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Old 23.01.2014, 23:25
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Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

Hi, this is my first post and I am desperately seeding advice. I bought a car from a used car dealer on Monday, it was a 2002 Mini with low mileage, 115,000 for the year. We checked as much as we could for telltale signs of a lemon but the car looked clean, had an inspection 1 service at 90k and inspection 2 service at 110k with a full service history, had MFK done 9 months ago and we were told the car was in excellent condition for its age. However, 2 days and 150km later the engine cut out when I was about to go on the motorway and turns out it needs a new engine. The car is currently at a BMW garage in Germany and it's going to cost over 5,600 for a new engine. I am thankful that it didn't happen when I was on the motorway but extremely gutted. I have contacted the place that sold it to me and they deny anything was wrong with it and I quote "the only way you are getting anything from us is if you buy another car". I am so angry, I can't afford another car. I know that in the EU I would be able to get a refund but is there any laws in Switzerland that protects the consumer in this situation?
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Old 23.01.2014, 23:41
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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Hi, this is my first post and I am desperately seeding advice. I bought a car from a used car dealer on Monday, it was a 2002 Mini with low mileage, 115,000 for the year. We checked as much as we could for telltale signs of a lemon but the car looked clean, had an inspection 1 service at 90k and inspection 2 service at 110k with a full service history, had MFK done 9 months ago and we were told the car was in excellent condition for its age. However, 2 days and 150km later the engine cut out when I was about to go on the motorway and turns out it needs a new engine. The car is currently at a BMW garage in Germany and it's going to cost over €5,600 for a new engine. I am thankful that it didn't happen when I was on the motorway but extremely gutted. I have contacted the place that sold it to me and they deny anything was wrong with it and I quote "the only way you are getting anything from us is if you buy another car". I am so angry, I can't afford another car. I know that in the EU I would be able to get a refund but is there any laws in Switzerland that protects the consumer in this situation?
Did the car come with a guarantee, possibly not as it 12 years old ? Perhaps buying a second hand engine for an old car would make more sense. I suspect you paid less than that for the car in the first place.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:05
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

Did you not find the sticker on the inside of the glove box? .........


........ "Buyer beware"
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:20
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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Hi, this is my first post and I am desperately seeding advice. I bought a car from a used car dealer on Monday, it was a 2002 Mini with low mileage, 115,000 for the year. We checked as much as we could for telltale signs of a lemon but the car looked clean, had an inspection 1 service at 90k and inspection 2 service at 110k with a full service history, had MFK done 9 months ago and we were told the car was in excellent condition for its age. However, 2 days and 150km later the engine cut out when I was about to go on the motorway and turns out it needs a new engine. The car is currently at a BMW garage in Germany and it's going to cost over 5,600 for a new engine. I am thankful that it didn't happen when I was on the motorway but extremely gutted. I have contacted the place that sold it to me and they deny anything was wrong with it and I quote "the only way you are getting anything from us is if you buy another car". I am so angry, I can't afford another car. I know that in the EU I would be able to get a refund but is there any laws in Switzerland that protects the consumer in this situation?
Unless the dealer offered you a guarantee, I am afraid you have no recourse. The expression "cheap is dear" seems appropriate here.

I don't know what you paid for the car but I think putting any money into it now is a very bad idea.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:26
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

I am interested what is actually wrong with the engine ? Did it overheat & you did not stop? For an engine to just cut out & then need to be replaced sounds odd. Some information is missing.

An accident damaged car can be bought for 500-1000 CHF so engines are often available.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:30
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

If it was correctly serviced, timing belt replaced, correct oil etc. then it is strange. You drove it 150 km, so nothing you can do, except complain.

If the car is in good condition, then replacing the engine with a used one makes sense. But get the timing belt, oil pump and water pump replaced.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:34
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

Were you given a guarantee?

I never buy used except when given a 3 month/5k km on engine and drivetrain.

Tom
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:48
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

The trouble is that since the car cannot be driven, it is difficult to seek a second opinion. Not sure if a TCS membership would let you have it towed closer to home...like back to the dealer. But maybe you should ask the dealer to go and collect it?

A few months ago I needed a small repair to my car not covered by the warranty. I went to three dealers and was told three different things and was given three very different prices ranging from somewhat reasonable to absured. Okay, I know car dealers think women know nothing about cars , which is true in my case although driving almost 40 years I know a bit, and tend to treat us like idiots. But still, one light bulb to be changed cannot cost chf 350.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:50
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately I did not get a guarantee. The BMW garage ran some diagnostics and just said I need a new engine, that will be 5,600 including labour so car is basically written off. There was no warning, it was happily cruising along, stopped for petrol, started back up and just before I pulled out onto the motorway it stopped dead. Power comes on when you turn the key but just makes a clicking noise like the starter is not quite Working. Initially they thought it was a simple battery issue but after the diagnostic it came back the engine was dead. I am going to ask my German friend to try and find more details. I don't understand how a car can function normally then next minute with no warning or noise, needs completely replaced. Makes no sense. I know buyer beware and all that, it is just so hard to swallow. I could have been in an accident because of this. Can the dealer really get away with this sort of thing with no recourse? Fair enough if it happened a year down the line, but two days! It just feels criminal, I feel like I have been robbed.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:54
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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The trouble is that since the car cannot be driven, it is difficult to seek a second opinion. Not sure if a TCS membership would let you have it towed closer to home...like back to the dealer. But maybe you should ask the dealer to go and collect it?

A few months ago I needed a small repair to my car not covered by the warranty. I went to three dealers and was told three different things and was given three very different prices ranging from somewhat reasonable to absured. Okay, I know car dealers think women know nothing about cars , which is true in my case although driving almost 40 years I know a bit, and tend to treat us like idiots. But still, one light bulb to be changed cannot cost chf 350.
My insurance company will pick the car up and bring it to my address but I will probably have to pay to get it scrapped and as I don't own a parking space I would have to keep changing the blue parking thing every hour! It is a good idea though, might see if they can tow it to another garage for a second opinion. Thanks
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:57
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

It might be just the starter motor is jammed onto the starter ring. Did it make some strange noise after you left the petrol station?

Tell us more when you get a better diagnosis. Main dealers are reluctant to fit second hand parts, or repair engines. Can a friend tow it to an independent garage in Germany? It will be cheaper to repair it in Germany. But if you scrap it in Germany it can be expensive.
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Old 24.01.2014, 00:58
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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I would have to keep changing the blue parking thing every hour
I'm pretty sure that's not allowed.
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Old 24.01.2014, 01:07
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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My insurance company will pick the car up and bring it to my address but I will probably have to pay to get it scrapped and as I don't own a parking space I would have to keep changing the blue parking thing every hour! It is a good idea though, might see if they can tow it to another garage for a second opinion. Thanks
Do not change the blue parking disk every hour. Its not allowed and you could get fined.
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Old 24.01.2014, 01:42
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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Do not change the blue parking disk every hour. Its not allowed and you could get fined.
They might tow the car, which in this instance is maybe not so terrible.

But I wonder about buying a car and not having a parking space
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Old 24.01.2014, 02:02
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

When buying a used car you can get an independent engine insurance cover, costs around 400.00, worth doing if buying an older car just for peace of mind in the first year. It usually only covers the engine and nothing else.
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Old 24.01.2014, 02:52
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

Sounds like either truly bad luck or just taken for a ride. Do you mind name and shame the dealer? Just for f@ck sake advisable to avoid them in the future.
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Old 24.01.2014, 06:53
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

Bmw main dealer suck, they have no clue how to fix a car, they hook it up to a pc and change whatever it tells them to change. Its an old car, take it to a mini specialist, check the mini forums, minis are plauged with common problems, someone will have had the same happen to them. Do you know anyone with an obd2 reader? That will read the cars error codes.

Taking a 12 year old car to a main dealer is pretty silly, at main dealer prices a major service would cost more then the car is worth.


Eta probably unfair, BMW mechanics are no worse then any other main dealer mechanics, they all suck

Last edited by bigblue2; 24.01.2014 at 07:15.
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Old 24.01.2014, 06:56
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

If you want to get the car towed to mine I'll take a look, I doubt you would need to pay to scrap it and mini parts are silly expensive.

What model is it?
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Old 24.01.2014, 07:29
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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It might be just the starter motor is jammed onto the starter ring. Did it make some strange noise after you left the petrol station?

Tell us more when you get a better diagnosis. Main dealers are reluctant to fit second hand parts, or repair engines. Can a friend tow it to an independent garage in Germany? It will be cheaper to repair it in Germany. But if you scrap it in Germany it can be expensive.
Not really, I kept the radio off to listen out for noises and there was no grinding metal, big bangs or puffs of smoke. It was similar to when a car stalls.
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Old 24.01.2014, 07:31
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Re: Swiss law on being sold a faulty used car

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If you want to get the car towed to mine I'll take a look, I doubt you would need to pay to scrap it and mini parts are silly expensive.

What model is it?
It's a Mini One. I completely forgot that you have to pay to scrap a car in Germany. Is that the same in Switzerland?
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