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I bought a car from a dealer in Jul 2017 but then in Mar 2019 the car broke down due to a serious engine problem.
This car is claimed to be NZ new and was first registered on 15/10/2015 and the warranty expired on 15/10/2018.
As advised by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the obligation lies with the dealer. However the dealer claimed the problem lies with the mechanics as the car was serviced through him. This mechanics has presented the full service history with detailed jobs and nothing seems to be wrong.
We believe the dealer in this case should take the responsibility to settle the problem and provide us compensation. We would like to get some advise from AA regarding what should be the next steps for us. We are considering a dispute tribunal against the dealer.
Thanks in advance for your help.
This website will tell you what you need to know: https://www.disputestribunal.govt.nz/
It sounds like you have what you need to proves that every reasonable step was taken to ensure vehicle longevity and have the service records to prove it. It would also be good to have a report on the cause of engine failure and it being a premature failure that would not be reasonable for that vehicle (taking into account the age, mileage, and condition) to have.
Thanks so much Cade. That is so helpful.
Do you know where we can go to get an independent report on the engine? The dealer indicated that they may send the engine to an engine specialist to diagnose. But there will be a large cost involved. Shall we just follow their plan and ask for a copy of the report?
The dealer has the right to have the engine inspected and if they are found to be liable they can decide to repair, replace, or refund- but they must have the first opportunity. If they have already indicated that they are not liable, then get a second opinion by taking it to an engine reconditioning specialist near you and ask for a report- this will cost you but will help determine the cause of failure and indicate what is required to repair and prevent it happening next time.
Thanks Cade. Just on the engine inspection. The car has already been sent to the dealer for inspection and they have concluded it was due to misfiring. Now they intend to send it to an engine specialist, but at our cost. We don’t have a problem giving them an opportunity to diagnose the engine but shouldn’t be at our cost. So if we refuse to pay for the inspection cost will the trader use it as a case against us in the tribunal? Thanks
If they are getting the engine inspected at your cost then that is no different to you doing so, so if they are not going to pay for it, then I would get it done yourself as then you are in control of reporting the outcome and you are the client. If they are going to do it, it should be at their cost until liability is proven. "At your cost" doesn't mean that they have admitted liability and therefore they are not being seen to offer a remedy.
That’s really helpful! Thanks Cade.
Hi Cade. We are going to send our car to an engine specialist to inspect, may need to strip apart the engine to have a look inside. Does AA have any recommended engine specialist around North Shore, Auckland. Thanks.