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Defective new car

Q: A year-and-a-half ago I purchased a new car for the price of €13,000. The car included a panoramic roof. From the very beginning it started making some strange noises when I drove it. During the first service the seller informed me that the shock absorbers will be changed as they were faulty.

A few months later the car’s battery was also changed. Unfortunately, the noise persisted and I had to make another appointment with the seller to check it. The seller decided to change the shock absorbers once again together with another part. These repairs did not solve the problem; on the contrary, the noise got even worse.

While washing the car I also noticed that there were some air traps at the corners of the panoramic roof. When discussing this problem with a representative of the company, I was told the only solution to the roof was to change it.

My second service is due soon – during which the roof and the noise will be checked again. What are my rights?

A: Since various attempts have already been carried out to resolve this problem, you may ask for another repair or insist on having the car replaced with a new one. An alternative remedy, if the seller is unable to fix the car’s defect, is that of requesting an appropriate reduction in the price paid for the car as compensation. If the defective panoramic roof cannot be adequately repaired, you may ask to have the roof replaced with a new one.

When asking for such remedies from the seller, the request needs to be made in writing and sent to the seller by registered post. If you do not manage to resolve the problem directly with the seller, you may then lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.

It must, however, be pointed out that if your claim for financial compensation exceeds €3,500, should the office’s intervention not be sufficient to resolve the dispute, then you cannot take your complaint in front of the Consumer Claims Tribunal but you will need to file a claim in the Civil Courts.

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