Video: Mold, Smells And Glitches: Why In Russia You Can Return The Car And Stay In The Black
2023 Author: Natalie MacDonald | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 02:36
Are you familiar with warranty repairs? This is a routine procedure - I filled out a couple of pieces of paper, waited a little, took it and forgot it. But this is not always the case. Especially if the buyer is tired of repairing something and wants to return the product and money for it. Especially when the product itself is an expensive and complex technical product, like a car. Today we are talking about seven cases when the buyers of defective cars defended their interests in the courts.
Volkswagen and mold
Let's start with the most recent case, which became known in February 2021. It's about a moldy Volkswagen Touareg and a dispute with a dealer, which ended in a court decision to pay the buyer 7.3 million rubles.
A resident of Miass (Chelyabinsk region) Vladimir acquired a new crossover in 2018. However, the joy was short-lived: he soon began to smell an unpleasant smell in the cabin and pay attention to the fogging windows. Over time, the situation only worsened and, finally, forced the owner to look for the cause. According to him, after three weeks of inactivity of the car, the smell inside was such that it was impossible to be in the cabin.
Vladimir found water in the spare wheel well. And not just some drops, but almost a puddle 15 centimeters deep! He dried the compartment and decided that it was the consequences of a poor-quality sink, but the next day after the rain, the niche was flooded again.
Then there was a series of visits to the dealer, where, under the guarantee of the car, the seals were changed, the joints were covered with sealant, and so on. However, the unpleasant smell remained, and the interior began to grow moldy. Including black, which is considered hazardous to health. The situation has reached the point that Vladimir's daughter has an unseasonal allergy. The doctor, having learned about the mold in the car, completely forbade the girl to approach her father's car.
The dealer, after a series of unsuccessful repairs, said that it was not possible to eliminate the defect, but it … was not significant and did not interfere with the operation. This was followed by a claim from the buyer demanding the return of the value of the car and a lengthy lawsuit.
During the proceedings, two expert examinations were carried out. The first established the cause of the floods - it was a break in the connection of the drainage channel of the panoramic roof. That is, water instead of a drain hole fell into the spare wheel niche. In the second case, an assessment of the consequences was carried out - the same mold. The conclusion was disappointing: the crossover is infected with mold fungi and their concentration is twice the norm. There is only one solution - to almost completely disassemble the car and carry out chemical cleaning. Considering the complexity and cost of the event, experts recognized the problem as unrecoverable.
The dealer, in turn, tried to prove that one failed pipe could not lead to such serious consequences. But this and the subsequent appeal did not change the court's decision: the company was ordered to pay the buyer the full cost of the car (5.05 million), the difference in price with the same new one (450 thousand), a fine (1.5 million) and reimburse other expenses.
Lad and fire
The point in this case was set at the end of 2020 and everything went much faster. But the case itself cannot be called less serious - the Lada burned out! The court ordered to pay the buyer over 1.1 million rubles, which includes not only the cost of the purchased Vesta.
A resident of the Orenburg region bought a car in 2016. In 2019, the car literally pulled itself apart - it caught fire during an overnight stay. One consolation: Vesta was still under warranty (three years or 100 thousand kilometers). The owner contacted the dealer, but they could not agree. Then he filed a lawsuit in court to terminate the sales contract - or, more simply, to return the money.
An examination carried out during the process showed that a fire occurred in the engine compartment due to a short circuit in the wiring leading to the ABS unit. This was recognized as a technical malfunction of the vehicle.
The owner of Vesta served her at an authorized dealer in compliance with the deadlines, and the last visit was just four months before the incident. No problems with the car were revealed, so there was no reason to accuse him of violating the rules of operation.
Result: reimbursement of the full value of the car (564 thousand), forfeit (282 thousand), fine (211.5 thousand) and compensation for damages. The total amount was 1,133,100 rubles. The appeal of the defendant (dealer) was not satisfied.
Cadillac and smell
And one more story about an unpleasant smell and a threat to health, in which the court sided with the buyer. More precisely, customers - the court ordered the dealership to pay a resident of Moscow 6.4 million rubles.
A woman bought a Cadillac Escalade in 2017. The crossover was new, but after a few months a problem was discovered: when the climate control was operating in cold weather, the interior was filled with the smell of technical fluids. The pungent aroma did not disappear even when driving with the windows open.
Contacting the dealer did not identify the cause of the odor. The Cadillac had its ventilation system flushed, but it didn't get better. It got to the point that the owner began to feel unwell and she needed the help of doctors. Her child had similar problems. Then she turned to experts, who recorded that the air in the passenger compartment contains a dangerous concentration of various substances, including ethylene glycol. This is a toxic substance that is part of antifreeze. Another examination with a partial disassembly of the car revealed technical flaws in the assembly.
The trial dragged on for a long time. The buyer demanded almost 16 million compensation for the car, related expenses (the need to rent another car, expertise, and so on) and moral damage. And more … 50 million forfeit! Since the dealer did not return the money to her immediately after the claim. By law, the buyer has the right to demand payment of a penalty in the amount of one percent of the price of the goods for each day of delay. However, the court has the right to reduce this "coefficient" if it considers the amount to be disproportionate. And this is usually what happens in protracted disputes.
As a result, the court ruled to pay the owner of the fragrant Escalade 5.26 million for the car, a penalty of 200 thousand and an 800-thousandth fine. And also - to reimburse expenses and compensate for moral damage, which led to a total amount of 6.4 million rubles.
BMW and electronics
The buyer of the "charged" BMW faced much less unpleasant problems relative to the previous poor fellows, but still wanted to return the M5 Competition with buggy electronics. And he returned it, having received back not only the money for the car, but also a rather big compensation. Total ran over 11 868 900 rubles.
A resident of Moscow purchased a powerful four-door in 2019. It was new, but after 10 days, malfunctions were discovered: an inoperative parking aid system and a dimmed speaker backlight. The dealer recognized both cases as warranties (well, of course!), Except that the announced date for correcting defects did not suit the buyer. Parts missing from the warehouse would have to wait at least a month, so the client wanted to return the car, purchased less than 15 days ago. But this scenario did not suit the dealer. In short, the parties did not agree - the trial began.
On the ships, the dealer and the owner argued over the price of the car. Firstly, the buyer paid not only 9.4 million for the car, but also 350 thousand for the ceramic body protection. Secondly, he insisted that buying a new car in the same configuration would cost him more, based on the suggestions of another dealership. The seller, of course, objected and pointed to the fact that the final price is formed in the process of communicating with the buyer and often differs from the initial offer (of course, downward).
As a result, the owner of the M5 submitted an offer from "his" dealer for an identical car (he made a visit on the eve of the court hearing and took the printout prepared by the seller). The price was higher than the price he had bought the car for. The court took this into account and ordered to pay the cost of a sedan (9.4 million), the difference in price with a new car (almost 1.3 million), a penalty (800 thousand), a fine (500 thousand), the cost of a protective coating recognized as an integral part cars (350 thousand), and compensation for moral damage in the amount of 40 thousand rubles.
Volkswagen and clutch
This story is remarkable not even for problems with the car, but for a long and very successful lawsuit for the buyer. After all, being the owner of a relatively inexpensive car - Jetta - he won the court, and the total amount of payments was approximately two million rubles!
Moreover, the problems with the car did not begin immediately. Having bought a car in 2015, a resident of Saratov was faced with a slipping clutch after two years of operation. He wrote a claim demanding to pick up the faulty car and return the money, but this did not happen.
The dispute migrated to court, where the buyer wanted a refund and compensation for moral damage, a fine, and a forfeit, and the difference with the price of a similar new car. There were a lot of court hearings - including because the identical (pre-styling) Jetta was no longer produced, so there were difficulties with determining the price of a new, same car. And a separate subject of a long process was the reimbursement of the difference with the cost of a similar car, which the buyer tried to achieve more than once or twice.
All this included three lawsuits with multiple appeals, and the process was completed, as far as we can judge from open sources, by mid-2020. The results of the first two lawsuits were the following: reimbursement of the cost of the car (840 thousand), a fine (421 thousand), a forfeit (322 thousand), payment of the difference with the cost of a new car (almost 250 thousand), another fine (over 80 thousand) and compensation for moral damage in the amount of two thousand rubles. But the third lawsuit increased the forfeit to 473,052 rubles, and also added another fine in the amount of 10% of the amount of the forfeit - the result of the struggle for the very difference in price, which the court did not immediately satisfy.
Ki and rust
In the case of a resident of Orel and the dispute with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus, the problem was really significant: the relatively new KiRio was rapidly rusted. It was not possible to agree without a trial, which turned out for the company to pay an amount that significantly exceeded the cost of the car: over 1.5 million rubles.
The story began in 2014, when a new Rio was purchased - with a 60-month or 150,000-kilometer warranty. A couple of years later, the first traces of corrosion appeared on the body (roof, trunk lid and both A-pillars). The dealer made repairs under warranty, but a year later the situation was repeated. After the second repair and new traces of rust, the customer asked for a refund. But not just the amount spent, but taking into account the prices for the new generation model, which had gone on sale by that time.
She was denied this, agreeing to reimburse only 616.3 thousand rubles directly spent. Then she went to court with a claim for about 3.5 million. The amount consisted of the price of the car, an additional payment for a new one (508.5 thousand), two penalties (about two million in total), compensation for moral damage, related costs and a fine of 50% of the amount awarded to the consumer.
The examination established that the rust appeared solely through the fault of the manufacturer, and no traces of imitation of a manufacturing defect were found. Another examination showed that a similar car is a fresh Rio of a different generation for almost 1,115,000 rubles. Almost identical basic technical characteristics made it possible to consider this way, despite all the differences between machines of different generations.
In general, the court took the side of the buyer, although it reduced the amount of penalties to 300 thousand and compensation for moral damage to 100 thousand. Interestingly, both sides filed an appeal - of course, with diametrically opposed goals. But the decision remained unchanged.
Tesl and key
Finally - the multimillion case of 2019. This is a dispute between a customer of an electric car TeslModel X and a company that privately brought Tesla to Russia, which ended in a decision to pay almost 20 million rubles.
Despite the record amount for our collection, the essence is quite simple, and the process did not take long. A resident of Yekaterinburg ordered a car at the end of 2017 and received it in the spring of 2018. Already at the end of the summer, a key malfunction was discovered - the electronic device simply did not work. Then the customer started using a spare key, but it also broke down less than a year later.
Communication with the dealer did not lead to repairs - they simply could not be performed in Russia. The client was offered to use the function of opening the car in the application on the smartphone, but this required a constant Internet connection, which, obviously, was not the most reliable way. Another proposal was to send the car to Germany - to a Tesla service center, where they would quickly fix the malfunction. At the same time, the seller took the costs on himself, but the owner of the car without the keys was not satisfied with the deadline (the process would have taken almost a month).
It was not possible to reach an agreement without a trial. The defendant even provided the results of Tesla's remote diagnostics (carried out, most likely, by German colleagues). According to her, the keys were out of order due to the fault of the consumer - due to "some physical impact." But the court did not take this into account, since the examination was carried out without the participation of the hostess and in general it was already too late. The decision received in 2019 obliged the seller to return the cost of the electric car (13.1 million) and pay the client a fine of 6.5 million.