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Old 29.09.2007, 15:40
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I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

I purchased a used '91 Camper Van in Suisse Romand in May 2007. I was very happy with the purchase but noticed some damp at the back of the camper. I went to the camper specialists who then did a full check and told me that the whole back of the camper is rotten and needs to be replaced.

The value of the camper is 14000 CHF. The cost of the work is about 6000 CHF with no guarantee of success. I took it to two workshops and they both agreed that this must have been a long standing problem. I also approached TCS who said I 'may' have some hope of being able to get my money back from the seller.

I called the seller, who had previously seemed like a very nice chap indeed, and he told me that it was my word against his and bye-bye.

Any other experiences to share, suggestions etc?

Simon
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Old 29.09.2007, 16:38
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Be realistic: you bought a 16-year old vehicle without (it appears) any expert inspection and 4 months later expect the seller to do something about it.

Do you really expect a private seller to do anything after such a time lapse? He has no idea what you have done with the camper in th meantine...
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Old 29.09.2007, 17:23
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

I agree with AbFab. All vehicles suffer from decay and you brought a 16 year old one which will have certainly suffered to some degree. You presumably inspected it yourself and did not notice any problem.

If you purchased from a dealer then you would have got a guarantee of some sort but you have, presumably, done a private deal without any guarantee and not had a professional inspection.

I’m not conversant with the law on this issue but I doubt that he had any obligation to inform you and, if he did, could you prove that he knew about the problem ?

If you wanted to take this further you would have to get proper legal advice.
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Old 29.09.2007, 17:47
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Regrettably, that's the risk you take when buying a used vehicle, that risk is only amplified tenfold when it's more than 10 years old, and another 10 times when you buy privately. I always advise to take along a friend who is knowledgeable on cars and to thoroughly check the vehicle out before buying (that means wear old rugged pants so you can crawl under the vehicle). I would suggest to identify your target car and then check out internet forums related to that car and ask some of the carfreaks there what to look for, or if you can, you might be able to get one to come along to check the vehicle out... you'd be surprised how helpful car-geeks are. My experience is that there's a forum for almost every car out there, they usually include a checkpoint list for buying used vehicles.
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Old 30.09.2007, 01:10
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

I'LL give you 850CHF for your lemon.....
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Old 30.09.2007, 09:16
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

If you bought it from a registered seller, you have legal rights. If you bought it privately and no guarantee was written out or receipt, you are not in good shape.
Contact a legal specialist and ask for advice and maybe you can get it repaired for 50/50 payment, but without an inspection, or receipt saying "as is", with guarantee, etc, it is not looking hopeful.
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Old 30.09.2007, 09:50
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Unless you find it otherwise in writing, assume "caveat emptor" applies to every purchase, especially private ones.
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Old 30.09.2007, 15:30
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Pretty much, you're doomed with your lemon.

but if lady luck is still on your side, he might have consulted with his insurance company about the defects before letting it go. If you could prove that he already know about the defects and selling it without informing you, you might have a slight chance to claim something from the seller.
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Old 07.02.2008, 21:17
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Well Guys, you all had no faith but a quick phone call to the TCS told me that you have 12 months in Switzerland to claim if the vehicle you bought had something wrong with it that was not made clear at the time.

TCS sent me the legal text, I sent a registered letter. The old owner refused to pay but went to see his lawyer. The lawyer told him he was legally wrong, he had to either

1. pay for the repair
2. buy back the camper or
3. get the camper repaired.

He chose number two and bought the camper back. I have my money back and my lemon turned out to be okay.

Just goes to show that you cannot believe all you read on the Internet - like you did not know that already.

Simon
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Old 07.02.2008, 21:33
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Interesting Glad you got your money back...

I am now wondering, being the greedy person I am, if you can actually claim "damages"... For the risk taken, or the time wasted, etc

Any takes? From someone who knows a bit of legalese
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Old 08.02.2008, 13:48
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Re: I bought a 'lemon' - any legal comeback?

Quote:
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Well Guys, you all had no faith but a quick phone call to the TCS told me that you have 12 months in Switzerland to claim if the vehicle you bought had something wrong with it that was not made clear at the time.

TCS sent me the legal text, I sent a registered letter. The old owner refused to pay but went to see his lawyer. The lawyer told him he was legally wrong, he had to either

1. pay for the repair
2. buy back the camper or
3. get the camper repaired.

He chose number two and bought the camper back. I have my money back and my lemon turned out to be okay.

Just goes to show that you cannot believe all you read on the Internet - like you did not know that already.

Simon
That's fantastic!

And I'll just take the opportunity to suggest car owners/drivers get the TCS & the legal assistance. I think it's well worth the money and has helped me out of a sticky situation.
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