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Less Than 1 Year Old Damp In The Van

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If you bought from a dealer, your first course of action has to be to  take it up with the dealer. Keep a record of what is said, it may come in useful later.

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I fear you are going to have an uphill struggle getting anything done under the warranty because you have failed to comply with the conditions set by the manufacturer. Sadly, as in legal cases, ignorance is no excuse. 

 

Others I am sure will say you need to have a go at the dealer via the CRA, SGA or a raft of other legislation, however, the lack of a service within the specified period is probably going to negate any chance of success. I would strongly advise you to get professional legal advice before proceeding. 

 

It might just just be better to bite the bullet and pay for the necessary repairs yourself. That will get your caravan back into tip top condition and, more importantly, save you from a LOT of stress 

 

Andy

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I fully agree with Mr Plodd.

You say you were unaware of the importance of the service requirements and I have to ask why?

It is common across every make of van that the service intervals are clearly set out in the warranty information, including the acceptable time limits either side of the purchase date, except for the 3rd service which MUST be done BEFORE the 3rd year anniversary of purchase due to the warranties on the on board equipment running out at 3 years.

 

Now you have a problem, you may be advised to challenge the supplying dealer under various consumer law, but expect a refusal as you have failed in your obligations.

 

The van maker simply will not accept a claim, its that simple.

 

Embarking on a legal challenge could put you in a serious financial position and the outcome is far from certain, but the cost is very certain.

 

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I appreciate your advice, thanks.

 

i just didn’t know about the warranty, I suppose I didn’t read the material that came with the van and nobody mentioned it whilst purchasing.

 

I am going to get professional advice for this, the fault with the van was clearly there since purchase, it’s travelled less than 200 miles so it’s nothing I have done.

 

we got into caravanning last year, this was our first van. As soon as this is sorted it’s getting sold! Really frustrated, angry and disappointed.

 

what about an insurance claim, am I likely to get any joy with that?

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In a word, no. Unless you can prove impact damage.

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Posted (edited)

Chris

 

I accept this may sound unsympathetic but.......... 

 

You invested many thousands of pounds in a caravan but failed to look at the paperwork that came with it. I imagine the warranty conditions are stated in the handbook? Mine certainly are, I have read my paperwork about three times cover to cover to make sure I understand everything.  If you HAD bothered to read the paperwork this issue plainly wouldn’t have arisen would it?

 

The warranty is provided to cover exactly the situation you have BUT the stipulated conditions must be complied with. Had you had it serviced in accordance with the stated time then you would by now have a repaired caravan. 

 

If it was a car and you hadn’t  had it serviced would you expect a similar defect to be put right under the warranty ? 

 

I feel for you  BUT this situation has been brought about entirely by you failing to carry out the basic task of reading the paperwork that was supplied with your multi thousand pound purchase. 

 

It all all comes down to something you didn’t do, 

 

Read

The

Flaming

Manual 

 

I do feel some sympathy and yes I also think it’s disgraceful that such a water leak has occurred in such a new caravan but had you complied with the warranty conditions it would all be put right at no expense to you.

 

Your insurance company will not even consider a claim. It’s not accidental damage., they will Class it as “wear and tear” 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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There must be an element of would having the caravan serviced 3 months earlier made any difference? was the 3 months delay a contributory factor to the problem? I would have thought if the answer was no then a claim would still be valid even though the dealer / manufacturer say otherwise. How long do caravans stand outside when new, I would guess a year or more, are they being serviced in that time? - NO

 

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2 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

There must be an element of would having the caravan serviced 3 months earlier made any difference? was the 3 months delay a contributory factor to the problem? I would have thought if the answer was no then a claim would still be valid even though the dealer / manufacturer say otherwise. How long do caravans stand outside when new, I would guess a year or more, are they being serviced in that time? - NO

 

 

You need to realise that what we are dealing with here is not, sadly, a “common sense” situation but a purely legal one.

 

The multi thousand pound item WAS supplied with a pretty comprehensive warranty, but to take advantage of that warranty certain conditions HAD to be complied with by the purchaser, they weren’t, and THATS the problem.

 

Having it serviced three months earlier would almost certainly have identified the fault. The servicing schedule is clearly stipulated in the warranty details, and was not complied with, therefore is, in effect, a breach of contract. 

 

IF the dealer carries out the repair there is little doubt that the manufacturer will not pay for it. Is it reasonable  to expect the dealer (who has no control over the actions, or lack of actions of the owner) to pay for a repair that they will not get paid for due to said owner failing to comply with the clearly defined warranty conditions attached to the sale? If you were the dealer would YOU do the repair work for free? Of course not.

 

It’s  POSSIBLE that a legal challenge might succeed, but it would be very protracted and, if lost, vastly more costly than the original repair costs.

 

As I stated in my first response the OP needs to take PROFESSIONAL legal advice before proceeding any further in order he knows the risks, and possible costs involved in any legal challenge.

 

My view is that he should, as unpalatable as it is,  just accept its his fault entirely, and either get the repair done and continue enjoying his caravan, or sell it (having disclosed the damp issue as he is now aware of it) for a hefty loss and remain bitter about it for many years.

 

Andy

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, ChrisR28 said:

Hi, have been reading these comments with interest, if anyone can advise on the best course of action I would be very grateful.

 

i bought a Compass Casita 586 in March 2018. There is clearly a fault as the front panel by the front windows is 50% damp, the service chap believed there was a problem with the front skylight and water is travelling inside the panel down the front of the caravan.

 

the first service of the van was done 15 months after purchase. I had no idea of the importance of the 12 month service :(

 

what is my best course of action?

 

thanks in advance

 

You say 1st service was 15 months after purchase.  Have you looked closely at the exact number of days after the anniversary of the date of purchase?

Most manufacturers warranty conditions allow the 1st and 2nd services to be up to 90 days after the anniversary of the purchase date.

Was it later than 90 days?

Edited by hp100425ev

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22 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

There must be an element of would having the caravan serviced 3 months earlier made any difference? was the 3 months delay a contributory factor to the problem? I would have thought if the answer was no then a claim would still be valid even though the dealer / manufacturer say otherwise. How long do caravans stand outside when new, I would guess a year or more, are they being serviced in that time? - NO

 

Under the Consumer Rights Act there appears to be a case. Note that I said "there appears to be a case", NOT "will win"! 

Professional legal advice is strongly recommended.

A discussion with the dealer followed by a stiff solicitor's letter might work, but the chances are slim.

Any form of legal action is very stressful and  does not guarantee success.

Using the small claims courts would contain costs but may not cover the full amount.

Using any higher court would incur costs, most likely large ones.

Unless you are good at handling stress (and your health will stand it!) and enjoy a battle you should keep your expectations down, bite the bullet, write it off to experience and get on with life.

Personally I would go as far as the solicitor's letter but probably no further.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

I fear you are going to have an uphill struggle getting anything done under the warranty because you have failed to comply with the conditions set by the manufacturer. Sadly, as in legal cases, ignorance is no excuse. 

 

Others I am sure will say you need to have a go at the dealer via the CRA, SGA or a raft of other legislation, however, the lack of a service within the specified period is probably going to negate any chance of success. I would strongly advise you to get professional legal advice before proceeding. 

 

It might just just be better to bite the bullet and pay for the necessary repairs yourself. That will get your caravan back into tip top condition and, more importantly, save you from a LOT of stress 

 

Andy

However under CRA 2015 there is no legal obligation to have a caravan serviced annually so the there is a fighting chance of getting the dealer to rectify the issue.  However as you state it will be an uphill battle and my best advice for Chris R28 is to contact Which Legal Services on 01174566020 as they can offer up to date expert consumer advice.  Their initial advice over the telephone is free.

My own thoughts are if a caravan suffers from damp then there must have been a manufacturing issue therefore the damp may be an inherent fault and would have been there from day one.

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I'm with Durbanite on this. 

 

FWIW ....

 

Can the OP or others clarify please (have read the posts twice so sorry if missed points). 

 

1. The OP bought a Casista in March 18 - brand new from a Compass Dealer ? 

 

2. The claim to Compass was by their supplying Compass dealer and has been rejected by Compass due to a missed service. Did or did not the Compass dealer contact the OP about the 1st service to ensure the Warranty compliance ? 

 

3. Is  the damp ingress / claim, as per various comments on CT,  surely against the supplying dealer 18 months after purchase / brand new and therefore the Compass response is not the issue ? Is the dealer hiding behind Compass ?

 

I would press the Compass supplying dealer much harder if bought new from them.

Would agree a late service could assist in causing extra damage - however a bit more sealant & a couple of extra screws in the widow rail on the production line was probably all that was needed to save the fading goodwill. 

 

NB My repeat purchase Elddis Dealer & service point made a big issue of having my first service(s) done a few days before  the 1st anniversary to catch expiring first year items.  

PS The front panel damp repair is about £1k i'm told if you can get someone trustworthy to do it.

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1 hour ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

You need to realise that what we are dealing with here is not, sadly, a “common sense” situation but a purely legal one.

 

The multi thousand pound item WAS supplied with a pretty comprehensive warranty, but to take advantage of that warranty certain conditions HAD to be complied with by the purchaser, they weren’t, and THATS the problem.

 

Having it serviced three months earlier would almost certainly have identified the fault. The servicing schedule is clearly stipulated in the warranty details, and was not complied with, therefore is, in effect, a breach of contract. 

 

IF the dealer carries out the repair there is little doubt that the manufacturer will not pay for it. Is it reasonable  to expect the dealer (who has no control over the actions, or lack of actions of the owner) to pay for a repair that they will not get paid for due to said owner failing to comply with the clearly defined warranty conditions attached to the sale? If you were the dealer would YOU do the repair work for free? Of course not.

 

It’s  POSSIBLE that a legal challenge might succeed, but it would be very protracted and, if lost, vastly more costly than the original repair costs.

 

As I stated in my first response the OP needs to take PROFESSIONAL legal advice before proceeding any further in order he knows the risks, and possible costs involved in any legal challenge.

 

My view is that he should, as unpalatable as it is,  just accept its his fault entirely, and either get the repair done and continue enjoying his caravan, or sell it (having disclosed the damp issue as he is now aware of it) for a hefty loss and remain bitter about it for many years.

 

Andy

 

I hear what youre saying however, my experience in the small claims court the judges do tend to go along with common sense and plain english in documents. A van at 15 months old should not be leaking service or not, therefore, there must have been faulty materials / poor workmanship at the time of sale.

 

If it was me I would be writing to the dealer and inviting them to attend small claims court , this is typical of UK manufacturers and dealers.

 

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If the caravan was purchased from a Dealership then it should of been declared that the manufacturers warranty was invalid before the point of sale .

 

Seek legal advice would be my choice .

 

 

 

Dave

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Posted (edited)

As I keep repeating...

 

Professional legal advice is the very first thing I would get. 

 

I wish the OP the very best, but I am not holding my breath! 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

If the caravan was purchased from a Dealership then it should of been declared that the manufacturers warranty was invalid before the point of sale .

 

Seek legal advice would be my choice .

 

 

 

Dave

What are you talking about?

The poster (Chris R28) bought the van new from a dealer, the warranty was not invalid. What has made it invalid is that he did not get the first service done until 15 months after purchase.

Edited by Brecon

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2 hours ago, Durbanite said:

However under CRA 2015 there is no legal obligation to have a caravan serviced annually so the there is a fighting chance of getting the dealer to rectify the issue.  However as you state it will be an uphill battle and my best advice for Chris R28 is to contact Which Legal Services on 01174566020 as they can offer up to date expert consumer advice.  Their initial advice over the telephone is free.

My own thoughts are if a caravan suffers from damp then there must have been a manufacturing issue therefore the damp may be an inherent fault and would have been there from day one.

You are confusing consumer law with contract law. The warranty conditions fall under contract law and the buyer is, seemingly, in breach of the warranty contract clauses for service intervals. That has nothng whatever to do with the CRA 2015 and only only muddies the waters for those who struggle to understand it.

 

It is now 17 months after taking delivery., well beyond the automatic rights to full refunds etc. To apply the CRA 2015 the onus is on the buyer to prove that the fault existed at the time of purchase. That may need an independant engineers report.

 

Going back to the warranty, I have noticed, as is common with many manufacturers, there is flexibility around service intervals. To quote direct from an Elddis warranty clause - In years 1, 2, and 4 through to 9 the service must be completed no more than 60 days either side of the anniversary of the date of purchase. (years 3 & 10 is no more than 60 days before). The buyer needs to carefully count the days between the 12 month anniversary and date of first service to see if it actually was 90 days (3 months). You never know your luck!

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16 hours ago, montesa said:

I'm with Durbanite on this. 

 

FWIW ....

 

Can the OP or others clarify please (have read the posts twice so sorry if missed points). 

 

1. The OP bought a Casista in March 18 - brand new from a Compass Dealer ? 

 

2. The claim to Compass was by their supplying Compass dealer and has been rejected by Compass due to a missed service. Did or did not the Compass dealer contact the OP about the 1st service to ensure the Warranty compliance ? 

 

3. Is  the damp ingress / claim, as per various comments on CT,  surely against the supplying dealer 18 months after purchase / brand new and therefore the Compass response is not the issue ? Is the dealer hiding behind Compass ?

 

I would press the Compass supplying dealer much harder if bought new from them.

Would agree a late service could assist in causing extra damage - however a bit more sealant & a couple of extra screws in the widow rail on the production line was probably all that was needed to save the fading goodwill. 

 

NB My repeat purchase Elddis Dealer & service point made a big issue of having my first service(s) done a few days before  the 1st anniversary to catch expiring first year items.  

PS The front panel damp repair is about £1k i'm told if you can get someone trustworthy to do it.

 

Firstly, thanks for everyone for helping me with this predicament I’ve found myself in, I genuinely appreciate your help.

 

to answer your questions above:

 

1. I bought it from the caravan expo at the NEC from a dealership 

 

2. I haven’t made any claims or contacted the dealership (or Compass) as yet. I have drafted an email to reflect on and to send on Monday which refers to the CRA 2015 under section 19 & 23 which mentions goods that are not faulty and fit for purpose.

 

3. As above, haven’t contacted the dealer as yet, I’ll contact the dealer as my first port of call.

 

As I’ve mentioned before, the engineer is under the impression that this has been a fault from purchase, it is not something that has happened over the past 6 months. Therefore, regardless of any contract agreements and service schedules, the caravan is faulty.

 

thanks to the person who supplied the number to Which? Legal advice, I will call on Monday.

 

anyway, thanks again for everyone’s help, I will keep you updated on my progress

 

Chris

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On 17/08/2019 at 12:04, Legal Eagle said:

You are confusing consumer law with contract law. The warranty conditions fall under contract law and the buyer is, seemingly, in breach of the warranty contract clauses for service intervals. That has nothng whatever to do with the CRA 2015 and only only muddies the waters for those who struggle to understand it.

 

It is now 17 months after taking delivery., well beyond the automatic rights to full refunds etc. To apply the CRA 2015 the onus is on the buyer to prove that the fault existed at the time of purchase. That may need an independant engineers report.

 

Going back to the warranty, I have noticed, as is common with many manufacturers, there is flexibility around service intervals. To quote direct from an Elddis warranty clause - In years 1, 2, and 4 through to 9 the service must be completed no more than 60 days either side of the anniversary of the date of purchase. (years 3 & 10 is no more than 60 days before). The buyer needs to carefully count the days between the 12 month anniversary and date of first service to see if it actually was 90 days (3 months). You never know your luck!

However did the buyer sign a contract with the manufacturer regarding the warranty or is it an assumed contact when the buyer signs to take delivery?  A warranty is in addition to your rights and does not over ride Consumer law which is legislation passed by parliament as you know.  When you sign  the contract to buy a caravan nowhere does it state that in order for the warranty to be validated the vehicle must be serviced annually.  I have checked our purchase order and delivery contract and there is nothing to that effect.

Some motor vehicles which have complex engines and drive trains do not have to be serviced until they have done for example  12,000 miles and this could take up to 2 years?  The majority of caravan do not even do 1000 miles a year so why is there a necessity for them to be serviced annually when it is only a trailer with hardly any moving parts?  Is it because the manufacturers know that most caravans will have issues within the first year etc? 

Does not say much for the caravan industry!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Durbanite said:

When you sign  the contract to buy a caravan nowhere does it state that in order for the warranty to be validated the vehicle must be serviced annually

You are wrong !

There is no "validating" the warranty, it is active from the day you pick up the van, but can be INVALIDATED by not following the conditions in the handbook.

The terms of the warranty are , in the case of Swift and all others follow the same, in the Caravan Handbook and clearly state when services are due and what leeway is allowed.  (available on line from Swift website, pages 6, 7 and 8)

 

As far as motor vehicles are concerned, they have absolutely nothing to do with a caravan so I fail to see why you even mentioned them.

Edited by Brecon
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4 hours ago, Durbanite said:

  The majority of caravan do not even do 1000 miles a year so why is there a necessity for them to be serviced annually when it is only a trailer with hardly any moving parts?  Is it because the manufacturers know that most caravans will have issues within the first year etc? 

Does not say much for the caravan industry!

Firstly, there does not have to be a reason for a warranty condition.

Secondly, the time limits are almost certainly to do with minimising damage. Damp, if caught early requires only the leak to be fixed and the damp area to be dried out, with perhaps a cosmetic repair. If not caught early, the damp causes rot, and this requires extensive and expensive re-building. It is completely reasonable for the manufacturer to want to limit their liability.

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5 hours ago, Durbanite said:

However did the buyer sign a contract with the manufacturer regarding the warranty or is it an assumed contact when the buyer signs to take delivery?  A warranty is in addition to your rights and does not over ride Consumer law which is legislation passed by parliament as you know.  When you sign  the contract to buy a caravan nowhere does it state that in order for the warranty to be validated the vehicle must be serviced annually.  I have checked our purchase order and delivery contract and there is nothing to that effect.

Some motor vehicles which have complex engines and drive trains do not have to be serviced until they have done for example  12,000 miles and this could take up to 2 years?  The majority of caravan do not even do 1000 miles a year so why is there a necessity for them to be serviced annually when it is only a trailer with hardly any moving parts?  Is it because the manufacturers know that most caravans will have issues within the first year etc? 

Does not say much for the caravan industry!

You really do not understand contract law! 

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18 hours ago, ChrisR28 said:

Did or did not the Compass dealer contact the OP about the 1st service to ensure the Warranty compliance ? 

There is no reason why the dealer should contact a purchaser about the service , it is the owners responsibility to ensure they conform to the service times and schedule.

 

Too many times people who fail in their obligations look to blame someone else...……………….!!

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3 hours ago, Brecon said:

There is no reason why the dealer should contact a purchaser about the service , it is the owners responsibility to ensure they conform to the service times and schedule.

 

Too many times people who fail in their obligations look to blame someone else...……………….!!

Please don’t quote things I didn’t say Brecon.

 

An independent engineers report will show that the fault existed since purchase, therefore I believe I have a good case to continue under the CRA 2015.

 

I will be pursuing further this week starting tomorrow with an email to the dealership where I purchased the van.

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