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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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This is my full complaint letter sent.Richard Thorne103

Customer Question

This is my full complaint letter sent.
Richard xxxxxx
xxxx xxxx xxxxx
xxxxxxxx
xxxxxx
xxx xxx
XXXXXXXXXXX
Thursday 16th May

Dear XXXXX,
I am writing to you to make formal my complaint about the purchase of the Audi A4.
This purchase was made on Thursday 21st February for an Audi A4 2.5 Convertible, registration BU54 YBW for the amount £6,860.
Upon using the vehicle, attempted to start the car, it had problems starting and sounded odd, although it did start. At this time, a colleague Gavin Greenwold was there and said I need to get this looked at. Personally as a layperson, I don’t have mechanical knowledge and didn’t think much of it. When I drove to see my mother, my brother heard the car start and said it sounds like it isn’t getting fuel through. This was at the end of February; I didn’t think much of this at the time.
The car broke down on Friday 5th April, I paid for recovery to the local Audi garage in Gloucester.
They diagnosed the main fuel pump, and I contacted you regarding this on Tuesday 16th April as they quoted £2800 to fix the car. Which I couldn’t afford. At this time, I telephone Country Cars & explained that:
When I was agreeing to buy the vehicle, your salesperson, Kevin assured me that all the parts of the vehicle would be thoroughly checked and if anything needed replacing then it would be done prior to me picking the vehicle up.
So I put to you that with what Kevin said, it couldn’t have been as thoroughly checked as he stated or this wouldn’t have been the situation with the vehicle.
In consumer law it is assumed a fault that comes within six months, is present at the time of purchase, unless you have specific evidence proves otherwise.
Steve Casey at Country Cars, said on this day, we appreciate the situation and that you have rights and if you bring the car to Floramotors we will look at it and try to help you. The car was delivered there on Tuesday 16th April.
At this time, the resolution I was looking for is either a full refund/swap the car or the car repaired to a correct standard. This hasn’t changed.
I write this letter now on Thursday 16th May and I have no resolution. At times in conversations with Steve Casey he has told me that I wouldn’t be charged for the part. He has informed me that there would be a 22 week wait for the part, which I cannot accept.
I suggested swapping the car, for a like for like replacement, I saw a Jaguar s type on the website for £6,400, which would seem a reasonable like for like swap. Steve Casey said that we need to agree figures & may look for a contribution on this. I waited to hear from Steve.
Steve rang me at 530pm on Wednesday 15th May, I asked where we were and he said that Steve thought one figure, the owner thinking a different figure, so I asked him to clarify this.
Steve Informed me that he thought £2,500 contribution was fair and the business owner looking for approximately £3,100. I see this as totally unfair and a breach of my consumer rights. At this point, you have had this car for a month, and you also have £6,860 of my money, I have nothing but losses.
So I have taken some further advice over the last 24 hours, I would like to state that:
Under the sales of goods act (1979), the goods sold to me were not of satisfactory quality & I seek a like for like replacement for the vehicle. I have previously stated a repair would be reasonable but as you have had the car longer than I had it for, I request a like for like replacement.
At this point I have not mentioned the consequential losses I have incurred, which at this time amounts to £1,400 & increase every day by with car rental charges.
Steve said he would communicate with me again on Friday 17th May, as this matter has been going on now for such a long time. I consider it reasonable for him to resolve this matter on Friday 17th May.
It is with regret that if this matter is not resolved satisfactorily on Friday 17th May, I will have no other option but to formally engage a solicitor & take legal action. At which point I will also seek compensation for consequential losses & personal distress.
I look forward to hearing from you on Friday 17th May.

Yours Sincerely,


Richard xxxxxx
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

In order to give you answer tailored to your circumstances I will need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

How can I help with this situation with your vehicle?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to understand what I can do to ensure I get a like for like replacement at no cost.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.

How many attempts at repair have their been?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They have taken the car back, said they are looking for a part.
They actually haven't attempted as they haven't got the part. They were trying to get a reconditioned part, or alternative. But haven't got one to attempt repair.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the information.

Just a bit more digging.

1 Is this the first attempt at repair?

2 How long have they had it now?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the first attempt at repair.

They have had the car since 16th April, now saying a 22 week wait for the part.
Hence why I have insisted on a like for like replacement.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information. I just need ten minutes to dictate an answer is thats Ok?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.

I do completely see why you are aggrieved over this but ultimately we are all hampered by the law to some degree.

This is a purchase to which the Sale of Goods Act applies. That will mean under S14 SGA it must be ‘fit for purpose’. That does not mean perfect but it does mean reasonably good with reference to the price you paid for it, its age and history. This is a fairly recent purchase and it wasn’t an insignificant price. Clearly it is faulty and they seem to accept that by offering a repair so that should be no difficulty.

You do have to reject anything you purchase under the SGA which has a fault if you have not already ‘accepted’ it. What it means to ‘accept’ an item depends on the nature of the purchase, the price of the item, the length of time you’ve had it.

It is possible that a Court could say you have accepted this vehicle given that you’ve had it for two months or so before it was returned. There are cases that allowed for much longer periods of time but generally they involved fairly catastrophic failings with the vehicle.

The fault was, however, discovered within the first six months of sale so there is a presumption in your favour that it existed at the time of sale.

You do have a right to demand either a repair or a like for like exchange. The dealer can only refuse one or the other if he can show that the remedy is impossible or disproportionate. He is probably relying on the latter.

However, under the SGA, if he fails to act within a reasonable time or causes you unreasonable inconvenience, you are entitled to ask for rescission of the contract and a full refund or a price reduction.

You do seem to be describing nearly a month long repair which is significant so you could try to claim a refund on that basis.

Ultimately if they refuse though, they cannot be forced to provide you with an exchange. All you can sue for is damages in default.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

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