I was sold a car that was previously damaged - am I owed compensation?

I’m having a nightmare with my local Audi dealer. They sold me a six month old Audi A6 with 7000 miles on the clock. After owning the vehicle for just over six months, paint has started to come off the rear nearside arch and rust is now showing. Audi deny any knowledge of repairs to the vehicle, despite being the only previous owner. As I was not able to make an informed decision at the point of sale as to whether I wanted to spend £31,000 on a damaged vehicle, I’ve asked for a full refund, which they won’t accept. They also won't accept any kind of reimbursement. They are suggesting it’s something I’ve done to the vehicle. But upon pushing my complaint to the head of business, they've agreed to further repair the car and nothing more. I know from a second opinion that my the car has had the rear quarter panel and rear door resprayed, as well as part of the rear quarter panel replaced. At the very least, in addition to a full Audi repair, I should be given some money back to reflect the original damage undisclosed, as the resale value of my car in a few years time is going to be affected. I’m interested in your views and whether I should pursue a claim for compensation or just settle for the full fix?

Asked on 8 June 2018 by Hamsterville

Answered by Honest John
Use Small Claims to sue them for a full repaint at a cost of up to £10,000. If the dealer that sold you the car is the only previous keeper then he is lying about not being aware of the damage and that is actually an offence. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, is derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003. This reverses the burden of proof so that if goods go faulty within six months after purchase it is deemed they were faulty at the time of purchase and the trader has the onus of proving that the item is not defective due to a manufacturing defect. See: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023045.htm

This gives more teeth to the judgement in Bowes v J Richardson & Son. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations May 2008 (CPRs) incorporate The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 and contain a general prohibition against unfair commercial practices and, in particular prohibitions against misleading actions, misleading omissions and aggressive commercial practices. The Regulations are enforceable through the civil and criminal courts. See These create an offence of misleading omissions which would not previously have been an offence if the consumer had not asked the right questions. So if a salesman knows a car has, for example, been badly damaged and repaired and does not tell the customer, he could later be held liable if the customer subsequently discovered that the car had been damaged and repaired.
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