A man who bought a car on a ''as is where is basis'' has been refunded the full purchase price after a major engine failure occurred two months after he took ownership.
Graeme Johnstone of Waimauku bought a 1994 Nissan Largo from Sanjay Prasad, trading as Super Cheap Cars on Trade Me, in February for $2350 without road testing or inspecting it.
When the engine failed two months later Johnstone asked Prasad for a full refund which the car dealer rejected.
Johnstone then complained to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.
A tribunal decision released last week notes that Prasad sold the vehicle on an ''as is where is basis'' and because of that believed Johnstone had no recourse against him.
He claimed Johnstone's partner caused the engine problems by continuing to drive after noticing problems and that Johnstone should have known what he was buying.
''The trader says that the vehicle was 18 years old, had travelled 252,000kms, was sold for $2350 and was as durable as a reasonable consumer would regard as acceptable for its age, high mileage and low price,'' the decision reads.
The tribunal noted that Johnstone and Prasad didn't complete an offer and sale agreement but Johnstone signed a document which stipulated the sale came with ''no guarantees or warranties expressed or implied''.
Johnstone had problems with the vehicle immediately after taking ownership, the decision notes.
While driving home the car overheated. Johnstone found the water level in the radiator was low so topped it up. When it overheated again he got a new radiator cap which stopped the problem recurring.
The car's engine also had a rattle which got louder when Johnstone accelerated, but he assumed it was the muffler.
On April 5 Johnstone's partner was driving from Waimauku to Avondale when she heard the vehicle's engine making a banging noise. After pulling over and calling Johnstone she began driving home when there was a louder bang and the engine stopped.
She phoned Prasad and asked him to fix the problem but he declined.
A mechanic who later assessed the vehicle said the engine sump had a hole in it due to the conrod breaking in half and exiting the sump.
The tribunal was satisfied the engine was so badly damaged it wasn't worth fixing and said Prasad's attempt at selling the car on an ''as is where is'' basis was ''ill conceived and unlawful''.
The tribunal also rejected Prasad's claims that Johnstone's partner was to blame for the breakdown.
Prasad was ordered to fully refund Johnstone, pay him $78.20 for the mechanical assessment he'd had done after the vehicle broke down and was ordered to collect the vehicle from Johnstone's home.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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