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    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 4th Nov 18, 6:57 PM
    • 100Posts
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    greendoor665
    Bought car, head gasket blew 29 days later
    • #1
    • 4th Nov 18, 6:57 PM
    Bought car, head gasket blew 29 days later 4th Nov 18 at 6:57 PM
    Hi there,

    My girlfriend recently passed her test and I helped her buy a car. On Saturday 6th October she purchased a used Peugeot 207 for 1600 from a used car dealer, using a debit card. I had inspected the car, looking inn and under the bonnet, and took it for a short test drive, and all seemed OK.

    We left the car at the dealer overnight while we sorted insurance and tax then came and collected it the next day. Since then the car has done about 1000 miles without issue.

    In the early hours of this morning, the 4th November, the battery charge warning light came on and then the car lost power and broke down while I was driving it. The car was picked up by a recovery truck and is now at my house.

    Upon inspecting the car, the alternator belt is missing (presumably it snapped off shortly before the breakdown), there is a low coolant level, there is oil in the remaining coolant and oil is leaking from the underside of the engine. I believe this means the head gasket has blown, which is an expensive repair.

    I phoned the dealer earlier today at 2PM and informed them that the head gasket had blown. The guy I spoke to was not the one I bought the car from , but I gave him the details and he asked me to call back tomorrow wheh they would have the paperwork together.

    Given the serious nature of the faults I think it's best we get a refund and try again with a different car. I am aware of the statutory right to a refund within 30 days, but is this from when I make the dealer aware of the fault? I am wary that they will try to weasel out of it as tomorrow is 30 days after she bought the car.

    What if the dealer denies the phone call today took place? How should I proceed in order to make sure she gets a full refund? I could send a letter but I'm aware letters are usually deemed to have been received 2 working days after posting which would be outside the 30 day window.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
Page 2
    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 9th Nov 18, 6:30 PM
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    • 182 Thanks
    greendoor665
    Update:

    After being fobbed off by the dealer over the phone on Sunday and Monday, as the owner was "away til Friday", I sent an email outlining the situation and called back today.

    The owner tried to claim they the car was sold without warranty and it was after 30 days so I had no rights. He also claimed it was a "sold as seen trade clearance" and that was written on the receipt. That's a lie and I knew it, but I didn't have the receipt with me to double check this.

    He also said something about a discount meaning we had no rights. I explained all of this was meaningless and that we had rights under the CRA 2015 as he had sold to a consumer, and that the car was not marketed as a trade sale. I said he clearly doesn't understand the law, and he had the cheek to tell me that I was the one who didn't. What a cowboy!

    He said he would "check the paperwork" and asked me to call back tomorrow. As far as I'm concerned if he doesn't offer to refund tomorrow then I'll be sending an LBA. I double checked the the receipt when I got home and it says nothing of the sort, not that it would matter anyway.

    I am determined to get my partner's money back for this car, I certainly don't trust these wideboys to repair it! If no satisfactory response to my call or LBA, I will be trying a debit card chargeback. If that fails, it's small claims court and I'm sure we'll win against this mug.
    Last edited by greendoor665; 09-11-2018 at 6:55 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 9th Nov 18, 6:35 PM
    • 11,181 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    If that fails, it's small claims court and I'm sure we'll win against this mug.
    Originally posted by greendoor665
    Winning at Small Claims is only half the battle, actually getting your money can be harder. Dodgy car dealers are well known for "phoenixing".
    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 9th Nov 18, 6:58 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    greendoor665
    Winning at Small Claims is only half the battle, actually getting your money can be harder. Dodgy car dealers are well known for "phoenixing".
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Yes I know...hoping that either they will refund or that a debit card chargeback will work.

    They're a registered limited company, the director has only one previous directorship which was a non trading company unrelated to car sales.
    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 10th Nov 18, 4:11 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    greendoor665
    Phoned them again today. The dealer used the same tactics as yesterday, trying various lines such as the car was sold as seen (lie), we have no warranty (irrelevant), 30 days have passed (not since I first let them know) etc.

    No more calls, time to write a letter before action!
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 10th Nov 18, 4:15 PM
    • 10,422 Posts
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    shaun from Africa
    Don't forget that should it get as far as court, you are still responsible for proving that the fault exists and more importantly, that the fault was present or due to something that was present when the car was sold.
    If the judge asks for this proof and you can't supply it, they may well dismiss the case.
    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 10th Nov 18, 4:40 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    greendoor665
    But even if we weren't entitled to a refund under the short term right to reject, we'd still be entitled to a repair or refund under the 30 day to 6 month rule, in which case the responsibility for proving the fault didnt exist is down to the dealer?

    As it stands the dealer is refusing to deal with this at all and denying that we have any rights. Surely the magistrate would take a dim view of their conduct so far?

    How could I prove that the fault existed when the car was sold? A mechanic's report? I'm reluctant to throw good money after bad at this point.

    I believe the dealer certainly couldn't prove that the fault didn't exist. I think they either sold us a faulty car deliberately, or failed to check the car properly before selling it.
    • chuffniut
    • By chuffniut 11th Nov 18, 1:25 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    chuffniut
    But even if we weren't entitled to a refund under the short term right to reject, we'd still be entitled to a repair or refund under the 30 day to 6 month rule, in which case the responsibility for proving the fault didnt exist is down to the dealer?

    As it stands the dealer is refusing to deal with this at all and denying that we have any rights. Surely the magistrate would take a dim view of their conduct so far?

    How could I prove that the fault existed when the car was sold? A mechanic's report? I'm reluctant to throw good money after bad at this point.

    I believe the dealer certainly couldn't prove that the fault didn't exist. I think they either sold us a faulty car deliberately, or failed to check the car properly before selling it.
    Originally posted by greendoor665
    Firstly, you aren't entitled to a refund because you can't prove the fault was existing at the point of delivery. The fact you have done 1000 miles in the car also suggests this wasn't there when the car was sold to you. It would be very difficult to prove to a judge that the car had a blown headgasket at the point of sale. The dealer doesn't have to prove anything at this point. You're not entitled to a refund from day 31 to 6 months unless the dealer has had an opportunity to repair and failed in doing so. So I'd forget about getting a refund right now.

    The dealer is undoubtedly fobbing you off, the term "sold as seen" or "trade clearance" is simply smoke and mirrors and trading standards would be most interested in the dealers if you can prove they are operating with such tactics.

    You're entitled to a repair because the goods supplied are not of satisfactory quality and no judge would disagree with that imo. You've had the car less than a month and you're entitled to expect it to not develop a major fault in that time.

    Chances are the dealer hasn't sold you a faulty car (1000 miles later suggests it wasn't faulty) and he may well have checked it thoroughly. It's just unfortunate that this has happened. You've paid 1600 for a used car, it is end of life, it's expected that there will be problems of some degree or another.

    But I'd say 100% you have a right to repair. I reckon what will happen is if you write an lba demanding a repair under the CRA 2015 the dealer may well give you a refund anyway to get rid of you, fix the car and resell to someone else.

    At worst you'll get a repair, or you should do. Be prepared to saddle up though, it doesn't look like the dealer is behaving himself. He's basically hoping you'll disappear. Forget getting a refund for now and focus on getting what you're entitled to, a repair.

    To answer how you prove the fault was existing at the point of sale, well, in your case, you can't. The fault has developed. If you had the car for say 20 miles and this happened, well, that would be different. Or, if you had the car 300 miles and the gearbox vomited on your drive. Gearboxes don't just give up in such a short space of time.

    But headgaskets COULD fail over 1000 miles so don't waste your time trying to prove something you can't. Bear in mind you have bought a used car from a dealer, you're entitled to some recourse but you have bought an end of life car and need to accept that.
    • greendoor665
    • By greendoor665 11th Nov 18, 7:36 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    greendoor665
    OK, thanks for that, certainly food for thought!

    One point I forgot to mention, the dealer didn't write the mileage down on the receipt or any documentation so they can't prove how many miles we've done...
    • chuffniut
    • By chuffniut 11th Nov 18, 10:15 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    chuffniut
    OK, thanks for that, certainly food for thought!

    One point I forgot to mention, the dealer didn't write the mileage down on the receipt or any documentation so they can't prove how many miles we've done...
    Originally posted by greendoor665
    They don't have to prove anything at this stage.

    If in theory, this went to court you may be asked for your proof that the fault was pre-existing, you may also be asked how many miles you covered. Unless of course, you're planning on telling fibs the truth will out. You can't provide proof of the fault being a pre-existing one so your right to a refund under the 30 day short term right to reject is nullified. Push for a repair though.
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