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Vulcan Motor Company, Norwich - Problems with a 2nd hand car sale


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I'm sorry to say that I'm a bit worried by some of the questions you are asking. It suggest very strongly to me that you haven't really read up on the steps involve taking a small claim in the County Court.

We are here to help you and to support you very closely – and I think you know that by now. However, we aren't here to do all the work for you. There is a mutuality here and we expect you to do your bit by reading up and knowing the steps in advance.

This forum is about self empowerment and if you do read up in advance and you are confident of the steps, then if you find yourself in the same kinds of problems in the future everything will be much easier for you

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I have had a response from the legal team

 

Quote

We write to you on behalf of the above-named client in response to your letter dated 30 November, 1 and 4 December 2021.

First, we note on 17 November 2021 you purchased a Honda FRV registration number XXX for the price of £3,500.

At the time of sale the vehicle was over 14 years old and had an odometer reading of approximately 99,488 miles.

Patently the vehicle was well used and part worn at the time of sale and the issue of satisfactory quality must be viewed in such context.

We understand that on 25 November 2021, over 1 week and 366 miles after sale, you had the vehicle inspected at a local garage who advised that the brake calliper was seized.

You proceeded to have this item repaired at a cost of £283.20. As a result of the above, you now seek to reject the vehicle and receive a full refund of the purchase price, in addition to the repair cost incurred.

To be entitled to reject the vehicle in accordance with the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the onus is on you to prove the vehicle is faulty.

As you have had the vehicle repaired and the vehicle remains fault free, you can no longer seek to reject the vehicle and receive a full refund.

As regards the cost of repairs, it is not accepted that our client has any liability to reimburse any repair costs.

Our client avers that the vehicle was fault free, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose at the time of sale, as required. The vehicle passed an independent MOT on 17 November 2021 with no advisories and the vehicle was deemed roadworthy as a result.

Further, the vehicle passed a pre-delivery inspection without issue or incident, as required. Moreover, if the vehicle’s brake calliper was seized at the time of sale, it would not have been possible for you to cover some 366 miles before experiencing an issue. We are also in receipt of text messages sent to our client which confirm that on 17 November 2021 at 19:47, you confirmed that you arrived home safely and that the car drove lovely.

Evidently the vehicle has merely suffered an issue post-sale, which our client cannot be held liable for.

We refer you to Section 23(6) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which entitles our client to the right to a reasonable opportunity to carry out a repair themselves.

You did not provide our client with any opportunity to inspect or repair the goods themselves.

On 23 November 2021 our client specifically requested you to call them once a diagnosis had been carried out.

You ignored this request and proceeded to repair the vehicle with the expectation of our client to cover the cost.

Our client is not obliged to cover any third-party repair costs carried out without their knowledge of or consent.

Our client further avers that you have failed to mitigate your loss.

Our client would have been able to carry out the same repair at a significantly cheaper trade cost. Nowithstanding the above, as a gesture of goodwill only and not as an acceptance of liability, our client previously offered to contribute 50% towards the repair costs, which you declined.

To be clear, this offer now stands withdrawn.

For the aforementioned reasons, our client will not be accepting your rejection of the vehicle, nor will they be covering the cost of any repairs.

 

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Okay, that lets you know your position.

In terms of the offer they may – which is apparently now withdrawn because you have bought a second-hand vehicle, it is quite likely that if a judge had to make a decision as to damages, you would not be awarded damages which would return that part of the vehicle to an "as new" condition.

You would only be able to collect a proportion of the damages to represent the fact that you had bought a car with a certain amount of wear on anyway.

It could be that 65% or 75% might be fair.

What they say about viewing satisfactory quality in its context is absolutely correct. You are entitled to enjoy a vehicle of satisfactory quality after taking into consideration the age and the mileage et cetera.

However 366 miles for a vehicle which cost you £3500 seems to me not of satisfactory quality.

They refer to the consumer rights act and say that it gives their client a right to carry out a repair. I don't think that's correct. It entitles you to demand a repair.
Not only that, any repair rights only occur after the first 30 days of ownership. Within the first 30 days, there is generally speaking a presumption that the defect was there at the time of purchase and also you simply have a right to reject.

Of course the other thing that they are overlooking is that the car was not roadworthy when it was sold. However they have made the point that it drove for 366 miles before the caliper seized up.

What can you tell us about that please?

Finally, I may have asked you this before but then you will have to you simply answer again. Are there any other defects? Would you be prepared to keep the car if you were reimbursed for any expenses so far – or do you now simply want to get rid of it.

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The journey home was 72 miles

I used the car every day to and from work which is a 30 mile round trip which equates to 120 miles and went to London and back the weekend after I bought it, another 130 miles round trip roughly which was all before the repair took place

I also continued to drive it after the repair as advised on this thread and was driving it to and from work and have been to Cambridge and back (another 140 miles round trip) for a hospital appointment. I haven't driven the car since Saturday when I was advised not to drive it anymore.

 

They omit the fact that although yes I did text him to let him know I'd gotten home safe and the car drove lovely, a text he responded to, I followed that with another text stating we had heard a noise and that text he ignored.

 

The car is booked in for full diagnostics, I am just on my way to take it there now. I have just spoken to the technician who replaced the parts and he stated again there would have been no way possible that even if I had driven 366 miles since purchase, that the brakes would have worn to nothing in that time and therefore was obviously a questionable MOT as low brake pads would have been an advisory at least and there was none.

 

I would have been happy for him to pay for the repairs to start with however, how he has dealt with the matter has made me worry that should anything else go wrong, he will be a nightmare to deal with and I would rather not have any further dealings with him.

 

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I have just heard back from the garage, there are no other faults with the car however, they have checked back at the past MOT and the car failed on 3rd November on 'service brake excessively binding (both rear)'

 

This means they knew the calipers were seizing and instead of replacing them, just unseized them to get it through the MOT.

 

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Quote

Dear XXX

Reference number XXX

Further to my letter of claim dated XXX, with the assistance of the garage which carried out the work on the brakes and also checked the vehicle, I have now discovered that the vehicle failed an MOT on 3 November. The reasons stated was "service break excessively binding (both rear)".

Clearly there was already a serious problem with the brakes and the fact that a relatively short time afterwards the car was put through a new MOT and passed strengthens my suspicion that the MOT was not correctly carried out.

I see that you have given an account to the people who are passing as your legal advisers – but what you have apparently not told them is that I sent you an SMS on the date that I drove the vehicle home flagging up that I had heard a strange noise.

It is significant that you did not respond to this message.

As it is now completely clear that you were well aware of the brakes problem because of the failure of the prior MOT and because of the question mark which now hangs over the new MOT which accompanied the vehicle when I bought it, I am informing you that I have lost confidence completely.

In the forthcoming legal action I shall be seeking complete reimbursement of the price of the car plus the costs which I have incurred plus interest which is currently at 8%.

I shall make it clear to the court that this car was sold in unroadworthy condition contrary to the Highways Act and that in view of the MOT failure followed swiftly by the MOT pass, the only conclusion to be drawn is that you were fully aware that you decided to sell the car anyway.

This is a criminal offence.

Once obtain the judgement you can be certain that I shall pass a copy of it to Trading Standards, to the police and also make sure that it is circulated on social media.

In view of the fact that I'm now rejecting the vehicle instead of requiring reimbursement of the cost of repair, I'm extending the deadline on my letter of claim by a further seven days.

However there will be no further extensions.

Yours sincerely


Read the above letter. Check it for typos because I'm using dictation software. Make sure that it is accurate and if you agree with the contents and if you are happy to send it then send it off.

Have you started preparing your claim yet on the money claim website? If not then get going.

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Post the details of your claim here before you click it off.

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4 hours ago, Fringer said:

... however, they have checked back at the past MOT and the car failed on 3rd November on 'service brake excessively binding (both rear)'

 

This means they knew the calipers were seizing and instead of replacing them, just unseized them to get it through the MOT.

 

 

Out of curiosity, if you go to the check-MOT-history website, what does it say it failed on?  Is what you've quoted the actual wording they've used?

 

WWW.GOV.UK

Check the MOT history of a vehicle from 2005 onwards, including if it passed or failed, its mileage and why it failed

 

The reason I ask is because I'm not sure the historic MOT fail is necessarily as damning as you may think it is in establishing the vehicle as subsequently either unroadworthy or of unsatisfactory quality.  I've just checked my car's last MOT (six months ago) and I was surprised to see that it had initially failed before the garage fixed the fault in question and re-tested it.  The garage told me that the car had needed a new bulb, but they didn't tell me they had first failed it before testing it.  I suspect that before my car was tested it may actually have been unroadworthy, but not after testing because the fault had been fixed.

 

What I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't necessarily put too much reliance on the earlier MOT fail as giving particular support to your claim.  The MOT history is a public record and is there for everybody* to see.  If there were anything "dodgy" going on the seller would have been daft to put the car through a MOT without first making sure it would pass.

 

*Anybody can see the MOT history (including details of fails, advisories and mileage) of any car so long as they know the reg number.  It can be a useful check before buying a used car.   If you have the V5C number you can also check where it was tested... 

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I think the evidential value here is that it failed an MOT on breaks a short time before the new MOT – which itself was a very short time before the brakes actually failed. Furthermore, it is clear from seized calipers that this was a long-term deterioration of the braking system. Not a sudden failure

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This is the past MOT which was done 14 days before it was passed

 

Date tested3 November 2021

FAIL

View test certificate

Mileage99,484 miles

Do not drive until repaired (dangerous defects):

  • Nearside Rear Tyre tread depth below requirements of 1.6mm (5.2.3 (e))

Repair immediately (major defects):

  • Offside Front Position lamp not working (4.2.1 (a) (ii))
  • Engine MIL inoperative or indicates a malfunction (8.2.1.2 (h))
  • Offside Rear Anti-roll bar ball joint excessively worn Link (5.3.4 (a) (i))
  • Service brake excessively binding Both rear (1.2.1 (f))
  • Parking brake efficiency below requirements (1.4.2 (a) (i))

Monitor and repair if necessary (advisories):

  • Service brake binding but not excessively Both front (1.2.1 (f))
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In the meantime with all this I am left carless 

My elderly and disabled mother relies on me for shopping, I have no transport to get back and forth to work

This whole situation is causing me a nightmare - it shouldn't be allowed for him to get away with this!

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I agree. When does your letter of claim expire?

Have you started drafting your claim yet?

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with the 7 day extension he has until the 21st December

I am actually booked to go away on the 23rd and now have no vehicle to use 

I have started drafting the claim yes, it's all ready to go 

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So post the draft here

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Yes. Put it in a quote box

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Quote

Claim amount

Claim amount breakdown
 
Changeclaim amount breakdown
Refund of unroadworthy motor vehicle
£3,500
Changerefund of unroadworthy motor vehicle
Costs of repair incurred
£228
Changecosts of repair incurred
Costs of recovery of parts incurred
£55.20
Changecosts of recovery of parts incurred
Total
£3,783.20
Changetotal
How do you want to claim interest?
Same rate for the whole period
Changehow do you want to claim interest?
What rate of interest do you want to claim?
8.00%
Changewhat rate of interest do you want to claim?
When are you claiming interest from?
A particular date
Changewhen are you claiming interest from?
Date interest applied from
17 November 2021
Changedate interest applied from
Explain why you’re claiming from this date
This is the date I purchased the vehicle
 
When do you want to stop claiming interest?
Continue until the claim is settled or judgment made
Changewhen do you want to stop claiming interest?
Help With Fees reference number
None
Changehelp with fees reference number

Total amount

Claim amount
£3,783.20
 
Interest to date
£20.73
 
Claim fee
£205
 
Total
£4,008.93
 

Claim details

Why you believe you’re owed the money:
I purchased a motor vehicle registration number XXX for £3500 on 17th November 2021. Although the vehicle had received an MOT on the day of purchase within six days it manifested serious braking problems. An earlier MOT test just a few days prior to the sale was shown as a "fail" precisely on the basis that the brakes were in an unroadworthy condition. An inspection revealed that the brakes were in a dangerous condition and that it should not have passed the second MOT. It was clear that the brake had been in this condition for some time and it is not understood how the car passed its second MOT.  The brakes have been retained as evidence.
The car is not of satisfactory quality in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.The claimant asserted his right to reject the vehicle within the first 30 days but the defendant refused to comply with their statutory obligations. Furthermore, the car has been sold in a dangerous condition and is unroadworthy in breach of section 75 Road traffic act 1988. The defendant refuses to reimburse the claimant. The claimant seeks reimbursement of £3500 plus £283.20 expenses plus interest pursuant to section 69 County Court act 1984
Changewhy you believe you’re owed the money:
Timeline of what happened
 
Changetimeline of what happened
28 Oct 21
Paid £250 deposit for vehicle XXX
Change28 oct 21
17 Nov 21
Collected vehicle XXX and paid balance of £3250
Change17 nov 21
17 Nov 21
Advised defendant of strange noise on journey home, no response
Change17 nov 21
23 Nov 21
Advised defendant of serious noise coming from brakes, advised to have recovered to garage for diagnostic
Change23 nov 21
24 Nov 21
Advised defendant rear caliper seized solid and brake pads non existent. Offered half of cost for repair which was declined
Change24 nov 21
29 Nov 21
Emailed the defendant requesting a full refund
Change29 nov 21
30 Nov 21
Recorded delivery letter sent to defendant giving him 14 days to refund the cost and collect the vehicle as in breach of Section 75 of Road Traffic Act 1988 and Consumer Rights Act
Change30 nov 21
4 Dec 21
Recorded delivery letter sent to defendant stating further costs incurred
Change4 dec 21
Your evidence (optional)
Photos of seized braking system (original has been retained).
Changeyour evidence (optional)
Receipts
 
Changereceipts
Photo evidence
Copy of MOT dated 3.11.21 showing failed  and advisories Copy of MOT dated 17.11.21 showing a pass and no advisories
Changephoto evidence
Photo evidence
Photographic evidence of removed caliper and brake pads
Changephoto evidence
Letters, emails and other correspondence
Texts, emails and letters sent to and from Vulcan Motor Company
Changeletters, emails and other correspondence
 
 
Edited by BankFodder
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I've made a few alterations. Check them out to see if you agree.

Also, what about the ancillary losses that you have suffered?

 

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I agree with your changes, I will implement them now

 

I wouldn't want to push anything further charges wise as he seems adamant that he is not liable to pay anything, it's just so frustrating! 

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Yes you will get your court fees back if you win – and you probably will.

I don't understand why you say you are concerned about pushing further charges simply because he is adamant that he won't pay. After all that's why you're bringing the legal action in the first place isn't it?

List out all ancillary losses. Don't spare anything. Let's see it all.
This includes the costs of travelling to collect the car and to return with it – everything.

Don't issue any claim until it is complete and we have seen it and we have agreed it

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I am just worried that's all. I have spoken to a few people in work about this and they are under the impression I wont get anywhere with it but I am sticking with your advice and pushing ahead as I feel I am right to

 

The only other expense I have had is the train ticket for myself and my partner to collect the car on the day of purchase which was £5 each and I no longer have the receipt for these but for the small cost, I am willing to let that go

 

I haven't hired a car or been to work since as I am lucky enough to be able to work from home whilst I am off the road, it's just a pain as I could do with going into the office

My mother has had to rely on someone else for shopping which I presume I would have to have fuel receipts or something and I am not sure the third party would have now

 

 

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What reason do your friends say that you won't get anywhere with this claim?

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Because I had the work carried out without giving him the option to fix it himself

 

We use a guy at work to collect bad debts and I asked his opinion

this was his response so he agrees I should go ahead but doesn't think I will get anywhere 

 

Quote

Generally, the rules when buying a car are governed by the terms “Caveat Emptor” which, in layman’s terms, means “Let the buyer beware”.

 

It is the responsibility of the buyer to establish the worth etc. of any purchase unless there is a written warranty as to its reliability.

 

Nevertheless, the advice you’ve already received to pursue recovery via Money Claim Online citing relevant Section(s) of the CCA seems worth pursuing based upon the circumstances you mentioned during our conversation today.

 

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