Rejection of new car on finance after owning for 2.5 months
I bought a new Fiat 500 on 24/09/13 using Fiats own PCP contract plan, using my car as deposit (£1000)
Within the first week I had to call out Fiat Assistance for a buzzing noise coming from the dashboard together with the dashboard lights going on and off. They towed the car away saying it was a potential fire hazard/electrical fault.
I got it back 2 days later with a complete new instrument cluster fitted and all is fine.
Then, around 6 weeks later, the suspension started knocking from the front left wheel when going over normal bumps, grates in the road. The car feels very unstable, jumping from left to right when hitting bumps in the road and when I had to brake quite sharply the car veered from left to right quite violently.
I booked it into the dealership on 27/12/13 to be given it back 2 hours later stating that the suspension top strut mount had failed and I would have to wait until after 06/01/14 for the part to come in. I was not offered a courtesy car to use and told carry on using my car with faulty suspension. The person on the service desk said he was surprised the part wasn't available as it was a common failing part on the Fiat 500. I asked if they were going to replace both sides, as I believe that is best practice when replacing suspension/steering parts, to be told no.
I drove the car home and immediately informed FGA Capital of what had happened and that I wanted to reject the car under SOG act as it wasn't of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose. I have no faith in the car, brand or dealer.
This has all now been done in writing to the finance company, the dealer and Fiat UK.
I've heard back from the dealership since saying that a new modified suspension mount has now arrived and is waiting to be fitted to my car. I can't help thinking that by modifying the suspension part Fiat are accepting that there are manufacturing/quality problems with the original part on these cars and how can it be best practice, let alone safe, to fit a modified suspension part to one side of the car only....
Again I've let them now that the car is rejected and I haven't used it since 27/12/13 in line with my rejection.
The manager of the dealership emailed me yesterday to say that he's looking into it and will formalize a response to my rejection asap.
Anybody any advice whether I've done the right thing and how you think I stand with getting my money back, or at least the remaining finance cleared and my deposit back?
Thanks in advance
Welcome to the site, it sounds like your problem is being well handled by the finance company, and I would let them get on with it, good luck.
You need to return the car to the dealership along with all keys, paperwork relevant to sale etc.
I would apply pressure to the finance company. I doubt that the dealership will accept the car until the paperwork is in order. It is not acceptable for them to drag their feet like this and you might suggest some compensation for inconvenience.
Thanks for the replies. I've let them know in the letter that the car is not being used and is ready for them to collect as soon as possible.
Hoping I get a reply from Fiat tomorrow.......
As far as I am aware, your 'rejection' is meaningless as long as the car is in your possession.
Thanks. I'll speak with the finance company tomorrow and see if that's the case and if I need to hand it back with all the paperwork. Will let you know.....
if you need to speak to someone, don't use the finance company. They have a vested interest in your keeping the car. viz the interest you will be paying. Speak to CAB or Trading Standards. Not saying the finance company would lie to you, of course.
Got a reply from the dealer today saying that I need to give them the opportunity to repair the second fault as it's not related to the first one. They said they've spoken with FGA Capital and they have agreed to repair the car, give me a courtesy car until it's done, have the car inspected by AA/RAC and let me have the report for peace of mind and refund me one months finance payment.
I called CAB straight away and they said if it was the first fault with the car then I should let them attempt to repair it. But as this is the second major fault then I'm within my rights to reject it, even though the current fault isn't related to the first. The car shouldn't have suffered from 2 major faults from new. They advised me to stress that I had lost faith in the car and continue to pursue the refund. I've already stressed in my original rejection letter to Fiat/FGA that I've lost all faith, so that's all good from my point of view. CAB said I'm entitled to repair, replacement or refund and that I would win my case if it went to court and I don't need to return the car because I've asked Fiat to remove it from my home at their earliest convenience.
And I totally agree about not taking the finance companies word, especially considering FGA Capital is 50% owned by Fiat! Of course they're biased and will pressure me to keep the car/finance agreement. I've copied them in on my response and asked them to advise me of their next steps asap as I've now involved CAB/Trading Standards....
I've replied to the dealer and proposed that they collect the car from my home asap, clear the outstanding finance and return my £1000 deposit to put me back to the position I was originally in when I bought the car...
Will wait and see, again......
Thanks for all your help and advice :-)