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Motor Trade Legal News

Parts Warranties

“I fitted a battery for a customer with a 12 month warranty. The customer came back 8 months later complaining that the battery wasn’t working properly. The customer refused to bring the car back and went ahead and got a replacement battery fitted by BMW. He is now threatening me with legal action if I do not reimburse him the full amount of the battery plus labour costs. What can I do?”

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Repairer’s Responsibility

“I have repaired a vehicle using technical specifications from a specialist technical reference service/manufacturer. Unfortunately the torque settings were wrong. We caught it but who would have been liable for any damage”

It is best to see legal liability as a bit like pass the parcel. It is much easier to pass the liability to the person next to you. As a business you are required to carry out any work with a reasonable level of care and skill. Where you fail to do so you are liable to your customer for any losses sustained and can be made to redo any faulty work to put it right.

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Abandoned Vehicles

“I have repaired a vehicle and it is ready for collection but all I have is a telephone number and the owner is now not responding, what can I do”

First things first, your options are limited if you do not have an address as any of the processes will require you to write to the owner. Now is the time to review your processes and re-iterate the point to all staff that no work should be instigated without confirmation of a name and address.

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Consistency in disciplinary decisions

When can an Employer face claims in the Employment Tribunal?

“I had two employees who were out on a works-organised drinks evening and, unfortunately, there was a fight between them. Both of them had been drinking. My Sales Manager (John) punched the Sales Executive (Jason) in the face. Jason had been goading him, however, and was then threatening afterwards that he was going to follow John and beat him up (although he never actually did so, after he sobered up). Should I dismiss them both and what are the risks if I only dismiss John, as he threw the punch?”

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Unfair Dismissal Following HR Overly Influencing Disciplinary Investigation

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has allowed an appeal against the original Employment Tribunal’s decision that an employee had been fairly dismissed in circumstances where the Investigating Officer’s recommendations had been unduly influenced by input from Human Resources.

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