Glevum

Mini Gearbox broken - warranty claim ??

29 posts in this topic

I sold a part exchange 2005/05 mini cooper 1.6 manual that had 100,044 miles on it. It was extremely clean and had excellent service history. I explained to the customer that we give a 3 month breakdown mechanical warranty for the major mechanical items. 4 month's and 3700 miles later the gearbox has broken and the customer limped it into her local garage. She then phoned us up hysterically "ranting on" that we had sold her a faulty car and demanded that we speak to her garage and pay for the repair. I spoke to that garage and the gearbox casing was smashed with oil leaking and it needed a replacement. I told her that she's unfortunatley out of warranty but she then started ranting her 6 month's "fit for purpose" statutory rights as a consumer and said that unless we collect, repair and return it to her at no cost to herself then she will go to trading standards. Where do I stand because if it goes to court as we all know that I will be judged as one of those foul cheating car dealers that we are percieved as and I will obviously lose. I have suggested that she could contributr something and she basically spat in my face. Shall I just tell her to "bring it on" ??

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Get the car back to you for inspection. If that’s not possible then get ACE or DEKRA to inspect it for you. If it transpires that she’s whacked the casing on a speed bump or something then offer to have the car fixed for her at a trade price that she must pay for. If she doesn’t like that then tell her she’s welcome to come and collect her car at any time. 

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If she’s whacked the casing it’s not for the supplying dealer to offer a remedy on an end of life vehicle many momths after the purchase. 

A Dekra or Ace inspection is a gamble at this point as it could simply state that the gearbox was “likely” faulty when sold. 

Go to the garage where the car is and ask them to see the damaged casing and take some photos. Show them to your trusted garage first for an opinion. 

You also have the option to offer to buy-back the faulty vehicle at a much lower price to eliminate any legal repercussions. Then fix and re-sell. £350 for an exchange refurb box depending on how damaged your casing is. 

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1 hour ago, EPV said:

Get the car back to you for inspection. If that’s not possible then get ACE or DEKRA to inspect it for you. If it transpires that she’s whacked the casing on a speed bump or something then offer to have the car fixed for her at a trade price that she must pay for. If she doesn’t like that then tell her she’s welcome to come and collect her car at any time. 

With all due respect mate if she’s whacked it, phoned up ranting and made me take it back she can fuck off and have it fixed at full retail.

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The gearbox was fine for nearly 4000 miles and in the 4 months shes had it she never once phoned up to say there was a problem. If the gearbox was faulty when it was sold to her it must have given warning signs during the  4 months. If there were any warning noises then she either ignored them and drove it to destruction or there were no warning noises which means it just broke because its a worn 13 year old gearbox with 100k on it or she broke it on a kerb????

 

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I wonder how a gearbox casing could smash, can't be down to the punter now can it!

For future reference put in your returns policy that the customer is liable for getting the car back to you(aT THEIR EXPENSE), point it out to them and get them to sign it. If the cause is genuine then you can offer to reimburse them, if they have fooked the car themselves then it is down to them!

I bet she has taken the car in to the garage because the box will be whining or crunching and is probably fooked, driven to destruction!

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Tricky one as it’s one of those grey area cases where a lot will depend how reasonable the customer is. Unless you have an independent (AA/RAC etc) report at the point of sale or you can prove misuse  I think you’ll struggle to completely wriggle out of this. Latent fault at the point of sale is how it would be considered. 

I’d get it back, assess and chuck a second hand box in it if you have to. 

Edited by mike101

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33 minutes ago, Mojo121 said:

With all due respect mate if she’s whacked it, phoned up ranting and made me take it back she can fuck off and have it fixed at full retail.

Well I don’t disagree but i’m looking at it that in the eyes of a judge, should it get that far, you’re painting yourself as the good guy and making her look unreasonable and irrational. 

31 minutes ago, Glevum said:

The gearbox was fine for nearly 4000 miles and in the 4 months shes had it she never once phoned up to say there was a problem. If the gearbox was faulty when it was sold to her it must have given warning signs during the  4 months. If there were any warning noises then she either ignored them and drove it to destruction or there were no warning noises which means it just broke because its a worn 13 year old gearbox with 100k on it or she broke it on a kerb????

 

That won’t wash I don’t think. She isn’t a mechanical expert with knowledge of what failing gearboxes sound like etc etc. I’m just trying to look at how a judge would look at it. Gearboxes don’t just let go of life all of a sudden as we know, they do so gradually and whilst there may have been warning signs, how are you going to prove that? 

Thats why imo, it’s better to have it properly inspected and clarified that it’s down to user error. If you can have a bit of independent proof that’s shes caused the issue and you can show you have acted reasonably then I think you can sleep at night knowing if she did take you to court you would have a very good chance of winning. As things stand I reckon if you just told her to “do her worst” then you’d be fucked if she took you to task. Besides, it’s not great customer service just telling her she’s out of warranty when we all know warranties are just smoke and mirrors when it comes down to the crunch. 

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You gave her 3 months warranty. This has now expired which leaves a claim under the consumer rights act. The car is now over 13 years old with 100,000 miles covered and there is a high expectation of 13 year old parts failing. Any solicitor would argue your case well.

However any Judge would want to see some kind of support towards the customer in the first 6 months. This does not mean you pay in full for the fault, but offer a no fault claim goodwill contribution towards a 2nd hand gearbox. I recently had one fitted Cost £150 for part £180 for fitting, they are cheap. Get a quote from your own garage Offer 50% towards the cost (£165). Put this in writing, this then provides evidence that although the fault occurred after sale on an end of life vehicle, you supported the customer in attempting to get her roadworthy again.

A judge does not look at the letter of the Law, he/she has a lot of leeway in coming to their sometime biased decisions. The Judges decisions are normally swayed on how the dealer has dealt with the customers situation and how reasonable the customer is being in return.

At the end of the day, if you can demonstrate you have tried to get the customer roadworthy again at reasonable cost, and she still proceeds with court action (which incurs higher costs), I'm sure the Judge will see this as unreasonable on the part of the customer and side with you as the victim. 

Good Luck

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3 minutes ago, Funny Farm said:

You gave her 3 months warranty. This has now expired which leaves a claim under the consumer rights act. The car is now over 13 years old with 100,000 miles covered and there is a high expectation of 13 year old parts failing. Any solicitor would argue your case well.

However any Judge would want to see some kind of support towards the customer in the first 6 months. This does not mean you pay in full for the fault, but offer a no fault claim goodwill contribution towards a 2nd hand gearbox. I recently had one fitted Cost £150 for part £180 for fitting, they are cheap. Get a quote from your own garage Offer 50% towards the cost (£165). Put this in writing, this then provides evidence that although the fault occurred after sale on an end of life vehicle, you supported the customer in attempting to get her roadworthy again.

A judge does not look at the letter of the Law, he/she has a lot of leeway in coming to their sometime biased decisions. The Judges decisions are normally swayed on how the dealer has dealt with the customers situation and how reasonable the customer is being in return.

At the end of the day, if you can demonstrate you have tried to get the customer roadworthy again at reasonable cost, and she still proceeds with court action (which incurs higher costs), I'm sure the Judge will see this as unreasonable on the part of the customer and side with you as the victim. 

Good Luck

Good first post, welcome to the forum! Makes a change to see some advice offered rather than sought as a 1st post! What’s your setup, unit, pitch, doorstepper? 

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2 hours ago, stockedup! said:

I wonder how a gearbox casing could smash, can't be down to the punter now can it!

For future reference put in your returns policy that the customer is liable for getting the car back to you(aT THEIR EXPENSE), point it out to them and get them to sign it. If the cause is genuine then you can offer to reimburse them, if they have fooked the car themselves then it is down to them!

I bet she has taken the car in to the garage because the box will be whining or crunching and is probably fooked, driven to destruction!

that doesn't work, I was advised that its unreasonable to expect them to

get it back and reach a compromise, is she bangable?

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www.glevumcars.com we've been around for 20 years now with a good reputation ! I'm quite happy to fit another box with a contribution from her but I need her to put her case in writing which she wont do.

I need it in writing to show that I am being helpful and reasonable - all I'm asking is a contribution towards it. Her attitude was bad - she assumes she has the all the power in the world after googling a few snippets about consumer rights !! It works BOTH ways with trading standards.

I take the view that after 4000 miles / 4 month's driving in a 13 year old car I would be within my rights to tell her to take a running jump...

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How does a gearbox casing get smashed? Thats the first step, because the gearbox failure seems to be because oil has leaked out. You need to know if that was an issue before you sold it.

I Dont think you can tell someone like this to 'do one'. But you can get the car back to you and get it properly diagnosed by your mechanics. That will cost you less and give you control. 

But work quickly. She has this problem to obsess about, you have other things to deal with but she will move very quickly to screw you over. Its nearly Xmas, she wont have a spare grand in the bank to fix this ( which is what a garage will tell her) and your name will be mud in no time. So tell her your plan, and if its a £350 repair to fix this, I'd suggest you act big and swallow it. (unless you can prove she damaged it)

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" Gearboxes don’t just let go of life all of a sudden as we know, "

 

they do?...a little longer in this business and you will change your mind:lol:

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2 minutes ago, tradex said:

" Gearboxes don’t just let go of life all of a sudden as we know, "

 

they do?...a little longer in this business and you will change your mind:lol:

You know what I mean! The deteriorate over time and don’t go from perfect to fucked overnight 

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Just get it back in your possession, that’s going to be the most cost effective thing to do, your willing to give some sort of contribution to the repair, if it’s 50/50 it’s not going to cost the earth, or buy it back at a reduced cost and sell on.....just don’t let her have the bloody thing and let all her car expert family members scare the life out of her.

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3 minutes ago, EPV said:

You know what I mean! The deteriorate over time and don’t go from perfect to fucked overnight 

No, gearboxes can drop a gear, break a motion shaft etc with no prior warning whatsoever, even when new or new'ish. Had a new Merc genade itself without warning and new Mondeo do the same, MINI's can strip 2nd gear too with no prior warning and plenty more examples like that.

Bearings are another matter, a worn 1st 2nd or 3rd motion shaft bearing if worn, should give audible warning.

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2 minutes ago, tradex said:

No, gearboxes can drop a gear, break a motion shaft etc with no prior warning whatsoever, even when new or new'ish. Had a new Merc genade itself without warning and new Mondeo do the same, MINI's can strip 2nd gear too with no prior warning and plenty more examples like that.

Bearings are another matter, a worn 1st 2nd or 3rd motion shaft bearing if worn, should give audible warning.

Absolutely true. Unfortunately there seems to be a few newer traders on here who regularly spout forth their ignorance regarding small claims, rights to returns, mechanical problems, etc. etc. etc.

GLENVUM, tbh I’d sack her off - these shouters are all wind & piss. She doesn’t want to communicate in writing which would suit me down to the ground.

Special mention must surely go to Funny Farm for their VERY sensible alternative suggestion.

pmpants and AutoJacob like this

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10 minutes ago, BHM said:

Absolutely true. Unfortunately there seems to be a few newer traders on here who regularly spout forth their ignorance regarding small claims, rights to returns, mechanical problems, etc. etc. etc.

GLENVUM, tbh I’d sack her off - these shouters are all wind & piss. She doesn’t want to communicate in writing which would suit me down to the ground.

Special mention must surely go to Funny Farm for their VERY sensible alternative suggestion.

I assume you mean me? If so i’d like to hear where my ignorance is, as my advice is pretty much identical to Funny Farms which you seem to agree with? 

20 minutes ago, tradex said:

No, gearboxes can drop a gear, break a motion shaft etc with no prior warning whatsoever, even when new or new'ish. Had a new Merc genade itself without warning and new Mondeo do the same, MINI's can strip 2nd gear too with no prior warning and plenty more examples like that.

Bearings are another matter, a worn 1st 2nd or 3rd motion shaft bearing if worn, should give audible warning.

Ok, i’ll concede that, would a judge? 

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It's an old Mini.. She's had 4 Months usage and done 4K mileage near enough.

Just stand your ground and say it's a used car she's had 4 Months usage and done a lot of miles, the fault obviously wasn't present at the time of sale, it's her vehicle and therefore her responsibility to fix the vehicle.

If she starts sending letters and making it official just offer a 50% contribution.

The best case scenario is it doesn't cost you a penny and the worst case is it will cost a couple hundred quid.

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Thats what I was going to do.... her mechanic told her it's £1000 plus to fix. I want her to put it in writing and recover the car ask her for a contribution and get it done my end for £500 ish. If she paid half the price of her mechanic's contribution then every one's a winner ...

If you replace the "s "for an "n" in customer it's a better description !!

The public thinks we are all a load of scum but when you look at the broader picture it is the customers that are lying cheating parasitic vile creatures...... "buyers are liars"

I am very fair with warranty work and genuinely bend over to help out for the good of my reputation as much as anything, but when you get a "ranting" old witch screaming "how dare you sell me a faulty car " it tends to get up your nose.....and that's why I don't want to fix it !!

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It’s an interesting point that we can’t help but take it personally when someone whinges. I try not too but it’s hard! You end up taking it home with you and it’s easy to let it take over your life sometimes when you get a few in quick succession. 

Does anyone have any interesting thoughts about how to be more philosophical about screamers?

I tend to now wait and give a measured response rather than balling in with my first thoughts which often aren’t very polite. I also find it’s easy to get drawn in to tit for tat point scoring rather looking at the bigger picture of getting them off your back!

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4 hours ago, BHM said:

Absolutely true. Unfortunately there seems to be a few newer traders on here who regularly spout forth their ignorance regarding small claims, rights to returns, mechanical problems, etc. etc. etc.

GLENVUM, tbh I’d sack her off - these shouters are all wind & piss. She doesn’t want to communicate in writing which would suit me down to the ground.

Special mention must surely go to Funny Farm for their VERY sensible alternative suggestion.

+1

To quote Chuffnut from CAG

I'm pretty au fait with the CRA, I certainly don't claim to know everything but under Chapter 2, provision 19 of the act, section 14 and 15 state;

(14)For the purposes of subsections (3)(b) and (c) and (4), goods which do not conform to the contract at any time within the period of six months beginning with the day on which the goods were delivered to the consumer must be taken not to have conformed to it on that day.
(15)Subsection (14) does not apply if—
(a)it is established that the goods did conform to the contract on that day, or
(b)its application is incompatible with the nature of the goods or with how they fail to conform to the contract.


I believe this is where the burden of proof arises from. What the act is saying here is if there is a fault with the goods within 6 months it is assumed the fault was there all along, unless it's established the fault wasn't, i.e. the dealer can prove the fault wasn't there. You're suggesting that a retailer has to fix ANY fault, no matter what the circumstances. I don't believe this is correct because of provision 19. 

For clarity, the above refers to 3 (b) and (c) and 4 which state;

3)If the goods do not conform to the contract because of a breach of any of the terms described in sections 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14, or if they do not conform to the contract under section 16, the consumer’s rights (and the provisions about them and when they are available) are—

(a)the Short-term right to reject (sections 20 and 22);

(b)the right to repair or replacement (section 23); and

(c)the right to a price reduction or the final right to reject (sections 20 and 24).

(4)If the goods do not conform to the contract under section 15 or because of a breach of requirements that are stated in the contract, the consumer’s rights (and the provisions about them and when they are available) are—

(a)the right to repair or replacement (section 23); and

(b)the right to a price reduction or the final right to reject (sections 20 and 24).


Sections 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 refer to what is described as a breach of the contract (i.e. Not fit for purpose, not of satisfactory quality etc)

I don't believe I have interpreted this incorrectly, 
I believe that all of the above is where the advice repeatedly offered across the internet that "it's up to the dealer to prove the fault wasn't there at the point of sale" is drawn from. 

It isn't as simple as just saying that a retailer (the car dealer) has to fix ANY fault within the first 6 months, carte blanche and if they refuse, you can reject the car.
I'm interested in your opinion on all of this of course, as I think a lot of the CRA can be down to interpretation!

 

 

 

 Re: Used car from dealer - windscreen washer fault within 6 months

Chuffnut is 100% correct on this matter. 

Surfer01 appears to have the widely held but incorrect view that the CRA applies to ANY fault that occurs within 6 months, because of the assumption that it must have been there at the start. 

Yes that assumption is there but so is the right of the seller to be able to prove otherwise, and if they can do so then they are not liable. 
That is exactly what the extract from the Act posted by Chuffnut is intending to apply. 

A lot of the advice given on this site (and others) seems to ignore or underplay this significant factor.

 

 

 Re: Used car from dealer - windscreen washer fault within 6 months

Surfer, you are again slightly off with your comments here. Wear and Tear doesn't begin from when a consumer buys a used car! It begins from when the car is first purchased and driven from new! The windscreen washer motor in this instance was worn by 8 years of use not the last 6 months, hot summers have nothing to do with this. 

You still haven't commented on my post above regarding the actual provisions within the CRA that clearly state the retailer isn't liable for repairs within the 6 month period if it can be confirmed the goods conformed to the contract on the day of the sale. The windscreen washer motor was working, as confirmed by the OP, worked for several months and now it doesn't. Under the CRA provisions I have highlighted above it would be easy for the retailer to convince a judge of the fact the windscreen washers have worked for several months without complaint and the goods conformed to the contract on the day of their sale, thus meeting the criteria set out in the law and no liability is owed.

Perhaps it is best that you don't contribute to this thread anymore as stating that a retailer HAS to fix ANY fault within the first 6 months "it's the law" and failure to do so may be a criminal offence, is wrong advice and it gives people a sense of empowerment they may not actually have. Dodgy dealers should be taken to task but there's no point in advising people of something that simply isn't correct.

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Glenvum. Welcome

Remind her of the above, or as a genuine offer of goodwill a contribution to the cost of and fitting of a used boxed, don't offer her any type of betterment. Or, offer to buy back minus 45p per mile. She then has nowhere to go.

 

2 hours ago, AutoJacob said:

It's an old Mini.. She's had 4 Months usage and done 4K mileage near enough.

Just stand your ground and say it's a used car she's had 4 Months usage and done a lot of miles, the fault obviously wasn't present at the time of sale, it's her vehicle and therefore her responsibility to fix the vehicle.

If she starts sending letters and making it official just offer a 50% contribution.

The best case scenario is it doesn't cost you a penny and the worst case is it will cost a couple hundred quid.

Exactly.

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