fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Alsmith

Hi, bought an old motorhome last aug and the dealer did quite a bit of work on it prior to collection. He paid for a service and cam belt change at his usual local garage. cam belt tensioner failed in May and caused major top end damage. cam belt was inspected by independent and is definitely not new therefore I can assume tensioner bolt is also old -hence failure. Have contacted motorhome supplier who is slow in responding - As I did not pay for cam belt change (which was not carried out) what legal options do I have assuming I get nowhere with supplier? many thanks for any guidance.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - RobJP

Bought 10 months ago, so no legal comeback on the selling garage or anyone else at all.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Alsmith

Ok, thanks for prompt reply, explains the lack of response from supplier - expensive lesson learnt on trusting that work claimed has actually been carried out.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - FP

What you needed at the time was service history and receipts relating to the claimed work.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Brit_in_Germany

If a condition of the sale was that the cam belt had been changed and in fact it had not been, there might be a legal route but it would depend on what the evidence looked like.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Alsmith
I have a receipt from the garage showing cam belt change and service and a total price ( paid by motorhome supplier) and verbal agreement with motorhome supplier of the work he would carry out ( or have carried out ) prior to me collecting vehicle this included having it serviced and cam belt changed as its last change was 2006 - ( low mileage since then until I bought it) . I have service history and supplier knows it is comprehensive as we spoke about it at during purchase. I am ready to re-engage with motorhome supplier - just need to understand who I am claiming against - him or the garage which didn't carry out the work the motorhome supplier paid for.
fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - RobJP

Any claim you might have is with whoever supplied goods and services to you - so it would appear that it would be with the vendor.

I note that you say you had a 'verbal agreement' for the work that would be carried out. That has precisely zero value in law

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - lordwoody

"That has precisely zero value in law"

Absolutely not true. One of the problems of seeking legal advice from the unqualified.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Palcouk

A verbal agreement is a valid/enforcable comtract, the problem being it is one persons word against another.

The OP has allready had a response to this Q in HJ's Answers

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - FP

"...a 'verbal agreement' for the work that would be carried out. That has precisely zero value in law"

Not so, but of course it is much harder legally to establish the existence and terms of a verbal contract than it would be for a written contract.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - RobJP

Let me rephrase it then. A verbal agreement cannot easily be proved to exist, if one of the parties denies that it exists.

The OP could say that they have a verbal agreement from the vendor that the car would be perfectly reliable for years, or ...well, they could say anything they like. Doesn't make it true.

Basically, you want to enforce a verbal agreement that you believe you have with another party, and if they deny the agreement exists in the form you claim, you'd have to go to a courtroom and let a judge decide if it was valid or not.

Good luck with that one !

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Brit_in_Germany

There is the receipt from the servicing garage, though.

fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Alsmith
Thanks to all, making decent progress trying to resolve at lowest level. Fingers crossed this continues.
fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - Alsmith
Garage has accepted my independent mechanics report that cam belt tensioner bolt was not replaced properly and has come loose and fallen off. Await his call tomorrow to discuss - I cannot see where I should accept any liability and expect an offer of full costs to be covered by them. Does this negate the six months rule or is an admission ( primarily due to lack of any other credible explanation) sufficient to make my case tight. Not expecting to have to escalate but if I have to raise the ante - want to be sure I am not risking a decent settlement and getting nothing st small claims

Many thanks
fiat iveco based motorhome - legal advice on engine damage - RobJP

You may well fall into 'betterment'.

As you yourself said in the original post, it is an 'old motorhome'. If you expect to have a perfect, new engine fitted at zero cost to yourself then you would be in a better position than you were initially. So that would not be 'reasonable'.

If, on the other hand, they offered to source a recon engine and fit it, or they offered to pay a substantial proportion of those costs, then that might be reasonable.

You can only really say once you've discussed it with them, and they've made their proposal. You can then (if necessary) make a counter-proposal, and negotiate from there.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car