Car misselling scandal ‘could see drivers claim back thousands’

Time 4:41 pm, January 5, 2018

SOME second-hand car owners could be entitled to up to 100 per cent compensation after being missold their vehicles, says a City lawyer.

The news comes after it emerged that some drivers were sold a used car advertised as having ‘one careful owner’ only to find out it had been used by multiple drivers. As such, they may have a case under consumer protection legislation.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said it will be sending warnings to car manufacturers and dealers, as well as ordering them to include information during the sales process alerting buyers to former rental cars.

Last October in a U-turn on an earlier ruling, the ASA criticised Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK and Glyn Hopkin in Chelmsford and Romford for failing to disclose that two cars they were selling online had been ex-fleet.

As a result, the ASA said that these cars ‘were more likely to have been subjected to wear and tear’ and ordered the companies to ‘ensure that their future ads did not mislead by omitting information’.

Now Damon Parker, head of litigation at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields law firm Harcus Sinclair, has said that omitting ownership details could constitute a violation of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

He added that about 200 people had come forward over the past week or so with reports of being missold cars.

Under the regulations, damages of between 25 and 100 per cent of the purchase price could be awarded.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘Ex-fleet vehicles can be a great used car choice if, as with any other vehicle, it can be demonstrated they have been maintained and serviced properly and offer good value for money.

‘We advise every consumer to carry out all the relevant background checks before committing to buying a used car.

‘Simple steps such as checking the log book, using the DVLA’s vehicle information checker and verifying MOT history can all offer peace of mind to car buyers.’

Story by Will Rimmel

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