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We bought a new car and later found out it had been resprayed - is this fraud?

I bought a new Vauxhall Corsa for my daughter in late 2007. Gradually the paint on the front of the bonnet bubbled and rusted and she rang the dealership, which fobbed her off with a story that the bodywork/paintwork is guaranteed for one year. She is a proud owner of the car and last year she asked a specialist body repairer for a quote to repair some minor car park damage on the offside door. The man said that the car had previously been re-sprayed, which it had not been. She thought she was being conned and did not accept the quote.

This week I took her to a local repair shop that I know and trust. The man took one look at the car and, without prompting, said that the door and bonnet had been resprayed, and he pointed out rippling in the bonnet and colour variations. We discussed the problem of trying to claim against the dealership after this time and went ahead with the repair. In our discussion he said that it was common practice for dealerships to carry out significant repairs on 'new' cars, which I suppose is understandable. However to sell these cars as 'new' without discount and disclosure, strikes me as fraudulent. I would strongly advise all buyers to ask pertinent questions before accepting any new car from any dealership.

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The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) now cover this. Salesmen have a duty to disclose faults that a buyer may miss, but obviously there is not much chance of succeeding with a case six years after the event. See: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/

But since the car was purchased six years ago and before these regulations came into force I don’t think you have a case.
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