Previous crash damage was not disclosed on a car I now own - what are my rights?

In December 2016, I purchased a 2015 Ford S-Max from a Ford dealer. The vehicle was Ford Direct with a two year, unlimited mileage warranty. Recently my car was hit by another vehicle. When I took the S-Max for report, I was informed that the car had previously had a frontal impact and was poorly repaired. I've tried speaking to the Ford dealer, but other than saying the salesperson no longer works for them, they've said I need to take this up with Ford directly. Following this, they never return my calls. I've tried calling Ford Direct but I'm passed from phone number to phone number, constantly ending up nowhere. The only piece of information I’ve been able to obtain is that consumers cannot contact Ford Direct, it must be via the Dealer. My issue is, I wasn’t made aware that the car had previous impact damage and been repaired; it’s not something I would expect on a nearly new vehicle purchased from a main dealer. I want to know what the damage was and why it’s ‘poorly repaired’. The accident repair centre who currently have my car are going to prepare a report for me but have said they need to work around the previous repair. Had I have known of this repair it would have severely impacted my decision to purchase this car. At best I would not have paid the market price. I’ve has the car for 11 months now – where do I stand, what can I do?

Asked on 8 December 2017 by Sam Halligan

Answered by Honest John
The dealer is directly liable for selling you a car with prior accident damage without telling you: The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, is derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003. This reverses the burden of proof so that if goods go faulty within six months after purchase it is deemed they were faulty at the time of purchase and the trader has the onus of proving that the item is not defective due to a manufacturing defect. See: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023045.htm/ This gives more teeth to the judgement in Bowes v J Richardson & SonThe Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations May 2008 (CPRs) incorporate The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 and contain a general prohibition against unfair commercial practices and, in particular prohibitions against misleading actions, misleading omissions and aggressive commercial practices. The Regulations are enforceable through the civil and criminal courts. See These create an offence of misleading omissions which would not previously have been an offence if the consumer had not asked the right questions. So if a salesman knows a car has, for example, been badly damaged and repaired and does not tell the customer, he could later be held liable if the customer subsequently discovered that the car had been damaged and repaired.
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