Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
Sooo,,,

My brother bought a Mazda 6 from a used car dealer that works from home, I bought it on 27/3/08.

In the past month or so, the air conditioning has stopped working, I call the trader up as it states "used car warranty" on the invoice (but it seems to say £0.00 for the cost of it)

He tells me to go to get it regassed, I look up in the yellow pages for a specialist and take it to him for work, he detects a leak, he writes a report detailing the fault.

The trader just says "not my problem, sold as seen, and there is no warranty" IMO this is ridiculous, I bought it as a private individual, surely it's his fault, there is nothing on the paperwork saying sold as seen, fair enough it's 3 months later but I would expect an A/C to last at least 8 years (that's how old my car is)

Edited by Pugugly on 27/06/2008 at 19:46

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - Dynamic Dave
I look up in the yellow pages for a specialist and take it to him for work he detects a leak he writes a report detailing the fault.
fair enough it's 3 months later but I would expect an A/C to last at least 8 years


Where did the 'specialist' say the leak was? If it's the condenser, who's to say that a stone thown up from a car in front hasn't punctured it. In which case it won't be warrantied.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
It was one of the hoses or something, he said it needs replacing and resealing, I am sure if there was physical damage he would have mentioned.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - Armitage Shanks {p}
Most of what you need is here www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/faq.htm?id=43

SFAIK if anything goes wrong with a car within 6 months of the sale it is up to the dealer to prove that the fault was not present when he sold it; onus of proof is on him and I don't think the age of the car is an aspect of it.

Edited by Armitage Shanks {p} on 27/06/2008 at 19:46

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
"SFAIK if anything goes wrong with a car within 6 months of the sale it is up to the dealer to prove that the fault was not present when he sold it; onus of proof is on him and I don't think the age of the car is an aspect of it."

You cannot expect a 2nd hand car of 1 year, 5 year, 10 year etc to be all in the same condition. Age of car, and price of car does have a bearing on the condition of the car at the point of sale and what is fair to be put right and what is not!

Regarding this car, it would be intersting to know the age and mileage (and value compared to other similar models for sale elsewhere).

Was it a proper trader or a diyer selling a few cars "on the side"? If you buy cheap from such places then you have to expect some comebacks? If he is not a proper trader then it will be very difficult to get much sorted.

Was the air con working at the time of sale? If not why not take it back sooner? If it was then as far as the seller was concerned it was no fault at the time of sale!

As is often the case, not a cut and dried position!
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - jc2
You say you bought it from your brother-why should you have a comeback to whoever he bought it from?
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - pd
The key date is when your brother bought it - not when you bought it.

Whether you have a good case or not depends on when it was purchased, how old the car was and how much was paid for it.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
OK, I am doing all this on behalf of my brother, lets just pretend I own the car and I bought the car from the dealer (it's not actually my car, I have't bought it)

I bought it 3 months ago from the dealer
It was pretty much dead on three years old when i got it with 85k on the clock, it now has 92k on the clock.

The car was sold above trade price from a trader that sells cars from home for profit, he has maybe 10-15 cars listed on his website.

The car cost £6,800 at the time, was listed at £6.895 on autotrader.

Edited by khizman on 28/06/2008 at 15:17

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - Ubi
Keep going. It gets more interesting with every post.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
was the air con working when you (or your brother) bought the car from the trader?
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
Don't think so, we really only noticed when the really hot spell came around a few weeks back (the car is used daily for 80 miles, so not really had time to get it looked at).
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - jc2
But you've done 7,000m.since someone purchased it and A/C will give all sorts of problems if not used regularly.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
If it was giving problems, I think the main damage from not using it would have been caused in the three years before I owned it, rather than the past three months.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
I think in 3 months you should have had ample time to find out if there were any problems such as the air con and take it back to the seller.

From his point of view; its a 2nd hand car (90k miles) no problems reported back to him until 3 months have elapsed and then told aircon not working. He is likely to think that it must have been working at the time of sale and is therefore not responsible for wear/tear damage that may have ocurred.

Is the car good in all other respects? Have you complained about lots of items? Do you think he should be responsible for air con problem? if so, why?
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
The only problem I have had was the wheels werent balanced at all, so I paid to get that done, wasn't worth the hassle of chasing it up, I found that on the way home after buying it.

I would however expect an aircon to last longer than three months after purchase, probbably more like two months as it's probbably been a month since we first established there was a problem. Would you say it was reasonable to expect an aircon unit to last more than three months on a three year old car, it should last the lifetime of the vehicle in theory, although going back to him in 2 years time saying the aircon has stopped working is unreasonable.

I guess it will be upto hom to prove the fault didn't exist.

Edited by khizman on 28/06/2008 at 16:31

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
if it was working at time of sale (you didnt report it as not working) then he will be able to assume it was working. (Right or wrong is irrelevant; its how it will be decided!)

2 months after sale its reported to be not working. He suggests regassing, presumably so that if it then doesnt work he could sort it! However on regassing it is found to have a leak. He will then assume this has happened after sale (by wear/tear/neglect/other) and inform you that is not under warranty!

Difficult to prove otherwise, regardless of what is right and wrong!

Bit late now but morol of story is to purchase from an established site (with premises, and reputation)?

is the car 3 years old or 8 years old? I am a little confused because you have mentioned both ages of car!

Edited by yorkiebar on 28/06/2008 at 16:39

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
But if it wears out 2 months after me owning it, surely it hasn't lasted a reasonable length of time considering the age of the car?

If the gearbox fell out of the car 3 months after me buying it, then because it's not "under warranty" it's my problem, or has the box not lasted a reasonable length of time?

Edited by khizman on 28/06/2008 at 16:40

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
If you drove badly and ripped the gearbox off its mountings allowing it to fall out; that would not be under warranty either.

If it fell out because of an underlying problem; that would be under warranty.

Brake pads wear out; not under warranty; unless a major component failed etc!

Air con is an ancilliary component with items that wear from over use/under use/neglect etc. Not always under warranty.

How long a warranty do you expect ? How old is the car? You mention 8 years? Air con rarely workw well at this age regardless of what car its in!

You said "but I would expect an A/C to last at least 8 years (that's how old my car is) "
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
As I said I have 2 other cars, 8 yrs and 14 yrs, both aircons work perfectly and have had no work that I know of, but if I bought them 4 years ago from a trader, it would be wholly unreasonable for me to go back to them and ask them to fix it.

SOGA states the goods must be of satisfactory quality, I don't think a satisfactory air conditioning unit of a car will last 3 months, even if it's three years old.

I would expect an air conditioning unit on a car to last at least 10 or so years, however it would be unreasonable to expect the trader to repair the aircon unit in seven years time.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
Car is 3 years old.

I usually buy privately as I usually get the car cheaper so am willing to pay for bits and pieces that go wrong, but when you buy from a trader who is selling for a profit, you expect some degree of comeback.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
"you expect some degree of comeback. "

As explained before. it was working at time of sale (by assumption). Its now got a leak. How is that the sellers problem?
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
"you expect some degree of comeback. "
As explained before. it was working at time of sale (by assumption). Its now got
a leak. How is that the sellers problem?


Goods aren't of satisfactory quality considering the cost of the car and the age of the car, IMO.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - pd
If the engine blew up through no fault of your own then in such a case you would have some come back. However, the question is is it reasonable to expect that the aircon system may need some work after 95k miles?

To be honest, given the typical reliability of aircon, it probably is which is why it would be a tough one to argue out.

Did you ask what the seller covered by means of any sort of warranty or not? If that did not cover enough did you consider a 3rd party warranty bought direct (which is what most dealers, including a franchised one, would flog you anyway)?

Unless you had purchased the car with an underwritten warranty then I suspect a main dealer might argue this one out.

You do get more protection from a trader than a private seller but this protection reduces the longer you have the car, the older the car, the more miles the car has done, the more miles you do and how much you paid.

The harsh reality is that used cars are cheaper than new ones because they are part worn items which go wrong and cost money. ;(
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - pd
It may be a 3 year old car but it is also one which has done 95k - a mileage at which almost no warranty provider would give any sort of moderately comprehensive coverage on it.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
I know, I did ask about his warranty, he just mentioned sales of goods act basically.

I don't think an aircon unit should need work after 95k and 3 years,

My car has 90k and is a few years older and has had no work done.
My mx-5 is 14 years old, no work done to my knowlege.
My dads car has 105k over 4 years, again no work done.

My sister has a corolla that had a regas and has worked fine since.

I think it's probbably best to see what his response is to the letter I wrote after calling consumerdirect.

Edited by khizman on 28/06/2008 at 17:07

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - drbe
As explained before. it was working at time of sale (by assumption). Its now got
a leak. How is that the sellers problem?

>>

Yorkiebar, what you don't seem to understand is, that it's the law.

Like it or not, fair or not, like it or lump it, it's the law. (AFAIK).

Edited by drbe on 28/06/2008 at 21:43

Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - pd
Unfortunately the law is not as simple as that. Consumer Law as applied to used cars is incredibly difficult.

It is relatively clear cut as far as new cars are concerned but applied to used it is anyone's guess.

As a basic rule the newer and low mileage the car and the more serious the fault the better weighted it is to the purchaser. This particularly applies to any safety related aspects.

My honest view is that a 95k car with an aircon fault over 3 months from purchase is a difficult one for the purchaser to persue and probably more trouble and expense than might be worthwhile. If it went to court my feeling is it would be judged by people who think 20k is high mileage for a car.

You also haven't said what the fault is. If it the condensor then the dealer could simply argue it is a wear and tear and damage possible item (which it is) and it would be classed as the same as getting a stone through the windscreen - bad luck.

You have asked tor advice here and the general advice is clear but that doesn't mean you shouldn't pressure the dealer to help out. Some sort of contribution towards the cost would seem to be a fair result.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - Pugugly
Trading Standards (or whatever they call themselves these days) will give you the definitive answer.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
I am not saying it is right that the aircon has a problem after 2/3 months.

I am not saying the soga is irrelelevant.

But, the seller has to prove that no fault existed at the time of sale. No fault was reported until after 2 months +.

Seller will (right or wrong is not relevant) state that the aircon was working at the time of sale. No proof of otherwise by any side.

He will then state, after a regas to try and identify the problem; a leak was found.

He will then state, the leak wasnt there at the time of sale. therefore its wear and tear or neglect or other that is no fault of the seller.

How anyone thinks they will be able to push this back onto the seller to correct is naive or hopeful at best imo.

I think a decent trader would sort a compromise of some sort and have settled. The fact he hasnt by now indicates his attitude to it imo?

Whetehr it is right or wrong is not the case here. Its how/what to do.

Could anybody here prove he knew of the fault at the time of sale? Couldhe forsee the system getting aleak? Should he have to provide cover in case of accidental damage to bodywork or windscreen? If not, then why air con system?

Please try to understand I am being the devils advocate, and if this came to law to be argued then the trader has more chance of success than the purchaser imo.

I repeat my moral of the story. Best place to buy is from an established trader with premises and reputation.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
Doesn't the law extend beyond the "time of sale" which seem to be the three wordsyou keep mentioning?

The fault is with some sort of pipe which is leaking, it needs replacing and resealing or something like that.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
To keep it simple.

If there is ever a dispute over warranty or repirs needed; the question always comes back to; the onus of proof is on the seller to prove the fault did not exist at the time of sale, or could not reasonably be predicted.

His defence will be; no fault was there when he sold the car. No fault was reported until after 2 months. After investigation it was found to be a leak which wasnt there when he sold it.

The question then is, is he responsible for the leak? His defence will be, its a wear/tear/neglect item so no! Like bodywork damage/windscreen damage/brake pads worn out etc.

I am not trying to say he is right. I am trying to say its an uphill struggle to get anything done because of the circumstances.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
Within the first six months it's the sellers responsibility to prove that the fault wasn't there at time of sale.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - yorkiebar
Then you understand what I have been trying to say?
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - khizman
Yeah,
I am not too sure if that will be ok, him saying it took 2-3 months.

It's not always an obvious thing that it isn't cooling properly, as there are fans inside the car too, and you can drive with open windows if you prefer.

There are so many variables in this kind of thing, I think the small claims courts generally side with the consumer.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - ifithelps
For goodness sake, talk about ever decreasing circles.

Either fix it, or open a window.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - Fullchat
Khizman, life aint that simple!

And by the time you get all this sorted with the full weight of the sale of Goods Act behind you it will be winter and you wont need your aircon.

The handbook may well say that you should run the aircon every week or so. You didn't run it for two months.

Get it fixed and move on.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - pd
Trading Standards will not be able to give a difinitive answer. They may be able to give an opinion based on experience (although they may not due t liability issues) but the law is just as vague to them as anyone else.

I also think the chances of TS being interested in backing any sort of action very, very low.

No one is saying you shouldn't try - it is up to you - but you asked for opinions and the general consensus is that an aircon fault on a 95k mile car 3 months after purchase is not going to be easy to argue out.
Air Con fault - trader dodges warranty claim - pd
BTW, is it a diesel or petrol? If it is a diesel then you should look at:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=57098

 

Value my car