A Reputed Audi Car Dealership Sold Me a Different MY Car than What Was Advertised and Also in The Sale Contract

Hi,

Please suggest what should be my next course of action.

To summarise, I bought a pre-owned Audi Q3 from a reputed Audi dealership in NSW. I received my car in Melbourne through Ceva after 2 weeks and noticed following issues:

1) When I registered on audi.com.au with the VIN#, I realised that the car is 2014 (and MY14), whereas the dealership had advertised the car as "2015 Audi Q3 MY15" on their carsales.com.au advert and also my sale contract mentions the car to be "MY15". As per KBB, there is approx $5K price difference between MY14 and MY15 for this car;

2) When I inspected the car, it was driven around 18,900 KM, but when Ceva collected the car after 10 days, the odometer reading was 19,603 KMs. I have a text message from their sales guy (5 days after the test drive and signing sale contract) confirming the odometer reading to be 19,108 KM.

3) The rear bumper of the car has chipped paint/scratch, which wasn't there when I inspected the car and I also have carsales.com.au pictures to prove this.

I reached out to the dealer asking for the price difference between MY14 and MY15 (approx $5K as per KBB) and requested them to repair the rear bumper damage. In return, the dealer offered me $1K in total, which I refused. Now, 10 days later, the dealer is offering to collect the car back and refund me the original car sale price, but I have incurred a lot of additional costs (financial and intangible) as I especially went to Syd from Melb after taking a day off from the office to inspect the car. Also, I took another day off to collect the car in Melbourne from Ceva office. In addition, I cannot quantify the emotional stress this has caused me.

So, I seek advise from fellow OzB members, if I should proceed with an NCAT case and also raise this issue on social media through the dealer's FB page and tag Audi Australia group?

Luckily, I have screenshots to prove my case. The dealer is playing hard ball with stupid arguments, like, the carsales.com.au car picture is for MY14 only and MY15 model looks completely different - how on earth am I supposed to know that when the advert clearly mentioned the car to be 2015 MY15. Doesn't this amount to cheating as per ACCC guidelines?

Cheers!

Comments

  • +10 votes

    I cannot quantify the emotional stress this has caused me.

    If you don't want more then just accept the refund.

  • +1 vote

    The real question is whether you have incurred any recoverable loss.
    Had the contract been performed you would have a vehicle worth $5,000 more - so there's that. Restoring you to a pre-contract position is not the correct measure of loss for a breach of contract.
    The other types of loss must either arise naturally from the breach, or have been in the contemplation of the parties.
    Emotional distress is not normally recoverable.
    Good luck.

    •  

      Had the contract been performed you would have a vehicle worth $5,000 more

      Except that the OP inspected the car, found it was acceptable and paid for it. Had he/she not physically inspected the car, paid for a MY15 model and received an MY14 model it's a different story.

    •  

      Restoring you to a pre-contract position is not the correct measure of loss for a breach of contract.
      The other types of loss must either arise naturally from the breach, or have been in the contemplation of the parties.

      The first day OP took off is not recoverable since this would've occurred even if the vehicle was not satisfactory upon assessment. That still leaves OP with a grievance for false advertisement.

      The second day is not recoverable since it did not arise from the breach, if the more valuable vehicle had been delivered it still would've occurred.

      The third day OP took off to consult OzBargain may be recoverable however, depending on whether the nature of OP as a histrionic OzBargainer was in the contemplation of the parties at the time they made the contract.

      Source: 5 years at the bar.

      *burp*

  • +9 votes

    First take the refund, cut your loses, and walk away.

    This situation is not entirly the dealers fault. Used car salesmen can NEVER be trusted. As with any purchase, you must do your homework before the purchase. A simple revs check would have identified this issue.

    So take some responsibility, take the refund, and take it as a lesson learned for next time.

  • +1 vote

    Have you tried speaking to the dealer principal or sales manager or someone higher up? If you just speak to the same salesperson they might just keep fobbing you off.

    If this is a "reputable" dealer, especially an Audi one selling an Audi approved vehicle, hopefully they would be interested in establishing goodwill and protecting the reputation of the dealership.

    Failing that, you could try Audi corporate to see if they can apply some pressure.

    Failing that, take to social media… the dealer's facebook, twitter, and call them out.

    Having said that, make sure you are firm and articulate, but also polite and civil.

  • +3 votes

    Ok let's clear up some stuff from the other side of the coin (but not that dealer in particular!)

    Carsales grabs information from Red book codes, manually chosen by the dealer when they bring the car into stock. Mistakes do happen if it's not their specialised stock, or even just happen in general.

    The main thing us if you bought based on the compliance and built date, or did you expect it had the features of the MY15? Really it sounds like you had no idea of the difference between models so why are you so focused on it?

    MY year has nothing to do with build or compliance date, don't get confused.

    Sounds like the dealer knows they'll sell it for asking price but correctly listing it if they're already willing to offer a refund which leaves you with little recourse here… What 3rd party will disagree that a refund of the purchase price isn't a reasonable resolution?

    • +1 vote

      What 3rd party will disagree that a refund of the purchase price isn't a reasonable resolution?

      I'm a 3rd party and I disagree. As OP said, there are a lot of extra costs in buying a new car. I'd expect the dealer to cover all of those (but no extra to cover OP's supposed emotional hardship) - as they are the ones guilty of advertising a different model as to what was sold

  • +1 vote

    I realised that the car is 2014 (and MY14),

    Have you physically looked at the build and compliance plates on the car?

  • +1 vote

    If you inspected, test drive and then paid for the vehicle I don’t see how you can complain about the price and year model. If you picked up the same car you test drove you willingly purchased a car at an agreed price. That is basic buyer beware.

    Ok, so it had an extra 500km on it, not a major issue in the scheme of things, but they really shouldn’t have driven it much after you agreed to purchase. Possibly it could have a few more km on it but 500 seems like a lot to have it serviced or get it onto a truck to deliver to you. .

    The scratch should be repaired, unless you didn’t notice it when inspecting and it’s been there all along. They have offered to repair as they should.

  • +1 vote

    I am surprised by the tone of a lot of the comments here. The goods sold to the OP clearly do not match the description, which is in breach of one of the consumer guarantees in the ACL (s.57). The car dealer is in a position of much superior knowledge here, and knew (or ought to have known) the correct model/year of the car.

    It appears damage suffered is irrelevant in seeking a remedy, but there is clearly quite quantifiable damage in both the difference between the price of a 2014 and 2015 model, as well as the amount spent on inspecting, purchasing and delivering the vehicle.

    OP, I would look at this page and also what the possible remedies are here. Seek what you feel is acceptable, and if you don't get an acceptable outcome, speak with Fair Trading.

    •  

      I'm not. Unfortunately, whilst I agree completely with your correct assertion that the status quo in OP's situation unfairly leans to the dealer's advantage there is a quantifiable value in seeking that remedy or recourse that is measured by OP in time, money (lost time off work) and further frustration/aggravation to potentially ultimately achieve it.

    •  

      Because it appears as if the OP hasn't actually checked build/compliance but is purely going off MY model references.

      If build/compliance are different then fair enough, if it's the difference between MY14/MY15 then they should've realised, and they've acknowledged they didn't even know the differences.

  • +1 vote

    Consider the sunk cost fallacy in this situation; they've provided the option for a refund so I would try and just walk away.

    Otherwise isn't it likely to need involvement from courts or some form of arbitration to get further concessions from the dealership? Which seems like it would, considering how you're feeling now fall into the area of the sunk cost fallacy.

  •  

    Welcome to OzB OP.

    Funny that your first post is about a high yield investment, I wonder what prompted that decision…

  • +1 vote

    In addition, I cannot quantify the emotional stress this has caused me

    Harden up.
    Don't get so emotional over cash or a car and you will have a better life.
    Take the discount, take the refund, or take more care next time.
    It isn't the dealers fault you took days off work and travelled.

    I would be sympathetic if the dealer offered no recourse, but offering a discount or a refund is already pretty reasonable. Errors do happen, and to quote what a car dealer said to me "I'm a car salesman, I'm a prick." so you need to be a little alert.

  • +1 vote

    Realistically, take the refund and move on. There is simply no way the dealer is going to give you a better deal than that without a massive amount of hassle from this point on … Office of Fair Trading, arbitration, mediation, litigation, etc.

  • +1 vote

    Bait and switch unfortunately does go on it was the dealers son who did it to me i was also keen to get rid of my car which was part of the trade and because it was so rare but not quite insurable i was going to complain overly hard. surprised they still do it now.

    My friend had checked out the car i drove works for a rally team and thought it was fair trade given what i'd given them.

    When i picked up the car something looked different i thought the wheels had been replaced not the whole car. it was one of 400 built ltd Sti and all the paperwork was checking out. but the odometer definitely had more K's on it an extra 5k which still left it under 10k so i took it to my mates place we who confirmed because he had dyno'd the other car so he threw this one on once he ran through it he said it's a different car but do not take it back and argue they lost out.

    Looked up some details and the engine had come from the special part of Sti for race cars and he said it must have been just excess that meet the spec but can exceed it the engine was perfectly balanced didn't move an inch when you hit loud pedal and and had just over 24KW at the wheels more with no modifications at all than what the other one had that was actually what we expected as as spec.

    so i didn't bother complaining

    a couple of weeks later they called asking for all the paperwork for my car i traded said i'd binned it no good to me. (they couldn't get the car insured so i guess Karma is a bitch.)

    • +2 votes

      My friend had checked out the car i drove works for a rally team and thought it was fair trade given what i'd given them.

      How can a car work for a rally team?

      Please learn to use full stops, especially when you omit the subject of the next sentence.

  • +1 vote

    So to be clear - you physically inspected the car but never bothered to check the VIN plate to ensure you were in fact buying what was advertised?

  •  

    I would accept the original sale price and move on to another dealer or brand.

  • +1 vote

    You have three options:

    1) Keep the car + any compensation offered

    2) Take the refund

    3) Take it to court

    There's not much to get advice on here, pick what suits you and move forward. My pick would be to take the refund and go buy another car and enjoy myself.

    • +1 vote

      If there is nothing wrong with the car, I'd go with the compensation. Saves looking for another one and the lost costs.

  •  

    Pretty sure real ozbargainers dont buy expensive 2015 Audi Q3 MY15 cars.

    Maybe go post on an audi forum or ozwhinge.com.au (trademark pending)

  • +1 vote

    Take the refund.

    The fact that you are naive enough to fly interstate to inspect a car that's not unique by any stretch of the imagination is not going to be entertained by any judge.

    This is how it is going to look in court. You were delivered a car that is not as per contract, you were then offered a refund as restitution. You are rejecting the offer based on self confessed unquantifiable stress and are claiming for damages including time and cost to travel interstate to view a common car.

    Dont get me wrong. The dealer mentioned here are dodgy and borderline scammers. They should be penalized as such, however, you have no grounds to sue for damages beyond the restitution offered.

    •  

      You were delivered a car that is not as per contract

      I wouldn't be surprised if the car is as per the contract. It's been a while since I bought a vehicle from a dealer, but don't they use the rego and vin to record the vehicle details, not the advertising description in the contract?

      •  

        There has been a few cases on OzBargain where vehicle delivered is of the wrong manufacture year and I have personally bought cars where the VIN wasn't provided at time of purchase but these are new cars so doesn't matter.

        •  

          I’m sure there have been these cases, but typically they would be for new cars. For a new car, you would typically test drive the demo, then choose your colour etc and the dealer supplies the ‘next’ matching car available - which could be ‘old’ stock or a different compliance plate date to what you expect.

          Used car you pick very specifically in most cases. You test drive the same car you buy.

  •  

    When I inspected the car,

    Op, is the vin on the vehicle that was delivered the same as the one you inspected, and is it the same vin in the contract?

  •  

    Your distance from the seller, and subsequent costs/time associated with said distance is not the concern of the seller. If you choose to purchase a product from someone in a separate state, then are not (and should not) be afforded any special treatment.

  •  

    Thanks to the fellow OzBargainers for your valuable insights. I will clarify a few questions raised above:

    • The build and model year is 2014 and the compliance date is Jan-2015
    • I visited interstate ro buy this car as the car was advertised at a good price but not too good to be true. I bought this car for $33K and 2014 models were available for around $30K negotiable price. Another deciding factor was that this car was an Audi approved used vehicle so came with 2 years Audi extended warranty;
    • The VIN# on the car is the same as inspected and per my sale contract; I did pay for a car history report before I flew to Syd but mainly concentrated on the accidental history of the car in the report;
    • I admit I was not as careful and inspect everything before buying the car. But, this was one of the reasons I was willing to pay a little bit extra to an Audi dealership than buy the car from a private seller;
    • Even the sale contract mentions the car to be MY15 but the build date is captured correctly (Nov-14); I was keen on MY15 due to the upgraded MMi software and other bits in MY15 model and would not have raised this issue if the car was MY15 but built in 2014 (if its possible at all?)
    • In addition, I was shown the service book when I inspected the car but now it’s missing; dealer has stated that they have provided me with all documents which came with the car; I could have never thought of taking pics of service book during inspection as a proof;
    • I have not received any document from the dealer stating that the car has 2 years Audi extended warranty; this information is not displayed on Audi website either, so I have no proof but dealer maintains it has extended warranty; I feel uncomfortable without anything in writing;

    This morning, I asked the dealer to refund my money and I’ll hand over the car back to them as soon as I receive cleared funds in my account, awaiting confirmation from the dealer now.

    Cheers!

    •  

      A refund is the right decision. They lose a sale and you now have the opportunity to leave reviews that reflect your experience with them. Make sure the reviews are truthful and can be supported with documentation.

    •  

      It isn’t uncommon to have an MY15 model built in 2014. Does the vehicle have the MMi software? If so, it def is an MY15, just one of the first ones.

      You have only wasted your own time and money by taking the refund. The dealer hasn’t lost much.

      The dealer should have left the service log, but considering it is from an authorized dealer network all the records are electronic anyway, recorded by VIN. The warranty will be recorded the same way - you don’t need it written down on paper.

      Give yourself an upper cut.

  • +1 vote

    I am going to defend the Dealer here,(get stuck in to me, its a wet day and I am bored ). It is not uncommon for a vehicle to be stocked in incorrectly. Some one in stock control is choosing from a dropdown of an endless list of model options and codes. It is not a scam and it is not bait and switch, it is simply Human error, it happens. At any given time there could be 100 cars incorrectly advertised on Car Sales, because of sloppy data entry. ( build date, compliance date, MY, kilometres,factory options,) the opportunities for mistakes are endless, that is why you inspect them.
    The measure of any business is how they handle issues when they arise, its easy to be good when things are going smoothly.
    In this case they have recognised their error and offered a full refund. Accept it and move on.

    •  

      I agree with you. When you go and inspect a car, then buy that same car you should not be complaining that they duped you, you checked it and it was OK.

      If you def wanted a particular feature that was only available in some models from the same time then you should check to see if it is there personally and not rely on the salesman, half the time they wont actually know anyway.

    •  

      Agree. Also every dealer site ever looked at has vin #. So easy to check out what it really is.

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