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Used car from dealer - Allen Motor Group

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Back on the 28/8/18 we purcahsed a Ford Torneo Connect from Allen Ford Group. It was a 14 plate and had done 10k miles. We paid £10,000.

Within 22 days of purcahse we reported thick black smoke bellowing from the exhaust, initially under acceleration but it now seems to do it all the time.

It's been presented for repair on three occasions now, each time the problem is unresolved.


Simple question, is our right to reject deminished by the passage of time? We reported the fault within 30 days, and have had numerous other issues, including it catching fire due to dodgy electrics.


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There is certainly a risk that your right to reject under the consumer rights act could be diminished by the passage of time. In order to assert your right to reject you have to assert it in writing so that it is clear as to the right which you are asserting.

You say that you reported the fault, but did you at the time also refer to your rights under the 2015 act?

Regardless of this, you don't lose your rights. You still have your normal statutory rights and common law rights conferred under the contract. In this case, you are entitled to have a vehicle of satisfactory quality and you are entitled to expect that it should remain in that condition for a reasonable period of time.

It will be helpful if you would list out in a bullet pointed form, all of the defects which have materialised since he bought the vehicle. In particular, flagged up the defects which still exist.

Also, please will you point out which defects have been subject to a repair, the date of the repair and whether the repair was successful all the fault materialised again.

The general rule is that if you suffer defects which can be described merely as inconveniences or annoyances, then this probably would not vitiate the contract and you may well have to accept a repair. On the other hand, if the defects which have occurred – and maybe even the accumulation of defects – are so serious that they can effectively be said to have undermined the purpose of the contract – to have deprived you of the benefit of the contract – then it is possible to argue that the contract has been terminated.

So that's a broad statement of the law. Maybe you can give us a little bit more information so that we can analyse your legal position and advise you what to do.


By the way, have you attempted to reject the vehicle at all? And what has been the attitude of the dealer? Would you describe them as being cooperative or do they seem keen to avoid their proper contractual obligations towards you?

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Thanks for your help. I've drafted a notice before action that hopefully sets things out clearly. I'm going in quite hard on the basis that we're unlikely to get what we want. When we reported the initial fault, it is true we did not reference the Consumer Rights Act. But it was done via email so there is a record.




Notice Before Action.


On the 28/8/18 I purchased a vehicle from Essex Auto Group, part of the Allen Ford Group, for £9800. The transaction was made pursuant to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In addition to statutory and common law rights, the vehicle was sold with a 12 month warranty.


On the 18/09/18, just 22 days from purchase, I reported excessive black smoke from the vehicle exhaust.


The vehicle was subsequently presented for repair at Allen Ford Northampton on the 2nd Oct 2018.

The repair was unsuccessful.


The vehicle was again presented for repair on the 26th October 2018.

The repair was unsuccessful.


On the 10/05/19, whilst undergoing an MOT, the vehicles electrics malfunctioned resulting in a localised fire. I understand the issue to have arisen from a fault in the rear wiper motor but the resulting fire was due to the failure of the vehicles safety fuse system to operate correctly. Needless to say, if this fault had occurred whilst the vehicle was in motion the consequences could have been far more serious.


The fault was subsequently reported to Allen Ford on the 13/05/19. Remedial work was undertaken by Allen Ford Northampton at the earliest opportunity offered; 28/05/19. I was informed the work had completed on the 14/06/19 - more than a month after it was reported.


In the course of rewiring the vehicle, various parts of the vehicle’s interior were unacceptably [and avoidably] damaged which necessitated the vehicle being returned a further time for remedial work and once again to resolve the excessive amounts of black smoke from the exhaust system. The vehicle was duly returned to Allen Ford Northampton on 22/06/19.

On the 12/07/19, a further 3 weeks later, I received the vehicle back, having been assured that the black smoke issue had been resolved. Today, on the 13/07/19, having driven the vehicle for just a few moments it is apparent that the issue is far from resolved, arguably it has gotten significantly worse.


The vehicle has now been presented for repair on three occasions. On each occasion Allen Ford Group has failed to resolve the issue. I have been without the benefit of the vehicle for a period of 53 days, thusly undermining and effectively terminating the contract of sale and furthermore causing me significant inconvenience, stress and expense.

I am now left with no option but to reject the vehicle on the grounds that it is not of satisfactory quality and harbours an inherent fault. For legalities sake, I reiterate that this was reported within 22 days of purchase.


Please arrange to collect the vehicle and refund the purchase within 10 working days. If I do not hear from you, or you unable to provide acceptable resolution I shall proceed with small claims proceedings against Allen Ford Group.


Whilst I hope to avoid this course of action, should it become necessary, all fees and costs incurred, including that of litigant person and (or) the use of legal representation and expert witness testimony will be applicable. I would therefore consider it in Allen Fords interests to settle this promptly, thusly minimising potential liability and simultaneously making good on it’s customer service promise.


Edited by jfhall82

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