30 Day Return – Another Case To Make My Blood Boil

Friday, 9. February 2018

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

If you are a regular reader of my musings you will know that little brings my blood to the boil quicker than reading about the abuse of the law by dealers and even finance companies. The problem that many consumers have is that they don’t understand their rights. The 30-day rule, introduced as part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, isn’t difficult to understand.


If the product, in this case, a car, is of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described you have the right to reject the goods. The confusion comes when you finance the car on HP or PCP.


Too often the customer turns to the dealer in order to reject the car when in fact, legally, the rejection should be made to the finance provider. The fact that you negotiated the deal with the dealer is irrelevant. The dealer invoiced the car to the finance company. They have then financed THEIR car under contract to you.


In this instance, Auto Express reported a case whereby Jennifer Taylor of Darlington, County Durham took delivery of a Nissan Juke, financed by Nissan Finance. When she took delivery she noticed that the front and rear bumpers were a completely different shade of blue to the rest of the car.


So bad was the difference, first noticed by her dad, she could see the difference in shade from a hundred yards away. Within a couple of days, given the fault, she decided to reject the car. But instead of serving the rejection on the finance company she served it on the dealer.


The dealer carried out a test on the paint (strange given that the difference was easily visible). As a result, the dealer suggested that the bumpers needed a re-spray, costing £954. But they weren’t clear as to who would pay for the respray. As a result, Jennifer sent photos to Nissan head office.


The dealer immediately offered to respray the bumpers free of charge. But technicians warned that they might not guarantee a perfect paint match. Besides that, as Jennifer said, ‘I paid for a brand new car, not a resprayed one.’ Jennifer finally contacted Nissan Finance, explaining that she wanted to reject the car.


After 8 weeks of investigation, Nissan Finance wrote to Jennifer explaining that they still hadn’t come to a decision. When Auto Express finally got involved Nissan Finance, who clearly had done nothing, said that they were in the process of having the vehicle inspected by one of their Field Technical Engineers. They said to Auto Express, ‘If they identify a manufacturing defect with the bodywork, we will work with the customer to ensure a satisfactory solution.’


Can you sense it? Blood is boiling. Firstly a rejection is a rejection. Not an offer to repair the fault. The supplier, in this case, Nissan Finance, has one opportunity to put the problem right – only if you agree to it. Jennifer has rejected the car so a quick inspection should have been carried out which would have obviously shown that there was a colour difference. Rejection accepted!


What has a ‘manufacturing defect’ got to do with anything? That’s for the manufacturer to identify and correct if they need to change their procedures, nothing to do with the car rejection. This whole situation is getting out of control.


When the rejection was rejected the customer should have immediately contacted her local trading standards office and the Financial Ombudsman and made a formal complaint. It’s an example of a dealer and their linked finance provider sticking two fingers up to your legal rights.


My advice to all is to take out legal cover when you take out your car insurance and make sure that you are covered for such circumstances. A couple of letters from lawyers will soon sort things out! By Graham Hill

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