legal advice please bonnet flying open on new car

#1
Guys, could do with some legal advice on the following
Daughter purchased a 6 month old Volkswagen polo from main VW agent near us, 5 days ago. Today whilst traveling at 50mph the bonnet flew open, doing major damage to the vehicle, fortunately the daughter was uninjured as the incident happened on a straight road with no other traffic around and was able to stop safely although seriously shook up. We have taken the vehicle back to the main agent today and they have provided a courtesy car, whilst they investigate tomorrow.
What are our possible legal standings on this matter?

trish car.jpg
 
#2
Did you or your Daughter look under the bonnet after purchasing the car?(water oil windscreen wash etc)
It will be a question the dealership will ask to try and pass the buck.
 
#3
Non

There is no way (unless a fault can be found) that your daughter did not fail to close the bonnet properly sometimes in the last 5 days.
With roof damage its likely that it will be a write off.
 
#4
VW may try and claim it was your daughter's fault. But most cars will have a 'bonnet open' warning on the dash. So your daughter would have known if it was not secure prior to setting off. Either way, I don't think VW will have much success with this argument.

Either way, such a major problem so soon after buying the car means it was not fit for purpose. The Sale of Goods Act is your friend.

You have 2 options:

Play hardball. Reject the car immediately and demand your money back. Put something in writing to the VW dealer to this effect. If you are going to do this you must do it soon, as delay may be seen as your acceptance of the car.

Or go 'softly softly'. Get them to replace it with a similar car but with less miles or higher specification. Get some extra kit or free servicing thrown in to compensate you for the hassle.

Either way, this is not your daughter's fault. VW need to sort it. Keep this thread updated with progress so we can advise further if required.
 
#6
Did you or your Daughter look under the bonnet after purchasing the car?(water oil windscreen wash etc)
It will be a question the dealership will ask to try and pass the buck.
No, the bonnet has not been opened since purchase, was last opened by the garage on the vehicle pre hand over, when they showed the daughter around the car. Must say when I looked at the car yesterday there was no sign of an out of allignment with the bonnet wings etc am sure it was sitting shut.
 
#7
Just remember when it is all sorted and replaced to mercilessly rib her and claim she cannot shut a bonnet properly.
 
#8
Hang on sec, I vaguely remember this featuring on on of those BBC consumer programmes as being a "known fault" issue. I can't remember enough details to be helpful here, I can't even recall what make of car it was, or if there was a recall over it. However, I would suggest you do a careful search for more information about it.
 
#9
Just remember when it is all sorted and replaced to mercilessly rib her and claim she cannot shut a bonnet properly.
It's not her fault as she is a woman and teknikal things like closing the bonnet may be too much for her!
 
#10
It's not her fault as she is a woman and teknikal things like closing the bonnet may be too much for her!
That's a bit sexist? Then again they lie as easily as breathing so maybe she actually smacked a lollipop lady or a nun or something?
 
#11
From Missus (barrister) - under Sale of Goods act, must be of 'satisfactory [formerly 'merchantable'] quality', unless there is a specific agreement between buyer and vendor that the goods are sold 'as seen' and with the warning that the goods are unchecked and untested, there are 'implied terms' that the goods are of 'satisfactory quality'.

The dealer hasn't got a leg to stand on, the contract can at your discretion be terminated, you're entitled to refund and to compensation for losses incurred.
 
#13
the bonnet catch is part of the mot test , there is also a secondary catch in case the first fails, so it shouldn't have flown up, end of.
 
#14
From Missus (barrister) - under Sale of Goods act, must be of 'satisfactory [formerly 'merchantable'] quality', unless there is a specific agreement between buyer and vendor that the goods are sold 'as seen' and with the warning that the goods are unchecked and untested, there are 'implied terms' that the goods are of 'satisfactory quality'.

The dealer hasn't got a leg to stand on, the contract can at your discretion be terminated, you're entitled to refund and to compensation for losses incurred.
What he said.

My brother had an issue with Renault when he bought a Clio Williams, turned out it had been in a front ender that even the dealer did not know about. We take the car back, brother looking all stoodenty, me in my best Austin Reed, my brother explains to the dealer the problem points at me and mumbles "legal representative". The cheque was written quicker than you could say "refund".

They will, in that way that people try to avoid it costing them money, try to say that your daughter must have pulled the bonnet catch, looked under the bonnet, whatever. If you are in the AA or RAC get one of their engineer blokes out there and also if you have AA or RAC legal cover get them onto the deal...........NOW!.
 
#15
i'm sure that there will be a vw owners forum on internet,have a look it could well be a fault,the renault owners forum saved me no end of cash.
 
#16
If the car was paid for by credit card, you have the protection of SECTION 75 of the Credit Act, i.e. the credit card issuer is jointly responsible and liable. So make a claim against them if the garage refuse to play ball.

Check out the Martin Lewis web pages.

Also photocopy and keep any copies of the car servicing record and check if any recalls have been issued for the suspected faulty bonnet locking catch.
 
#18
Contact for HQ Volkswagon in the UK;

VAG (UK) LTD
YEOMANS DRIVE
BLAKELANDS
MILTON KEYNES
MK14 5AN

01908 601611

Report the fault to them, they are responsible for recalls etc.
 
#19
As mentioned by Effendi, there is the possibility of undeclared front-end damage making the bonnet catch(es) u/s.
It is possible that the cabin catch release cable failed, but the manual under-bonnet catch should supposedly prevent what happened, unless it too was faulty.

Personally, I would have a garage, reputable mech or AA/RAC man look at it and give advice before I went into the Main Stealer with a big, turd encrusted stick.

Best of luck with it
 

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