Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - Rustyrenault

On the 23rd of December 2011 I bought a car from a garage in the South of England, the cost was £25,800 and it was first registered in 2007. It had covered 9000 miles from new and although from a very small factory was officially imported and sold by the garage I bought it from, they were the sole UK agents and they are currently negotiating with the current producers of the vehicle to import them again. It was never available as a kit and although the firm which built them went out of business a couple of years ago it is now possible to buy new ones as they are back in production from a different firm using the same name. The original was produced in The Netherlands & is now produced in Germany. On the 29th. of February while travelling across the Ashdown Forest at around 40 mph one of the pivot bars on the rear of the car snapped and it went totally out of control, hitting a bank head on, flipping over and then sliding across the road where it came to rest in the opposite hedge. This incident was as a result of the pivot bar breaking and the car is a write off. I have been in touch with the Dutch service agent who tells me that the garage was fully aware of this situation. The garage has a mechanic who is a specialist in these vehicles and at the time of writing this they still have one for sale which, as far as I know has not been modified. The Dutch service agent tells me that the modification can be done for less than £1000, so the garage was quite happy to let me go off in a car which they knew could kill me for the sake of £1000. What makes it even more incredible is that they were Dealer of the Year 2005 & 2006 for the iconic British Sports Car which they also sell. If you can't trust a Dealer of the Year, who can you trust. As well as my car and the other they have for sale there is a third car which has recently been sold and that would also require modification. If you value your customers' lives so lightly you should not be in business! So, my first question is this: As I have proof that the car should have received this £1000 modification and they did not do it which resulted in the car self destructing which could have seriously injured or killed me, what can I do? The garage is aware of the incident but apart from a reply to my email saying "thank you for keeping us informed" there has been no further communication. I don't believe in starting on them until I have all the facts gathered together. When I am ready to approach them, my proposal is that they supply me with a replacement car which means a new one as none other is suitable and also that they should pay all my insurance company's expenses so that this event is wiped from my record. Is this reasonable and what pressure can I bring to bear? Thank you for reading all this and for any suggestions.

Edited by Avant on 09/03/2012 at 00:06

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - SlidingPillar

Mods - you may wish to edit the above post, I was easily able to work out the actual dealer and make of the car. (Done - thanks.)

Rustyrenault

Difficult one, you do have a case of some description, but not for a new car. The actual amount you spent though is a different matter. You need to take legal advice on this one as we're not talking small claims should it come to court.

While you have used capital letters and punctuation a few paragraphs would make your post easier to read.

Edited by Avant on 09/03/2012 at 00:07

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - dieselnut

I would also email VOSA with the details of your cars mechanical failings.

If they consider it is dangerous they will force a recall onto the manufacturer & perhaps prevent further serious accidents.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - skidpan

I would also email VOSA with the details of your cars mechanical failings.

If they consider it is dangerous they will force a recall onto the manufacturer & perhaps prevent further serious accidents.

Agree with dieselnut, get the matter reported to the DVLA immediately. How would you feel if you read about another of these cars having an accident caused by the same failure and you had not reported it. Next time it may wipe out an entire family in another vehicle.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - SlidingPillar

The forced recall action won't work - the manufacturer no longer exists, they went bust.

Maker of same car now is not the same company, so no liability or responsibility for earlier cars.

Edited by SlidingPillar on 08/03/2012 at 13:33

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - skidpan

The forced recall action won't work - the manufacturer no longer exists, they went bust.

Maker of same car now is not the same company, so no liability or responsibility for earlier cars.

If the cars are so dangerous in their current state they should be forced off the road until modifications are made regardless of the manufacturer existing or not. Somene has to take responsibilty, if its the owner, sorry but the works needs doing to make them safe. If you ended up in court after wiping a family out in one these cars I don't think "sorry m'lud but since the manufacturer had gone bust they could not make the car safe so I carried on using it".

Common sense applies, get these dangerous cars off the road, the defect appears to be well known by the dealer so he could be held to blame.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - dieselnut

" The forced recall action won't work - the manufacturer no longer exists, they went bust. "

But surely VOSA/ DVLA would inform all owners of the potentiol problem so they can get their vehicles inspected & rectified . I, & I suspect most owners, would rather pay to get this fixed than drive about in a potential timebomb.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - SlidingPillar

I believe VOSA/DVLA would do that but I imagine they'd take more than the OPs word for it. As I imagine an engineers report would be needed should the matter come to court, and VOSA/DVLA would take notice of this - advising them now does seem sensible.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - Rustyrenault

Hi SlidingPillar, thank you for your reply but do you really need to point out the lack of paragraphs. I have a degree in English and had used paragraphs throughout the original document, the journey through cyberspace had removed them!

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - SlidingPillar

The lack of paragraphs was pointed out to be helpful and cast no aspersions on your qualifications.

Pasting from Word could do this as it puts in all sorts of things you can't see.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - concrete

Sorry to read of your accident. You are obviously unhurt which is the main thing. A couple of obvious point really.

Trading Standards should be approached with a view to the trading policy of the garage, obviously selling potentially dangerous vehicles, no matter who made them, is a cause for concern.

Also The Sale of Goods Act may give you some redress as the vehicle was clearly not fit for purpose, there may be some mileage in that. (pardon the pun)

Trading Standards should be able to assist you and if appropriate take action or point you towards a good lawyer with experience in this field. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

Concrete

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - Rustyrenault

Thank you to everyone who has replied. I will let you know how things progress. I had a few bumps and bruises but the car remained intact which was a good thing. I am ringing the insurance company today to see if they have inspected it and then I hope to attempt to resolve things with the dealer. When I last spoke to the insurance company they said that they could take legal action if there was proof that the dealer was aware that there was a potential problem with the car and I have sent them that proof.

I would much prefer to have an amicable resolution to the situation as legal action can be so protracted. I will also contact the DVLA and see what they have to say on the matter.

Not declared - Car written off due to manufacturing defect - help - Brit_in_Germany

I would have said that it does not matter if the manufacturer has gone bust. You bought the car from the dealer and therefore the purchase contract was with them. Under the sale of goods act, it is the supplier of goods who bears the responsibility of ensuring that the goods are of satisfactory quality. You would have the possibility of claiming damages through the small claims court if the amount does not exceed the court maximum. In view of the cost of the car, worth paying a solicitor for their advice.

 

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