Uneasy from Uitenhage wrote to SuperSpark to enquire about a maintenance plan no longer in force.
He writes: “I sold a 2014 model Mercedes-Benz to a customer three months ago. The vehicle had a full service history and the maintenance plan was, according to my knowledge, still in place.
However, when the customer took the vehicle for a service, the service centre informed him that the vehicle was no longer covered by the maintenance plan as a result of a previous accident.
The customer is now demanding cancellation of the deal. What are my rights and options in this case?”
SuperSpark provides the answer:
Thank you for raising this important case. To start off with, a dealer should always confirm that a vehicle’s maintenance plan is still in force with the manufacturer. This should preferably be done before the vehicle is bought into stock and should be obtained in writing – in order to provide the dealer with some evidence in case of a situation like yours.
If we take Contract Law into consideration, the fact that the vehicle was still covered by a maintenance plan was part of the agreement between the customer and yourself, as the dealer. This puts you, as the dealer, in a situation where you could not, and did not deliver fully and the customer has a strong case to demand cancellation of the agreement – or to claim damages from you as the dealer.
The facts could also indicate to a lesser degree that you, as the dealer, acted in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act, in particular Reg. 41. In this instance, however, you did not have any intent to mislead the customer, as you were under the impression that the maintenance plan was in force.
My advice would be that, as the dealer, you should provide the customer with a maintenance plan that offers the same benefits as the manufacturer’s maintenance plan, or alternatively accept the cancellation of the agreement.
All best best – gotta fly now!