Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - RT

In mid October 2015, I took delivery of a brand new VW, from a distant VW dealer, financed on a VW Solutions PCP. It was, and still is, intended as a "keeper" for my remaining years.

The PCP was paid off in full within 4 months - so first question is whether VW Solutions have any remaining liability under CRA.

My local VW dealer agreed to carry out all servicing and warranty work, and have done so.

At 9 months old, the sunroof leaked as the drains had become detached - local VW dealer fitted new sunroof frame, allegedly to a modified design, however they found faults with that frame so yet another was ordered from the factory, fitted and worked satisfactorily for a year, until now.

On holiday, we were unable to close the sunroof due to something triggering the anti-trap mechanism - two VW dealers in different parts of Scotland were able to force the sunroof closed to enable our journey home.

The two Scottish VW dealers and my local VW dealer agree that a "4th" new sunroof frame is probably needed but will only know next week when it's dismantled.

Understandably, I have no faith in the long-term reliablity of VW sunroofs on this model - I plan to try to negotiate with VW UK for a warranty extension on the sunroof - but my second question is whether not using the selling dealer, but using VW warranty at my local dealer, has undermined my rights under CRA as a fall-back position.

I'm between a rock and a hard place - in practice I can't reject the vehicle and get my money back, even with a big deduction for use so far as my chosen specification is so unique it would cost a fortune to buy into a different brand and it would be impossible for VW to find a comparable model that didn't already have a sunroof.

I would appreciate the benefit of the Back Room's knowledgeable contributors as I feel that negotiation is the way forward but I'd like to know my fall-back position if that fails.

Edited by RT on 05/07/2017 at 13:29

Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - RobJP

VW finance are nothing to do with your CRA rights - your rights, such as they would be at this stage, are with the dealership who sold you the car - the retailer. Nobody else.

You can't reject the car under the general rules of the CRA - you are past the point at which you can do so.

The only option if you did wish to reject would be to take the matter to court (assuming you could not come to an agreement with the original retailer), arguing that the goods have never been 'fit for purpose'. However, before even considering that, you would HAVE to give the original supplying dealer an opportunity to rectify the fault.

Even if you went to court, no guarantee of winning, or what the court decision would be - they might order the VW dealer to just pay you a small amount of compensation, and close the matter.

However, you've had nearly 2 years use out of the car. The car is still covered by another year of warranty. The car has been generally reliable - and when faults have occurred, they've been rectified. The court might even decide you were being frivolous, and throw out your case.

Edited by RobJP on 05/07/2017 at 14:03

Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - RT

VW finance are nothing to do with your CRA rights - your rights, such as they would be at this stage, are with the dealership who sold you the car - the retailer. Nobody else.

You can't reject the car under the general rules of the CRA - you are past the point at which you can do so.

The only option if you did wish to reject would be to take the matter to court (assuming you could not come to an agreement with the original retailer), arguing that the goods have never been 'fit for purpose'. However, before even considering that, you would HAVE to give the original supplying dealer an opportunity to rectify the fault.

Even if you went to court, no guarantee of winning, or what the court decision would be - they might order the VW dealer to just pay you a small amount of compensation, and close the matter.

However, you've had nearly 2 years use out of the car. The car is still covered by another year of warranty. The car has been generally reliable - and when faults have occurred, they've been rectified. The court might even decide you were being frivolous, and throw out your case.

Thanks - that is rather what I expected.

I took out the 2-year VW warranty extension when new, 5-years from new in this case, so still another 3 years of VW warranty left - I had planned to use Warranty Direct after the 5-years - so I guess I have to a) hope it doesn't happen again and b) that it's not raining if it does!

I did establish two things though - if you can stand the noise, the faster you go the drier you stay - using a golf umbrella to gover the gap only works up to 10 mph before it turns inside out.

Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - RobJP

Thanks - that is rather what I expected.

I took out the 2-year VW warranty extension when new, 5-years from new in this case, so still another 3 years of VW warranty left - I had planned to use Warranty Direct after the 5-years - so I guess I have to a) hope it doesn't happen again and b) that it's not raining if it does!

I did establish two things though - if you can stand the noise, the faster you go the drier you stay - using a golf umbrella to gover the gap only works up to 10 mph before it turns inside out.

It might be an idea to speak to the original supplying dealer - or even VW customer services, depending on what the dismantling of the current sunroof frame comes up with.

For example, the garage tell you it needs another new frame. You speak to VW customer services, expressing your concerns, it's going to be on yet another frame, how many times, etc, etc, etc. You bought a quality car, very disappointed, - throw in mention of CRA and 'not fit for purpose from day one' ... you might just find it gets escalated to a senior level for them trying to keep you happy.

Whatever you do, don't mention the 'hopefully bought as my last car'. They won't care so much about you if you were never going to buy off them in the future anyway.

Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - Manatee

Assuming the agreement is regulated, which it almost certainly is if the purchase price of the car was £30,000 or less, them you do still have your CCA 1974 Section 75 rights which essentally means that the lender is jointly and severally liable with the supplying dealer for the dealer's obligations to you in respect of the car. That liability gerally continues whether or not the loan has been paid off.

However that might be of limited help. The lender will not be liable for anything that the dealer would not have been liable for. From memory, it is on the hook for the goods being as described and of satisfactory quality. In effect this would indirectly include obligations such as warranty that the dealer included.

That doesn't stop you pursuing the lender but if the dealer can wriggle out of it then so can they - unless the financial ombudsman service, to which you can try complaining, tells them otherwise.

There are nuances here of course, this can get very complicated. Was the agreement HP, conditional sale, or something else? Is the dealer responsible for the manufacturer warranty (although you have had no problem with this)? You are unlikely to have any claim on the servicing dealer.

The other thing is that lenders do their best, in general, to bat any claims back to the supplying dealer. They can't actually insist on this, as they are just as liable, but if it comes to a court case then not pursuing the problems with the dealer could weaken your claim (because you have not made enough effort to mitigate your loss).

Then there is the question of what the claim is for. Your car is still in warranty. If nothing else goes wrong, you have no claim. The lender will not entertain making any commitment to deal with something that might happen, they will just say they will consider it if it does (before, in all probability, batting it away).

It seems unlikely that you have undermined your rights by not going back to the supplying dealer. The lender is liable anyway (if there is anything to be liable for) and you cannot really be said to have failed to mitigate - what you have done was reasonable and customary.

In practice I would say your best bet is to hope for some goodwill from the manufacturer if it goes wrong again out of warranty. No harm in trying to get the manufacturer to "guarantee" the repairs for a reasonable period in advance, but not much you can do if they refuse.

E&OE - just my non-lawer's thoughts.

Some material here:

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/techni...a

Incidentally I don't know what you mean by "CRA" - am I missing something?

Edited by Manatee on 08/07/2017 at 13:55

Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - RT

CRA > Consumer Rights Act 2015

The car was (well) over £30,000.

Volkswagen - Consumer Rights Act - Manatee

RIght. Mine is a rather redundant reply then.

"CRA" uses the "satisfactory quality", "as described" and "fit for purpose" criteria too. So you can have an argument about whether your car meets those. But that is fairly well trodden ground I imagine and the manufacturer/dealer is unlikely to wnat to set any sort of precedent, so goodwill is probably your best bet if it goes wrong again.

 

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