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Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

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  • Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

    Hello
    I am a part time sole motor trader/hobbyist and i sold a car to a woman who after 6 weeks sent me a letter saying she had been onto trading standards who told her she could reject the car i sold to her for a full refund...
    on the grounds that the exhaust was leaking to a point where driving it made her ill and so "not fit for porpose". Her rejection letter said that she paid some one £100 to fix the exhaust but bacause there was a fault she wanted a refund (the car was a 16 year old clio sold for £450 with full MOT), her letter stated that she had already paid £100 to fix the exhaust so it must now be ok and fit for purpose so a full refund would not be expected but i offered £50 as a good will gesture, even though on trading standards web site it states you should take into account the age and wear and tear of a car (exhaust systems are considered wear and tear items) also on trading standards web site it states that you should give the dealer the opportunity to fix any faults at minimal cost, she did not with the exhaust.
    She rejected my offer saying she would report me to trading standards...
    I noticed a few weeks later an ad in one of the local rags for a clio that sounded very similar to the one i sold, it was up for £400. I called the number and it was the lady i had sold my one to and was told it had sold. I thought that woud be the end of the matter.
    3 days later i received a letter saying that the car will need £1000 spent on it to put right as amongst other things the engine was dead and is now deemed unrepairable, the mileage has been clocked and she wants £350 back. She had spoken to trading standards customer service who told her to take me to the small claims court.
    I asked my wife called the advert again as a prospective buyer to see if the car had been returned due to these catastrophic faults but she was told "sorry the car has sold" she asked just out of interest how much did it go for... "£350".

    I asked for evidence to of her claim that the mileage had been clocked and a copy of the engineers report and estimate for the £1000 engine repair. I also asked for a convenient time/date for me to inspect the car.

    She lives less than 1 mile from me but the car dispite being "undrivable" was at an address 7 miles away? I looked at the car and confirmed it started on the first turn of the key. A local resident who is an RAC breakdown engineer saw the bonnet was up and came over stating that he suspected a stuck hydraulic valve lifter (an easy repair)

    Before I had a chance to respond with my findings the claimant scrapped the car rendering me unable to accept it back for a refund.

    On trading standards web site it states if you reject a car on the grounds of not being fix for purpose you should stop using it.
    I photographed it had moved on 3 occasions so was being used.

    By continuing to use the car, attempting to sell it and then scrapping it she has accepted the goods as hers and therefore cannot reject it.

    There is no defined time limit in which to reject a car but having checked a few sites 2 weeks seems the acceptable time. NOT 6 weeks.
    When she bought the car she stated that she hadn't driven for a while as she was restricted due to medication but she couldn't do without a car so decided to stop taking the meds so she could drive, obviously against her gp's instructions. I suspect this made her ill and decided buying a car wasn't such a great idea.

    I had suspected that she had sold the car to the person (possibly a friend) at the address 7 miles away and was still trying to extort money from me but she has attached a copy of the scrapping receipt with her claim form along with receipts for the exhaust repair and 2 part worn tyres. To date I have not received proof of the mileage discrepancy nor any engineers report detailing the catastrophic engine failure dispite asking for these items twice.

    On her claim form in the brief details of claim she states she had problems with the car from day one. She bought two part worn tyres two days after she took it off me but these are wear and tare items. The problem with the exhaust actually occurred 6 weeks and 1 day after purchase. She states she gave me the address to look at the car three weeks ago and I havent replied to her. Her claim form encloses a copy of my reply letter which I sent recorded delivery. She claims trading standards are investigating with regards to the mileage discrepancy, To date I have yet to hear from trading standards. She claims I have refused arbitration, I have done no such thing, she suggested a court mediator in her last letter but I was merely waiting for her to send the proof of her claims and proof she wasn't trying to profit at my expense before I made any further offer. She finalises her brief details of claim to say that she is a disabled pensioner and she feels i am bullying her. This is totally untrue, all correspondence have been written and have been polite, despite her getting my name wrong in every way possible including her claim form!

    Also the particulars of claim (attached)(to follow)section are totally blank. She hasn't highlighted the "to follow" or put and details in this section. Does this mean I do not have a claim to answer as this part should be filled out?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

    Hi and welcome.
    Regarding her claim point by point:
    1) exhaust.... a car of that age and to meet her halfway on cost is pretty generous.
    2) tyres...... was it really necessary to replace the existing tyres? Has she got proof of replacement :receipts?
    3) mileage discrepancy....... assuming you didn't clock the odometer the MOT certificate will show the recorded mileage

    The claim form doesn't refer to any engineers report about the car?

    Finally she has scrapped it. Well out of order, as having rejected the vehicle she has no right to dispose of it as you can no longer accept it!
    I would argue that as she scrapped it, her action indicates that she had accepted it. One can't go around crushing other peoples' cars.

    Any possibility of obtaining a supporting letter from the friendly RAC man?
    Have you a copy of the advert where she was selling the car?

    You will have to respond to the claim within the time limits, otherwise you might find yourself losing by default.
    Did you receive a "letter before claim"
    It will be useful to see a copy of the claim form (suitably redacted) but doesn't sound a if you have anything to worry about.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

      Thanks for your reply,
      The receipt for the exhaust repair is for £74 and not £100 she claimed in her first letter but I initially took her for her word when offering £50, I now know not to trust anything this lady says. She has supplied a copy of the receipt for 2 part worn tyres (not new ones as her claim states) Her first letter said she was fine with buying the tyres.

      I did not touch the milometer on the car but as she made this claim in her 3rd letter I asked for some proof of this, no proof has been provided or attached to her court claim form.

      Her claim form doesn't mention that she was told by a garage that the "big end had gone" or supply a copy of a repair quote for this damage.

      I will try to obtain a report from the RAC guy but I won't hold my breath on that one.
      I have a copy of her advert and a recording of the call my wife made when she was told the car had sold for £350
      Not sure what a "letter before the claim" is so I googled it and, she did send a letter where she assumed I had inspected the car and informed me she had now scrapped it, also asking for £350 and threatened court action but she did not supply a list of the documents she will use to prove she is owed the money.

      I have attached a copy of her claim for you to see. With this claim were a copy of the receipt for 2 used tyres, the exhaust repairs and a copy of the proof of screpping the car. Also a copy of her last letter to me and my reply (which she states on her brief details of claim that I never sent)

      Thank you

      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      Hi and welcome.
      Regarding her claim point by point:
      1) exhaust.... a car of that age and to meet her halfway on cost is pretty generous.
      2) tyres...... was it really necessary to replace the existing tyres? Has she got proof of replacement :receipts?
      3) mileage discrepancy....... assuming you didn't clock the odometer the MOT certificate will show the recorded mileage

      The claim form doesn't refer to any engineers report about the car?

      Finally she has scrapped it. Well out of order, as having rejected the vehicle she has no right to dispose of it as you can no longer accept it!
      I would argue that as she scrapped it, her action indicates that she had accepted it. One can't go around crushing other peoples' cars.

      Any possibility of obtaining a supporting letter from the friendly RAC man?
      Have you a copy of the advert where she was selling the car?

      You will have to respond to the claim within the time limits, otherwise you might find yourself losing by default.
      Did you receive a "letter before claim"
      It will be useful to see a copy of the claim form (suitably redacted) but doesn't sound a if you have anything to worry about.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

        Not meaning to make light of her disability status, she doesn't have a leg to stand on.

        She has no claim whatsoever based on those details, even ignoring the fact that she had first sold the car and then subsequently scrapped it??? How can she scrap the car if she doesn't own it? Unless the person she sold it to returned it to her? Very confusing.

        As Des has pointed out it is very important to acknowledge the claim and state that you intend to defend in full. If in the unlikely event it does ever reach Court, it is also very important to attend and put across your side.

        The amounts claimed have not been particularized and in my view would not add up anyway.
        Any opinions I give are my own. Any advice I give is without liability. If you are unsure, please seek qualified legal advice.

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        Comment


        • #5
          Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

          She's on a hiding to nothing and I suspect she hasn't scrapped it. She told your misses she's sold it which I think was true

          Get out a piece of paper and write down all of the story AND mount a counter claim to cover your losses an costs re resale of car etc Also as she's a liar don't let her disability (even if true) put you off. I'm disabled and I know and have dealt with many a disabled person in my career and some can be vicious and completely dishonest and this one appears to be a bit of a rogue

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

            Thanks Righty

            I did initially suspect her of selling the car to the person who's address she gave to view the car (possibly a friend) whilst continuing to claim off me. She has however supplied a copy of the proof of scrappage from a local merchant. To clear this matter up I asked for a copy of the first 2 pages of the v5 logbook (if she had sold the car page 2 would have been filled out with the new keeper details and sent off) the fact she hasn't supplied this confirms that it is no longer in her possession/sent to DVLA.

            I did not think there is a counter claim to make as to date the only cost has been my time. Surely if the car has been screpped there is no resale possibility and I am unsure what other losses I would be able to claim?

            Thank you
            Last edited by grahamtabby; 17th November 2014, 16:56:PM. Reason: additional info

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

              The proof of scrappage Doesn't prove a thing could have been a friendly merchant who gave it to her Also does she really think that without the evidence of the car you or the court are going to believe her claims She can produce as much 'evidence' as she likes but having scrapped the car without giving you a chance to look at it means I strongly suspect that she's shot her bolt

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: defence help. sold a "not fit for purpose " car

                I did look at the car but she scrapped it before I had a chance to respond to her claim as I went on holiday. She scrapped the car 8 days after giving me the address where it was kept as she had "assumed it had been inspected".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

                  As a claim, in the words of my children, it's pants.
                  First up there are no particulars of claim attached or to follow, so it's almost impossible to respond!

                  The claim is she bought an unidentified car on an unspecified date but does not mention the purchase price
                  At an unspecified time she purchased an unspecified number of new tyres at an unspecified cost.
                  She then had the exhaust repaired, but does not specify what repairs,nor the cost.
                  She alleges the car was undriveable, but does not specify why.

                  Her claim is for £572, made up of £450 for the car and £122 she allegedly paid for tyres and the exhaust.

                  She doesn't actually say she has rejected the vehicle, but I suspect that is what she means.
                  However by scrapping the car IMO she has no claim against you, as she has acted as if the vehicle was her own and had not been rejected.

                  The other points on her claim form really have nothing to do with her claim and will be covered by stating at the start of your defence " Save as specifically admitted in this defence the Defendant denies each and every allegation set out in the Particulars of claim"

                  You need to complete form N9B or N9 (assuming you intend to defend!). By completing acknowledgement of service N9 you get an extra fortnight in which to write your defence.
                  If you want, feel free to post up your defence before posting so it can be checked

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

                    please find attached my defence and coment/edit before i send it off in a few days.
                    I was thinking of writing to the claimant one more time requesting a copy of the log book for the 3rd time prove it has not been sold on rather than scrapped and on receipt of this offer her the £130 profit i made on the car. But as she seems to be less than truthful not sure i should bother?
                    anyway please let me know if this defence will be ok to send off.
                    thanks to all who have/are helping me with this.


                    Originally posted by des8 View Post
                    As a claim, in the words of my children, it's pants.
                    First up there are no particulars of claim attached or to follow, so it's almost impossible to respond!

                    The claim is she bought an unidentified car on an unspecified date but does not mention the purchase price
                    At an unspecified time she purchased an unspecified number of new tyres at an unspecified cost.
                    She then had the exhaust repaired, but does not specify what repairs,nor the cost.
                    She alleges the car was undriveable, but does not specify why.

                    Her claim is for £572, made up of £450 for the car and £122 she allegedly paid for tyres and the exhaust.

                    She doesn't actually say she has rejected the vehicle, but I suspect that is what she means.
                    However by scrapping the car IMO she has no claim against you, as she has acted as if the vehicle was her own and had not been rejected.

                    The other points on her claim form really have nothing to do with her claim and will be covered by stating at the start of your defence " Save as specifically admitted in this defence the Defendant denies each and every allegation set out in the Particulars of claim"

                    You need to complete form N9B or N9 (assuming you intend to defend!). By completing acknowledgement of service N9 you get an extra fortnight in which to write your defence.
                    If you want, feel free to post up your defence before posting so it can be checked
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

                      Thanks for the details.
                      I'll look at it with a view to posting tomorrow

                      No point in contacting claimant IMO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

                        You can check on the car here https://www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/Default.aspx

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Defence help sold a "not fit for purpose " car

                          Here;s my version of a defence,on which hopefully others will comment. The more input the better:tinysmile_grin_t:
                          Do check its accuracy/ As we have not had access to all the letters there could me omissions or chronological inexactitudes:tinysmile_twink_t2:

                          1) when typing it up use a clear font at 12pt with line spacing one and a half

                          2) regarding the telephone call you recorded: I assume you did this without informing the claimant. In which case do not use it in evidence.
                          To support the claim that the claimant said she had sold the car, a witness statement from your wife is preferable


                          3) note that when writing a claim or defence always refer to "claimant" or "defendant". The document is for the benefit of the court and it makes it clearer for them than "I" and "He"






                          Save as specificallyadmitted in this defence the Defendant denies each and everyallegation set out in the Brief Details of Claim, or implied inpre-action correspondence.


                          2) I am theDefendant, John Dough, a part time motor trader.


                          3) The Defendantnotes the Claimant has failed to adhere to Civil Procedure RulesPre-Action Protocols


                          4)The Defendantstates there are no Particulars of Claim and so there is no cause ofaction


                          5) The Defendantstates the Claimant's pleaded case is incoherent and insufficient forthe purposes of Civil Procedure Rules, part 16.


                          6)The claim lacksthe most basic facts and details, in that it fails to identify thevehicle or the purchase price.


                          7) The claim isfalse in that the Claimant states “ I bought new tyres”, but thereceipt indicates “used” tyres.(exhibit1)


                          8) The Defendantdoes admit to selling a Renault Clio, registrationnumber............... to the Claimant on 04 July 2014 for £450.00



                          9)The Claimant senta letter dated dd/month/2014 (exhibit 2) indicating she wished toreject the vehicle as unfit for purpose and requested a refund of£350.00 (£100.00 less than the purchase price)


                          10) In that letterthe Claimant stated the vehicle was unfit for purpose because theexhaust leaked.


                          11)In the sameletter the Claimant stated she had spent £100.00 having theexhaust repaired.


                          12) Obviously as theexhaust had been repaired the vehicle was no longer unfit for purposeand there was no cause for rejection of the vehicle.


                          13) Although thisoccurred some six weeks after the Claimant took delivery of thevehicle The Defendant offered the Claimant a £50.00 refund (wasthis by letter?if so exhibit ?))

                          14)The Defendant subsequently saw the vehicle in three different locations which indicated the vehicle was being used and the rejection withdrawn.

                          15) The sightings were on 23rd August 2014, 28th August 2014 and 1st September 2014 and were recorded photographically (exhibit 3)


                          17) The Claimantsent a letter dated dd/month/2014 stating the vehicle required£1000.00 of unspecified engine repairs and was undriveable.(exhibit 4)


                          18)On dd/month/2014the Defendant examined the vehicle, and found no major faults.


                          19)Before theDefendant could report the result of his examination the Claimantadvised on DD/Month 2014 the vehicle had been scrapped.(was thisby letter? if so exhit ?)


                          20)The Defendantnoted that in the (name of paper)ofDD/month/2014 the vehicle wasadvertisedfor sale,(exhibit5) and on making enquiries was advised the vehiclehad been sold. (See witness statement Exhibit 6)


                          18) The Defendant avers that if the vehicle has been sold or scrappedthe Claimant cannot now reject the vehicle, as it is no longerpossible to return it to the Defendant and that the claim has nomerit.


                          Statement of truth and sign and date

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry it's a bit late but I thought i should post an update of my case, we both agreed to court mediation who upon hearing the case and my evidence persuaded the claimant to accept my offer of £100 (the price I put on my time for a day wasted if it had gone to court) She accepted!
                            Thanks to everyone who gave advice.
                            Last edited by grahamtabby; 6th December 2018, 23:22:PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the update

                              Comment

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