuses the repair, then the consumer has the right to reject.

Legislation over rides any warranty that they may offer.

 

As the vehicle is under 6 months in your ownership it is the responsibility of the dealer to do the repair whatever thay may say to fob you off.

Failure to follow the CRA 2015 may be a CRIMINAL offence as it is legislation passed by Parliament!

Edited by dx100uk
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This isn't entirely correct.

 

If the fault was present at the point of sale, the consumer has the right to a repair within that time period. It's up to the dealer to prove it wasn't there as it's otherwise assumed to be present at the point of sale.

 

However, in this instance I would say it would be fairly easy to convince a judge that this was not a fault present at the point of sale, as it's something that does not break down gradually. It's either working, or it's not. It was, now it's not. Of course, depending on the judge, he may be convinced that the washer motor is something complicated, full of moving parts and liable to break down gradually and it was failing at the point of sale and beyond but that seems unlikely.

 

I think it's best to follow Eric's advice and try and get some goodwill. If you're suggesting the OP takes the garage to task and tries to go down the rejection route, there's a significant chance the OP will be very disappointed.

Edited by Chuffnut
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Chuffnut I suggest you read the CRA 2015 again to get a better understanding of it as within the first 6 months after the initial 30 days the dealer has to be given the opportunity to do a repair.

 

If the dealer refuses the repair then the buyer is fully within their rights to reject the vehicle.

If the dealer does the repair and it fails again then the buyer can reject the vehicle again.

It does not have to be an inherent fault in the first 6 months unlike the Sale of Goods Act.

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Hi Surfer01

 

I'm pretty au fait with the CRA, I certainly don't claim to know everything but under Chapter 2, provision 19 of the act, section 14 and 15 state;

 

(14)For the purposes of subsections (3)(b) and © and (4), goods which do not conform to the contract at any time within the period of six months beginning with the day on which the goods were delivered to the consumer must be taken not to have conformed to it on that day.

(15)Subsection (14) does not apply if—

(a)it is established that the goods did conform to the contract on that day, or

(b)its application is incompatible with the nature of the goods or with how they fail to conform to the contract.

 

I believe this is where the burden of proof arises from. What the act is saying here is if there is a fault with the goods within 6 months it is assumed the fault was there all along, unless it's established the fault wasn't, i.e. the dealer can prove the fault wasn't there. You're suggesting that a retailer has to fix ANY fault, no matter what the circumstances. I don't believe this is correct because of provision 19.

 

For clarity, the above refers to 3 (b) and © and 4 which state;

 

3)If the goods do not conform to the contract because of a breach of any of the terms described in sections 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14, or if they do not conform to the contract under section 16, the consumer’s rights (and the provisions about them and when they are available) are—

 

(a)the short-term right to reject (sections 20 and 22);

 

(b)the right to repair or replacement (section 23); and

 

©the right to a price reduction or the final right to reject (sections 20 and 24).

 

(4)If the goods do not conform to the contract under section 15 or because of a breach of requirements that are stated in the contract, the consumer’s rights (and the provisions about them and when they are available) are—

 

(a)the right to repair or replacement (section 23); and

 

(b)the right to a price reduction or the final right to reject (sections 20 and 24).

 

Sections 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 refer to what is described as a breach of the contract (i.e. Not fit for purpose, not of satisfactory quality etc)

 

I don't believe I have interpreted this incorrectly,

I believe that all of the above is where the advice repeatedly offered across the internet that "it's up to the dealer to prove the fault wasn't there at the point of sale" is drawn from.

 

It isn't as simple as just saying that a retailer (the car dealer) has to fix ANY fault within the first 6 months, carte blanche and if they refuse, you can reject the car.

I'm interested in your opinion on all of this of course, as I think a lot of the CRA can be down to interpretation!

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I am not sure what you do not understand about the 6 month period after date of purchase?

It does not have to be an inherent fault.

 

This is a straight forward fault that occurred within the 6 month period after purchase therefore the consumer is entitled to the repair free of charge unless the consumer caused the issue.

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Chuffnut is 100% correct on this matter.

 

Surfer01 appears to have the widely held but incorrect view that the CRA applies to ANY fault that occurs within 6 months, because of the assumption that it must have been there at the start.

 

Yes that assumption is there but so is the right of the seller to be able to prove otherwise, and if they can do so then they are not liable.

That is exactly what the extract from the Act posted by Chuffnut is intending to apply.

 

A lot of the advice given on this site (and others) seems to ignore or underplay this significant factor.

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If I am so wrong how come I was able to claim for repairs well and truly after the 6 months and at 11 months a rejection was accepted and I got a full refund plus compensation?

 

I am quoting what I was told by a fully qualified solicitor who specialises in consumer law however if you think you know better than the solicitor then good luck to you.

 

It is up to the OP to decide whose advice is the correct advice.

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You're seemingly taking this personally Surfer, I think we're all here to help each other where we can.

 

I have no idea on your personal circumstances of course and I'm glad you managed to get your rewards for standing up for yourself, good for you but the simple fact is that to say that a retailer has to provide a repair, ANY repair at ANY point during the first 6 months and if they don't you can reject the vehicle is just plain old wrong.

It's written in black and white in the CRA 2015, as I have highlighted above.

 

You can't just ignore parts of the law.

If the OP went down the route of demanding a repair and taking the garage to court if they refused then there is a significant chance the OP would lose.

It's not as simple as you make out.

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(b) its application are icompatible with nature of the goods.

this statement is not limited as in other parts of the act where things like perishable goods and lottery tickets fall outside the meanings here.

judges apply a test of what is menat by the law as well as the wording of it, they can refer to hansard if they wish to determine the intent of parliament.

 

you wont find that the law was designed to say that 8 year old cars never develop faults that are wear and tear and you are entitled top your money back if a bit breaks.

Do 60000 miles in 11 months and try and get your momy back on the worn out tyres, you wont because it is exempt as they arent faulty, just worn out.

that means they conforned to the contract regardless of the age.

 

going in all guns blazing will not get the OP anywhere on this, having something of carrot and stick will most likely work.

 

Would the OP like the dealer to say yes, we will take the vehicle back but we are allowed by law to subtract a consummate sum from the refund to cover the use for the last 5 months.

 

Oh and by the way you know the washer isnt working and it was when we sold it to you so that knocks a few quid more off the refund.

 

So yes the CRA apply but not to wear and tear and what is considered normal wear and tear is not defined on purpose as it will differ from item to item.

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No one suggested going in with guns blazing but the OP has already approached the dealer who has refused the repair. I think it is fairly obvious wear and tear is not covered however how much wear and tear would a window washer have in the first 6 months especially as we have had a very long and hot summer. What sort of wear and tear would one experience with a window washer in a period of six months. I would suggest that the window washer has gone faulty.

Excluding the experience mentioned above by myself, very recently we purchased a 6 year old vehicle from and independent dealership and within the first 30 days after a check it was found that the tyres were only just above the legal minimum. I did know that the tread was low when purchasing but thought there were a couple of thousand left on the front tyres. Approached the dealer who agreed to give us £250 towards two new tyres.

We then had the vehicle checked by the Jeep dealership and it was found that the condenser for the air con was leaking and he cost to repair was nearly £700. This was the only fault found on the vehicle. Initially the dealer that sold us the vehicle objected but eventually saw sense and paid for the repair.

I have personally experienced making claims within the first 6 months of purchase and have not had an issue getting the repairs done. I guess it is to the OP whose advice they decide to accept as I am not contributing to this thread any more.

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Surfer, you are again slightly off with your comments here. Wear and tear doesn't begin from when a consumer buys a used car! It begins from when the car is first purchased and driven from new! The windscreen washer motor in this instance was worn by 8 years of use not the last 6 months, hot summers have nothing to do with this.

 

You still haven't commented on my post above regarding the actual provisions within the CRA that clearly state the retailer isn't liable for repairs within the 6 month period if it can be confirmed the goods conformed to the contract on the day of the sale. The windscreen washer motor was working, as confirmed by the OP, worked for several months and now it doesn't. Under the CRA provisions I have highlighted above it would be easy for the retailer to convince a judge of the fact the windscreen washers have worked for several months without complaint and the goods conformed to the contract on the day of their sale, thus meeting the criteria set out in the law and no liability is owed.

 

Perhaps it is best that you don't contribute to this thread anymore as stating that a retailer HAS to fix ANY fault within the first 6 months "it's the law" and failure to do so may be a criminal offence, is wrong advice and it gives people a sense of empowerment they may not actually have. Dodgy dealers should be taken to task but there's no point in advising people of something that simply isn't correct.

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Hi guys. Have just read all of the exchanges in this thread. It is certainly an interesting debate!

 

As for my situation, it is a little bit of an anticlimax! We took the car to a garage we know to get the cambelt done as i believe they should be done every 60 000 miles, and our car is 80 000 and i have no service history so don't know if it's ever been done. No point in risking things. We asked them to look at the washer at the same time. Turns out it was a dodgy connection which they easily fixed for free. Job done.

 

However, reading these replies has been of great value to me in trying to understand the ins and outs of the CRA. I deliberately bought the car from a dealership so i would have more recourse for faults as opposed to buying privately (i had always bought cars privately beforehand), so it has been good to know how these rights do or do not give me protection. Thanks for everyone's input.

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Hi guys. Have just read all of the exchanges in this thread. It is certainly an interesting debate!

 

As for my situation, it is a little bit of an anticlimax! We took the car to a garage we know to get the cambelt done as i believe they should be done every 60 000 miles, and our car is 80 000 and i have no service history so don't know if it's ever been done. No point in risking things. We asked them to look at the washer at the same time. Turns out it was a dodgy connection which they easily fixed for free. Job done.

 

However, reading these replies has been of great value to me in trying to understand the ins and outs of the CRA. I deliberately bought the car from a dealership so i would have more recourse for faults as opposed to buying privately (i had always bought cars privately beforehand), so it has been good to know how these rights do or do not give me protection. Thanks for everyone's input.

 

Great news OP. The garage clearly values you as a customer, you have brought work to them and in exchange they have helped out on a separate issues they didn’t need to. Good customer service i’d say and no need for any swords to be unsheathed!

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Wrong again Chuffnut as you clearly demonstrate you do no have a clue!

 

Not really any need for that when it is yourself that appears backing the wrong side in this argument.

 

Have a look at this, which is the guidance issued by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills when the CRA came out.

 

On page 40 there is a table showing who has the responsibility for what in the different periods following purchase. It clearly shows that it is applicable to faults present at the time of delivery. All the reversed burden of proof does is make the assumption that if a fault occurs within 6 months then it is assumed to have been present at the beginning, but the trader can rebut this. If suitably and genuinely rebutted, then there is no liability. If the dealer is liable for all faults that occur after purchase then why does this guidance make reference to them needing to be present at the time of delivery?

 

Any success stories being relayed in this and other threads are great. They show traders exercising good customer service, but they do not mean that they were necessarily bound by law all the time.

 

The problem with giving incorrect advice such as 'the dealer is always responsible for any faults that occur in the first 6 months' without drawing attention to the caveats within the CRA is that it creates the potential for someone to enter into misguided and potentially costly action.

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