What constitutes unsatisfactory quality under the Consumer Rights Act?

I bought a 2009 BMW 318i Tourer with 95k miles for £5700 in May from an independent dealer with a seemingly comprehensive six month mechanical warranty. On delivery I discovered that the reverse gear was completely broken. This was repaired under warranty with no quibbles. Also during the first day I noticed a constant noise while the car was moving. This took a fair time to diagnose as being a worn diff bearing. The car was returned again for repair and this time, while other parts were changed, the diff was put down to 'reasonable wear and tear' and he offered to split the cost of a diff with me 50/50.

Later a third fault emerged - a terrible clatter from the engine that an independent BMW specialist believes is coming from the timing chain. I approached the dealer for a return under the Consumer RIghts Act (now owned for three months). The dealer has flatly refused that neither the unresolved diff bearing or the timing chain clatter are anything other than reasonable wear and tear at eight years/97k miles.

The Consumer Rights Act seems too wooly in the area of vehicle wear and tear. Please can you advise whether I should safely be able to return this vehicle under the CRA for a partial refund or whether to accept the dealers 'offer' to re-sell the vehicle for me?

Asked on 30 August 2017 by Tim Howe

Answered by Honest John
I am not aware of any High Court and definitely not aware of any Supreme Court test cases on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 so can only advise on the law as I see it: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/ In theory the dealer is liable for any significant faults that occur within the first 6 months after purchase. But a whining diff is not a breakage. And a rattling timing chain is not a breakage. So, in this case, I don't know for sure, but I don't think you would win a small claim against the dealer.
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