Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Buyer can return defective vehicle

Dear PAO,
I bought a second hand car from an auto exchange shop. The dealer guaranteed to me that the car is in good condition for it was only used by the first owner for two years. The car was exactly in good condition as guaranteed. But after three months, we started to encounter several problems such as over-heating. We went back to the auto exchange shop to complain this matter. They have repaired the car but still we encountered the same problem. What other solutions are available to us? Can we just demand for the return of our payment?

Dear Ignacio,
In a contract of sale, one of the contracting parties obligates himself to transfer the ownership and to deliver a determinate thing, and the other to pay therefor a price certain in money or its equivalent. The vendor is not only obliged to transfer the ownership of and deliver, but he has the obligation to warrant the thing sold. In connection therewith, the seller impliedly warrants that he has the right to sell the thing at the time when the ownership is to pass, and that the buyer shall from that time have and enjoy the legal and peaceful possession of the thing. There is also an implied warranty that the thing shall be free from any hidden faults or defects, or any charge or encumbrance not declared or known to the buyer (Articles 1458, 1495 and1547, Civil Code).

In your situation, we suggest that you refer first your problem to the written warranty existing in
connection with the sale of the vehicle. The obligations and liabilities of the auto exchange shop, as the seller, even if the vehicle bought is second hand, shall be based upon the written warranty that exists. In the absence thereof, the shop shall remain to be liable under its implied warranty as already mentioned. More particularly, the liability of the shop is clear under Articles 1561 and 1567 of the Civil Code, stating that the seller shall be responsible for warranty against hidden defects which the thing sold may have, should they render it unfit for the use for which it is intended, or should they diminish its fitness for such use to such an extent that, had the buyer been aware thereof, he would not have acquired it or would have given a lower price for it. In such a case, you may elect between withdrawing from the contract and demanding a proportionate reduction of the price, with damage in either case. Thus, you may demand from the shop for the return of the vehicle bought and the refund of the payment made with damages.

source:  Manila Times' Column by

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