Accidental damage by breakdown services

My brand new, two week old car was suffering from electrics problems - e.g. alarm going off for no reason, air con not working etc - which the dealer quickly agreed to sort out. They sent a transporter van from an agent of the roadside service company under the warranty to collect the car. As the representative was driving up the ramps one wheel came off the ramp, the car crashed onto the ramp causing damage to the undercarriage. He reversed off, scraping the underside, and tried to winch it back on again. This time, both wheels on the passenger side came off the ramp with a loud bang causing more damage. He admitted his transporter was not large enough and called for a larger one. We have photos of the visible damage to the underside of the car and the transporter appears to accept responsibility but I am being handled at present by the customer services team of the roadside assistance company.

The car is brand new and this damage was caused by an agent of the dealer responding to a problem of electrical defects from the manufacturer. There has certainly been some damage to suspension but as yet I have not been informed of the extent or given any report.

I expect a new car rather than a repaired one. What would be my position?

Asked on 10 April 2012 by Will Youngman

Answered by Honest John
Get a brief. Some links in this FAQ: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/ But I had better warn you that another reader got involved in litigation against Mercedes Benz Chelsea over a similar incident, his involving an S Class Mercedes. It wound up costing him around £40,000 in legal fees, of which he only got about £20,000 back, plus the unrepaired, wrecked car that had been sitting in a compound for two years and had lost virtually all its value. The law in the UK does not necessarily bring you what you would call justice.
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