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Sold approved used car by Audi dealer, service due light came on after 2weeks


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Hi All

 

just looking for some advice. I bought a used Porsche Boxster from one of Marshall motor group’s Audi dealers (can I name them?) recently and was assured that it received a major service in October 2020 in line with the manufacturers requirements. The service book confirms this. The dealer also told me on the phone that they have a 6 month rule with any mot or service being done if due within this period which assured me when making an offer over the phone on the car that it wouldn’t need anything doing for a while as I recall saying that.

 

However, digging through the receipts post delivery I saw that the service was in fact minor and after calling the specialist who serviced it in Oct both they (Sheepishly) and the invoice confirmed that the car did not receive new spark plugs, an air filter, brake fluid replacement or a new fan belt which have now all fallen due and hence the major service due warning light. Had I not investigated this then the car would have potentially gone another 4 years, so 8 in total without some of these items being done.

 

i emailed the salesman to ask what they would propose to do. The matter is complicated by my living 450 miles away in Scotland, and 200 from their nearest branch, a Mercedes dealer in the Lake District, so I suggested getting my cheapest local specialist to do the works that have fallen due, however I have received no response.

 

Whilst I am still within my 30 days i don’t want to reject the car, which is otherwise perfect, but the fact remains that the Audi 150 point check only asks for upcoming mot’s to be checked and not services and surely you wouldn’t buy an approved used car and expect to have the service light come on 2 weeks later and have to spend almost £500 putting it right.

 

i would really appreciate some advice on next steps and perhaps who to escalate this to. Meantime the car is booked in for 2 weeks time to get the work done at the cheapest reputable place I could find.

 

Many, many thanks in advance

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Please name the dealer

 

I would start off by sending them a letter of rejection seeing as you are within the 30 days. This doesn't mean that you have to reject it but it reserves your position.

Secondly, on the basis of what you say, I don't think that you need necessary to find the cheapest place. You should be looking at the best quality that you can find.

I think the best thing to do would be to get to competing quotations for the work you propose to have carried out – and not necessarily at the cheapest place, but a couple of proper reputable garages – authorised for that kind of vehicle.
Inform the dealer as to what you are doing and providing with copies of the estimates for the work before you put it in hand. Give them five days to object or to make other comments.

Make it clear to them that once the work is carried out that you will be looking to them to reimburse you.

Of course you are opening a can of worms here because if you get some further problems – more serious – you may find that the dealer is starting to say that because you have carried out your own work so your own repairer on the car, they cannot now say that any defects were inherent in the purchase – and that they may have been introduced by 1/3 party repairer.

I'm afraid that you have certainly fallen into a trap of buying a car a long distance away from where you live. We find that people often tend to do that because they think the car they have found is the only one in the world for them. They forget to factor in the difficulties that they will be if there are defects – particularly if the car stopped altogether – the cost of transportation to the dealer, the cost of having to travel up and down the country to collect the car – and of course these difficulties could emerge several times through the initial years of your ownership of the vehicle if you are relying on your statutory rights and expect the dealer to meet those obligations.

Furthermore, if you have to bring a court action against them you are now dealing with multijurisdictional claims – suing out of Scotland against the defendant in England and that adds to the complications.

It's too late for you to do anything about this – unless you actually decide to reject the vehicle – but at the very least, other people who come across this thread may get some benefit from these comments.

I think it's important for you to get the best quality repair you can and to make sure that the dealer is aware of what you are doing so that if later on they try to deny responsibility for further defects, that you will be able to show that they were fully appraised of what you are doing and they will have less room to manoeuvre themselves out of their statutory obligations.

I'm afraid that purchasing a car from one dealer and then having it repaired by another service provider, brings into the same kinds of difficulties that somebody who purchases a central heating boiler from one supplier and then has it installed by a different supplier find themselves in. When things go wrong, the seller blames the installer. The installer blames the seller – and you, the customer, are piggy in the middle. Not a good place to be.

I notice that you are doing things on the telephone. Big Fail! Read our customer services guide. In your situation you should be extremely careful to make sure that you have got a record of everything and a full paper trail

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Having a little additional think about this, I think that your interests are best protected in the following way:

You inform the seller that you are obtaining the quotes which I have referred to above.

Having received the quotes, you then inform them that you are proposing to have the work carried out at XXX garage and that you will expect that the seller will reimburse you for the costs and associated expenses.
You can tell them though that you understand that they may want to control the work being done to the car and so you are willing to allow them to do it but as the fault has manifested itself at this point and that it is clear that the problem is their responsibility, if they wish to carry the work out themselves then they will have to organise the collection vehicle and the delivery of it to you once the work is completed.

Of course this will be very expensive for them and they will either fail to respond or they will refuse.
Whatever their reaction, you would then go on to say that as they have failed to respond/declined the invitation to carry out the repairs themselves, that you are now going to your preferred garage – one of the two quotations which you have supplied – and you will have the vehicle repaired there. You are giving them an opportunity to comment.

I think that if you use this approach, then you will be able to demonstrate very clearly that they had a choice and therefore they will be unable to disassociate themselves from the repairs which are eventually carried out at your chosen repairer.

Even though this exchange of correspondence may mean that it will take a week or so longer to have your repairs carried out, I think you should do this in order to protect yourself in the best way possible

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Thank you so much for the detailed and incredibly prompt reply I really appreciate it. I shall go with the second suggestion and keep this thread updated on how it goes

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You haven't told us the name of the dealer.

Also, just to recap – any intervention by you could possibly need the dealer to consider that they are relieved of any further statutory responsibility for your car. This is why you have to establish a very clear paper trail and make sure that you inform them about every step you are going to take – and hopefully get their approval.

At the same time, I would suggest that you get another full MOT from somebody you trust – and obviously they will be independent and yet the car generally checked out for any possible defects.
The MOT and checks do not need to be communicated to the dealer – and you probably shouldn't tell them because it will alert them to possible trouble.

 

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Thank you once again BankFodder, I like the idea of an independent inspection as I guess there’s a risk of other issues arising here, not least anything raised by the specialist who services it.

 

The dealer is Marshall Audi in Sydenham, London.
 

qq - do I first reject the car as per your first post to lock these issues in within the first 30 days, or is the course of actions in your second post sufficient?

 

Meantime I will also push the garages I have spoken to for written quotes as all were over the phone. Old habits die hard!

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I don't see any downside in providing them with a letter of rejection. Make sure that you are clear to them that this is pursuant to the consumer rights act 2015 and the under the consumer rights act, they would be responsible for the cost of returning the car.
Tell them that by this letter you are asserting your right to reject – but after that you are prepared to explore other avenues and you are having various inspections carried out. And that you will be in contact with them.
However ask them for a response to your letter of rejection.
Once again, to forget that you shouldn't have any work done without letting them know in advance

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