Aug 4: Helpdesk express

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11 August 2010
Aug 4: Helpdesk express

Engine seizure
When the engine in Mark Thomas's Land Rover Freelander seized, he commissioned an independent engineer's report, which concluded the fault was due to a previous poor repair. Who is legally responsible?

If the repair was done after Mark bought the car, he has a case against the repairer under the Supply of Goods and Services Act. If it was done before Mark bought the car, he has no legal relationship with the repairer and can only pursue the supplying dealer under the Sale of Goods Act.

Price confusion
Peter Adams put down a deposit on a used Volkswagen Golf priced at 6999. Later that day, the salesman called to say the price was a mistake and should have been 9999. Shouldn't the dealer honour the original price?

No. The dealer can't be forced to honour it. He is, however, obliged to return the deposit in full.

Insurance write-off
Derek Smith bought a car that turns out to have been an insurance write-off. It needs extensive work to make it roadworthy. The dealer who sold the car is no longer trading.

Since the dealer has been wound up, it will be impossible to reject the car and very difficult to obtain payment for repairs. If a company director of the dealer can be proved to have acted unlawfully, court action may be possible.