The editors. Our article “How to turn over a car under warranty” didn’t leave readers indifferent. Many people had similar problems and we received many calls and letters. Some people sought out the help of a lawyer we recommended. Only one of them decided to file a lawsuit against the dealer, the owner of Lada Vesta’s 1.8-liter engine car, who consumed 1.5 liters per 1000 km. mileage. It was possible to resolve the problem within a week thanks to the involvement of a lawyer. The dealer replaced the car with a new one after receiving a claim.
The lawyer’s story is next.
My legal practice and my life generally involved me dealing with people who believe that the Republic of Belarus does not protect the car buyer. Although there is the Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights”, in practice the resolution of some problems for new car owners in the course of their operation relies entirely on the “loyalty” of the official dealer to Client. This often leads to unsatisfactory results in relation to customers.
This opinion is available online and among my clients who seek legal advice on these matters. This applies to all owners of vehicles of any brand that are sold by authorized dealers on the territory of Belarus or the Russian Federation, with subsequent operation on the territory of Belarus. This trend is gaining momentum because of the relative availability and affordability of many brands involved in the sale of new vehicles in the price range of $8,000 to $20,000 US dollars.
This trend has been evident to me for many years. It is because we are referring to the purchase and maintenance of new cars within the warranty period. We also have to face the fact that most people don’t want to protect their rights or listen to their friends, colleagues and friends who think that protecting their rights as car owners is a fight against windmills. It all depends on the official dealers and the manufacturer with whom they coordinate the warranty repairs of cars previously sold.
I was conscious of the “skepticism”, which is common among Belarusian citizens regarding the insecurity of dealers and buyers relations, and decided to write this article to inform citizens about legal dialogue and “claimwork” with dealers involved in vehicle sales.
A Client approached me recently to purchase a Lada Vesta car. It was a 2018 model year vehicle with a 1.8 gasoline engine and a 5-AMT gearbox. The total cost of the deal was approximately 25,000 rubles. After the purchase of the car, the engine began to exhibit defects. In particular, the engine was experiencing increased engine oil consumption and smoke exhaust. The first appeal to the dealer regarding this issue was made after the vehicle had covered approximately 10,000 km. The engine was repaired by the dealer under warranty. The malfunction occurred again after the engine had covered approximately 15,000 kilometers. The owner contacted the dealer about the same problem.
Although the dealer was authorized to replace the engine, the owner wasn’t satisfied with the offer.
It is important to note that this vehicle was subject to an engine repair request due to increased engine oil consumption. This is equivalent of 1.5 liters per 1000 kilometers.
Article 1 of Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights” defines a significant defect in goods or services as one that is irreparable or cannot be fixed without excessive costs (in excess of 30% of the value of goods or services at the time of elimination of defect), or disproportionate time expenditure (exceeding technical regulatory legal acts for removing a similar defect), or is repeatedly detected or manifests again after its elimination or other similar deficiencies.
These problems could be a sign of a serious problem with the engine, and, therefore, a major drawback for the car.
It was possible to prepare the documents necessary to apply to the court with a claim statement at that time. However, the Client and I decided to work together on the case to “claim work” with an official dealer who sold the car before we applied to the court.
The requirements for replacing the car of poor quality with a good-quality product was communicated to the dealer during the work. With a new car from a comparable brand and model.
The final result was that the general director of an official dealer decided that the dispute could be resolved and that the official dealer would meet the required requirements.
The final decision was received by the Client within one day. He then removed the vehicle from the traffic police register and gave it to the official dealer according to the acceptance act. On the same day, he received the keys and documents for the 2019 release of the car without mileage in Belarus.
According to the Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights”, the “claim work” was done with the documents and dealer in 7 days.
The best part about this story for me was the fact that the dealer offered the client the option of a black or red car. The client selected the color red. After such an unexpected and painful solution to his problem, I believe that his soul desired bright colors.
To answer the question about the “skepticism” of our citizens, I’d like to point out that the Client stated that he didn’t expect such a rapid and positive outcome.
Having read this article, citizens must realize that “abyyakava”, as a term used to describe the problem of protecting consumer rights, cannot be applied to it. This is because “abyyakavast,” can cause a person to believe that legal dialogues with officials involved in the sale of cars in Belarus are futile and pointless.
Let me conclude by saying that people frequently ask me about the likelihood of a favorable outcome in most of my cases, even those of the same category. My legal practice and my life show that anyone who doesn’t fight for their rights has no chance.