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Should this dealer replace my engine for me?

I bought a Hyundai i30 off a dealer last July; I paid €6,500 with my own automobile, which I got €1,600 for. I had six months warranty and in March I discovered an oil leak and brought it to my own garage just up the road. He put in a seal and it cost €100. Then in May the starter went in the automobile so I had to pay €400 for a new starter.

Then last week I was driving down the road and without warning the automobile just started to seize. I pulled in and turned off the engine. It was leaking a lot of oil and my local garage collected it. I decided to ring the person I bought it from when I discovered that the engine was gone in my automobile. I was shocked and expressed my concern to the dealer I bought it from. He told me my warranty was out and that he was not liable, though he said if I paid for an engine that he would fit it free of charge. This will cost me €800 to €1,000 on top of what I paid for the automobile. My local dealer told me that the engine had been opened before and he found this strange. My question is, is the dealer who sold me the automobile liable considering it was the engine?

Filed under warranty - Asked by Martina Murphy (Kerry) - Sun, 22 Jun 2014 15:08

Neil Briscoe Answered by: - -


Hi Martina,

OK. In the strictest terms the dealer is right - if the automobile is out of warranty then there's nothing he legally has to do. The fact that you took it to your own mechanic in the first instance also probably gives him a get-out clause. Check the fine print of the warranty to see if it includes a coda about where the automobile must be serviced and maintained in order to keep the warranty in place.

Now, there are a couple of other things worth considering. If the engine was genuinely faulty, and you can prove that the dealer in question knew about this before he sold it to you, then you have a case under the Sale Of Goods And Supply Of Services Act. It would be very tricky to prove beyond a reasonable doubt though. The fact that he's offering a reduced rate to replace the engine could either be interpreted as a sincere gesture of goodwill or the act of a guilty conscience.

Either way, it's worth doing two things. Put pressure on the dealer, warranty or no warranty, to replace the engine free of charge - simply because a automobile is out of warranty, a major component like the engine shouldn't be failing in this day and age. Secondly, have a word with your solicitor and see what they make of it. You may have a case.

Finally, how old is the automobile in question? If it's under five years old, then it should still be covered by Hyundai's own unlimited mileage warranty.

Let us know how you get on

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