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Used car purchased, multiple faults from day 1 but dealer will not agree to refund - A Owen Motor Group

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I purchased a second hand car that immediately has lots of faults, some significant, and the dealer is refusing a refund even though I notified them on the first working day after delivery (day 3 of the 30 day right to refund period). Having done a lot of internet detective work I now fear I'm a victim of the Crown Motor Group hiding behind a trading name and I would appreciate advice on what to do next.


  • 2013 golf 1.6 TDI SE Bluemotion
  • purchased 23 July 2021 for £6600
  • approx 76k miles on the clock
  • advertised as lovely to drive with all the features I was looking for, such as cruise control and eco driving mode
  • I did the MOT checker, checked the mileage rang true and checked against insurance right offs in advance, all appeared fine
  • I was able to view the vehicle before purchase and take on a very short drive within the industrial estate but not further due to having almost no fuel
  • we agreed the price subject to some scratches being repainted, a window switch replaced, full service including cambelt and water pump
  • I was sold it with a 6 month national warranty and delivery (16 miles away) - there were WarrantyWise signs everywhere
  • paperwork was to be shared on delivery
  • I paid by bank transfer on the day due to being informed that they were unable to take remote card payments of that size. They told me the bank account name is Crown Motor Direct not A Owen Motor Group


The car was delivered at 4pm on 23 July on a truck, I was handed a receipt to sign and the new owner V5 slip and the delivery guys sped away saying they were so busy with sales from A Owen Motor Group (7 that day). I asked for warranty paperwork and they told me it was being sent by email. 


On 24 July I drove the car to visit family, a round trip distance of around 240 miles. Immediately apparent

  • the engine warning light came on on start-up (not previously apparent)
  • the multifunction steering wheel controls did not work at all (unable to test on viewing as couldn't get up to speed to use cruise settings etc)
  • the cruise control did not work at all (unable to test on viewing as couldn't get up to speed)
  • driver assist did not work at all (unable to test on viewing as couldn't get up to speed)
  • the start-stop did not work consistently
  • the auto-hold brake function did not release consistently and when it stuck I couldn't move away from traffic lights
  • the vehicle stuck in gear and stuck on the street on one occasion whilst I was reversing from drive
  • there were lots of smaller faults too that you might expect for a second hand car but which may not warrant a complaint (e.g. glovebox aircon not working, fuel cap failing to lock, upholstery nicks, stone chips in bonnet).


From this point on all correspondence has been by email and I haven't used the car for my purposes (only to get it to the garage). I have never received a warranty and not yet had the V5 log book. 


I contacted the dealer at 9am on Monday 26th, who told me get a mobile mechanic to my property to provide diagnostic fault codes and assess the clutch then email Alex at [email protected] who would authorise repairs at a local garage. I did this. The mechanic also spotted that the radiator fan was off its mountings and had partially worn through two hoses, coolant and antifreeze and this would have been going on for some time due to the damage. Alex refused liability and offered £250 good will gesture. I refused this and mentioned my rights under CTA. Alex then requested a full quote. I got the vehicle to a local garage who provided a costed breakdown for those faults that were easy to diagnose (clutch, hoses) and listed the other faults that would need further diagnostics to fix (as mentioned above). All the faults I had experienced had fault codes when the diagnostics were run, the list of codes was long. Also, the mechanic put a camera into the engine to check the works that had been agreed - the cambelt was new but the water pump appeared rusty and not replaced; the splash cover under the engine had not been removed for a long time evidence by being full of dried leaves and gravel and there was no evidence of an oil change. There was a cut hole through the wheel arch liner to get access to the cam belt, which now exposes the engine to dirt and spray. On returning the car from the garage the clutch again stuck, this time out of gear going between 3 and 2 turning into a side street. After stopping we were able to free the pedal which had stuck in a down position and get the vehicle the final mile home.


Alex refused to fix the issues except the clutch and did not offer a value for the repairs. on 31 July I formally wrote (email) requesting a full refund under the CTA as it was neither satisfactory quality or as described. I have spoken the Citizens Advice and informally to a solicitor. After some more back and forth whereby Alex refuted my claim that my rights had been breeched, on 03 August he told me I must return the vehicle for inspection and that they have 14 days to issue refund for the date they agree to this. 


I returned the vehicle on 4 August. I spoke to the same sales person (Gabriel) who sold me the car and looked blank when I explained why I was there, even though he had been copied into all correspondence and my email was visible on his screen. He accepted the car and said it would be on the ramp that afternoon and a report sent straight away. When questioned about where my warranty papers were, he told me the warranty was that they pay for acceptable costs for acceptable repairs anywhere hence the word national and its not an external company (WarrantyWise signs seem to mean nothing). 


No news by 10 August so I sent another email asking for a resolution. No news by 12 August so another email sent, this time specifying a date by which I would expect resolution and refund (14 days after the vehicle was dropped off to them) and should that not materialize I would begin county court action to recoup the full vehicle costs and consequential losses, e.g. mechanics reports, call outs. Overnight I had a response that there is nothing wrong with the clutch and they have reset the cruise control and that if it is not removed from their premises by the end of the week (date not specified) they would change for storage (costs not specified). 


Today I found company details of Crown Motor Direct which matched what I was told was their bank account name, and the name of the Director Ahmed Alwaheeb. This led me to another thread on this group linking them to A Owen Motor group which appears to be a front for Crown Motor Direct (and other trading names that have since folded), and the name Gabriel as one of their sales people. It also exposed the horrors others have gone through trying to obtain refunds from these people, and unbelievably the investigation reported in the Daily Mail where they've forged Notices of Discontinuation in the courts when people are trying to get their money back.


I don't have the means to wait years for resolution and I have just about exhausted the back and forth with Alex and the dealers. 


I plan to retrieve the vehicle - I am getting quotes to have it transported in case the clutch goes again and causes an accident. Otherwise they have my money and asset. After speaking to Citizens Advice they've told me trading standards are interested in speaking to me but from another thread I read on here it seems the Crown Motor Direct group have no worries about Trading Standards or the courts.


I will pursue them through small claims but I don't know whether I should hold off for a refund or pay for repairs and claim for the repairs and other consequential losses. My health is suffering - I can't sleep. I worry that there is a can of worms in the issues with the car so I have always wanted a refund, but if others previously have found themselves without payment despite courts ruling in their favour and bailiff involvement I am worried that I am going to be left without money or transport if I hold for the refund. I bought the car to replace another VW golf - its old and high mileage though still within its MOT. I have re-insured it a week ago after 2 weeks without transport but its not going to keep going forever.


Any advice would be appreciated - what do I do? 






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Please monitor this thread for a full reply later.

Although it is too late for you, the fact that they refused to take card payments should have rung warning bells and that was a big mistake.


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