Catalytic Convertor Theft – is the seller responsible?!


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
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 2 years old.

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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

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