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Jeff in Pembs

Verso VVT1 T3 S-A - problems already!

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As Frosty says you have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, don't let them talk you out of them.

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The dealer has now offered to repair the car free of charge if we take it back to them and then they bring it back to us for us to test drive on our home patch i.e. up the hills! This seems very reasonable. It is not a straightforward decision to simply reject the car as it is in remarkably good condition in every way except for this dodgy transmission issue. I can certainly live with the slightly jerky gear change as I once owned a Nissan Sunny which had the same characteristic.

I checked with Trading Standards today and the 30 day period for returning the car for a refund will still apply if, after the repair, we are still not satisfied i.e. the clock stops whilst the repair takes place. This allows for the fact that the dealer may try to prolong the time that the repair takes. If we can get another 40,000+ miles out of it before the autobox goes wrong again we would be happy, as by then the car would only be worth peanuts anyway in another 4 years time. A new twist is that the dealer has suggested that we have burnt out the clutch in the time we have had the car by using it incorrectly in manual mode. I don't know how this could be but what I do know for sure is that the car has only been used in auto mode for the very hours after we collected it (this is impossible to prove of course). I know this because we did not know how to use the manual mode anyway as we have no users handbook with the car and why would I buy an automatic and then use manual mode!

We will take the car back on Monday for repair. The saga continues....

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From the Consumer Rights Act 2015, it is down to the dealer to prove the fault wasn't there at the time of purchase. Don't see how they can do that unless they had stripped the clutch out and taken photographs before the purchaser took delivery.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

From the Consumer Rights Act 2015, it is down to the dealer to prove the fault wasn't there at the time of purchase. Don't see how they can do that unless they had stripped the clutch out and taken photographs before the purchaser took delivery.

This really is a nightmare situation! They are adamant that the car was ok when we bought it and we have damaged the clutch. I didn't realise it was down to the dealer to prove the fault wasn't there at the time of purchase. Is it realistic that the clutch wore out within hours of driving?

Now I am not totally naive about cars and I realise that clutch linings have to be regarded as fair wear and tear items. Well at least they would be on a manual car as I guess we all know people who hold a car on a hill by letting the clutch slip with the car in 1st gear (ouch!). Quite how the same applies to a semi automatic which has no clutch pedal I don't know. Another interesting development today was that the dealer pointed out to me that there is a note on the invoice specifically pointing out that clutch repairs are not covered by the warranty. Yes, I had seen that and this seemed perfectly reasonable (like I would expect to see the same exclusion clause for tyres, brake linings, Battery). The intriguing thing is that this note was handwritten across the top of the invoice. When I questioned this I was told that this is put on every invoice. Now forgive my cynicism, but if that was the case wouldn't this be pre-printed on every invoice. It begs the question were they already aware that there was a problem with the clutch on the Verso?

At the moment the dealer is insistent on repairing the car, even going to the lengths of delivering the car back to us, 180 miles away. They simply don't want to discuss the refund option. I can't really make this out - do you have any thoughts on this please Frostyballs? Thanks. Jeff

Edited by Jeff in Pembs
Typo corrected

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The warranty is irrelevant, as is the note on the invoice regarding the clutch.

If a car was purchased from a dealer without a warranty, the dealer would still be responsible for any faults that were there at the time of purchase, and it is down to the dealer to prove they weren't there at the time of purchase.

By law they have to consider the refund option.

Sounds like you may need to get trading standards involved.

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8 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

The warranty is irrelevant, as is the note on the invoice regarding the clutch.

If a car was purchased from a dealer without a warranty, the dealer would still be responsible for any faults that were there at the time of purchase, and it is down to the dealer to prove they weren't there at the time of purchase.

By law they have to consider the refund option.

Sounds like you may need to get trading standards involved.

Mike - thanks for your prompt reply. I can only assume they must be aware of the situation as you describe it (which I was not) and maybe are desperate to avoid Trading Standards involvement perhaps. When you say they have to "consider" the refund option are they obliged to refund if I request that option or, in the eyes of Trading Standards, would the offer to repair the fault free of charge be an acceptable alternative which I must accept?

Knowing what I know now about this MMT semi-automatic issue has obviously coloured my judgement and makes me worry that there will be a quick fix next week and the problems will be back later in the year when it'll be too late. It seems to me that the issue is not just one of possible inconvenient breakdowns but of safety I think. I just need to do what is right for my friend and his family. Jeff

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Have another chat with Trading Standards office, its you choice, but mine would be to reject the vehicle NOW.

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Ok so I'm biased against the car (or the auto box, really), but allow me to sum up what's happened so far:

You sourced and bought a good tidy automatic car, on behalf of a friend,  at a decent price, not horrendously far from away you.

It turns out the auto box isn't the ideal type you/they were looking for, and the car has confirmed serious clutch/gear change problemsYou suspect the dealer knew the transmission was faulty since they hand-wrote that it specifically wasn't covered by their warranty.

You can return the car to the dealer for repair, but you need to deliver the car to them at your hassle/cost, and they'll pick the return hassle/costs.  You're doubtful that the repair would be done properly.

You can return the car for refund, but that'll be a bit of a hassle, since you may need to involve Trading Standards, and you'd have the delivery hassle/costs.  Your friend will be out of pocket a little by the costs of changing insurance and cancelling road tax etc.  You'll also be back to square one sourcing another.

I don't in any way mean to come across as condescending, but I think you're being blinkered by the fact you've already bought the car, and don't want the hassle/expense of taking it back and sourcing another.  There are enough alarm bells ringing up there in bold.

If it were me (and taking aside I hate that gearbox), I'd be concerned that it might not be repaired properly, that my friend might have further repair costs, and that they end up with a lemon of a car which isn't nice to drive and which will be virtually unsaleable in the future - and it'd be all my fault.

I'd have it returned as quickly as possible.

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12 minutes ago, Catlover said:

Have another chat with Trading Standards office, its you choice, but mine would be to reject the vehicle NOW.

Thanks Catlover. I have never been in a situation like this before in all my life and basically I'm pretty ignorant and scared in equal measures! I understand what you are saying but I feel it's one of those "it's easier said than done" situations. What does "reject the vehicle" actually mean - do I drive into the garage, hand over the keys and say please refund the cost onto this credit card? Would I need someone from Trading Standards to be with me? The garage is 180 miles from where we live; if it was around the corner, life would be lot easier!

I have bought this car for a friend who is going to pay me back in interest free installments as he has little money, so there is a moral issue at stake here as well which is causing me anxiety.

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Sorry, our posts have crossed in the ether. I appreciate your thoughts and you don't come over as condescending!

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7 minutes ago, Jeff in Pembs said:

Sorry, our posts have crossed in the ether. I appreciate your thoughts and you don't come over as condescending!

Alan333 - No I am not at all concerned about the hassle factor or the costs involved in insurance, road tax etc. as I will gladly cover these costs. I am more concerned about the safety of our friend and his family when I consider some of the things I have been reading about the car e.g. suddenly going into neutral on a motorway for example or suddenly hesitating when pulling out onto a very busy roundabout (of which we have several here). Doesn't bear thinking about. The "niceness" of the driving doesn't really concern me too much.

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11 minutes ago, Jeff in Pembs said:

hand over the keys and say please refund the cost onto this credit card?

Sorry to hear of your woes but after what you have written and the comments the garage have made I would defo return car and as you paid by credit card? you also have your CC provider to turn to too for help with refund. I also think that because they are suggesting you have damaged the clutch/gearbox how could you be sure that they would do a proper repair (at their cost!) they already know you will never be a return customer? All they want is not to have that car on their forecourt! Good luck with what ever you decide to do about it.

 

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:29 AM, FROSTYBALLS said:

If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund, or price reduction if you wish to keep the product.

See extract from the Which? advice re the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

From a dealer's viewpoint, even if they use the warranty, they are likely to incur costs over and above the claim limit of the warranty. This could mean that the repair would eat into or wipe out any profit they made on the vehicle and could turn into a loss. In which case a refund may be a better alternative for them to consider in terms of reducing any possible loss.

Are they aware of the costs the Toyota dealer has indicated?

If they do repair the vehicle, I would ask for a written breakdown of what has been repaired/replaced, and whether new parts were used.

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1 hour ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

See extract from the Which? advice re the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

From a dealer's viewpoint, even if they use the warranty, they are likely to incur costs over and above the claim limit of the warranty. This could mean that the repair would eat into or wipe out any profit they made on the vehicle and could turn into a loss. In which case a refund may be a better alternative for them to consider in terms of reducing any possible loss.

Are they aware of the costs the Toyota dealer has indicated?

If they do repair the vehicle, I would ask for a written breakdown of what has been repaired/replaced, and whether new parts were used.

Thanks.

From a dealer's viewpoint, even if they use the warranty, they are likely to incur costs over and above the claim limit of the warranty. This could mean that the repair would eat into or wipe out any profit they made on the vehicle and could turn into a loss. In which case a refund may be a better alternative for them to consider in terms of reducing any possible loss. Yes, this is true and which makes me nervous that they will do a quick fix like a squirt of WD40 (ok, exaggeration!) and the car is ok for the remainder of the warranty period.

Are they aware of the costs the Toyota dealer has indicated? Yes, I have sent two estimates to them from our local Toyota garage - one for the clutch and one for the actuator. The clutch cost is way OTT (£900) and the actuator £1200. They will obviously ignore the former but they know that the latter will have to be done by a Toyota specialist because there is a software issue I understand. I don't know what it would cost to get the clutch replaced in an ordinary garage (£300 - £400?), this combined with the actuator would be at least £1500 then. We bought the car for £3995 so assuming they bought it for £2500, then that wipes out all the profit.

If they do repair the vehicle, I would ask for a written breakdown of what has been repaired/replaced, and whether new parts were used. They have offered to do this actually without me having to ask.

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Update on the situation. The car has been returned to the dealer for a refund under the "30 day rule". It broke down less than a mile from the dealer's premises which was the final straw. It did the trick of suddenly going into neutral of its own accord on a busy main road (single carriageway) approaching a set of traffic lights. It was impossible to select a gear either in auto or manual mode. This caused an immediate and embarrassing traffic jam behind us. All we could do was switch off the engine, wait a minute or two and restart and were then able to select a gear and move off. It is not all sweetness and light though as the dealer is insisting that we have damaged the clutch linings, which of course are not covered by the warranty! I am awaiting a report from the garage who are going to investigate. I have requested that any parts that are changed are kept for me to see. I have put everything in writing by email and recorded delivery letter. Some of the parts will be covered by the warranty so it is quite a complicated picture.

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The garage has "investigated" and deemed that the clutch is the cause of the problem. I put investigated in inverted commas because they did a road test only - they have not dismantled to clutch to examine it. The dealer still insists that we have damaged the clutch, neatly putting the ball back in our court as now we have to prove that the fault was there when we took delivery. This has opened up a new nightmare scenario.

If the clutch has to be replaced, this work would have to be done at a Toyota garage because of the software resetting procedure. If the clutch is changed by another garage then apparently the car will be unusable until this procedure is carried out and talking to my local Toyota garage they would not be happy to do this if they hadn't done the clutch work themselves. The dealer also warns that by damaging the clutch we may have affected other components such as the actuator, computer etc. so that when Toyota get their hands on the car they could find multiple faults with a bill running into £massive. This may or may not be scare tactics, so I would appreciate any advice from those of you who have taken the time to respond to my posts thus far.

In particular is it possible that damaging the clutch could cause a knock on effect on the other components? I have been advised to seek the help of an independent assessor e.g. an engineer from the IAEA. It just so happens there is one who is only about 1 mile from the Toyota garage near the dealer and I had a chat with him on the phone last night. He sounded really helpful but I haven’t talked about his fees yet.

My current thinking is that we have to bite the bullet and get the Toyota garage to strip down the necessary parts to access the clutch so that we have a definitive answer as to the question – is the clutch the problem. Have the IAEA engineer there to physically witness the findings. If the Toyota garage then finds there are other dodgy components, find out if these are covered by the Momentum warranty. If not, then as far as I can see the car would have to be scrapped and we write off our money.

Needless to say, this is taking a bit of a toll on us, mentally and physically. In 51 years of motoring and having bought many, many cars (mostly used) over those years I have never been in such a situation, so it is all quite foreign to me. Hence your input is much appreciated. Thanks.

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This all sounds ridiculous, surely the car is faulty, isn't fit for purpose, and is being returned - nothing to do with any warranty, or which parts are faulty - that's up to the dealer.  Perhaps the dealer is now trying to get a new clutch fitted via (your?) warranty?  It looks like you need to speak to trading standards or the citizens advice, or perhaps even a lawyer.

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Again quoting the Consumer Rights Act 2015, in the first six months it is down to the selling dealer to prove the fault wasn't the at the time of sale. 

You need to seek the advice of either Trading Standards or Citizens Advice. Alternstively, you could contact The Motor Ombudsman as regards dispute reconciliation - https://www.themotorombudsman.org

Don't agree to funding any investigation work.

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31 minutes ago, alan333 said:

This all sounds ridiculous, surely the car is faulty, isn't fit for purpose, and is being returned - nothing to do with any warranty, or which parts are faulty - that's up to the dealer.  Perhaps the dealer is now trying to get a new clutch fitted via (your?) warranty?  It looks like you need to speak to trading standards or the citizens advice, or perhaps even a lawyer.

Alan - thanks for your reply. The crux of the matter is that the dealer says we have damaged the clutch and therefore there is nothing they can do, it's 100% down to us. It's their word against ours. But note - we have not accepted that the problem is with the clutch, this is still conjecture. Trading Standards say the onus is on us (yes, us!) to get an independent assessment done. I have this morning booked a diagnostic test with Toyota as otherwise we are deadlocked and going round in circles. It's £150 but there is no other option. Unfortunately the one nearest the dealer is fully booked up until 16th April but that's ok because the 30 day clock stops once we have rejected the car and returned it to the dealer (which we did after just 14 days). The Momentum warranty is totally worthless in our case and I would not recommend anyone using this scheme. Apparently it only covers a complete and sudden breakdown - it does not cover an intermittent fault. Clutch wear and tear is absolutely excluded of course, which is understandable in a manual car but in a semi-automatic??? What control does the driver have over the clutch in these circumstances? Could we really have damaged it in 2 days?

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7 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Again quoting the Consumer Rights Act 2015, in the first six months it is down to the selling dealer to prove the fault wasn't the at the time of sale. 

You need to seek the advice of either Trading Standards or Citizens Advice. Alternstively, you could contact The Motor Ombudsman as regards dispute reconciliation - https://www.themotorombudsman.org

Don't agree to funding any investigation work.

Please see my reply to Alan333. Thanks. Also yes that's correct outside the 30 days and up to 6 months, but within 30 days it's down to us to prove.

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33 minutes ago, Jeff in Pembs said:

correct outside the 30 days and up to 6 months, but within 30 days it's down to us to prove.

Wrong. Within six months, the fault is presumed to have been there at the time of sale and it is down to the dealer to prove it wasn't. After the first six months, the onus is then on the purchaser to prove the fault was there at the time of purchase.

To say that the onus is on the purchaser to prove the fault was there in the first 30 days contradicts the act, and is nonsensical.

Yes if you want an independent assessment done, that is at your cost.

Try the alternative solution of dispute resolution  I suggested in my last post.

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Frostyballs - thanks for your latest response. Re the 30days/6 months: that's what I was told by the agent at the Consumer Standards place so I assumed it's correct. I admit it does not sound logical. It would be impossible for us to prove it anyway.

I have booked the diagnostic test as I don't mind paying the fee just to get things moving.

I have discussed the dispute resolution route but the dealer is not party to the scheme and is not interested anyway. I have also mentioned the small claims court as a last resort but again they are not fazed by this. I'd have thought the negative publicity/extra hassle would have been unwelcome.

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Frostyballs - re your last posting on Thursday. This article seems to back up what I was told by Consumer Standards about the onus of proof being on the consumer:

http://www.lawgistics.co.uk/read-news/865#sthash.omv9rATy.0T3T9N7K.dpbs

Any thoughts?

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The 'article' was written in August 2015, whereas the act came in October 2015, and is encouraging dealers to buy this firm's pre-delivery inspection pads. So not impartial.

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Here you are Jeff, a link to some good interpretation of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and rejecting a car.

It covers the 30 day rule, the 6 month rule, and even after 6 months rejection.

Interesting re the 30 day rejection - if your used car has a significant fault that was present when you bought it (as opposed to developing afterwards) you can reject the car within the first 30 days and get a full refund.

the under 6 month rejection - (more then 30 days but less then 6 months), you have to give the selling dealer one attempt to fix the fault before moving to reject the vehicle. If the repair has not fixed the fault, you can reject the vehicle.

After the 6 months - then the onus comes to you to prove the fault was present when you bought the car.

So you complained within the first 30 days, have you kept a log of dates/times the fault came to light, you contacted the dealer, posted on here, contacted outside bodies etc. You need to build a case on facts. 

See the link   https://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/rejecting-a-car/   that was simply a search on the internet.

Go to the botton of that link and you will see Toyota (among others) are The Car Experts gold partners, whatever that means, but may prove useful.

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