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Old 08.07.2020, 16:33
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Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

Hi all,

I recently bought an expensive MG Roadster from a big, well-known classic car dealer in Holland and the car came with a three month warranty.

The car was delivered and straight away failed the MFK due to faulty rear brakes. The dealer said the car was sold with a fresh Dutch version of the MFK so the brakes were fine - end of story. I had to pay out CHF2000 for the repairs as the work was extensive.

A week after I got the car back from the garage the wiring loom caught alight while I was driving it which has now rendered the car unusable. The dealer in Holland again will not entertain activating the warranty, their response is that it must have been something the garage did when they repaired the brakes. To repair this is estimated at up to CHF4000 if the whole loom has to be replaced, and it's likely to be the case.

Can anybody advise me here: is there a route I can take without engaging an expensive legal firm and paying even more money out?

It's crazy that they sold the car with a three month warranty but I am unable to use it.
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Old 08.07.2020, 16:45
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

Insurance ?
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Old 08.07.2020, 16:48
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

I think you're best asking on a Dutch forum as Dutch laws will apply. This is quite a good FB group for people in NL, there's a few others for businesses and also Brits, but I would start by asking here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2393398401/
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Old 08.07.2020, 16:51
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

You can contact the Bovag in Holland, assuming the dealer is a member and ask them what to do.
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Old 08.07.2020, 17:13
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

having lived in Holland and still having family there, I know a little about consumer rights. But indeed double check what I'm saying.

The seller cannot abrogate his responsibility by saying it was ok when it left the garage and was passed by the Dutch vehicle inspection. If the brakes were faulty despite it passing the garage is still responsible. To say changing the brakes can cause the wiring loom to be faulty is ridiculous. You don't need to touch the loom just to chnage the rear brakes especially on an MG Roadster.

I'm assuming you and the car are in Switzerland, so clearly he is hoping to get away with it thinking you won't bother to go after him.

I'd do as follows:
Ask for the vehicle inspection certificate and see what it says. It's possible it did not pass but he says it did - or it has a warning such as passed but brakes need to be replaced within 1,000 kms.

Contact the Dutch consumer association. I believe thay can also offer free legal advice. Inform the garage that if they do not repair the car and refund you under the warranty you will inform the consumer association and take further legal steps.

If you're a member of the Dutch ANWB they can also help and may put pressure on the garage.

Finally the world of classic cars is quite small and reputation is everything. I think you know what to do about that but give the garage a chance to remedy things first by persuasion and perhaps gentle threats.

A letter from a good firm of lawyers, the type that will have them shaking, such as Nauta Dutilh. Will cost maybe eur 200 ( and they will tell you if you have a case or not) will show them you mean business.

Hera are 2 links:
https://amsterdam-mamas.nl/articles/...in-netherlands

https://expatinfoholland.nl/help-gui...etherlands-eu/

Finally, next time you but a car in Holland, have the ANWB do a full inspection first and be there during the inspection. If the garage refuses then walk away.
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Old 08.07.2020, 17:43
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

I'm Dutch and have very proper knowledge of consumer rights.

First of all, passing the APK (Dutch MFK) does in no way mean a guaranteed passing of the MFK, what exactly did the MFK say about your brakes? And what are the Dutch standards about this? Also did they perform the APK themselves?

The Dutch dealer has to deliver a car up to Dutch standards and has nothing to do with the Swiss standards. And tests are different, APK looks at much more things, here they drive your car and are almost only concerned about the safety. In the Netherlands it never leaves the garage to name something.

You did not buy at a BOVAG garage I assume else you should have had 6 months of warranty, so forget about BOVAG.

As for demanding money for the repair, you should have taken proper steps and first give the garage the option to repair it, that you brought the car 1.000km away to a more expensive country is not their problem.

What normally happens is that you give the garage 14 days to repair/replace and fix the problem. If they don't you have to send a letter (which needs to be signed for) in where you put them at fault and give them a last change for repair and tell them that if they do not live up to the terms of the contract that you will dismantle the contract, meaning you would return the car and get your money back. Just repairing your car elsewhere without the proper legal steps leaves you with two options.

1. Take your loss.
2. Start a court case in the Netherlands with an unpredictable outcome. (likely your loss if not having walked the proper steps)

If in future you ever want to buy an expensive car over the border, make sure it fits Swiss standards before signing the contract and make agreements upfront on how to handle defects under warranty.

Also mind that it is normal for Dutch garages to have a term in their warranty that defects happening outside the European Economical Area puts the burden of proof on you, meaning you would have to proof that the conditions here are in no way the cause with the cable loom.

EDIT:

To give an example of how the rules can differ, in the Netherlands it is allowed to have 50% of the surface of the disc which the braking blocks/shoes touch to be rusted, also it is allowed to have your braking blocks almost completely worn off, this has to be noted but is perfectly fine as long as it is not iron on iron. Here in Switzerland they are allergic for such and will force you to replace. If it is any like this it unfortunately for you is your problem.

Last edited by EdwinNL; 08.07.2020 at 18:11.
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Old 08.07.2020, 19:46
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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I think you're best asking on a Dutch forum as Dutch laws will apply. This is quite a good FB group for people in NL, there's a few others for businesses and also Brits, but I would start by asking here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2393398401/
I would definitely not ask there, a lot of Dutch people already have no clue and give dumb advices, why would foreigners inside the Netherlands have better knowledge?
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Old 08.07.2020, 20:35
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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I would definitely not ask there, a lot of Dutch people already have no clue and give dumb advices, why would foreigners inside the Netherlands have better knowledge?
still deciding whether to be offended or not
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Old 08.07.2020, 21:08
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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still deciding whether to be offended or not
Nothing personal

But have a look at this forum, and the amount of different answers when a legal question is asked. A new member would hardly know which member is correct and which one isn't. Surely we have Asitus who sort of always also provides the proper links.

In the past there was a law section with some proper advice givers on fok.nl but that also has gone down the drain and the proper ones walked away.

If OP wants an extra source of info I'd say he is best of to contact: https://www.juridischloket.nl

If he needs helps navigating the website he can drop me a msg or ask in this forum.
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Old 08.07.2020, 21:20
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

Unless you are into DIY repairs I think an old MG was a bad choice. I would expect brake pads & disks to cost 100 on German Ebay and about 1 hour for an amateur to fit. A Swiss garage would cost easily cost 2k.

I did a thread on this 8 years ago https://www.englishforum.ch/transpor...s-repairs.html
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Old 08.07.2020, 21:33
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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I would definitely not ask there, a lot of Dutch people already have no clue and give dumb advices, why would foreigners inside the Netherlands have better knowledge?
A bit like EF then...
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Old 08.07.2020, 21:36
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

How would a warranty from a garage in Holland (or any foreign country) actually work? Imagine the car breaks down, you transport it on a trailer for 700 km, have it repaired and then drive back, losing a load of money for transport and at least 3 days in time?
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Old 08.07.2020, 22:06
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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A bit like EF then...
Not really., while there are often six opinions on every issue, plenty of Swiss members here get it wrong regularly. Even expats who've been here for years.

So the NL forums isn't in and of itself a bad idea.
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Old 08.07.2020, 22:19
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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How would a warranty from a garage in Holland (or any foreign country) actually work? Imagine the car breaks down, you transport it on a trailer for 700 km, have it repaired and then drive back, losing a load of money for transport and at least 3 days in time?
Unless the garage agrees to something otherwise, that is exactly how it would work.

And offc they will not guarantee a repair within a day without having seen it, so prepare for "yeah, we need to order something, will be here in 3 days"
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Old 09.07.2020, 10:52
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

as others have said, it passed the test in the country you bought it from, the mfk here is a whole different story, unless the dealer said and you have proof that it would pass an mfk you're sol.

the wiring is something else though, the loom on an old MG isn't exactly complicated so I'd strongly suggest you find a different garage 4k is taking the piss big time, 2k for brakes is also a huge pisstake.

buying a classic car and getting a garage to do all the work is going to see you in the poor house very quickly indeed!
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Old 09.07.2020, 11:16
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

You can buy a new loom for a 1970s roadster for 250 GBP on ebay.

Perhaps the garage who are were going to charge 4K were going to hand-knit one?
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Old 09.07.2020, 11:18
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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the wiring loom caught alight while I was driving
If you have "teilkasko" or "vollkasko" insurance, damage due to fire should AFAIK be covered. Maybe worth a look into the policy.
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Old 09.07.2020, 15:15
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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Unless you are into DIY repairs I think an old MG was a bad choice. I would expect brake pads & disks to cost 100 on German Ebay and about 1 hour for an amateur to fit. A Swiss garage would cost easily cost 2k.

I did a thread on this 8 years ago https://www.englishforum.ch/transpor...s-repairs.html
I had several old cars when I was younger which I'd fix and sell on. Brakes would take about 10 minutes to replace. Took longer to lift the car and secure it than anything else.

I can't remember which car now, but there was one which had the brakes inboard and they were a bit of hassle to replace. I think it was a Triumph but really can't remember.

The wiring loom can seem like a really complicated item to replace, but with a workshop manual and perhaps a few YouTube videos and some patience can be done. My son did it on an old XJS V12 with no previous experience.
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Old 09.07.2020, 15:33
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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If you have "teilkasko" or "vollkasko" insurance, damage due to fire should AFAIK be covered. Maybe worth a look into the policy.
Damage caused by fire, yes, but not the faulty wiring that caused the fire.

I once replace the wiring on a friend's Beetle. I happened to have bough a junk one for parts, so had the wiring. Took me 12 hours to do. Think I charged $600, including the wiring, back in 1981, the dealer wanted $2-3k.

I have also made wiring harnesses for a few bikes, takes a LOT of time, buy one if you can.

Tom
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Old 10.07.2020, 11:23
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Re: Being ripped-off by a car dealer - advice please

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Damage caused by fire, yes, but not the faulty wiring that caused the fire
Ah, I thought, the cause of the fire was irrelevant*, but OK, I take your word for it and stand corrected, thank you!

*Had once a little squabble with the insurance, when my father's car was set alight and the insurance said, arson is not fire, but of course it was and they had to pay
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