stevodurbs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
39
Hi guys

I've bought an 2007 Audi A3 2.0 FSI in a private sale earlier this week. I drove the car, checked out the outside and interior and everything seemed ok. I asked the seller repeatedly whether the car has been in any accidents and he told me there was only a minor door scrape that he had repaired(he showed me the pics).

I took the car to my mechanic yesterday for a minor service/tune-up and it turns out the car was in a major front end accident, requiring chassis straightening. All the replacement parts fitted are pirate and bad quality. Added to this, shortcuts were taken pretty much everywhere possible and things look a mess when the car is up on a ramp. Est repair bill is R37k.

Now before you tell me I'm a moron for not getting AA/Dekra/a certified mechanic to give the vehicle a once over before buying, I know this now. I was a moron, I rushed in, I trusted the seller and I feel really stupid about it now.

So now I'm looking for advice on my legal standing with regards returning the car for the full amount paid, as well as whether I should legally be owed the R7000 I spent on the second day owning the car fitting new tyres and brake pads?

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks in advance
 

rodga

Honorary Master
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
10,730
private sale?
good luck getting anything back
you should have been more careful doing a private deal.
Why didnt you ask to take the car to your mechanic first?
 

Archer

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
22,332
Although a mission, you do have legal recourse if you can prove that he knew about the defects prior to the sale. But I'll say it again, it's a mission
 

Lurker01

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
76
Presumably the car was purchased "voetstoots", so in order for you to have recourse the defects would have to be latent in nature as opposed to patent (easily visible). And the seller would have to have been aware of such defects.

Clearly if the repairs were done during the previous owner's tenure there is no doubt that he would have been aware of the situation, and recourse should be possible. If the repairs were done before the seller took ownership, he could claim ignorance of the matter and a claim would be problematic.
 

maumau

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
19,137
Was also thinking the damage could have been done by someone other than the guy you bought from.
 

eg2505

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
28,580
good thread this

question for you guys, if a mechanic advises , car looks like it was in a accident,
should I go and get AA/dekra check just to be safe? I mean Im afraid of the same thing happening to me,

if I sell my car and next owner identifies crash damage that wasnt fixed properly,
and I honestly didnt know anything about it,

whats the best way here?
 

Pitbull

Verboten
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
63,440
Hi guys

I've bought an 2007 Audi A3 2.0 FSI in a private sale earlier this week. I drove the car, checked out the outside and interior and everything seemed ok. I asked the seller repeatedly whether the car has been in any accidents and he told me there was only a minor door scrape that he had repaired(he showed me the pics).

I took the car to my mechanic yesterday for a minor service/tune-up and it turns out the car was in a major front end accident, requiring chassis straightening. All the replacement parts fitted are pirate and bad quality. Added to this, shortcuts were taken pretty much everywhere possible and things look a mess when the car is up on a ramp. Est repair bill is R37k.

Now before you tell me I'm a moron for not getting AA/Dekra/a certified mechanic to give the vehicle a once over before buying, I know this now. I was a moron, I rushed in, I trusted the seller and I feel really stupid about it now.

So now I'm looking for advice on my legal standing with regards returning the car for the full amount paid, as well as whether I should legally be owed the R7000 I spent on the second day owning the car fitting new tyres and brake pads?

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks in advance

You have proof that he lied to you? Maybe he also bought it second hand and was not aware of the issues you're mentioning. He had a scrape on the door since he had it maybe?

You bought the car so you obviously happy with it. Why is it an issue now?
 

me_

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
782
You have proof that he lied to you? Maybe he also bought it second hand and was not aware of the issues you're mentioning.

^^ - This. If you can prove that he knew about the accident damage and can prove that you asked him about any prior accidents, then you would have a case of fraudulent Misrepresentation. Voetstoots protects sellers from deliberate non-disclosures, but not from fraudulent disclosures. If you won in court, the transaction would likely be voided, he would have to return the money and you would have to return the car.

The problem is proving that he advised you that there had been no prior accidents. Usually that is done verbally so it becomes a he said, she said scenario.
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
106,118
Private sale, so it would be monumentally difficult to do anything about it that would be even vaguely worthwhile.
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
43,861
Dealer = CPA, more expensive car.

Private = No CPA, cheaper car.


These are the risks you run. The onus was on you to take the car to Dekra or AA BEFORE purchase, not to cry about it after the fact when you don't really have any evidence to substantiate it.

There is legal recourse, but it probably won't be worth your while.
 

stevodurbs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
39
Ok, so a quick update... Seller agreed shortly after I posted this to refund me both via phone call and text message. Then suddenly he was off the grid - completely unreachable.

5 hours later I get a very shoddy email from some two-bit lawyer. No letterhead, bad syntax, wrong Rand amounts stated. In nutshell it stated that the sale was voetstoets and that my demands were unlawful. Thankfully there is no mention of voetstoets in the sale agreement we both signed. I'll hand over all documentation and evidence to my lawyers on Monday and then I'm just going to sit back and let them do their thing.

^^ - This. If you can prove that he knew about the accident damage and can prove that you asked him about any prior accidents, then you would have a case of fraudulent Misrepresentation. Voetstoots protects sellers from deliberate non-disclosures, but not from fraudulent disclosures. If you won in court, the transaction would likely be voided, he would have to return the money and you would have to return the car.

The problem is proving that he advised you that there had been no prior accidents. Usually that is done verbally so it becomes a he said, she said scenario.

I have his denial of knowledge of any accident beyond a door scrape in text messages. He owned the vehicle for over a year and claims he never knew there was a front end accident? I'm calling BS. He claims he took it through Dekra roadworthy in pretty much the same state it is now in 2014. Unless there was some cash under the table, there is no way in hell this thing would have passed.

if I sell my car and next owner identifies crash damage that wasnt fixed properly,
and I honestly didnt know anything about it,

whats the best way here?

This is essentially what the seller in my instance is probably going to try to argue. He is the second owner from new, having bought the car early 2014. I'd be interested to find out too? Can you legally claim ignorance?

You bought the car so you obviously happy with it. Why is it an issue now?

Are you seriously asking me that question? I'm obviously unhappy. Why is it an issue?? Because the car was in an undisclosed major accident and badly repaired.

If the repair was done by the book, I'd say ok, accidents happen, it wasn't disclosed to me, but it's ok. This on the other hand is poorly repaired and actually dangerous. If anyone's interested I'll throw up a list of the faults that my mechanic gave me.

I'll keep updating this thread, because it's nice to know other people go through these things and to find out what the outcomes were. I couldn't find any good threads on this topic that divulged the full process and outcomes, so maybe someone else will appreciate this at some point.
 

reactor_sa

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
7,844
I think step one would be determining when the major fronter happened, then establish during what period the seller owned the vehicle (I think you could determine from the title deed you received before re-registering?)
 

stevodurbs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
39
A quick note on people stating there is no legal recourse:

Climb out from that rock you live under and stop spouting nonsense that you "once heard from a guy whose dog's previous owner's aunty's friend said..." You just confuse everyone looking for a good answer.

When defects in any goods supplied are not openly stated by the seller of the goods, there is always legal action that can be taken.

The only time the above does not apply is when a contract has been made stating there are defects with/damages to goods supplied that both seller and buyer acknowledge and are fine with.
 
Last edited:

Venomous

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
54,770
OP,

as what code is the vehicle currently registered. Should show on the old reg papers the seller gave you.
 

stevodurbs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
39
Ok guys, so it's a couple weeks later and essentially this is how things have happened...

My lawyers responded to his NoName brand lawyer telling the seller to give me a full refund within 24 hours. The seller took 4 days to respond and essentially told me to p!ss off. I sat with my lawyers and discussed where I stand legally and what my options are.

Firstly, I'm legally in the right - I bought a car voetstoets, but voetstoets is void when the buyer has asked legitimate questions and is lied to, e.g. I asked the seller straight up "Has this car been in any major accidents?", and the answer was "One tiny scrape on the door, but nothing else", which was a blatant lie.

Secondly, because I'm legally in the right, that's not going to make my life miraculously easier. I think I had this magical picture that the law would just reach out its' big hairy arm, grab my money from the person who did me wrong and put it in my pocket :D Turns out months of legal proceedings and bills and stress are the only thing that gets you your money back.

So anyway, lawyers told me to sell the car ASAP and if I really want to after that, sue the seller for the loss I incurred. The car's back on the market for R25k less than I paid, stating up front that there was damage that has been repaired and it needs some work. I'm just wanting a quick sale now and to go buy a cheap, reliable vehicle.

OP,

as what code is the vehicle currently registered. Should show on the old reg papers the seller gave you.

The vehicle was code 2 btw. I used Autotraders background checking tool (R99) to see if there was anything on police record regarding the vehicle and there wasn't.

Anyway, I was being naive and learnt an expensive life lesson. Don't be like me - get a private vehicle at least to Dekra and even better to your own trusted mechanic before parting with your hard earned cash!
 

ahoudet

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
4,503
Ok guys, so it's a couple weeks later and essentially this is how things have happened...

My lawyers responded to his NoName brand lawyer telling the seller to give me a full refund within 24 hours. The seller took 4 days to respond and essentially told me to p!ss off. I sat with my lawyers and discussed where I stand legally and what my options are.

Firstly, I'm legally in the right - I bought a car voetstoets, but voetstoets is void when the buyer has asked legitimate questions and is lied to, e.g. I asked the seller straight up "Has this car been in any major accidents?", and the answer was "One tiny scrape on the door, but nothing else", which was a blatant lie.

Secondly, because I'm legally in the right, that's not going to make my life miraculously easier. I think I had this magical picture that the law would just reach out its' big hairy arm, grab my money from the person who did me wrong and put it in my pocket :D Turns out months of legal proceedings and bills and stress are the only thing that gets you your money back.

So anyway, lawyers told me to sell the car ASAP and if I really want to after that, sue the seller for the loss I incurred. The car's back on the market for R25k less than I paid, stating up front that there was damage that has been repaired and it needs some work. I'm just wanting a quick sale now and to go buy a cheap, reliable vehicle.



The vehicle was code 2 btw. I used Autotraders background checking tool (R99) to see if there was anything on police record regarding the vehicle and there wasn't.

Anyway, I was being naive and learnt an expensive life lesson. Don't be like me - get a private vehicle at least to Dekra and even better to your own trusted mechanic before parting with your hard earned cash!

What's wrong with the car? Was it not repaired correctly? Why not just keep it?
 

Jelly-tot

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
30
Your tale is very sad and makes one wonder why some people would become this shrewd. Karma is a motherfather. GLWS.
 

Rouxenator

Dank meme lord
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
41,860
Well you did ask the seller and you were lied to. And no, no one should every tell you that you are a moron for not getting AA/Dekra/a certified mechanic to give the vehicle a once over before buying. But buying a VAG... :whistling:
 

Pitbull

Verboten
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
63,440
lol @ OP.

Good luck Mr. know it all. You're going to need it :p

/Told you so from the start didn't we? :D
 
Top