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Old 24.05.2007, 18:57
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Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

Hi All,

I've got a problem. I ordered a car on March 5th, and the salesman told me it would be 3 months before delivery (i.e. I would have it the first or second week of June). I found out this week that there is virtually no chance of me getting the car before mid September. I asked the garage today if I could cancel the contract I signed, and he told me that this is probably not possible, and even if it is, I will have to pay 15% of the value of the car (that comes to CHF 6300)!

Basically, does anyone know if I can cancel this contract and not pay the 15%?

Can I take the the garage to a tribunal? How is that done? Is it expensive? As a foreigner, realistically what are my chances of winning?

Some points to note:

1) In the contract, the delivery date is marked as "According to the factory" (even though the salesman said 3 months to me) - I probably should not have signed it, but did not realize at the time.

2) I found out via my own research (i.e. the manufacturer directly, other dealerships, and the internet) that the car is suffering serious delays due to a problem on the production line. The salesman has not at any point notified me of this, and is still trying to beat around the bush.

3) The car is a convertiable, therefore having it for the summer is obviously something I wanted when I ordered it (as I told the salesman at the time). I also do not have a car at the moment, so do need one asap.

4) As they are unable to give me any sort of delivery date, I assume therefore a construction date has not yet been set. Therefore it would indicate that it is not even in the system yet, and should be easy to cancel.

Please, if anyone has any advice as to what i can do to get out of this contract without paying CHF 6300, please let me know!

Cheers!
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Old 24.05.2007, 20:00
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Re: Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

Doesnt sound good really. Not sure you've any options from a legal viewpoint as you have indeed signed a contract.

Go back to your dealer and ask him to provide you with an interim car until such times as yours arrives, as a gesture of goodwill. If he's not co-operative, talk to the headquarters of the car manufacturers and express displeasure with the dealer's service thus far and perhaps they'll endeavour to help.

As I say though, it would only be a gesture of goodwill, I don't think you have a leg to stand on, from a legal perspective.
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Old 27.05.2009, 23:40
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Re: Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

Hi

I am in a similar situation where I want to cancel a car contract, did you manage to cancel without paying the 15%?

As I am not French speaking, I did not know what the terms & conditions said. Do I have any recourse?

Thank you

Terri
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Old 28.05.2009, 13:51
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Re: Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

Carrying on my ability to speak about topics I know very little about, I always thought a car delivery date was never a true date anyway: most people I know who have bought new cars have had to wait longer than the promised date for one reason or another. I'd go with the suggestion of demanding a courtesy car until yours is available.
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Old 28.05.2009, 14:39
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Re: Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

The dealerships will have a guide from the factory as to production leadtimes, but there is always a rider in the contract which will allow for production delays. Otherwise every late delivery would have customers threatening cancellation or seeking compensation from the manufacturer. The practice of the salesman however is highly questionable, in that this should have been clearly explained, and the issue compounded by the fact that you didn't understand what you were actually signing, which does kind of leave you bent over the table.

I think your trousers came down on the 15% as it's contractual, and you signed it. Best I think you can hope for is a loan car from the garage the same as your ordered model until yours arrives. I wouldn't hold my breath however, as customer service isn't a Swiss strong point, so I think the act is about to take place.

I hope you have a better outcome than the one I think your going to get... so "brace yourself Sheila".
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Old 28.05.2009, 14:54
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Re: Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

We ordered a special edition car that would be available when the factory started production. We made a hire agreement with the garage for a demo car until our car was made, 8 months in total. We paid around CHF 650 per month in rental.

You *might* be able to negotiate to buy another car at the same dealer that is already built. That way they won't lose out.

You will still be able drive with your top down in September too.
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Old 28.05.2009, 20:33
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Re: Help! Need legal advice on a car purchase ASAP!

Without knowing the small print on the back of the contract you signed, it is hard to know if you can cancel or not. But I would say a delay from June to September on a dedicated summer car is significant and would be a reasonable reason to cancel. If the delay is so long the factory has not started building it yet so there should be no financial loss.

When we ordered a car last year we put a firm delivery date in the contract and set out from the outset that if we did not get the car the dealer had the right to provide us with a replacement car until ours was ready - or we could cancel. And hey presto, our car was three months delayed during which we did more than 4000 free kms in a dealer car, incl. a trip to Denmark
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