Act protects used car buyers

2016-08-31 06:00
Maureen Odendaal

Maureen Odendaal

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Question:

I BOUGHT a second-hand car from a dealership about three months ago. The last week, I’ve noticed that the engine sounds terrible. I asked a mechanic to have a look at it and according to him the engine needs a complete overhaul, which will be very expensive. The dealer said nothing about the engine being in such bad shape. I’m not sure if I can return it or have the dealer fix it.

Answer:

Having bought the car from a second-hand dealer means that the Consumer Protection Act of 2008 (CPA) will apply to your transaction.

Importantly, a second-hand car falls within the definition of “goods” in the CPA and is thus also subject to CPA protection against defective goods, because excluding second-hand goods from the ambit of the CPA would exclude protection for consumers who need it most.

The CPA provides an automatic warranty that all goods purchased comply with the following requirements in terms of the CPA:

  • safe, of good quality, in good working order and free from any defects;
  • reasonably suitable for the purpose for which they are generally intended; and
  • will be useable and durable for a reasonable period of time, having regard to the use they would normally be put to.

Should purchased goods fail to meet the requirements as set out above within six months after the purchase or delivery of such goods, you have the right to return them and insist on one of the following three remedies:

    • Have the goods repaired;
    • Have the goods replaced; or
    • Obtain a full refund of the purchase price.

In general, if a consumer prefers to have the defective goods replaced or to have the purchase price thereof refunded, the supplier must comply and cannot force the consumer to have the goods repaired instead.

The supplier is also liable for the cost of repairing, collecting and/or replacing the defective goods. It is important to remember that the defect of the goods must be a material imperfection to qualify for one of the three remedies. The CPA will also apply regardless of the suppliers’ refund policy, unless the refund policy is more favourable towards the consumer.

In the case of second-hand goods, there are exceptions to the rules regarding refunds in that they do not apply if the consumer was specifically informed of the specific defects of the particular item and the consumer still agreed to purchase the item in that condition, or the goods were altered contrary to the instructions, or after leaving the control of the dealership.

In your case, it is realistic to accept that the standard and condition of a new car will differ from that of a second-hand car and that it’s not always possible for a second-hand car dealer to point out the exact wear and tear of the car.

That said, a second-hand dealer should be in a position to point out known defects, as well as bigger and obvious defects. Should any defects other than those listed and accepted by the consumer occur within six months after the delivery of any such goods, you will have the right to insist on one of the three remedies listed above.

In your situation, if the condition of the engine was not disclosed, it can be argued that the need for you to have to overhaul the entire engine is material and should afford you the protection and remedies provided by the CPA.

The assistance of an attorney can be helpful to assist you in motivating your claim under the CPA against the car dealership.

– Maureen Odendaal, Associate, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.