Satisfactory Quality?

This week a District Judge, was not persuaded a Claimant could satisfy the test under S14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 that a vehicle was not of satisfactory quality.   The Claimant also failed to persuade the DJ he was a consumer.  

The Claimant, who described himself as ‘very fussy’ inspected a towing vehicle over some considerable time before purchasing it.   In his subsequent particulars of claim he stated he was not happy with the condition of the vehicle at the time of purchase, despite proceeding with it with the purchase.

He brought a claim against our member for a monetary amount plucked from the air which he believed he was due in damages for some minor cosmetic issues he said were not noticeable at the time of his lengthy inspection.  

It was put to the DJ that the Claimant was in fact attempting to renegotiate what he had by that time considered to be a bad bargain for the purchase price and that it is not the function of the court to re-open negotiations as to the value of the consideration of the contract.   If so, the court would be inundated with such claims.  

The DJ found that the Claimant’s difficulty was that if the cosmetic defects of which he complained were so small that they were not noticed for days after purchase and then only in a certain light, it is hard therefore to see that a reasonable person would conclude that the car was not of satisfactory quality.   If, on the other hand they were present at the time, and sufficient for a reasonable person to make that conclusion, then the examination available to Mr Anderson should have revealed them.   The claim therefore failed on both the satisfactory quality test and in the opportunity to inspect.

This case was brought under the Sale of Goods Act and not the Consumer Rights Act 2015 because both parties were believed to be businesses.

Lawgistics Members can get advice on issues such as this and other legal matters affecting their business by contacting the legal team.



Authors: Polly Davies

Published: 20 Apr 2019


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