Mind your language when speaking to customers!


When something goes wrong with the car it is all too convenient to describe it as “defective” or “faulty”.

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 1 minute

This article is 6 years old.

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A word of caution against using certain words – for they may come back to bite you.

When something goes wrong with the car it is all too convenient to describe it as “defective” or “faulty”. Indeed, your buyer may well use those words quite liberally especially if he or she is looking to be compensated in some way or if they are looking for a refund. 

For the moment you repeat the word “defective” or “faulty” – especially in writing – you run the risk of this being seen as an admission that you supplied a car in breach of contract. This is the last thing you want read out in court – “even the trader admitted the gearbox was faulty”.

Far better to say the gearbox or whatever it is has suffered a “failure”. For the cause of a “failure” can include fair wear and driver abuse/misuse – neither of which render you in breach of contract. 

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

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