We sold a car 'as seen' but it now needs a new engine - where do we stand?

My partner has just sold a year 2000 MGF via Ebay. The lady flew from her home on the Isle of Man to Gatwick, then caught a train to Slough. Following a quite lengthy test drive she bought the car and set out from a friend's house in Blackburn, over 200 miles away. She texted after about 4 hours to thank my partner for selling her such a lovely car, however a hour or so later, just as she was getting to Blackburn the car overheated. The AA were called and thought there was a small hole in the head gasket so added some sealant. The next morning the car over heated again on the way from Blackburn to the ferry, and so was trailered to a garage on the Isle of Man. She has chosen not to use a local MG specialist, preferring to rely on a garage she has used previously. Without inspecting the car the garage is saying that it needs a new engine.

The head gasket had been replaced with a new triple layer version, the radiator has been changed, stainless steel coolant pipes were fitted and recently a new water pump, with the cam belt and tensioners being done, all at a local MG specialist who is recommended by the MG owners club, and my partner had been using the car without a problem. Both my partner and I feel terrible about this issue and are willing to help financially, but wonder how we stand legally. The car was sold as seen and tested.

Asked on 29 March 2017 by dave6072

Answered by Honest John
You're in the clear. No breach on contract. She comprehensively tested the car. You had already done everything you reasonably could have done to overcome the problems that this engine can suffer from. Be careful about admitting any liability. Any contribution you make should be "without prejudice".
Similar questions
At a recent family reunion, my friend's partner backed into my car in torrential rain - before I'd even moved - causing serious damage to my car. He shot off at great speed, driving in a highly dangerous...
In January 2015 I purchased a used 2013 Volkswagen Caddy van (15,000 miles) from a Volkswagen branch. So far I've needed a new rear axle replaced under warranty after it was found to be bent (Feb 2016)...
I was trying to sell my Aston Martin Vantage V8 4.7 through a garage who offered a sale or return deal, taking a commission if the vehicle was sold. Five weeks and 300 miles later, only two prospective...
Related models
Practical everyday roadster with a surprising amount of luggage space for a mid-engined car, decent handling, plenty of used ones around
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car