Catalytic Convertor Theft – is the seller responsible?!

legal_updates

It would be ridiculous to suggest that every car dealer has to mention to a potential buyer that something on or in a vehicle might be attractive to thieves

Author: Jason Williams
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 2 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.

Well, according to one irate purchaser they are!  

The consumer purchased a vehicle from our client.  He parks it outside of his house and one evening some local thieves come along and extract the catalytic convertor. That consumer then seeks to reject the car because its design is not fit for purpose in that it allows the catalytic convertor to be stolen too easily.  Additionally or alternatively, he wanted to reject it because of a misrepresentation by the dealer for NOT mentioning that his car was at risk of having the component stolen.

Not surprisingly, we wrote advising that our client could not be held liable.

As the consumer paid on his credit card he went to his card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act – joint liability of the credit card provider – who, instead of dismissing it out of hand, asked our client to explain why they felt they were not liable for breach of contract and/or misrepresentation!  So we told them in no uncertain terms.  We mentioned that it would be ridiculous to suggest that every car dealer has to mention to a potential buyer that something on or in a vehicle might be attractive to thieves – whether it be the catalytic convertor, the wheels, the fuel or the badge on the radiator grille.

We somewhat sarcastically reminded the card company that we hoped that they had told their customer prior to taking their credit card that it ran the risk of it being stolen – as otherwise he would have them for misrepresentation if someone nicked his card from his wallet when he wasn’t looking!  A reply has not (yet) been received.

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.