Legal boutique - Legal pilot


You bought a defective car

Buying a car is an outstanding event for most of us. Making such a purchase, we all hope that we will drive a car for a long time and without problems.

However, reality does not always coincide with expectations. Even having laid out a considerable amount for a car, we do not always get what we can count on. It happens that even a new car is unusable. What to do if, instead of a car, you were sold a tangle of technical problems? Often the consumer, remaining one-on-one with such a problem, panics or begins to act at random, emotionally demanding the restoration of their rights, but does not always win.

The good news to everyone who has encountered such a problem: the question is solved, you just need to be clear about what rights you have and how to implement them.

Legal guarantees of the rights of motorists.

The Civil Code of the Russian Federation, the law On Protection of Consumer Rights, and other regulatory acts guard the rights of consumers. It should also be borne in mind that today, according to court statistics, consumers win disputes with automakers in the vast majority of cases.

According to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 575 of May 13, 1997, a car is a technically complex product. Hence the manufacturers obligation to replace a faulty car at the request of the consumer.

How to enforce your rights?

To realize the above rights, first of all, you need to correctly understand what, according to the law, is Unsuitable for exploitation car, because according to some motorists, its impossible to drive even on technically sound cars.

If the car simply does not meet the expectations of the motorist, his taste, other individual requirements, then in this case it is impossible to talk about the possibility of replacing or returning the car to a car dealership. So, low ground clearance (real minus on Russian roads), unsatisfactory driving dynamics or body aerodynamics, etc. can not be the basis for claims about the return of the car to the dealership, provided that the car meets the technical characteristics specified in the documentation.

If there is rust in the car in one place, or another defect that can be repaired under repair, such a car also cannot be considered unsuitable for use. In this case, we can talk about the manufacturers warranty.


  • If the car meets the specifications specified in the documentation, but does not suit you personally for some parameters, in this case you cannot say that you must return the money for the purchased car.
  • Serious rights granted by law to the consumer do not give the right to abuse these same rights (Article 10 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation)

There is an opinion that it is possible to demand anything from a car dealership (manufacturer) only during the warranty period. Is that so?

Not exactly. First of all, you need to see the difference in such concepts as "warranty period" and "car service life". The car manufacturer is responsible to the consumer for the entire life of the car (!) Just during the warranty period, warranty obligations are added to the manufacturers general obligations.

The entire service life of the car should be divided into three periods, in which the volume of motorist's rights varies:

  • The first 15 days after receiving the car (not buying, but receiving!);
  • Warranty period;
  • Service life beyond the warranty period.

Note: The lifetime of the car must be specified in the technical documentation for the car, warranty, or under operating conditions.

If during the service life of the car (outside the warranty period) there is a significant drawback, then the motorist has the right to demand the replacement or return of the car and the corresponding monetary compensation (see above). It remains to understand what a "significant drawback" is. Legislation does not provide a clear definition. Article 18 of the Law "On Protection of Consumer Rights" establishes the dispositive framework for such a violation of obligations. Optionality is the establishment of a framework: "from and to". But, of course, if there is freedom of maneuver within certain limits, then it is difficult for the parties to refrain from not going beyond these limits. It is here that the rope pulling begins between the car dealership and the buyer.

As a rule, car dealerships are firmly on their own: when a car was handed over to the buyer, it was technically sound, all the damage was the result of improper operation!

There are good reasons for the solid position of car dealerships: the car dealership is busy selling cars every day, as well as considering complaints about the quality of cars, and claims both unfounded and reasonable. Car dealerships have lawyers specializing in car sales and the consideration of relevant claims. Dealership specialists know their little tricks in confronting buyers.

Of course, you can always hope for a sweetheart agreement, but its not always possible to come to an agreement with the car dealership. Therefore, the final word remains in the court.

Car owners actions when a car defect is detected

The experience and personality traits of each person are different. In some cases, the consumer can himself go through the intricacies of the law and independently achieve the protection of their rights. But, most often, motorists need help, because the cost of a mistake here is high (!)

Separately, we emphasize that even hiring an experienced lawyer, you have to do some initial part of the work yourself. And serious work begins with a decision: either to defend their rights, or meekly accept and condemn themselves to the endless repairs of their unsuccessful purchase. Some readers will have a smile here, but we assure you that for some customers, deciding to fight is a real problem. And this is serious.

So the decision is made. Now, bearing in mind the three periods in the life of the car (see above), it is important to fix the following:

  • Fault detection;
  • The time for filing relevant requirements for a car dealership.

Here, car dealers enjoy the ignorance of motorists of their rights. So, often turning to a car dealership for repairs, the consumer leaves the car without making a written claim. And this is the first blunder! Further events develop as follows: the car owner meekly waits until the necessary part comes, for example, from Korea. And time goes on ... Upon the arrival of the necessary part, the machine is repaired in a day or two. In the same short time, the repair order opens and closes. As a result, it turns out that the car was not repaired for a month and a half, but only two days. In the case of detection of a defect in the first 15 days, such a delay can have very bad consequences. In this case, the car owner will have to more seriously argue their requirements for the car dealership, and some rights will be irretrievably lost.

Even if a car defect is detected later, it is extremely important to fix the date of the call and the time the machine is in repair (see above). This is the importance of making a claim.

To properly file a claim, execute it in two copies: one copy for the car dealership, the second for yourself. On your copy require receipt. It is also important to understand whether the host has the authority to receive correspondence. Handing a claim to a person who is not properly authorized (for example, an auto mechanic) is often a serious obstacle to the realization of consumer rights.

And what if you are persuaded not to file a written claim?

The answer is simple: be hard. If the dealership workers refuse to accept the claim, the exit is just as simple: submit a claim by mail. Be sure to registered mail with an inventory of attachments and a return receipt. It is best to send a claim by Russian Post, since This postal service, unlike expensive and fast competitors, gives an inventory of investments. Without an inventory, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that you sent a claim to a car dealership and did not congratulate employees, for example, on March 8.

What does the claim say?

The law does not give strict requirements for the claim form. The main thing is that it should contain the following:

  • To whom the claim is addressed (see the contract of sale of the car);
  • The time for filing relevant requirements for a car dealership.
  • From whom the claim originates, the address, phone number, email address, plus the details of your representative;
  • Date and number of the contract of sale of your car, make of car, etc. technical data from the technical passport;
  • The essence of the claim, i.e. what defects are found;
  • Requirements for the seller: terminate the contract for the sale of the car and refund you or replace the car with a similar or other modification with an appropriate recalculation (or replace the assembly part).
  • Claim date.

If the requirements are legitimate, but the claim is not satisfied.

If the car dealership, having received a valid claim from you, continues to persist in its unwillingness to meet you halfway, then it remains to defend your rights in court.

The judicial procedure is too complicated to describe in this article. Let us dwell only on some of its essential details.

Is expertise needed?

Since you have to litigate about a technically complex product, insofar as you try a case you cannot do without special knowledge. Therefore, it will be necessary to involve experts in the process. It is important to understand here that one should not be afraid of the costs of examination, since by law, it is free for the consumer (in case of winning the case). Danger and complexity in another: it is extremely important to put the questions right before an expert. Incorrectly put questions as a result can only do much harm. It is also important to remember that the expert is an expert in technology, and not in law or a lawsuit. The expert answers only technical questions and does not answer questions about the application of the law. In other words, an expert cannot be asked questions about the application of the law, such as: Is the auto show obliged to return the money paid under the car sale contract to the consumer? Or: Is the consumer's right to return the paid funds right? The court resolves these issues.


Before you start a lawsuit with a car dealership, you need to decide on a number of issues:

  • How much do your requirements comply with the law or are they dictated only by the whim of the consumer or his relatives (relatives)? That is, are you not mistaken in your claims and are your demands simply an abuse of the right?
  • The technical essence of the defect car. Is the defect significant?
  • Has the preliminary work been carried out competently in the presentation of pre-trial claims (claims) to the car dealership?
  • The volume of your requirements: do you intend to terminate the contract with the car dealership and return your money, or is the repair enough for you?
  • Involving an expert organization: which organization, which questions to put to the expert, at what stage of the process to involve an expert?
  • Other.

Only by preliminarily considering the strategy of judicial protection of your interests, you can proceed to the court itself.

Good luck to you!

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