Confuser rights

I would be most grateful for your help and guidance in dealing with my local Toyota garage. I bought a new Toyota Previa GLS D4D 8str on 30/3/01. Some years later I suspected that the gear was sticking in 5th. It tended to happened when I cruised to a stop at the French toll booths. In May 2005 the problem became acute, the garage removed the gearbox and found that, "the main shaft nut was not tight. A locking washer locks this nut in place, which was still in place. This allowed the gears to slide slightly back and forward on the main shaft, and caused major damage to all gears and layshaft." The bottom line was that this was a latent manufacturing fault. Toyota denied any fault but as a gesture of good will, supplied me with a reconditioned gearbox for £800. The car had done 35,927 miles and I had paid a repair bill of £1,472.18. In October of that year I took the car back because there was a clunk when selecting 1st, but was told that this was a noise inside the box, and not to worry. I reported the fact to Toyota who gave it a case no 427080, mileage 39,038. In June of this year it started to slip out of 5th, mileage 61,714. The garage has looked at the car and tell me that the syncro hub is faulty, and the cost to rectify £845. I bought a Toyota believing it to be the finest car manufacturer in the world. I am staggered that one of their gear boxes should go in less than 40,000 miles, and yet another in 25,000. I now have more time and I believe inclination to pursue matters further. I have spoken to Consumer Direct, who informed me that there was a 6 year period for manufacturing faults. I would be grateful for your advice.

Asked on 26 September 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
The time spans are too great for me to recommend you take any kind of legal action. Consumer Direct should be re-named "Confuser Direct" if it gives out that advice. It takes an interpretation of a piece of legislation and states it as a fact. Yet I have never heard of any actual case law to support this. To succeed with that interpretation of the '6 year rule' you would need to prove that the car was not "of satisfactory quality". The simple fact that a component of it did not last 6 years is not enough and never has been. It is not "reasonable" to expect every component of a car to last 6 years. A sensible interpretation of consumer law (statutes do not become law until they are interpreted in a court) is in the FAQ answer 'Consumer Rights: Rejecting a Duff Car' at www.honestjohn.co.uk

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