An advertisement on the N4 Car Sales website for a used Golf Cabriolet included the following details:
2000 Volkswagen Golf CABRIOLET | CAREFUL LADY OWNER | LOW MILES | NCT JAN-16 | CARTELL MOTORCHECK | www.N4CARS.ie The engine size was given as 1.7 and a three month warranty was offered.
The complainant said that while the advertisement had stated that the car in question had one owner, motorcheck.ie1 confirmed that the car had three previous owners. He also said that while the advertisement had offered a three month warranty on the car, he was informed that warranties only applied to cars which were registered in 2012 or later.
1 A website which provides information to users so that they can determine the background of any vehicle registered in Ireland or the UK.
The advertisers’ stated that it was normal practice for them to use the registration documents for details of previous ownership of vehicles. In the case of the advertised vehicle, however, when they received the vehicle as a trade in they did not have the vehicle documents for the car so they advertised the car as having one owner. While they understand that the car had been passed through the same family, they referred to the fact that ex-car hire cars are also advertised as having one previous owner when they have been driven by multiple drivers.
In regards to the advertised warranty, they said that their warranty policy is very clear and all customers are informed about it. They said that they offer an in-house three month warranty on all their cars. In regards to the complainant’s comments that their warranties only apply to cars registered in 2012 or later, they said that in their 10 years of business they have never stocked any cars registered in 2012 or later and they are unsure as to how the complainant was advised of this. They also said that they have a facility to purchase an extended warranty for an extended period of up to 12 or 24 months but this is only available on cars that are ten years or younger.
Complaint upheld in part.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisers did not have sight of the vehicle registration documents when they advertised the vehicle. In view of the fact that the vehicle had three registered owners rather than the advertised one, they considered that this aspect of the advertising was in breach of Sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
In regards to the complaint regarding the warranty, the Committee noted that the advertiser provided a 3 month warranty on all cars as advertised and in the circumstances did not consider that this aspect of the complaint was in breach of the Code.
The advertisement should not be used in its current format again.