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I purchased a Ford Focus from a dealer just 1 week ago.

He did point out the remote central locking did not work and said it just needed a new battery. Based on this, I agreed to purchase the car and take it to Ford for a new battery to be fitted.

The Ford dealership then informed me that it was not a battery issue and would cost approx $500 to repair.

The selling dealer has declined to pay for this repair.

Where do I stand?


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 26 September 2009


It's a pity you didn't ask the dealer to fix the car as part of the negotiating price and before you took delivery.

From what you are saying, I believe the dealer does have some responsibility but just how far you have to go to test that opinion would be up to you.

The first step is to enter into discussions with the dealer to firstly get them to acknowledge the fact the remote central locking wasn't working when you purchased the car and secondly to ask them what assistance they are now prepared to offer you.

Clearly their assumption that it was only a battery was wrong and mislead you into believing it was a much cheaper fix than it actually is.

If you cannot come to any agreement with the dealer then you have a couple of options. If they are part of the Motor Trade Association (MTA) then you can lodge a complaint via their dispute line (ring 0508 682 633). If that fails, the department of courts may be your next step (0800 367 6838).

It may pay to keep an accurate log of events as you work through this in case it is needed to be used at a later date