Sometimes, even the Financial Ombudsman rules against the consumer

We had a case a while back whereby a customer complained that our dealer had put their and their son’s life in danger by selling a BMW with run flat tyres. They took issue with the fact that the vehicle was not advertised as having run flats – essentially claiming the vehicle was not as described.

We wrote to the customer on behalf of our client to point out that many BMWs are fitted with run flat tyres as standard and so there would be no reason for our client to specifically point this out. We referred her to BMW who have stated that run flat tyres meet the highest standards in terms of safety and handling characteristics and therefore their claim of endangering lives was, at best, unfair.

We heard no more from the customer but I noted a similar case has been reported recently by the FOS following a complaint to a Finance Company. In that case, the customer claimed that they were told the vehicle did have run flat tyres when it didn’t and so they wanted compensation as they felt the vehicle was worth less without the run flats. FOS looked into this and found the advert did not mention run flats and in any case, even if it did, there was no difference to the value of the car and so there was no loss.

No loss = no compensation.

Case closed.

 

Authors: Nona Bowkis

Published: 16 Aug 2016

Comments

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(cAse SeNSItivE!)

Nona Bowkis - Lawgistics Ltd (18/08/2016)
Like many legal questions, the answers is ‘it depends’. In this particular case, the customers tried to argue that they had read on the internet that the car was worth less with standard tyres – and that if they’d known their car didn’t have “run flat” tyres, they would have negotiated a lower price. When the FOS looked into it, the customers could no longer find the internet article and an independent engineer had not said that it made any difference in value. So yes in this case there was no loss and so no claim (a court would almost certainly have come to the same conclusion). However, if the advert had said there was a sat nav system and there was but it didn’t work, then the seller could be liable for the cost of a replacement system. Basically in court there are generally two issues to decide: 1. liability (is it your fault) and 2. quantum (how much is the loss)
KMB (18/08/2016)
" the customer claimed that they were told the vehicle did have run flat tyres when it didn’t and so they wanted compensation as they felt the vehicle was worth less without the run flats. .......... even if it did, there was no difference to the value of the car and so there was no loss" Don't advertised representations have to be met ? or can they be misrepresented & then argued in terms of 'no material loss of value ' ?



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