Our new car will be off the road for three months with a fault - what are our options?

I bought a new Range Rover but when we picked it up there was an airbag light on on the dashboard. We thought this was the indication that the front passenger airbag was turned of, so we could carry infants in the front seat, so did nothing about it as we carried our newly born granddaughter in there regularly. When we sent it in for its 1st service Land Rover informed us that we could not have the car back as it had a serious safety problem with the drivers airbag and the car could not be driven. It has since been proven through the ECU that the fault was on the car the day we picked it up, and should have been picked up on the PDI.

The car is going to be of the road for another month they have now offered us a loan vehicle, which we have declined at the moment. What are our options with this vehicle and what is the retailers responsibility? They are offering us £1500 plus just over a months depreciation and in total the car will be off the road over 3 months.

Asked on 21 July 2017 by Dave Gilligan

Answered by Honest John
If they have offered you an equivalent loan vehicle for the period during which your car is being fixed then I fail to understand why you have refused this. Though the fault was present from day 1, they are telling you it is repairable so Clegg v Olle Andersson, House of Lords, 2003 probably does not apply. If you were to take the matter to court (at colossal expense) and if you were to get a ruling in your favour (not guaranteed) the dealer is still entitled to charge you for your use of the car for 8000 miles, though you could counter that with a charge of "wreckless endangerment" in allowing you to drive away in a car with a serious SRS fault. They might them counter that the light warned you of the fault and you should have brought the car back to them immediately. All a bit of a mess legally. Take professional (paid for) advice by all means, but mine is to accept the loan car and the repair and only reject your car if they fail to carry out the repair correctly. (If you were planning a foreign touring holiday then the dealer has to insure the loan car for you to undertake that.)
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