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Court claim

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  • Court claim

    Hi, Iím a sole trader with about 6 years in the trade. Iíve sold a diesel car in April, 2013 plate, the car had a recent MOT with no advisories. It had a slight crack on the front headlight which did not effect the lights functionality.

    a young lad came to view the car, test drove it for around 10 miles, liked it and purchased it. He took a photo of the damaged headlight before leaving but we didnít think much of it, he paid the asking price. we explained that wear and tear items are not covered by warranty.

    The stereo had an issue and we agreed to resolve it for him, he did ask for a discount but we said that weíd get it repaired/replaced as it could be something more and then weíd have a grey area of what was/was not covered as part of the discount.

    1 week later we collected the car and provided a courtesy car, replaced the stereo and all was working as expected. When we collected the car he mentioned a message about start/stop not working. We did some investigation and ordered him a new battery delivered to his address which He fitted himself. Received a text to say all was well and he was pleased with our service. I still have the entire message trail.

    We noticed that he had clocked up around 800 miles for the week, so we asked what he was using it for, he was using it to deliver Amazon parcels.

    3 days later he messaged back to say a message was on the dash re check injection system and anti pollution.

    we said itís most likely the injectors or dpf and would check with the warranty company. I suggested he try driving for 15/20 minutes at 3500 revs and he confirm that he already done so.

    we asked him to get the car scanned, scan showed DPF soot accumulation, we advised that dpfs are not covered under warranty.

    next day he receives a engine failure hazard, asked him to stop the car and check for oil and coolant level.

    asked if he checked these whilst he had the car and he said no, he said he did see oil drops on his drive but thought it was his wifeís car.

    when he opened the bonnet, there was oil splattered all over the engine. There was no oil showing in the dipstick, he said do you do refunds. I said no, but we can try identifying the cause and get it fixed.

    We also use a mobile mechanic that we suggested to send to him and get it diagnosed and if possible, get it repaired.

    at this point he started talking about CRA and how heís entitled to a full refund. This entire conversation is captured on our watapps.

    we advised that itís not a good idea to pursue legal action as we will assist and have already been helpful to him. He ignored our assistance and sent an email, cherry picking the sequence of events justifying his request.

    I replied back with the actual sequence of events and pointed that we gave a trail on correspondence but he assisted that he wants to pursue legal action.

    Iíve now been summoned with a court claim. Which I need to respond to.

    he had the car for 22 days and managed to rack up 1900 miles. All of our conversation is on watsapp, so a clear proof of who said what and when.

    if you require any more info please let me know, slightly stressed out as Iíve tried to be very fair with this law but feel heís trying to use CRA to try and return the car.

    I am willing to go court with this proof but would some advice please.

    Tags: None

  • #2
    If the buyer bought the car for private use, and you are a trader, he is entitled to reject the car within 30 days from purchase (plus any days when the car is being repaired) under CRA 2015.
    However, in this case, the buyer admitted he used the car to deliver parcels, which it is fair to assume he was paid for this. If you can prove the buyer used the car to carry out his business the sale may be classed as a business to business sale and CRA 2015 does not apply.


    • #3
      I was right. I have just read on lawteacher.net that for the purposes of CRA 2015 a consumer is defined as an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside the individual's trade business or profession.
      Amazon flex drivers are independent contractors.


      • #4
        Hi Pezza, thank you for your response, just to fully understand, this sale would fall under business to business?



        • #5
          I believe so. The claimant has admitted he used the car for deliveries and the high mileage (800 miles for a week which equates to about 40k miles pa) seems to prove this.
          The claimant could, after receiving your defence, drop his CRA 2015 claim, and make a new claim under Sale of Goods Act 1979 - unsatisfactory quality.


          • #6
            Thank you Pezza, I will have to go to court and take it from there. What really annoyed me was that he didnít even give me the opportunity to resolve the issue, we were willing to send out a mobile mechanic to make it convenient for him but it just seems he wants out, either that or I feel that way.

            the good thing is he clearly mentions the watsapp that what he does with the car has nothing to do with it and that he usually racks up 35k-40k miles based on doing deliveries.

            I also took a photo where you can see the Amazon bags and documents that he left in the car.

            many thanks for taking the time out to provide this information.


            • #7
              That's okay.
              If I'm wrong about CRA not applying I expect a VIP member with a lot more legal knowledge will correct me within the next couple of days.


              • #8

                Whilst agreeing with Pezza54 it may be useful if we had some further info:
                What car, age , mileage and price paid?
                Would you please post up complete the Particulars of Claim?
                Date of issue of claim?
                Have you acknowledged receipt of claim?


                • #9
                  There's an example Defence which you can amend, once the guys advise on your Defence.



                  • #10
                    The car was a 7 seater 2013 Renault Scenic with 98,500 miles, MOTíd 4 weeks prior to the sale, sold for £4995, He paid the asking price but we noticed he took a photo of the cracked headlight and put the phone into his pocket. It also came across strange that he didn't ask for any money off for the damaged headlight.

                    We spoke with the MOT centre and they said there was no sign of old oil or oil leak around the engine as they are required to list this by law on the MOT record. I also know that this car did not have an undertray as i serviced the car myself for an oil and oil filter.

                    the claim issue day is 28th June and particulars of claim:

                    Ēthe vehicle has been repeatedly attempting to regenerate the DPF, accompanied by a strong burning smell since purchase - I initially thought this was a normal symptom of DPF regeneration. Then, on Sunday 14th May 2023 began displaying Ďcheck injector systemí and Ďcheck anti-pollution systemí warnings on the dash. A day later it then also began saying ĎSTOP - Engine failure hazardí. Upon opening the bonnet, I discovered oil splattered all over the engine bay and all over the underside of the engine bay. also dripping on the floor.

                    as the vehicle is not of a satisfactory quality, I am claiming for a full refund for the purchase price £4995. The vehicle has been inspected (with supporting evidence) by two mechanics who have stated there is an issue with excessive crankcase pressure and there is no way I could have caused the problem, this the issue was pre-existing at the time of purchase."


                    • #11
                      He doesn't mention the test drive, his drive home which was around 30 miles nor the fact that he has driven nearly 2000 miles since owning it and that's when these issues starting to occur nor the fact that he has been running it as an Amazon Flex delivery van. Below are the key dates; I've tried including everything to give an accurate sequence of events.

                      30th April purchase date - drives car home

                      8th May- we collect his car and leave a courtesy car to resolve his stereo issue as per our agreement (out of good will we collected the car and left the courtesy car this was not agreed) He also mentions about start/stop message - I advised him that it's most likely the battery and will order him a new one, we agree that it gets delivered to his house and he can fit it.

                      I saw the mileage had increased significantly (i calculated 860 miles i the 8/9 days he had the car) and asked what he is using the car for via watsapp and he replied " delivering and to and from witney / northampton, i do 30k a year easily"

                      10th May - battery is delivered to his house and he confirms all is well and he is very happy with the way have resolved his issues,

                      14th May 17:53 - he contacts me and says he's got 2 messages on the dash 'check injection system' and 'check anti-pollution system'. I look online and suggestions are that the car is driven around 50mph with revs around 3500 revs, he says he has already done that. I asked him to get the car scanned and find out what the ECU says.

                      15th May 17:35
                      He asks if I can cover the diagnostic machine cost, I said if it's reasonable I can pay towards it and told him that we get charged £20 for a scan so i didn't want to pay out £100's.

                      Diagnostic machine says 'DPF ash accumulation' - at this stage he has done early 2000 miles and I'm assuming most have been carrying out short journeys doing parcel drops.

                      15th May 19:16
                      he gets a 'engine failure hazard' message - I advise him to stop the car, wait for it to cool down and check for oil and water level. I asked if he had checked this since owing the car and he said No.

                      when he opens the bonnet there is oil all over the engine, dipstick shows no oil, he then says I did notice oil on my drive but I thought is was my wifes car. He sends in a photo of his drive and it's covered in oil marks.

                      15th May 20:00 he asks a mechanic to assess the car, his thoughts are the DPF has caused a tonne of back pressure and has blown the turbo seals, car needs a new turbo and DPF. Asks if I can recover it, I advise that I will send out a mobile mechanic we use and he will be able to diagnose the issue and if possible I will get it repaired.

                      his response to the above at 21:31 "actually I have done my research and under the consumer rights act I am entitled to a full refund as the vehicle is not of satisfactory quality or condition within 30 days of purchase so all this looking to be too much hassle, therefore this is how I would like to proceed. Let me know how you want to go about this please.

                      I respond at 21:37 "I think you need to reconsider that because that's not what the law says, it seems you're looking for an excuse to return the car. since you have made the call I won't be refunding anything. I have been over accommodating to you but it seems like you are trying to take advantage of the situation.

                      we finally agree to disagree and he sends an email with cherry picked events. I reply with the actual events that took place based on the timings from the watsapp conversation and then I receive the claim in the post.

                      I really wanted to help him and didn't mind sending out a mobile mechanic that we use for most of our work. but it seemed he wasn't interested.

                      any feedback will be greatly appreciated, I have to admit this has stressed me out quite a bit and caused a fair bit of anxiety but I feel a lot better having spoken to a couple people and the feedback I've received from here.


                      • #12
                        This is my advice about what to include in your defence:

                        1. Start with information about the vehicle advertised for sale by the Defendant - age, high mileage, diesel

                        2. The Claimant test drove the car on ?? April, was happy with it and paid the full asking price by ???(bank transfer)

                        3. The Defendant carried out repairs (stereo,) and provided a new battery as agreed with the Claimant. The Defendant provided the Claimant with a courtesy car whilst this work was undertaken..

                        4. Whilst carrying out repairs the Defendant noticed that the car mileage had increased by approximately 800 miles within ? days. The Defendant considered this mileage significantly above average and queried this with the Claimant. The Claimant replied that he used the car to deliver Amazon parcels and could easily drive 30,000 miles in one year.

                        5. The Defendant was concerned that the car was unsuitable for this high mileage in multiple short journeys as it was an old diesel car with already high mileage.

                        6. The Defendant's worry about the unsuitability of the car was proved right when it broke down on 15 May. At this point the car had covered nearly 2000 miles in 2 weeks.

                        7. The Defendant offered to send a mobile mechanic to diagnose and repair the fault there and then if possible. If this was not possible the Defendant would have arranged for the car to be transported to a garage and if the garage was unable to repair it, the Defendant would source a suitable replacement vehicle for the Claimant. The Defendant would have provided the Claimant with a courtesy car.

                        8. The Claimant refused the Defendant's offer, saying that under the Consumer Rights Act he was entitled to reject the car and receive a refund.

                        9. The Defendant maintains that as the Claimant is running his own business as an independent contractor delivering parcels for Amazon, it was a business to business transaction and the Consumer Rights Act does not apply. Under CRA 2015 a consumer is defined as an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside the individual's trade, business or profession.

                        10. This business to business sale is covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979. The Defendant fulfilled his obligations under this legislation when he offered to repair the car, and if this was not possible, to replace it with a suitable vehicle.

                        11. The Defendant, therefore, rejects the Claimant's claim for a refund.
                        12. As the Claimant has not provided a signed Statement of Truth the claim should be struck out.

                        End with a signed Statement of Truth


                        • #13
                          Thank you Pezza, I will use your advice and include the above in my defence.


                          • #14
                            Do be aware that you need to respond to each individual part of the claim (even though it is poorly framed)

                            There is no mention of contracts and whether or not breached; the relationship between you relevant statutes etc etc so I would be careful about the content of any defence and keep it to the bare minimum.

                            If you have not yet acknowledged the claim do so now as it will give you longer in which to frame your response


                            • #15

                              Good advice from Des8
                              In paragraph 9 after "2015" insert "Part 1 .2 (3)"
                              In paragraph 10 after "legislation" insert "Section 30 (1)"
                              New paragraph 11:
                              The Defendant denies the Claimant's claim that the the car was unsatisfactory quality. Under the Sale of Goods Act Section 17(1) the car conformed in regard to the description of the car and 17(2) the car was fit for the purpose of which similar cars of age and mileage are used. The Claimant did not inform the Defendant before the sale that the car was to be used for high mileage in multiple short journeys. Had the Claimant done so, the Defendant would have advised the Claimant that the car was unsuitable for this purpose.
                              Renumber paragraphs 11 and 12.
                              You could speak to your mechanic to get his view on "excessive crankcase pressure" causing the engine problem. He may say that the new owner could have caused the breakdown by doing or not doing so and so.


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