The Rights of a Consumer who has Purchased a Defective Car (or Other Product)

Are you a consumer? You have a right to a free repair, or a free replacement or a refund in full or in part if you have purchased a defective car (or other product).

It is very important for consumers to know their rights in case they have purchased a defective product, for example a car.

According the Law, a business offering a product for sale must provide the consumer with a legal guarantee of 2 years from the date of delivery. If the products offered for sale are in used condition, then the minimum guarantee is 1 year from the date of delivery.

The business cannot in any way be exempt from its obligation to provide the guarantee.

This means that if for example the business gives a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee or a 7-year guarantee for the car’s electronics or any other guarantee, these are additional to the legal guarantee.

What are your rights as a consumer?

As a consumer, in order to benefit from the guarantee, you should inform the seller regarding the defect within two months of becoming aware of the defect. Therefore, it is important as soon as you become aware of the defect to inform the business immediately. It is preferable to do so in writing.

What is a defective product?

A product is defective when:

  • It does not correspond to the description –i. an order for shelves with dimensions 1 meter x 1 meter which are in fact 1 meter x 2 meters.
  • It is not fit for any particular purpose for which the consumer requires the product and such purpose was made known to the seller at the time of conclusion of the contract.
  • It is not fit for the purposes that the product is normally used.
  • It is not of satisfactory quality.

What rights does a consumer have?

In all of the abovementioned cases of defective products, the consumer is entitled to a free repair of the defect or a reduction in the purchase price or a right to withdraw (rescind) from the agreement.

Free repair is essentially the repair or replacement of the products by the seller. If this is not possible or disproportionate, (ie. due to the costs of such repair) or where the seller has not completed the repair or replacement of the products within a reasonable time, then the consumer is entitled to a reduction of the purchase price or to withdraw.

Withdrawal is essentially the cancellation of the agreement by the consumer, with a right to a full refund.

If the consumer decides to withdraw from the agreement (if for example the seller has not repaired the defective car), then the consumer must return the car to the seller. The main issue with the consumer’s decision to withdraw, is that if this right is wrongly exercised, then by the time the matter is decided by the court, the car’s value will have significantly depreciated.

For this reason, a consumer should first seek to resolve the dispute with the business. If unsuccessful, then s/he has a right the request to be informed by the business whether it is covered by an Alternative Dispute Resolution Entity. The Cyprus Consumer Center for ADR is such an Entity.

If the consumer does not receive a response, he may submit a complaint against the business, to the Consumer Protection Service.

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This article does not constitute legal advice.

The publication of this article is partly funded by the European Union’s “Consumer Programme (2014-2020)”.

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