Car dealer ordered to pay customer €17,500 for motor riddled with defects

first_imgA second hand car dealer has been ordered to pay €17,500 to a customer whose car was riddled with defects.Thomas Friel, trading as Modern Motors at Mountain Top in Letterkenny, didn’t defend the action when it came before Letterkenny Circuit Court.The court heard that John Patrick Gallagher, a pensioner from Dungloe, had spent €10,200 on the 2009 1.3L Vauxhall Astra in January 2012. However in March 2012 and again in May 2012 he returned the vehicle to the dealer for repairs under a seven-month warranty.Mr Gallagher told Judge John Hannan that despite water and oil leaks the problems weren’t fixed and Mr Friel had refused to give him his money back.He said gardaí told him in May 2012 that the car should be taken off the road.The following month – in June 2012 – Mr Gallagher commissioned an engineer’s report which found the Astra imported from the UK had a series of problems including: · warped front brake discs· it had been ‘clocked’ with the mileage put back 20,000 miles· it had been a company vehicle with visible signs of wear and tear· the car had suffered damage in a previou crash to the front of the vehicle· its bonnet repaired or replaced · a damaged cylinder head· damage to its pistons· battery was unsecured· the wiring harness was wrapped in insulating tape creating a fire hazard · the exhaust support bracket was missing· the centre pipe was the incorrect model· front tyres were prematurely worn due to poor alignment and steering.The engineer’s report valued the car at €500 for scrappage.Mr Gallagher told the court the car had been parked at his home for the past four years after Friel had refused to refund him his money.The pensioner said he was forced to buy another car for €1,800.Judge Hannan said most people would have considered the car ‘nearly new’ but it was clear it was not fit for purpose as advertised.He said that while the ‘buyer beware’ warning is valid, consumers shouldn’t expect this situation “if you are using a reputable dealer”.One the clocking of the car, the judge said: “We are unsure as to who is responsible for that but it is something the gardaí might want to investigate.”Judge Hannan said Mr Gallagher had been put through a great deal of stress and inconvenience and had been “put through the mill” with the added stress of seeing the car parked at his home for the past four and a half years.He ordered that Friel pay the pensioner €10,350 compensation and an additional sum of €7,150 for breach of contract, damages and inconvenience.He also ordered Modern Motors to pay costs in the case.The dealer was not in court for the case, a solicitor saying that he was ill and out of the country and not in a position to defend the case.Car dealer ordered to pay customer €17,500 for motor riddled with defects was last modified: October 6th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more