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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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Hi, What are my rights in the following situation?; I purchased

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Hi, What are my rights in the following situation?; I purchased a motor vehicle from a dealer in the Western Cape. I had two local friends inspect the vehicle and they reported that it is visually in good condition. On this basis I agreed to purchase the vehicle. I paid by EFT and flew from Gauteng to collect the unit. The salesman collected me on Saturday pm and took me to the dealership and I took delivery of the vehicle, and left to start the journey home.
After approx. 1000km I heard a noise in the engine at a fuel station. At the next stop it had become worse and I reduced speed and after a long slow trip made it home to Gauteng. I checked some engine settings (I am a qualified motor mechanic) and found one valve adjuster out of 12 to be very far out of spec. I consulted with three colleagues and they concurred that it is most likely a mechanical failure of an internal engine component which must be repaired. I also discovered that where the advertisement states that the vehicle is a 1998 model, the NATIS document indicates that it is a 1993 registered vehicle.
The vehicle is in good condition overall but I feel that the dealer must assist with a repair and consider a price reduction in view of the misrepresentation re the model. I have hard copies of the ads etc. Please advise.
Good day and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try and assist you today.

In order to provide you with the most accurate answer, I may have to ask you a lot of questions. This may seem tedious and irrelevant, but trust me, there is a reason for every question. So please be patient throughout the process and if it takes a little long for me to come back to you, it is probably because I am researching your answer. I hope that is okay.

Would you want to keep the car or would you want to return it if you can?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good afternoon John, I would be happy to keep the vehicle as the overall condition is good, however I do require that the dealer comes to the party in view of the almost immediate problem and the misrepresentation of the model.

I proposed that the dealer pays for the removal and replacement and I would repair the engine myself, as I mentioned I am a mechanic and if I rebuilt the engine completely it would be of benefit to me.

I believe that I am being reasonable.

Would you say that the dealer knew of the misrepresentation about the year model?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes in the e mail reply to my proposal he said that it was always a 1993 model, which is not so, as the Advert in Auto Trader states 1998 (I have copies of the ad) and in my correspondence with the principal of the dealership the subject line states on two or three e mails Subject: 1998 Ford Courier etc.

I have just one more question: Price wise, based on book value, did you pay for a 1998 model or a 1993 model? In other words, did you pay too much for the vehicle, compared to other similar vehicles manufactured in 1993?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi John,
Yes I paid a much higher price. The M & M book for a 1993 model is + - R29k I paid R58500 for the car I thought was a 1998 model.

If the car was a 1998 model and there was no engine problem I would be happy to pay above book.

1. With regards XXXXX XXXXX repairs, you would have recourse.

The Consumer Protection Act makes provision for an implied warranty on all goods purchased by a consumer from a supplier where the transaction has been concluded in the normal course of the business of the supplier. In other words, if it is a once off transaction for the person selling, the Consumer Protection Act is not applicable.

Section 55 of the Act reads as follows and gives the consumer the right to safe, good quality goods:

55. Consumer’s rights to safe, good quality goods.—(1) This section does not apply to goods bought at an auction, as contemplated in section 45.
(2) Except to the extent contemplated in subsection (6), every consumer has a right to receive goods that—
(a) are reasonably suitable for the purposes for which they are generally intended;
(b) are of good quality, in good working order and free of any defects;
(c) will be usable and durable for a reasonable period of time, having regard to the use to which they would normally be put and to all the surrounding circumstances of their supply; and
(d) comply with any applicable standards set under the Standards Act, 1993 (Act No. 29 of 1993), or any other public regulation.
(3) In addition to the right set out in subsection (2) (a), if a consumer has specifically informed the supplier of the particular purpose for which the consumer wishes to acquire any goods, or the use to which the consumer intends to apply those goods, and the supplier—
(a) ordinarily offers to supply such goods; or
(b) acts in a manner consistent with being knowledgeable about the use of those goods,
the consumer has a right to expect that the goods are reasonably suitable for the specific purpose that the consumer has indicated.
(4) In determining whether any particular goods satisfied the requirements of subsection (2) or (3), all of the circumstances of the supply of those goods must be considered, including but not limited to—
(a) the manner in which, and the purposes for which, the goods were marketed, packaged and displayed, the use of any trade description or mark, any instructions for, or warnings with respect to the use of the goods;
(b) the range of things that might reasonably be anticipated to be done with or in relation to the goods; and
(c) the time when the goods were produced and supplied.
(5) For greater certainty in applying subsection (4)—
(a) it is irrelevant whether a product failure or defect was latent or patent, or whether it could have been detected by a consumer before taking delivery of the goods; and
(b) a product failure or defect may not be inferred in respect of particular goods solely on the grounds that better goods have subsequently become available from the same or any other producer or supplier.
(6) Subsection (2) (a) and (b) do not apply to a transaction if the consumer—
(a) has been expressly informed that particular goods were offered in a specific condition; and
(b) has expressly agreed to accept the goods in that condition, or knowingly acted in a manner consistent with accepting the goods in that condition.

Section 56 state that you have a six month guarantee that the item will comply with the basic standard that is required by section 55. It reads as follows:

56. Implied warranty of quality.—(1) In any transaction or agreement pertaining to the supply of goods to a consumer there is an implied provision that the producer or importer, the distributor and the retailer each warrant that the goods comply with the requirements and standards contemplated in section 55, except to the extent that those goods have been altered contrary to the instructions, or after leaving the control, of the producer or importer, a distributor or the retailer, as the case may be.
(2) Within six months after the delivery of any goods to a consumer, the consumer may return the goods to the supplier, without penalty and at the supplier’s risk and expense, if the goods fail to satisfy the requirements and standards contemplated in section 55, and the supplier must, at the direction of the consumer, either—
(a) repair or replace the failed, unsafe or defective goods; or
(b) refund to the consumer the price paid by the consumer, for the goods.
(3) If a supplier repairs any particular goods or any component of any such goods, and within three months after that repair, the failure, defect or unsafe feature has not been remedied, or a further failure, defect or unsafe feature is discovered, the supplier must—
(a) replace the goods; or
(b) refund to the consumer the price paid by the consumer for the goods.
(4) The implied warranty imposed by subsection (1), and the right to return goods set out in subsection (2), are each in addition to—
(a) any other implied warranty or condition imposed by the common law, this Act or any other public regulation; and
(b) any express warranty or condition stipulated by the producer or importer, distributor or retailer, as the case may be.

So, if the item brakes within the first six month of the purchase, you have a choice: Replace, repair or refund. If you choose the refund option, the act states that it must be without penalty. Remember, the choice is yours.

2. With regards XXXXX XXXXX reduction in price, you also have recourse. If this was a deliberate misrepresentation by the dealer, you again have the option of canceling or claiming a reduction in the purchase price to what you would have paid for it if you knew it was a 2003 model.

There are two places where you can go to help you with this.

The first is the Motor Industry Ombudsman. How to start the process you can visit their website at

The second is a civil court. For that you would preferably have to go see an attorney to assist you.

I hope I have answered all of your questions and addressed all your concerns, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively. I do not get anything unless you rate the service
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