Sound system damage

The consumer’s issue:

“In May 2020, I bought a used 14-plate saloon for £20,000 from a dealership after putting down a deposit prior to the country coming out of lockdown. The salesperson didn’t know the service history as they were not specialised in the brand I was buying, so I bought this car in good faith, as my previous car of the same make was excellent.

However, after eleven months of ownership, there were issues with the sound system. I took my car back to the business, and on inspection, they found damage on the inside of the bodywork that caused water ingress. This resulted in the amplifiers, sound units and other electrics malfunctioning. I was also advised by the technician to replace a dangerous nearside rear tyre.

I contacted the used car sales manager at the dealership to resolve the issue, and I was offered £2,000 towards the cost of the repairs or the option of them buying the car back from me minus a deduction for mileage. I chose to have the vehicle rectified by a local third-party garage, as I needed it to get to work, and I lived far away from where I bought it.

The problems have had a real impact on my family, and I am looking for the business to cover the full cost of the repairs.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The vehicle was purchased in May 2020, and the customer didn’t notify us of any faults until the following the year. We accept the damage must have been present at the time of purchase.
  • However, this wouldn’t have been identified on the approved check due to the location of the fault.
  • Our used car sales manager offered two options to the customer, which were namely, to either buy the vehicle back minus a deduction for usage, or to contribute £2,000 towards the cost of the repair, as they lived far away from our dealership. However, the consumer declined both of these.
  • By the customer authorising the repair at another business, we were not given the opportunity to work on the vehicle once ourselves.
  • The £2,000 offer towards the cost of the repair still stands, and we would be happy to settle on this basis to resolve the consumer’s complaint.

The adjudication outcome:

  •   The adjudicator explained that, as the defect was discovered after six months from the point of purchase, the consumer had the evidential burden of showing that the vehicle suffered from an inherent fault which was present at the point of sale.
  • The seller already accepted that the damage to the vehicle was most likely present at the time of sale, and had offered the consumer remedies in line with what was deemed acceptable under the Consumer Right Act 2015.
  • This acknowledgment and attempt to rectify meant that there was no dispute between the parties that the vehicle was of unsatisfactory quality and should not have been sold in the state it was.
  • Based on this reason, the adjudicator upheld this aspect of the consumer’s complaint without further deliberation.
  • The adjudicator agreed with the business that they were not allowed to have their one shot at a repair, and the consumer should have informed them they would rather have the vehicle repaired locally and in doing so, the dealership would have had the opportunity to authorise which dealership could have performed the repair on their behalf.
  • Therefore, In light of the adjudicator’s findings, the business would be not be responsible for the entirety of the costs charged for repair, as this was not an authorised repair.
  • However, the business did offer to cover £2,000 towards the repairs, and they should still continue to contribute this total amount to the consumer.


  • Both parties agreed with the adjudicator’s findings, and the consumer was reimbursed the sum of £2,000 as part of the repairs. The case was then closed.