Folding roof damaged

I have dispute with a garage in Peterborough from which I bought an MG TF on the 1st of April and I would appreciate your advice.

Within hours of picking up the car a split appeared in the back screen (the car is a soft top and the back window is vinyl), a couple of days later a seperate, worse spit appeared. At the time I took the view that the rear screen was not new and was possibly as old as the car (eight and a half years)so the splits were just bad luck.

I called in at my local garage who told me that the rear screen should be unzipped unvelcroed and laid flat before the roof is folded, to avoid the splitting problem.

I did not know this and, more significantly, neither did the dealer. At no point on the two occasions that the salesman demonstrated the folding of the hood did he detach the rear screen or explain that it needed doing, in fact when this issue came to light he admitted that he did not know the correct roof folding procedure and that he 'felt really stupid.'

I told him that I 'felt really out of pocket' and that I held the dealership responsible. It could be argued that I should have checked the owners manual, the salesman told me that the manual was missing and he would try to find one. A couple of days later I discovered that the owners manual was combined with the service record, this was far too late, the first split appeared when I raised the roof having got home from collecting the car from the dealer.

I delivered a letter by hand to the dealer on the 7th of April outlining why I held them responsible for the damage to the rear screen, the following is an extract from the letter, 'The cost of the replacement back window panel is £158.99, I feel that it would be reasonable for you to contribute £79.50 towards this cost, I will arrange for it to be fitted locally. At the moment I am not asking for the full replacement and fitting cost as the back window that you supplied was not new, it’s replacement will be.'

I thought that this was more than reasonable. They have not responded.

I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Should I take it on the chin? Should I pursue it and if so, how?

Asked on 18 April 2011 by SJWC

Answered by Honest John
I think you are being reasonably reasonable, but if the dealer declines it isn't worth taking the matter to the small claims track of the county court and he probably knows this.

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