An interesting case came to my attention via a complaints forum on Facebook that’s worth looking at in a blog, given the various consumer laws it spans.

The background to this case is that a customer rejected a car on finance after 3 months under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, only to find afterwards that she owed thousands of pounds to the finance company.  She couldn’t understand this as the car dealership has e-mails and phone calls to support her case in rejecting the vehicle.

First of all, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that all product should be;

  • Satisfactory quality
  • Fit for purpose
  • As described

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.

I cover this here

Secondly, the car is on finance so it’s not your problem as it belongs to the finance company.  The finance company is jointly and severally liable with the dealership for the car that has failed to meet the criteria set under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.  This liability is covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Thirdly, the vehicle clearly had inherent faults since inception and was misrepresented at the point of sale.  The legislation that covers this is the Misrepresentation Act 1967.  The onus is on the retailer to prove that the fault was not there at the time you purchased the product.

I wrote a popular blog that covers a similar scenario here

Given that the car has already been rejected and it would appear that it has been accepted, the customer should be taking the fight to the finance company and stating that she has made payments for a car (which belongs to them) that is clearly not fit for purpose.  Any question of negative equity can be discounted on that basis and furthermore, I would be seeking a refund of payments made and to be restored to the original position before I entered in to the contract.

It’s important to note at this point that you need to keep an eye on your credit file in case any adverse reports are lodged by the dealership and / or finance company.

Finally, the question of not being able to understand how this has happened given that the dealership has e-mails and phone calls to support her case can be addressed by submitting a Data Subject Access Request under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) Act 2018.  The dealership would then have to tip everything over including e-mails, recorded phone calls, CCTV records and much more within 1 month otherwise they would be in breach and the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) could prosecute the dealership.

I cover various aspects and real-life scenarios involving the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Consumer Credit Act 1974, Misrepresentation Act 1967 and other legislation including the Road Traffic Act complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work in my book now on sale via Amazon as an e-book and paperback priced £2.99 / £7.99.

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