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Thread: Dealerships that lie - what would you do

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    Dealerships that lie - what would you do

    Hi Everyone,

    I usually use the forum to learn and engage about my Audi, but need your views and advice.

    I recently bought an Audi A5 S-Line nearly new car from Eastbourne Audi also known as Caffyns. I did't get to see the V5 until after I bought the car, but had asked a lot of questions including that I didn't want fleet or hire car. I was told (in writing) it was an ex demonstrator car owned by Audi. After then trying to get insurance, the insurance company would not insure an S-Line as they had it as an SE and I would have to add the specifications as optional extras. After many problems with the car that Caffyns wouldn't help with, I thought about selling the car, but Autotrader said it wasn't an S-Line either and had to be advertised as SE (obviously affecting value). I had been emailing from the first week to Caffyns questioning that it was showing as an SE, and had in writing confirmation it was an S-Line.

    Alas, Trading Standards have confirmed it is legally an SE and not an S-Line as per my V5 and the DVLA. What's worse, it was a hire car (Europcar) and this explains the numerous damage that had been patched up. I don't think you can change the model with the DVLA, and Caffyns refuse to comply with the Sale of Goods Act, by only offering to refund the cost of the car but not my other costs incurred as a result, like my insurance etc. The law does state that expenses incurred as a result mean I'm entitled to reject the sale and claim back costs. So they seem set that it's a criminal offence which is fine, but Audi UK (I've emailed Martin Sander the UK MD) refuse to get involved or deal with the dealer. Dealer refuse to say or do anything other than cost of car.

    What would you do if it was your car?

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  3. #2
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    I'd keep negotiating with them to get what you want, with the help of trading standards.

    Also people like Whatcar? or the Motoring/Finance journalists in the likes of the Daily Mail seem good at getting cases like this resolved acting as consumer champions. Then you've got the likes of the TV, a local programme here in Wales likes to doorstep dealers like this and it seems they don't much like that kind of publicity!

    By what you say you've got all the facts in writing so get some help to get the result you want is my suggestion.

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    Thanks, I've got a blanket refusal to do anything other than cost of car.

    I initially suggested that they allow me to swap for another car keeping the discount i got on the current car, and they felt their integrity was called into question and didn't want my custom at all. Well, the law is the law isn't it?

    Incidentally it started with a problem with my window chrome. After mentioning to them after buying the car there was unusual and mild dinks to chrome that you can only see at certain angles, and the local Audi to me said it looked like an attempted break in, Caffyns suggested i did it myself. As it turned out, it was a hire car and there's quite a bit of repair work on the car, with bumpers not lining up properly to the wheel arch etc. I just assumed the checks at standards Audi set would have been followed. It also turned out that the wheel had been refurbished and tyre replaced where the bumper didn't line up. There was also stuff like stains on the boot cover and holes in the carpet. I took the sales person word for it when I aksed about cosmetic damage or anything of note and he said "nothing, maybe the odd stone chip to paint is all".

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    Hi when we bought our 61 plate a4 teknik from Dundee Audi we were also told it was an ex Audi fleet car only to receive the v5 which said the previous owner was hertz if I remember right and like you we would have been put off with it being a hire car the only problem with the car was the chrome trim on the rear passenger door was out of line which they replaced eventually after apparently ordering it we had to call them and it's still not 100% perfect

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    If it is obviously an s line contact audi directly and get them to send you a letter saying it is, you then sent a copy of that with a cover letter to dvla to update it.
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    Sadly, you can't change the model of a car with the DVLA. According to trading standards (and the Govt website), even if it came out the factory as an "S-Line", it's not an S-Line unless its registered as one. You can change certain aspects like colour, engine or seating capacity, but not the model.

    It doesn't seem like a problem, but would you buy from a guy who has an S-Line looking car that's registered as SE, and not think its a Cat C etc, or someone has pimped up their car? Either way I would think it's dodgy and stay away.

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    Just to clarify, these are the only aspects you can change with DVLA:
    colour
    engine
    cylinder capacity (cc)
    fuel type
    replacing or modifying the chassis or bodyshell
    seating capacity
    weight of a goods vehicle
    tax class changed to ‘disabled’

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    small claims court.send them a recorded notice of intention, and request all that they hold on the car as per freedom of information act.
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    Unsure if you want to be dealing with this dealership, but if you still want an A5, then maybe you could tell them to find you another car and offer a better deal to offset your losses? This for me would keep both parties happy, but if you are not happy with their service or attitude to it, then you might aswell take them to the cleaners if you have written proof, as suggesting in your first post, of what they was suppose to deliver.
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    Thanks Guys,

    Caffyns refuse to trade or sell another car with me as I have "questioned their integrity" - but i did propose the swap idea already.

    Today, Caffyns said the V5 was wrong - that the DVLA and Audi UK were aware and in agreement the V5 was wrong, so I asked to see this and made a "Subject access request" which is the data protection act you refer to Jonnythepie. They said that they would only refund the value of car if i give up my rights (I can't get my own data) and phone Trading Standards to stop them being investigated.

    I thought - that's stupid, I could just get my money back and Trading Standards would still investigate as its a criminal offence and the data access is statutory law that can't ever be superseded regardless of contract. I just phoned Audi UK (the exec team that have failed to help with this) and said this felt a little like black mail and given Data is a human right, it seemed like a Branch manager has lost the plot.

    Audi UK MD Martin Sanders is emailing me back soon - will tell you what he writes.
    Last edited by woollyjoe; 25th July 2013 at 20:29.

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    Small claims court if it's worth your while. I had to do this a couple of years ago but with a private seller and won my case. You get reimbursed your court costs too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Innocence80 View Post
    Small claims court if it's worth your while. I had to do this a couple of years ago but with a private seller and won my case. You get reimbursed your court costs too.
    If you had finance your provider will fight your corner !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
    If you had finance your provider will fight your corner !
    No they won't. If you have finance then you take the issue up with the finance company and not the dealer, i know this as something like this happened to me.

    The finance company are not your friend, believe me!
    Dean.

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    Interested to hear what Audi UK come back with.

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    OK - dealer came back and offered to fully comply with law. So refunding car and expenses including insurance and interest on loan. They also tried to locate another car and a very good price. This was when someone senior took over and the first time he called me, he offered this. Great, some common sense.

    Martin Sander from Audi UK eventually wrote back after his PA said three weeks earlier that he would respond "shortly" just wrote a we can't help email. Oh, and he blamed the DVLA for getting it wrong. Although he failed to mention that Audi UK should have spotted this.

    Will post letter response shortly, but overwhelmingly disappointing from Audi UK and great from Caffyns Director fixing it asap as soon as he got involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woollyjoe View Post
    OK - dealer came back and offered to fully comply with law. So refunding car and expenses including insurance and interest on loan. They also tried to locate another car and a very good price. This was when someone senior took over and the first time he called me, he offered this. Great, some common sense.

    Martin Sander from Audi UK eventually wrote back after his PA said three weeks earlier that he would respond "shortly" just wrote a we can't help email. Oh, and he blamed the DVLA for getting it wrong. Although he failed to mention that Audi UK should have spotted this.

    Will post letter response shortly, but overwhelmingly disappointing from Audi UK and great from Caffyns Director fixing it asap as soon as he got involved.
    That's a good outcome!

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    Caffyns, which dealership as I know Caffyns Brighton very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Caffyns, which dealership as I know Caffyns Brighton very well.
    Eastbourne Audi, apparently, on Willingdon Drove. I didn't even realise they were owned by Caffyns. I still think of Caffyns as the showroom up by the Saffrons Cricket Ground.
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    Ah yes just read further up, oops lol.

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