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Doves in Horsham/Santander Car Finance - Mercedes water ingress 7 months after purchase


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We purchased our Mercedes in September 2023 from Doves in Horsham for £21k, paying half cash and half on finance.

We also purchased warranty for life via Ramp as recommended by Doves.

On 12th May 2024 the car failed to recognise the key and wouldn’t not open, the AA could not identify the problem, via our warranty the car was taken to Mercedes in Croydon.

After 3 weeks the problem was finally identified as water ingress in the drivers side footwell which has corroded and blown various components.

After further investigation it was discovered the windscreen was date stamped 2019 (all the windows are 2018 - therefore not the factory fitted windscreen)

The leak has developed due to incorrect sealant being used assuming when this was replaced and also water leaking from the seam.

The warranty company do not cover water ingress, we are now faced with a bill of £3635.

As we are now at 8 months since purchase (problem started at just over 7 months) we are not covered by the consumer rights acts.

Would we be covered Sale of Goods Act?

We have all the reports for the works being completed but unsure if this should be taken to the finance company or Doves who we purchased the car from.

Do we pay for the works and then try and claim it back or should they be paying?

Any help would be much appreciated

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Welcome to the forum

34 minutes ago, Butterbean23 said:

As we are now at 8 months since purchase (problem started at just over 7 months) we are not covered by the consumer rights acts. Would we be covered Sale of Goods Act?

What makes you think that ?

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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We initially raised a complaint with the finance company who told us that as its over 6 months the consumer rights act won’t apply and we would need to provide evidence of the problem being there at purchase.

As we have only just got the report from Mercedes we haven’t been able to submit this within their 14 day timeframe.

Is this not the case then?

Thanks

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Your consumer rights within six months

If a product develops a fault within the first six months after purchase, it’s assumed it has been there since the time of purchase. This means it’s up to the retailer to prove it wasn’t there when you bought it.

If a repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund or price reduction.

Your consumer rights after six months

If a fault develops after six months, it’s up to you to prove it was faulty at the time of purchase or delivery.

 

.

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Ok thank you.

That’s where we are getting confused, as we’re not sure where we stand legally.

But we’re still unsure who we should be going to now, the dealer or the finance company?

I’m assuming the evidence we have (the reports from Mercedes) showing that the fault was there when we purchased would be sufficient to prove this?

To be honest we would prefer to send the car back completely as are now concerned more problems may arise.

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The finance company has a 50% stake (legal Owner) in the deal so I would certainly involve them.

As for the outstanding £3635 bill thats owing to Mercedes in Croydon I wouldn't be in a rush to settle that just yet and keep it in abeyance as leverage. 

Where are you at with Doves in Horsham ?

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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As gesture of goodwill,

we were eventually given a courtesy car from Mercedes (after numerous complaints from us on their lack of communication / misdiagnosis / time they’ve had the car - we’re now at over 4 weeks without our car)

They have literally just informed us it will be ready to collect tomorrow.

If we pay the cost, where will we stand?

It’s so hard to understand what we should do 😫

we will re open our complaint with the finance company then.

We emailed Doves yesterday informing them of all the problems (we have touched base with them and let them know prior to this) but they are yet to respond. 

Any further advice would be greatly appreciated! 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Doves in Horsham - Mercedes water ingress 7 months after purchase

the evidence you have from Mercedes is perfect.

simply write to both the finance company and the dealership that sold you the car, stating under the consumer rights Act 2015 should a fault appear outside of 6mts, it's for the consumer to prove the fault was present at time of sale.

Please find enclosed a copy of said report from Mercedes at XXXX stating quite clearly that the windscreen was replaced on Date , some xxx months/years BEFORE my purchase on DATE.

there is a bill to pay of XXX to XXX , i expect you to sort this out between yourselves , i am not liable for this.

something upon those lines anyway.

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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That’s great, thank you so much.

We will contact Doves and the finance company again and hope they will resolve it.

Out of interest, where would we stand if we did pay the costs?

Would we then be able to claim that back or should we just wait for a response from them before we take the car back from Mercedes? 
 

 

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you would most probably have to raise a court claim naming the dealership and the finance co as joint defendants. you'd win hands down.

@BankFodder is best for confirming this.

you don't 'contact them' you WRITE expressly exercising your right under CRA, etc as above.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I differ from my site team colleague slightly in the the six-month rule applies if you have asserted your rights within the six months.

My understanding is that you haven't asserted your rights during that time. In other words you haven't informed them that you are giving them a single opportunity to repair and if they decline or if the repair fails then you are rejecting the car for a refund.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

On that basis, you are covered by the consumer rights act but not in terms of the right to reject.

You are covered under the consumer rights act in that you are entitled to purchase a vehicle which is of satisfactory quality and remains that way for a reasonable period of time. You don't have to prove that the fault existed at the time of sale – although that's what they will try to tell you and even the motoring ombudsman will try to tell you that. But the motoring ombudsman is an industry led organisation which pretends to be an ombudsman but in fact favours the industry and its advice is wrong and even deceptive.

I think you should start off by writing both to the finance company and also to the dealership. Describe the fault to them. Send them the evidence you have that the windscreen was incorrectly fitted and the damage which has been caused as a result. Send in the quotation for the work and require them to respond within seven days and that they must agree that the work will be carried out by a competent professional an authorised repairer. Not one of their cheapskate once.

Also, you will want them to agree to provide you with a courtesy car.

Also have you incurred any expenses associated with this? Travel, car hire, cost of inspections –??

Have you told us the name of the finance company?

My site team colleague is correct that if they cause any trouble then you should see them as co-defendants. You can be certain that they will put their hands up. It will go to court. You would sue them for the cost of the work. You would recover your costs of the installation plus your court costs.

I don't think you will be able to sue for the rejection of the vehicle on the basis of what you tell us in terms of having not asserted your rights.

However you will be able to recover the cost of all the works – making good everything so that the car is in the condition that it would have been in had the replacement windscreen been properly fitted.

I wonder who fitted the replacement windscreen? I think I would be out to sue them as well.

Post the draft of your letter to the dealership and also to the finance company here so that we can have a look before you send it off.

Incidentally to answer your question about what should you do immediately,  I would suggest that you send the letter tomorrow.

Wait until the end of the week. If they don't respond or if they respond negatively, then write to them immediately and tell them that you are not prepared to do without the vehicle. As they have failed to respond to your putting work in hand and you will be approaching them for the costs of all the repairs and if they cause you any difficulty in you will simply sue them.

A bill of about £4000 is easy. It puts you within the small claims track so there is no risk of costs even if you lose – which is most unlikely on the basis of what you say

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2 hours ago, dx100uk said:

stating under the consumer rights Act 2015 should a fault appear outside of 6mts, it's for the consumer to prove the fault was present at time of sale.

  

4 hours ago, Butterbean23 said:

we were eventually given a courtesy car from Mercedes

44 minutes ago, Butterbean23 said:

Yes we will be emailing them.

NO YOU WRITE.

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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That’s really useful info, thank you.

You are correct,

we did not assert our rights as the issue only developed just over 7 months after purchase.

When the problem arose we chose to use Mercedes via the warranty company (RAMP)

After a lengthy (3 weeks) and complex investigation Mercedes could not fault find without extra hours being approved, which we reluctantly had to do.

Most of the costs incurred are for labour to locate the issue.

Therefore all works on the car have now been completed by Mercedes in Croydon.

They have provided us with a courtesy car which we have so far had for 1 week.

I’m guessing we won’t be able to wait that long for a response from Doves as Mercedes will want the balance settled? 

Finance was via Santander, we luckily haven’t incurred any expenses only extreme  stress, cancel numerous arrangements and manage family life without a vehicle for 4 weeks 😢

No one seems to know who replaced the windscreen, the car has full (3 years) Mercedes service history and we have tried to contact the garage where the services were completed to see if they can shed any light but they are impossible to speak to. 

Thank you again!

I’ll update with a draft of our email in the morning 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Doves in Horsham/Santander Car Finance - Mercedes water ingress 7 months after purchase
12 hours ago, Butterbean23 said:

we did not assert our rights as the issue only developed just over 7 months after purchase.

13 hours ago, BankFodder said:

On that basis, you are covered by the consumer rights act but not in terms of the right to reject.

Title updated for clarity

just to clarify matters, but once you have complained now/and asserted your rights under the act for this to be paid by 'them' FOC to you, should the vehicle again fail for anything related to the damage done by the incorrect fitting of the windscreen before you purchased then you CAN exercise your right to reject

is the car specifically identified on the finance agreement?

dx

 

.

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Waiting for you to post your draft letter

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Draft letter….

Quote

 

Please find attached response from Mercedes Croydon, along with pictures showing the root cause as water ingress over time. These pictures and the report indicate that the problem is pre-existing. Therefore, I expect Doves to take responsibility for the costs incurred, as per the Consumer Rights Act 2015 “should a fault appear outside of 6 months, it's for the consumer to prove the fault was present at time of sale” 

I called Doves seeking advice regarding the Mercedes I purchased on the 29th September 2023. On the 12th May 2024, the car lost contact with the keys, so I followed the warranty process and called the AA using my RAMP reference number. The AA attended but couldn't resolve the issue and diagnosed it as an electrical fault. Consequently, the car was recovered to Mercedes on the 16th of May. I chose Mercedes for their expertise and specialized diagnostic software that many garages wouldn’t have, hoping for a swift resolution.

After many days at Mercedes in Croydon, the fault was identified as water ingress from the front windscreen, which turns out, is not original. The windscreen has a date stamp of 2019, even though the car was registered in 2018. Therefore this clearly occurred some 3 years before I purchased the car and has been slowly deteriorating since the incorrect workmanship of the windscreen. This will also explain why the front trim around the window showed signs of damage when I purchased the car. I had asked for the trim to be replaced due to its noticeable damage, but Jack informed me that it would be too costly, so we negotiated this into the sale price. It seems this damage was caused by the windscreen being replaced. 

The car is now ready to be collected as works are complete and I expect the costs to be covered between yourself and would appreciate a swift response to resolve this.

 

 

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Sorry but first of all you are still referring to your six-month right to reject – but you didn't assert your right within six months so this is not relevant.

The situation is that you cannot reject the vehicle unless it is a write off or you have been deprived of the use of it for a significant period of time so that it can be said that you have been deprived of substantially the whole benefit of the contract. By my understanding that is not the case here.

Your complaint must be that they are in breach of contract because the vehicle is not satisfactory quality. Clearly because of the way the windscreen was fitted it was not satisfactory quality when it was purchased and it has not remained in satisfactory condition for a reasonable period of time – witness the leakage and the corrosion in the car.

On this basis you are holding them responsible for the cost of repairs which are £XXX and any ancillary costs reasonably incurred as a result of their breach of contract.

You are currently without the car and this is not a situation which can continue. You are enclosing the evidence plus quotations for repair and you want that by the end of the week you want them to agree to the repairs.

Broadly that.

Please post a draft as soon as possible. You don't want to hang around on this

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Thank you.

Can you explain what part needs to be amended.

I’m sorry, I don’t understand which part is referring to right to reject.

Should I be including 

they are in breach of contract because the vehicle is not satisfactory quality.

Clearly because of the way the windscreen was fitted it was not satisfactory quality when it was purchased and it has not remained in satisfactory condition for a reasonable period of time – witness the leakage and the corrosion in the car. 

instead of 

Therefore, I expect Doves to take responsibility for the costs incurred, as per the Consumer Rights Act 2015 “should a fault appear outside of 6 months, it's for the consumer to prove the fault was present at time of sale” 

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Have a look at this

Quote

Dear XXX

Vehicle registration number: XXX. Finance agreement – XXX

As you know, the vehicle which I purchased from XXX dealers on XX date and partly financed by Santander XX credit agreement XX has shown signs of water ingress and serious body corrosion.

We have raised the matter with Santander finance company who informed us that we would need to establish that the defect was there at the time of purchase.

I can now tell you that the cause of the water ingress was caused by an incorrectly fitted windscreen using a sealant not recommended by the manufacturer and it is obvious that this situation existed at the time of purchase.
In any event, I am entitled to purchase a vehicle which is in satisfactory condition and remains that way for a reasonable period of time. Clearly a Mercedes vehicle costing £21,000 should not be allowing water to enter the vehicle and should certainly not be rusting away for many years.

The Mercedes dealership at XX X place have carried out a detailed analysis and I am supplying you with a copy of their report which confirms what I have said above.
Furthermore I have obtained a quotation for the full cost of repairs which includes windscreen replacement and repair of corrosion so that the vehicle is returned to the condition that should have been in when it was sold to me.
The cost of these repairs will be £XXX.

In addition I have incurred certain costs as a result of this breach of contract – £XXX in respect of blah blah. I will also need to hire a vehicle for the duration of the repairs unless a courtesy car is provided to me.

I have been without the vehicle for XX weeks so far and as you can imagine this cannot continue. I require confirmation from you that you agree that I should go ahead with the repairs for the quoted price.

Given the urgency of the situation and the fact that I have no vehicle, I look forward to hearing from you on this matter within five days.

Yours

please check that it is all correct, fill in the blanks, if there is anything wrong then tell us. Anything you want to add. Anything you want to take away.

So, broadly this letter

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Brilliant, that’s amazing! Sorry for being so dumb, where we stand legally is very confusing but you’ve been extremely helpful.
 

I will keep you updated! 

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We want to see the completed letter first please

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One last query,

the works have already been agreed to by ourselves as we have had no choice and should be completed today.

should this paragraph be requesting payment rather than asking from them to agree to commence works? 

Also,

we currently have a courtesy car provided by Mercedes which will be required back when we collect the car

I don’t think we’ll need to be requesting a courtesy car from Doves, unless they want the car back to review themselves? 

9 hours ago, BankFodder said:

I have been without the vehicle for XX weeks so far and as you can imagine this cannot continue. I require confirmation from you that you agree that I should go ahead with the repairs for the quoted price.

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I realised that you are in a corner because you don't have the vehicle but nevertheless, it would have been much better for you to give the dealer and the finance company advance notice and give them an opportunity to object. This would put you in a very secure position.

Let me have a look at your proposed amendment and get back to you

And yes, the paragraph should be amended to request payment.

Please amend the paragraph and post your draft letter here

 

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Yes in hindsight that would have been the best course of action but due to Mercedes taking 4 weeks with misdiagnosis (which were initially classed as wear and tear - battery & fuses) and then correctly identify the problem we had no choice but to go ahead and agree to works being done. 

My partner has gone ahead and sent the following so I’m hoping it’s worded correctly. 

Vehicle registration number:. 

Finance agreement –

 As you know, the vehicle which I purchased from Doves Horsham on 29/9/23 and partly financed by Santander credit agreement has shown signs of water ingress and body corrosion.

 We have raised the matter with Santander finance company who informed us that we would need to establish that the defect was there at the time of purchase.

 I can now tell you that the cause of the water ingress was caused by incorrect sealant being used to fit the replacement windscreen and it is obvious that this situation existed at the time of purchase.

In any event, I am entitled to purchase a vehicle which is in satisfactory condition and remains that way for a reasonable period of time. Clearly a Mercedes vehicle costing £21,000 should not be allowing water to enter the vehicle and should certainly not be rusting away for many years.

 The Mercedes dealership at Croydon have carried out a detailed analysis and I am supplying you with a copy of their report which confirms what I have said above.

Furthermore I have obtained a quotation for the full cost of repairs which includes replacement sealant, repair of corrosion, replaced components that were affected and water testing so that the vehicle is returned to the condition that should have been in when it was sold to me.

 On this basis I hold you responsible for the cost of repairs which are £3301.48 including a 10% discount (£3653.28 before discount) - As a result of your breach of contract.

 I have been without the vehicle for 5 weeks so far and as you can imagine this cannot continue. I require confirmation that you will  be covering all costs incurred to fix this fault. 

 I look forward to hearing back from you  within 2 days however, given the urgency of the situation and the fact that the vehicle is now ready for collection from Mercedes, a sooner response would be appreciated

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