Why won't my dealer let me reject a faulty car?

What Car? steps in to help a reader who has spent three months unsuccessfully trying to reject a Skoda Superb with a gearbox problem...

Used Skoda Superb 16-present

Julian Carpanini got in touch with What Car? after trying unsuccessfully to reject a 2017 Skoda Superb.

He said: "I bought a nearly new, ex-Skoda-management Superb that had done only 4000 miles. The gearchange was notchy, noisy and stiff, but I initially convinced myself this was because of the newness of the car. 

"However, after a month I realised this wasn't the case and booked the car in with the supplying dealer, Blade Skoda of Gloucester, for an inspection. The fault wasn't rectified on this occasion, nor the next time the car went into the garage two months later, when I was without it for the best part of a month while synchros one to four on the gearbox were replaced.

"The fault remained and was verified by a Blade technician when I took the car back again two months later. At that point, I officially served notice to reject the vehicle, which the dealer refused to accept.

Skoda Superb

"Since then the fault has also been verified another Skoda main dealer, White Dove of Cardiff, and by the RAC as part of Volkswagen Financial Services' (VWFS) process. 

"Both VWFS and Skoda UK tell me that Blade of Gloucester should take the car back, but they are refusing to do so - and I'm stuck in the middle while all this bickering takes place with the faulty vehicle on my drive. 

"I even tried writing to Skoda UK’s CEO to secure his intervention, but had no success with that either. Please help because I've been driven absolutely crazy and to ill health by the rejection process, which has now been going on for three months."

What Car? says...

We agreed with Julian’s rejection of the car. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that after 30 days the supplying dealer is entitled to one attempt at repairing a faulty car, but if the problem persists the owner is entitled to reject the car and get a refund that takes into account any loss in value of the car due to mileage during that time.

To check Skoda’s position regarding the car we wrote to them. A spokesperson stated: “After investigating, it has been agreed that the vehicle will be bought back from the customer.”

We relayed this information to Julian and thought the case would now be resolved. However, when Julian spoke to the dealership about this he was told he still could not reject the car. So we got back in touch with Skoda and they spoke to him and the dealership directly, and two weeks after our intervention, the car was successfully rejected in July.

In August, Julian told us that the Superb was collected and that he had received a full refund of the deposit he’d paid for it. He also believed he was due to get a refund of the £418 monthly instalment he’d paid to Volkswagen Financial Services.

New Mazda CX-5 & Ford Kuga vs Skoda Kodiaq

In August Julian took delivery of a Skoda Kodiaq as a replacement vehicle. However, he told us the matter still wasn’t fully resolved because he had not yet received the £418, which he believed had been given to Blade of Gloucester to refund to him.

We advised him to complain to The Motor Ombudsman regarding this because it sounded like the dealership wasn’t abiding by the codes of conduct set down by the Ombudsman. At the time of writing, Julian was still awaiting the Ombudsman’s decision on this.

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