Judge and Jury: The Case of the Chipped Windscreen

legal_updates

The customer had viewed the vehicle and taken it for a test drive prior to purchase but claims they had not seen the chip in the windscreen.

Author: Dennis Chapman
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 10 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.

A customer purchased a vehicle after spending an hour looking round the car and taking it for a test drive. The next day, the customer rang to say there is a chip in the windscreen and claimed that Autoglass had said the chip was old, likely to spread and that a replacement windscreen was the only option, costing £150.

The customer demanded that it is replaced and wanted compensation for the inconvenience. She also reminded staff at the garage that she could reject the vehicle as Trading Standards (Consumer Direct) say she is entitled to do. What happens now?

The customer had viewed the vehicle prior to purchase and if the chip in the windscreen was an old one, and that is not necessarily accepted, then the customer is not entitled to reject the vehicle for a fault that should have been seen on the inspection.

The customer is not entitled to reject the vehicle. She is not entitled to compensation. The seller does not have to replace the screen unless it makes the vehicle unroadworthy.

The important question here is, why did Trading Standards give different advice? Unfortunately, the advice received would have been given based on the information the customer provided. If she had given information about the situation as she saw it and the information did not reflect the true legal position, then any advice given would be misleading.

The old adage, ‘incorrect information put in gives incorrect information out’ applies.

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

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