Pendragon Motor Group have had their £134,000 conviction overturned, in a successful appeal case led by Geldards’ automotive team, and Jonathan Kirk QC.
In November 2018, Pendragon Motor Group was fined £134,000 plus costs, for failing to tell a customer in an online advertisement that a used car he was interested in buying was an ex-rental vehicle.
The case was of considerable significance to the sector, not only because it sought to re-define a retailer’s disclosure obligations in the context of distance and on-premises sales but if adopted, would dramatically alter UK contract law in a manner that had never been intended.
After a two-day hearing before His Honour Judge Crowson sitting with two lay justices, the judge overturned the conviction saying that he could not be sure that Mr Wilson had been misled by the advert at all and that Courts exists to protect consumers against bad bargains where the playing field is not level, not irrational prejudice against ex-business vehicles whose values are entirely unaffected.
Commenting on the successful appeal, Geldards Partner, Jonathan Butler, said:
“We are delighted with this result. We have always said that there is no positive duty in law to disclose the fact that a vehicle is ex-business use or has had multiple users. The issue is one of satisfactory quality whatever the vehicle’s history.
“The Judge was right to say what he did. This is a great result for retailers in the automotive sector who take their legal obligations seriously and treat customers fairly.”
If you require any advice on this issue, please contact Jonathan Butler or any other member of our Automotive team.
GELDARDS AUTOMOTIVE TEAM AT THE FOREFRONT OF INDUSTRY GUIDANCE CONSULTATION >>