The cam belt failed on our car. Where do we legally stand with this issue?

I bought a 2016 DS3 on 3 July from a non-main dealer garage. Two and a half weeks ago (3 months and 2 weeks after buying), I was driving on a dual carriageway, roughly 68mph when the car cut out. I rolled it onto a side road and called the AA. The instant diagnosis was a snapped cambelt. The car was towed to local Citroen dealership, where we were told they would charge £136 to look at it but given that the car is only 4 years old, has a full service history and only has 42,000 miles, we were told it was likely that Citroen would cover the costs (or at least contribute). We contacted Citroen to make them aware we had this problem and they said they would communicate with the garage. We had little or no contact with the garage for the first 10 days and then when we enquired what was happening they said they're investigating any further potential damage and so far the bill was £530 (for the investigations). We didn't approve any further investigations other than the original £136 to look at it, though. This afternoon, Citroen has decided they're not going to contribute towards the cost to fix and we're yet to find out the quote to fix. Do you have any ideas where we stand with all this? Many thanks.

Asked on 3 November 2020 by Shaelene Knowles

Answered by Dan Powell
I'm sorry to read about the problems you've experienced with your DS3. In short, the line of liability ends with the dealer that sold you the car. This has nothing to do with Citroen UK (you didn't buy the car from them).

The dealer that sold you the car can be held liable for any faults that develop within the first six months. I would argue that the cam belt was heavily worn or faulty at the time of sale and would expect them to fix the car free of charge or provide you with a refund (minus a deduction for the usage you've already had from the car). If they refuse, seek legal advice.

For your rights, see:
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