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Wind

Advice on legal recourse for lapse of care of distributor servicing

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1st Gear (edited)

try to cut long story short-  car had coolant leak,  and end up is due to a crack in the engine block.  however its just out of warranty by 6 mths, though mileage is still well within 100k.  

As servicing has always been with distributor,  they agree to bring this up to the factory for an extension of warranty in order to replace the engine. but factory rejected.  While they are still seeking escalation to factory,  i counting my ways to seek a legal recourse because. 

1. the crack in block is on the lower end, not at the side or anything. hence not due to impact. hence i thought this is something that might have been in the running for a long time.

2. as the servicing has always been done with them,  i take it that they owe the responsibility to thoroughly check.  even if they were topping up coolant,  they should have done more comprehensive tests to confirm what is wrong.  (in real life, i know its not done like that. just saying this as a way to defend my case) . for that, they failed.  and leading up to the total loss which they are liable for. 

its a cheap conti car, so i was thinking to just seek up to close to market value (~10k above scrap) which i can then bring to Small Claims Tribunal. (i meant to seek claim on the additional 10k above scrap)

any thoughts?

Edited by Wind
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Supersonic

The thing is that in your e-logcard the engine number is engraved on the engine block. You can change any part within the engine but not the engine block. It's not that you cannot but it's a long process of showing LTA why you need to change it and all that admin paperwork. The down time of no car to use is a consideration. I dunno whether it's the AD or factory who rejected your request but I tend to think it's the AD. But that's just me.

Take legal recourse might be a long drawn event with no certain solution. IMO it doesnt give you a quick fix or instantly give you a car to replace. If me at that mileage and value I would de-register, scrap and move on to another car. Sure, you can try to get advise from SCT or case to try to get back as much as possible. Many ppl say CASE is a toothless tiger but they can still give you valuable advise.

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thanks. the rejection was from factory,  at least to what i was told.   

i just unhappy that i would be the one paying for a fault that is not from me.  and likely could have been rectified earlier but no one finds out.  

i wont think its worth it to go for a full legal recourse or such, but more thru SCT to seek some compensation. 

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Hi @Wind Sorry to hear this incident happen to you man. That's every car owner nightmare. After the warranty, the car has problems. Here's my take to your situation. But take it with a pinch of salt lah. I am no pro to give professional advice. 🤣

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1. the crack in block is on the lower end, not at the side or anything. hence not due to impact. hence i thought this is something that might have been in the running for a long time.

When you are driving, you should also monitor the performance of the engine condition, does it drive sluggish suddenly? When you check your engine dip stick, does it "eat" up all the oil? All these tell tale signs are something happening to the car, these should be communicated to your AD when it happens. I am not saying you never share, but just a rule of thumb. So when shit hit the fences, you can say that every servicing I did mention my issues with the car, and you all say you have checked thur and nothing is wrong.

Quote

2. as the servicing has always been done with them,  i take it that they owe the responsibility to thoroughly check.  even if they were topping up coolant,  they should have done more comprehensive tests to confirm what is wrong.  (in real life, i know its not done like that. just saying this as a way to defend my case) . for that, they failed.  and leading up to the total loss which they are liable for.  

Hmmm. Just like what I have mentioned, I think it takes 2 hands to clap when comes to servicing the car. A mechanic is not paid with incentives to do such a comprehensive test. They are a paid salaryman who follows the SOP and always most minimum time and the least cost to service a car. Afterall they are running a business, they won't take a whole day just to check a car when the owner didn't mention anything.

Legally, they are not obliged to do anything to your car. Cause the warranty had ended. It is either 3 years or 100,000km whichever comes first. So even you say your car still haven't reached 100,000km they still have a strong case to this.

What I think you should do is to go find a few workshops and get quotation of the repair, and in the meantime, try to seek a middle ground with the AD. As you are a loyal customer, who has also done all the servicing from the AD, can the repair be partially absorbed from the AD also? If the price is cheaper than outside, means they never chop you carrot and can proceed with the repair. If the price is higher than outside, then you see if you wanna scrap the car or not lor.

If your car is only 3 yr old, and if you scrap. I think you are making a loss here. I dunno how much you pay, but assuming that you still have an outstanding loan from the bank, you might not breakeven the cat cost.

 

BTW, is the car still drivable?

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Supersonic

Technically, if it's out of warranty, the law is on their side. It's a matter of goodwill whether they want to do something they're not contractually obligated to, so I suggest not bringing up the lawsuit talk to them until you've exhausted all the other "nice" options.

With regard to routine servicing checks not picking up things, I think it depends on whether it's reasonable that that sort of thing be looked for or detected in a routine servicing. You might think it is, the industry experts (and therefore the court) might think differently. 

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thank you all for your time and advice.

from the actual defect, its definitely not easy to detect, as most of you mentioned.  its was because of wfh scenario that i spend some additional time maintaining the car before i uncover this.   

yes, i will be taking your advices and approach them in a civil manner. after all they are also trying hard to fight for the extended warranty from the factory too. 

 

thank you.

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Supersonic (edited)

What car make is this ?? ...... looks like putting good money after already bad money.....looks like slim chance , anyways filing in CASE is cheap so its fine also ... but remember for you its just a one off case....... the (mfg) will have more experience to counter your case back ..... most likely  

Edited by BanCoe
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Supersonic (edited)
8 minutes ago, Wind said:

thank you all for your time and advice.

from the actual defect, its definitely not easy to detect, as most of you mentioned.  its was because of wfh scenario that i spend some additional time maintaining the car before i uncover this.   

yes, i will be taking your advices and approach them in a civil manner. after all they are also trying hard to fight for the extended warranty from the factory too. 

 

thank you.

Getting a third party eval as someone else suggested is a very good idea. Make sure they don't modify or replace anything otherwise your AD will wash hands easily. But that's how I forced PML to do an engine valve cover replacement that was causing an engine oil leak in a previous car before-a specialist workshop detected it, I got the letter and banged table with PML. Of course, car was only a year old or so, so within warranty. But even then needed a big fight with them, escalation to Germany etc. They're fairly useless in my view. 

Edited by Turboflat4
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Supersonic
4 minutes ago, Turboflat4 said:

Getting a third party eval as someone else suggested is a very good idea. Make sure they don't modify or replace anything otherwise your AD will wash hands easily. But that's how I forced PML to do an engine valve cover replacement that was causing an engine oil leak in a previous car before-a specialist workshop detected it, I got the letter and banged table with PML. Of course, car was only a year old or so, so within warranty. But even then needed a big fight with them, escalation to Germany etc. They're fairly useless in my view. 

Sometimes, it could be BMW Asia rejects it.  Never reach Germany.

Only when customer bang table really hard, it reaches Germany.

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Supersonic
Just now, inlinesix said:

Sometimes, it could be BMW Asia rejects it.  Never reach Germany.

Only when customer bang table really hard, it reaches Germany.

Yes I banged hard. It reached AMDK. 

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Echoing the comments in this thread, the legal approach to get compensation from the AD / Servicing agent is very weak. The servicing is to do the required maintenance as per the schedule and any other works as specified by the owner. If the works did not specify that a complete check on the vehicle is to be done, then they cannot be made liable. Any assistance they can give on the issue is on a goodwill basis.

As to the cause of the crack on the engine block, there could be a lot of reasons. Impact is normally not on the top of the list. Most likely it would be caused by temperature cycling. Conti cars are known to run hot (at least those that I used to own, 3 of them, exhibited this - not engine block crack but various thermal related issues). After many cycles of hot and cold,  the metal may give way. Another cause may due to stress fractures caused by excessive vibration or mechanical issue.  One cannot determine the cause without looking and analysing the actual damage.

I feel your disappointment as I had owned a car which exhibited a lot of problems which even stretched beyond a good-will extension of the warranty period. I had to make the decision to trade it in for another make rather than to bear the inconvenience of being a regular guest at the workshop. 

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Hypersonic
21 minutes ago, Turboflat4 said:

Yes I banged hard. It reached AMDK. 

I Google bang hard 

hmmmmmm :grin:

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Supersonic
2 hours ago, Wind said:

try to cut long story short-  car had coolant leak,  and end up is due to a crack in the engine block.  however its just out of warranty by 6 mths, though mileage is still well within 100k.  

so in short the car warrently ended. engine block crack, coolant leak inside.

its leak into the combustion area burn away? or mix with engine oil? if mix with engine oil already , very hard to fix, if very very slowly leak to combustion area, u can try those cheap radiator stop leak, pour into your coolant and hope for the best, sometime it help, anw no harm trying its like 20 buks  only.

dun bother the legal route, law on their side, like some bro say , dun bother the legal way to replace your engine block also, it will cost a bomb super trouble some. can try asking AD  how much for comparison also

if radiator stop leak dun work, can try 3rd party ws outside, check around what is the cost to replace your engine in 'legal way' .  normal jap or kimchi car it cost about 3k+- to do it only.

then u decide whether to fix or scrape cut the lost, or sell.   

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Hypersonic (edited)

Good will is BS.

To get them to play nice you need to play hard ball.

The only thing they understand is bad publicity.

Get the evaluation that it IS a manufacture fault.

Write to CEO and tell them you will make a lot of noise

and post X rated photos of the crack and the evaluation

report that you bought a lemon and this car maker makes

lemons and they will not rectify.

There is nothing stronger than the force of public opinion.

:grin:

By the way what car is that? 

I will support you and not buy a car from them.

This is the force of public opinion.

Edited by Jamesc
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3 hours ago, Wind said:

thanks. the rejection was from factory,  at least to what i was told.   

i just unhappy that i would be the one paying for a fault that is not from me.  and likely could have been rectified earlier but no one finds out.  

i wont think its worth it to go for a full legal recourse or such, but more thru SCT to seek some compensation. 

How much will it cost to change the block?

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You are at the losing end given that warranty has ended and your case, tbh, is a weak case. SCT will not be applicable to you I think as you are seeking compensation of 10k above market/ scrap. The monetary limit of SCT is 10k. Bear in mind that in SCT will always try to get both parties to resolve before it is heard by the judge (which will also ask you to try to settle privately before official hearing on the same day). It is a long and painful process (which is why I think a lot of people don't go through it). You will need to provide all supporting documentation and as a claimant, you will need to provide proof that this is manufacturing defect, not the respondant to proof it is not (personal experience of going through SCT). Bearing in mind that no lawyers allowed, thus you will need to do the legwork and attend court, mediate etc. 

I think bad publicity is an easier route but try talking to higher up first to get the ball rolling. 

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Turbocharged
7 hours ago, Watwheels said:

The thing is that in your e-logcard the engine number is engraved on the engine block. You can change any part within the engine but not the engine block. It's not that you cannot but it's a long process of showing LTA why you need to change it and all that admin paperwork. The down time of no car to use is a consideration. I dunno whether it's the AD or factory who rejected your request but I tend to think it's the AD. But that's just me.

Take legal recourse might be a long drawn event with no certain solution. IMO it doesnt give you a quick fix or instantly give you a car to replace. If me at that mileage and value I would de-register, scrap and move on to another car. Sure, you can try to get advise from SCT or case to try to get back as much as possible. Many ppl say CASE is a toothless tiger but they can still give you valuable advise.

No not really. If it’s provided a engine block by AD, LTA will accept it without much issue. Seen it done twice.

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