4 conditions for disputing the sale of a car with a hidden defect
Buying a vehicle and hidden defects
What can I do if the vehicle I've bought has a defect that I didn't notice at the time of sale?
A defect discovered after the sale is known in legal jargon as a hidden defect.
It will then be necessary to prove that there is a hidden defect.
This is therefore an action under the warranty for hidden defects.
Proof of a latent defect is easier to provide in the case of the sale of a second-hand vehicle than in the case of the sale of a new vehicle.
In the case of a new vehicle, the hidden defect could be a manufacturing or design fault. For example, a defect in the engine of a new vehicle attributable to the manufacturer.
The purchaser or even the sub-purchaser (i.e. the person who buys the second-hand vehicle) can bring an action against the manufacturer for latent defects, but they will have to prove that the latent defect is due to the manufacturer's fault.
The defect must compromise the use of the item. The defect must be truly redhibitory for an action for latent defects to succeed.
Four conditions must be met:
FirstIn the case of a vehicle, the defect must compromise its use, i.e. the buyer must no longer be able to use the vehicle because of the defect.
The firm of Me ZAKINE is called upon to deal with this type of difficulty.
For example, a sub-purchaser of a second-hand vehicle buys a vehicle and after 200 kilometres, the vehicle breaks down, which can lead to an action under the warranty for hidden defects.
SecondlyHowever, the defect must predate the sale and be revealed after the sale. Often, it is the organisation of a survey that will determine whether or not the defect predates the acquisition of the vehicle.
ThirdlyAs its name suggests, this is an action for latent defects.
The defect is therefore hidden at the time of sale, i.e. it is not apparent. This does not mean that the seller knew that the vehicle had a defect. It simply means that the buyer could not have discovered the defect at the time of sale.
If the seller was aware of the defect and the buyer is able to prove knowledge of the latent defect, this will give the buyer a second basis for his action under the warranty for latent defects, which will also be based on fraud.
Fraud is characterised by fraudulent manoeuvres designed to deceive the purchaser into buying the property.
Apparent defects are therefore excluded.
However, the existence of an apparent defect still allows the lay buyer, i.e. a non-professional, to request that the sale be declared null and void or to claim damages.
As a non-professional, he was unable to detect a problem even after inspecting the car.
The expert opinion will determine whether the defect was apparent but not detectable. For example, a defect in the oil pump of a motor vehicle engine is a defect that could not normally be detected.)
Finally, the buyer must not have been aware of the defect at the time of sale. This is quite obvious, since if the purchaser bought the vehicle, he could not have detected a defect before the sale.
The purchaser therefore has two years from the discovery of the defect to take action against the seller or the builder, or both.
The purchaser can choose between an action for rescission of the sale (cancellation of the sale) or for reduction of the sale price (reduction of the sale price is effected by the award of damages which reduce the sale price).
The burden of proof lies with the purchaser. It is therefore up to the buyer to prove that there was a latent defect at the time of the sale, in order to apply either for the sale to be rescinded or for the court to award damages.
Proof may be provided by any means.
Expert appraisal is the best way of proving a case, provided that the evidence is submitted in the presence of both parties. It can be amicable or judicial.
The Cécile ZAKINE can help you deal with any hidden defects that may arise following the purchase of a property. new or used motor vehicle.
It will support and guide you so that the proof of a hidden defect, which lies at the heart of an action under the warranty for hidden defects, can be clearly established.