A man loses his job after a £11,000 BMW breaks down again is a familiar tale that I hear virtually every day, with the same issues arising with faulty cars that are not being remedied partly due to consumers not knowing their rights and customers losing out as a result.
This customer bought a 2013 white BMW for £11,000 in July 2018 and it broke down hours after driving it off the forecourt. The vehicle was kept for 8 days after a diagnosis being made that a faulty vacuum switch was to blame.
The car broke down again on the day he collected it from the garage and it was sent to a BMW dealer to investigate it further.
Three days after collecting the vehicle he found new rattles and the floor was overheating. The car needed a new engine and crankshaft and every problem that was investigated created more problems, resulting in the car breaking down 3 times in a week when he was just 2 weeks away from passing his probation.
He believes that he wasn’t kept on because he was continually late for work through no fault of his own.
He bought the vehicle on finance and is now trying to reject the car through the credit company.
CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015
This raises a number of issues that spans various consumer laws, and the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that all products should be;
- Satisfactory quality
- Fit for purpose
- As described
- Lasts a reasonable length of time
If you discover any faults within 6 months of ownership, the presumption is that the fault was there from the outset unless the retailer can prove otherwise. This is where you apply the Reverse Burden of Proof.
The onus is on the retailer to prove that the fault was not there at the time you purchased the product.
You need to give the retailer one opportunity to remedy the faults. If this fails, you have the right to reject the goods and demand a full refund without deductions.
The only exception on deductions is for vehicles where you have had use of the vehicle for more than 30 days.
If 6 months has elapsed, the onus is on you to evidence that the fault was there at the time of purchase. This can be evidenced by an expert opinion or evidence that this is a common fault in the public domain.
There are other pieces of legislation you can refer to when it comes to reinforcing your case such as;
- Consumer Credit Act 1974
- Misrepresentation Act 1967 (this is where the Reverse Burden of Proof lies)
If a vehicle has been purchased on finance, the vehicle is owned by the finance company. You can make your problem theirs by seeking a chargeback to restore you to the position you were in before you entered in to the contract.
The crux of this case is that the car, which belongs to the finance company, clearly had inherent faults from inception that are well documented and the customer has repeated tried to get the faults remedied without success.
The vehicle can be rejected on the basis that it has failed to meet the requirements set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and a chargeback can be enacted under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as the finance company is jointly liable.
Furthermore, a misrepresentation has taken place under the Misrepresentation Act 1967 as the vehicle was sold under false pretences and was clearly not fit for purpose at the point of sale.
The retailer could not contest it in Court as the ‘reasonable man’ test would apply, which states that a reasonable man would not expect a 6 year old BMW costing £11,000 to be riddled with so many faults and continually breaks down.
Car dealerships and poor customer service tend to go hand in glove, albeit with the odd exception.
My own personal experience with car dealerships was the catalyst to write a book to help others seek redress, with the best claim being £23,000 from someone buying it and following my advice.
Have you had a similar problem with a car dealership where your car continually breaks down? If so, what was the outcome?