I bought a used 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe with piston ring problems - should the dealer replace the car?

I bought a used 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe from a dealer. After four months I started to get white smoke from the exhaust - nothing major, but enough for me to take it to the local Hyundai dealership. They did a number of tests and found nothing wrong, and asked me to do an oil consumption test. This showed that it was burning one litre of oil every 300 miles. They said that this pointed to either piston rings or stem valve seals.

I got in touch with the supplying dealer after speaking to Citizens Advice and said that as I had not had the car for six months I would like a refund, a repair or a replacement. They responded to say that if I buy a car of this age I should expect some mechanical problems (the car has done 100,00 miles). In the meantime the car has started producing copious amounts of white smoke, so much so that I had to be towed home and have not been able to drive the car since.

I have spoken to Trading Standards and they have said that I should ask Hyundai to write to me, stating that it is unusual for a car of this age to have this level of engine problems and then ask the dealer to pay for 50 per cent of the repair costs. I do not think this is good enough.

Asked on 23 August 2010 by nicko666

Answered by Lucy
The Sale of Goods Act takes takes into account the age, mileage, service history and price of a secondhand car and, under the circumstances, it is very unlikely that you will get a refund. You need to go back to the dealer and see what offer they are prepared to make in respect of the repair. Without further information Trading Standards' proposal seems to be a good one.
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