Buying a new car always brings joy. However, it is more common than it might seem to find new cars with defects and malfunctions that prevent them from working properly. In this week’s article we will analyse the rights that consumers have when buying a new car, and the possibility of claiming for a new car problem in Spain.
Legal warranty on the purchase of a new vehicle.
The purchase of a new vehicle from professionals – for example, from a car dealership – has a 3-year warranty (Royal Decree 1/2007 of the General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users). During this period, the seller is obliged to respond for manufacturing defects, electronic or mechanical breakdowns, etc. The three years start from the date of registration (and without any limitation related to the mileage of the vehicle). However, this legal warranty does not cover normal wear and tear and lack of maintenance of the vehicle.
In addition, by law, manufacturers must provide repair or maintenance parts for at least 10 years after the vehicle in question goes out of production.
Non-conformity and burden of the proof.
If the problem appears within two years from delivery, it will be presumed that this defect already existed when the vehicle was handed over. In other words, the consumer will not be under any obligation to prove the origin of the fault or problem, and it will be assumed that it is a manufacturing problem. However, when the breakdown occurs during the last year of the warranty (i.e. during the third year), the opposite applies. It is presumed that the problem did not exist when the vehicle was delivered. And if the consumer wants to “appeal” this presumption, he/she will have to provide an expert or technical report proving that the failure is due to a manufacturing defect.
What are my options if my new vehicle develops problems and malfunctions?
If your vehicle has manufacturing defects and problems that prevent it from working properly, as a consumer you can choose between demanding a repair or a replacement; provided that the option chosen is not disproportionate or objectively impossible for the seller. Both are free of charge for the customer and must be carried out within a reasonable time and with as little inconvenience to the buyer as possible. Furthermore, if after having opted for one option (e.g. repair) the problem persists, the other (replacement) may be requested.
Termination of the contract, refund, and price reduction.
The buyer can also request a reduction in the price of his new car problem (which must be proportional to the issue) or directly the resolution of the contract and the return of the money, in the following cases:
– If the repair or replacement is disproportionate/impossible for the seller.
– Or if these have not been carried out within a reasonable period of time or have caused the user additional inconvenience.
– If after the repair or replacement, there is still no agreement between buyer and seller, because the problems/defects remain.
However, these two options (reduction and termination of the contract) are reserved only for serious matters. In other words, it will not be possible in cases of minor non-conformity and small problems.
At White Baos Lawyers we are experts in legal claims related to consumer law. If you have purchased a new vehicle, which presents problems and breakdowns, do not hesitate to contact us. We will study your case and offer you expert legal advice on how to claim for your new car problem.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys information relating to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
White & Baos 2023 – All Rights Reserved.