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#Legal firm brings class action on ‘misleading’ used #car sales

By 10th January 2018January 21st, 2019No Comments
​Legal firm Harcus Sinclair is bringing a class action on behalf of consumers who purchased used cars not knowing they were used previously such as in daily rental or ex-fleet vehicles with multiple users.

It said such sales created a misleading impression of the vehicle and consumers could be eligible for compensation.

“By withholding such information from the purchaser, we will allege that the purchaser was mis-sold their vehicle by the manufacturer or dealer and may be eligible for compensation.

“Guidance from the Office of Fair Trading specifically addresses this issue, and describes the practice of creating a misleading impression of the previous use of a vehicle as, unsurprisingly, a misleading action.”

Another group The Used Car Mis-selling Group Action has been campaigning for seven years on the issue.

It is reported that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is poised to issue a warning to carmakers and dealers within weeks to include information in car advertisements telling potential buyers if cars on sale are ex-rental vehicles.

The ASA’s position was outlined in November when it said that if a vehicle was an ex-rental it could influence the buying decision.

And if it was used by multiple users then that was likely to be “material information” to be disclosed in the advertisement.

This position came from the ASA’s ruling on Glyn Hopkin and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK in November.

In that case, it considered it was “reasonable to expect” that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK could provide records on used cars showing how they had used them whilst under their ownership as a fleet operator, including whether they were driven by multiple users.

It found that because Glyn Hopkin was an approved dealer and had purchased the cars directly from FCA, the ASA considered that they were capable of easily obtaining such information.

“Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK had provided evidence showing that each advertised car had only been used by one user whilst they were part of FCA’s fleet.

“One was allocated to a contractor (for training purposes and the other to an employee as a company car.  They also submitted documentation showing that both cars had a very low mileage prior to being allocated to their named users, which were returned at a later date to be sold off.

“However, the ads did not state that the cars were previously used for business purposes whilst part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK’s fleet and for that reason the ASA concluded that the ads breached the CAP Code.

It said for independent dealers, the ASA’s approach was likely to vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on how reasonable it would be to expect that the dealership could or should, have obtained the information.

Tim Kelly

Tim is a highly qualified Independent Engineer with over 20 years experience as an Engineering Assessor of damaged vehicles.

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