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Polo Motor Company - About to go to small claims court over faulty vehicle

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I bought a car (2008 plate) from a dealer in June 2018, on the way home the check engine light came on and I crawled home. Spoke to garage who said to bring the car back, I was unable to do this until the Monday so in the meantime took it to a local garage for a look. They gave me a list of problems (including a leak at the top of the engine) and advised me to return the car to the dealer.


I took the car back to the dealer on the Monday 25th June and they had the car until the 20th July. Once I picked up the car the check engine light came on again before I got home and on the 23rd July I took the car back. This time they had it until the 20th August.


In this time I was told that the car had had two new injectors, a new turbo, an air filter and an ABS module.


Once I got the car back in August it never ran properly, would stall easily and smelt bad. I didn’t have any concrete with which I could go back to the dealer though so resigned myself the fact that I am stuck with this car. I never trusted it enough for any long drives.


In January this year the service light came on in the car and I took it to the main dealer (Volvo) for a service. They checked the car and told me that there was a leak at the top of the engine and that it was clear somebody had been there before and the workmanship was poor, part of the injectors was not replaced. They replaced this, a gasket and a hose but when this was done it uncovered an EGR error and they replaced this. about £800 worth of work plus the cost of the service. Volvo wrote on the invoice that it was clear somebody had worked on the car before and told me that it would not have run correctly since I owned it,


At this point I wrote to the dealer asking for help with the costs as the leak at the top of the engine was identified in June 2018 and because the problem was caused by a poor job on the injectors, if they had done the work properly then they would have uncovered the EGR issue and had to fix that.  I got a solicitors letter in response saying that they will not pay.


Shortly after that the car started to lose power and I took it back to Volvo. After replacing another hose and a switch that had been damaged they diagnosed an ECM fault and advised me that it was not worth doing any further work as that would cost me around £1000. They showed me that the ECM had been tampered with at some point, it was sealed with silicon and the tamper tape had been removed.  They also found an invoice from July (when the dealer had the car)where they  (Volvo) had fitted the used turbo and noted on the invoice that an ECM code was stored on the Vida.


I spoke to Which legal help and the solicitor suggested I have a good claim here .


I responded to their solicitor saying that I have evidence that the ultimate problem was present in July and therefore when they sold the car to me, I also told them that I have the statement from Volvo saying that these issues would have been there when I bought it and the report form my local garage noting that the leak as present 3 days after purchase and had not been fixed as I thought it had.  I asked for a refund for the car and for the repairs and asked them to take the car back, I have broken down the costs into five sections corresponding to different repairs. I gave them two weeks which is up on Friday and haven’t heard anything yet so tomorrow I will be logging a claim.


It is a long back story but any advice about going through and writing the claim would be welcomed. Also any other opinions on my chances.




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You've been here since 2006 and it's a great shame that you didn't come close immediately that this happened.

Under the consumer rights act you had a right within the first 30 days to reject the vehicle if any defect appeared. After that, and within six months you had the right to insist on a repair and then reject the vehicle if the repair had failed.

It seems to me that by not taking appropriate action at the right time you have surrendered these rights.

It doesn't affect things a whole lot but it certainly might have been easier if you had the consumer rights act remedies on your side.

You haven't told us the value of the car and you haven't laid out all of the losses that you have incurred as a result of all the defects.

You also haven't told us the name of the dealer. Are you trying to protect them?

It's up to you what action you want to take. It seems pretty clear that the dealer is not very interested in your consumer rights so if you want to use them, then you will have to assert them as a result of a county court claim.

Which solicitor is it who told you that you wouldn't get paid? Please would you post up their letter here in PDF format – scanned – not a photograph.


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Thanks for the quick repsponse. The dealer is Polo Motor Company in Gillingham, Kent.

The solicitor's letter (Attached) is from Stormcatcher solicitors (I have removed my address etc)


I bought the car for £4450


I have spent £1466 on repairs which I am asking for back. The largest repair invoice was £801 for the engine leak that I described above and which the solictors letter refers to.




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  • BankFodder changed the title to Polo Motor Company - About to go to small claims court over faulty vehicle

Thank you. Well the solicitor seem to be saying that given the fact that it was an old car, what you got was no more than you could reasonably expect.

However, I disagree. I don't think that you are expected to spend £4.4 K on a vehicle and then within six months have to spend out a further £1500. I don't think any reasonable consumer would consider that was satisfactory.

Furthermore, you have now talked about the fact that some seal was interfered with and silicon was used instead.

Have you got any of these reports in writing? This is very important

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Volvo have given me photos of the ECM showing where it was interfered with and the invoice from Volvo states:


"...Further investigation into ECM unit found that the ECM unit had been aprt previously and the unit had been resealed. UNsure as to why the ECm was previously dismantled but it is evident that the module has been aprt in the past."


I have a copy of the invoice from Volvo to Polo Motor Company in July saying that there is a ECM code stored.


My previous invoice from Volvo states:


“It was clear when working on the vehicle that work had been carried out on the vehicle at a previous date. All four injector collet sleeves were missing, meaning that the injectors were not making a complete seal. When we reassembled the injectors and road tested the vehicle codes were stored with EGR fault. The EGR would have been faulty for a long while, it was only until we carried out the correct sealing of the injectors and intake manifold that the fault showed.”


They (Volvo) are being very helpful and I may be able to get more from them.


EDIT: Typos

Edited by KieronP
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Excellent. Get everything you can.

Is there any indication on the paperwork as to who the previous owner was?

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Afraid not.  It has had 4 previous owners and there are no MOTs in 2014 or 2016 and only 700 miles were added since 2015.  I asked about this and was told that is sat in the drive as it was owned by elderley people, guess I am the mug!

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Yes, I'm not sure that you have handled it very well.

Anyway, are you prepared to issue legal action? If so then I think that you will need to decide what you are claiming for, the basis of your claim and then send them that information in a letter of claim.

You may as well also tell them what the findings of Volvo are because that is important evidence and it is difficult to imagine that they could possibly convince a court that the Volvo evidence was wrong and also that those faults hadn't existed when their car was sold to you. It's clear that they did.

If you are prepared to go ahead then post up a letter of claim here so we can have a look. Don't make it too complicated and keep it short on the narrative. Make it to the point.

Also you will have to register with money claim online – it's free. Start getting used to it and start drafting your claim there. On the basis of what you say I think that you will have to do sent a fairly short concise claim through the money claim system and tick the checkbox that you are going to send a more detailed particulars of claim directly to them.

You need to have that prepared as well before you start actually issuing the claim.

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Yes, unfortunttely I found a tumour in Septmber and that took pretty much all of my focus until January otherwise I like to think I would have got this sorted sooner. I do want to get this settled and get rid of the stress though.


I have attempted to enter in to correspondence with the other side but they have not repsonded so I am happy to write up a letter of claim which I will post.  I am also happy to raise the claim but I am concerned that the company will "disappear" and not pay me, it is another £400 to riase the claim due to the sum.


Thanks for you advice, I will get the letter done wither today or tomorrow.


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Yes I'm afraid that the risk of cowboy second-hand car dealers disappearing is always something that one should factor in when buying this kind of vehicle. It's also the reason why someone should react quickly. It's also the reason why one should come quickly to the Consumer Action Group forum for help and advice especially when one has been a member of it since 2006.

They don't seem to be a limited liability company – but maybe you should check this. If they're not limited liability then this means that even if they change their trading name, they are still accessible to a legal action. Do they appear to be well established or are they on the kind of premises which could suddenly be closed overnight?

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They are a Private Limited company which incorporated in 2013.  They operate on an industrial unit which isnt too promising but that have a lot of cars and their company accounts suggest that they have these on credit. I dont know if that affects how quickly they could go out of business?




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Well I'm sure that they are important considerations.

I'm not sure what else to say. I think you have an excellent case. Your chances of success are much better than 95%. If they seem to be a settled business in settle premises then assuming you that you get a judgement then you should have no great difficulty in enforcing the judgement – and in fact I would immediately have the judgement transferred up and enforced by HCEO.


Presumably you have the limited liability details from the receipt they gave you When you bought the car.

Of course the whole thing is a complete nuisance. Nobody deserves to have this kind of thing happened – but I'm afraid it happens far too often. Have you looked around the Internet to see what their reputation is generally?


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