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Legal options re faulty works done to car

  • 15-09-2021 1:44pm
    Registered Users Posts: 43


    A friend of mine spent €3000 on a car last year. It failed the NCT on emissions. It was brought back to the garage where it was purchased from and the emissions issue was ‘resolved’. After this the car had works done from an auto electrical to check the sensors, upon doing so, the mechanic flagged with my friend that the electrics had been altered so the engine light would not show up on the dash, the auto electrical mechanic said the engine wiring had been connected to a different part of the vehicle. My friend thinks this was done purposely so the engine light would not flag and it might pass the NCT. Obviously doctoring the electrics on a vehicle is dangerous. She is after putting her hard earned money into purchasing the car and is at her wits end. The boogey garage is now saying they will source a Catalytic Converter for €100 and will replace it for her.. this sounds ludicrous too as they are worth a couple hundred? Does she have a civil legal case against this garage from the faulty works done? I think she should cut her losses and take them to the small claims..would she have a case?

    Thanks in advance for any advices on the issue..

    p.s there has been a few issues with the car since she purchased it a year ago, which the garage have ‘fixed’


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,703 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    hi op

    what evidence does your friend have that work was carried out unsatisfactorily? Is it just the auto electrical mechanic said the engine wiring had been connected to a different part of the vehicle. My friend thinks this was done purposely? Because thats hardly proof, is it? Its called hearsay in court. What kind of written report does your friend have? IE any evidence to support her 'thoughts'.

    i you feel a garage has done unsatisfactory work, you can complain to them and give them an opportunity to remedy the situation. you can also make a formal conplaint - again if you give them a chance to inspect the faulty work it is best.

    in this case your friend has not (or your havent said that they have) complained, or allowed the garage in question any chance to remedy the situation.

    And in that circumstance where you do not offer them a chance to remedy the situation you cant really sue. but you can choose not to return and possibly leave a bad review.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,977 ✭✭✭jmreire

    As Exterminator said, give them a chance to rectify the problem first, before taking any action. Is this caf from a main dealership brand? Or was it a different brand trade in? Normally ( for example) you buy a VW from a VW dealership, they will have carried out a pre-sale service and inspection, and this should show up any electrical abnormalities. Its quite possible that the Garage were completely unaware of the defect especially as the warning icons were bypassed.,

  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Jammydodger123

    Thanks guys, Ya I can see it’s hearsay in court and probably more hassle than it’s worth. It’s not from a main dealer and they are offering to fix the cat now. I guess you never know with second hand cars, it’s always a gamble!

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    Car won't fail an NCT just for having an engine light on. So unlike an airbag sensor there is no reason to hide it.

    Engine light can usually be turned off via the ODB II connector. Can be done from your phone with a Bluetooth adaptor you can get from China for a fiver. It would cost more in labour to change a wire.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,046 ✭✭✭silver2020

    €3,000 gets you very little and you simply have to accept that issues will arise.

    But going on the word of one person that something had been altered on purpose with ZERO and really I mean ZERO proof of any sort whatsoever, will get you in a hell of a lot more trouble than €3,000.

    At €3,000 I'll assume the car is at least 10 years old. So unless you get an affidavit from the previous owner/owners and every garage that did any work/servicing on the car previously, you are facing a claim for defamation.

    Its a cheap second hand car bought from possibly a less than best practice dealer and she did not get someone to check it. (that is HER error)

    She has absolutely no case whatsoever unless she is prepared to spend tens of thousands, wait 2 years and run the risk of a defamation action and then lose the case

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,888 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Just to jump in on your point, I was a little unsure of the Engine warning light affecting an NCT test, I believed it did (again I was unsure), I also wondered about this new ODB check being added to the test over time. The info very vague on what they'll be checking exactly, history, recent history of faults, specific faults etc.

    Ive been one of those in the past who had a meaningless warning come up on occasion, my mechanic 100% sure no issues, apart from a common issue wuth the car I had, quick plug in, turn off, NCT test done etc no issues.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.