Do I have to pay my way out of a finance agreement on a dangerous car?

I have owned an Audi A6 Ultra from new since June 2014. In that time I have had a total electrical failure and 2 steering malfunctions - the latest one just before Christmas 2016. The Audi dealership acknowledged a steering fault but since it didn't present itself whilst in their care, they couldn't determine the exact fault. Their solution was to replace the steering column and they further said that it's not possible to say 100 per cent that this fault has been rectified. The dealership and Volkswagen Finance are stating that I must keep the car back but I refuse to put my family at risk. According to them, my only other option is to pay my way out of the finance arrangement (I owe £2,500 more than the value of the car apparently) or to upgrade my car and enter another finance agreement. None of these options are acceptable from my perspective as the car is simply unfit for purpose. In my view they should simply take the car back and nullify the finance agreement. Where do I stand?

Asked on 27 January 2017 by Alan Midson

Answered by Honest John
The legal way to do this would be to make your complaint in writing, rejecting the car as in a dangerous condition, to both the finance house and the supplying dealer. Tell them that if the termination fee is £2,500, they must sue you for it in the Small Claims track of the County Court (or, alternatively, to preserve your credit record, you pay off the £2,500 then sue the finance house for its return in the Small Claims track of the County Court). Send your letters by Post Office Special Delivery, keep a copy of each letter and staple to each the relevant certificates of posting. See: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
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