Author: Dennis Chapman
Published: September 10, 2009
Reading time: 2 minutes
This article is 12 years old.
Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down
This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.
The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.
The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.
Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.
If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.
All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.
Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.
It is not uncommon for clients to bring through cases where being helpful has jeopardised a case that could have been defended.
The problem arises when a customer returns with a problem on a car and without considering whether there is a liability the retailer goes straight in and starts a repair just to get the customer off his/her back. By doing this you are admitting liability for the problem and therefore are taking on issues if the repair doesn’t work and secondly any additional costs such as recovery, hire car charges etc.
The answer is to firstly assess the problem without accepting any liability.
Secondly talk to the customer and get agreement on the way forward.
If it is a case that you have liability then clearly it makes sense to sort it out earlier than later and make sure you are not opening up an open cheque book for any additional costs.
If it is a case where you are not liable eg the car operated satisfactorily when it left your premises and a problem has arisen though fair wear and tear then make it clear to the customer that you are not liable to do anything. If they then request you carry on with a repair get them to sign a note to confirm you are not accepting liability. If need be make a charge for your services as you might for any customer.