Water in gearbox court case vs motor trader
Disappointed with out come of a third hearing in court to day, let this be a warning to any one thinking of taking a motor trader to the small claims court, especially after gleaming evidence from forums and assistance from Consumer Direct.com a government consumer advice service.
It started as some of you will know from my previous postings.
After the usual warnings on the car dashboard spanner I think it was, its been nearly two years so memory is beginning to fade, with out going back and checking my facts.
Car goes in to limp mode, diagnosed as water in gear box, gearbox is shot, only had it just about 3 months, cost to repair circa £2000 I had just paid £3800 surly I cant be expected to pay 2k more. Did some searches on this very forum, there’s loads of stuff written about this very subject.
Don’t expect to be able to use it in court though.
I would appear that it was a fault known to Vauxhall, i.e the seals failing.
My argument in court was the car was sold to me by an independent motor trader with an inherent fault, there fore not fit for the purpose intended for at time of purchase.
Not nessarily the traders fault, but in law I am told you have to back to the seller you purchased from.
Consumer direct seemed to clarify this (although not physically seeing my evidence) and they felt I had a valid case.
So after the customary letters to motor trader, who im not going to mention, they do visit this site, and told me so in court. These letters getting me know where .
I took it to the small claims online, paid the £80, documents where served at the address the company was registered to at companies house. It came back from post office “no such address” so had to go back and make some other application to resend documents to the trading address, another £35 cost, Motor trader refutes my claim so a court hearing in front of a small claims court is necessary.
Now as I had read online at the court service web site, should this happen the case would be heard in the jurisdiction of the defendant, so meaning I would need to travel to 70 miles away, I was prepared to travel, court date comes through and its to be heard in Portsmouth my home town, pleased with that, but what if I lose this case the defendant motor trader has to travel 70 miles and take a day out of his business, that could all add up to extra costs. Even hundreds of pounds more. I was a first under the impression that a small claims court you could not claim costs from a claimant, imay be wrong.
But this was made clear in the second hearing when the judge looks at the motor trader and says “you do realise the should the claimant (me) lose this case then you are able to claim expenses from the claimant. As I realise you have travelled along way to attend this court”
So any way I attend the first hearing, the defendant does not show, the case is awarded in my favour all £2070 happy days.
Get the award in writing, then few days later the court says there will be another hearing as the defendant has applied for a stay of judgment this would have cost him a further £40 adding to his costs, this was granted and another hearing to hear all evidence was arranged.
I Filled my evidence to the court on time in a folder all indexed some 40 odd pages.
Turned up to court defendant turns up accompanied with the site manager 2 times the expense if I lose.
Judge tries to get a grip of the evidence, then states that he has a large folder from the defendant motor trader but nothing from me. So I try to show the relevant pieces from my own copy. I asked the court managers after the hearing they said they had recived my evidence but that the judge for some reason was not given it.
Main thing I tried to show was the following obtained from this forum posted by other members,
In the hope that it would prove the case that vauxall knew about this fault and that it was an inherent fault in the vehicle waiting to happen at any time. As members on this forum have explained in the past that it can happen at all various times or mileages.
This was copies of TIS2004 : FIELD REMEDY : 1650 and/or
Tis Number : E0001650
And for information about
GM re-work campaign 06-R-16 started 01 Sept 2006 concerning all Vectra C \ Signum with automatic gearboxes AF23/AF33 produced in period 2002 – 2004
Information discovered and copied from this forum.
This turned out to not be sufficient for the judge to make a decision, so he offered to give me more time to acquire this evidence from Vauxhall UK, and a new hearing date was agreed.
Called customer services at Vauxhall was issued with a case number, explained what was needed from Vauxhall, there reply we will only give this information if accompanied with a letter from a judge.
Write to court explaining situation, and politely asking if judge will write to Vauxhall.
I don’t know the procedure for this but sure seems to have got the back up of the judge.
Get a snotty reply as follows.
So then discover that maybe I need a court order to get Vauxhall to relinquish this information, so I apply for a court order cost another £40 and wait.
Letter arrives stating there will be a hearing in 1 weeks time, it would seem the judge wants to see me to discuss what it needed but asks defendant to attend more costs if I lose.
Turned up in court today, judge has all evidence from both parties today, although as it was a new judge I don’t think he even looked at it.
It seemed he based the whole hearing today on what I was making the new court order about.
I explained that all was required to confirm my evidence was genuine was confirmation from Vauxhall that it had a rework campaign and that it was aknowledgd that this was a faulty parts fitted at manufacture.
The motor trader argued that there where no recalls on this defect, wich I believe is true. I did check with Vauxhall.
The judge seemed to take sides with the defendant. asking what point am I trying to prove if Vauxhall get involved, and that should Vauxhall feel they need to send an engineer that the cost would be down to me. I was of the belief that a letter from Vauxhall was sufficient.
The judge asked why was the evidence I had not sufficient, the motor trader tried to say it had been doctored that I had edited it in my favour, the judge agreed this could happen, then the motor trader showed the judge his copy of TIS 2000 FIELD REMEDY 1650
I looked at it quickly it was a faded photo copy I could not see any mention of a rework campaign, so I showed a copy of my evidence the one translated from the Bulgarian opel owners club, copied from this forum, he said where did you get this from, I explained it was a translation from Bulgarian, he literally threw it back at me to the chuckles of the motor traders.
So as the judge was preparing to possibly get us back after lunch, I could see I had no chance winning against these 3 people so I said if I incur no further costs I will walk away now, they all accepted.
Feeling shafted by Vauxhall, and the courts. Not so much the motor trader as he just sold me the vehicle which I road tested and was happy to drive away, although if he did know about this fault with auto boxes on signums and vectra`s of a certain date of manufacture, and the car was not showing signs of a fault all he had to do was advise me of it or put a oil cooler on to stop it happening in the first place. And they do specialise in Vauxhall so you’d think they would have known.
Don’t know what to do from here, don’t really want this to be the end it.
Im still £2070 plus another few hundred in other expenses not to mention all the time spent writing letters and preparing evidence searching the internet must have spent 3 whole days and nights. A good 36 hours wasted, let this be a lesson to any one thinking a similar course of action.
Finally if any one has any evidence that could swing this my way I love to hear I would consider making a fresh claim. As I believe I would be entitled to do so.