Hidden defect: how to turn against the seller?

Buying used vehicles is risky. Whether it’s a car, a motorcycle, a scooter… hidden defects exist. They are none other than the non apparent defects of a good that make it unfit for use. They are the responsibility of the seller whose compensation could be demanded by the buyer. But to do so, proof of the defect is necessary as much as recourse to legal proceedings.

Proof of hidden defects

Demonstrating the existence of hidden defects can be done by any means. The main thing is to gather all possible documents such as the purchase invoice, the faulty part… For the claim to be valid, a technical expertise is required. If the vehicle has been dismantled before the defect was covered up, only an expert’s report can be conclusive, as well as a bailiff’s report. To this end, the buyer can contact the seller and ask for a full refund of the amount due against the return of the property. It is likely to make an estimate of repair if the buyer wants to settle the problem amicably.

The claim for compensation and reimbursement

This request follows the constitution of evidence of the existence of the defects. The compensation consists in compensating the buyer for the loss of profit of the acquired property. Two cases are possible: if the seller is a professional, he is considered to be in full knowledge of the facts and compensation is possible. If the seller is a private individual, it will be necessary to prove that he is aware of the existence of the defects. Thus, if it is a transport vehicle, the loss of profit could be enormous, but it can be settled with the seller. If the defects are well proven, there are two possible solutions: the first is full reimbursement of the price of the goods against their return, the second is a reduction in the price of the goods equivalent to the value at which they would have been sold if their defects had been noticed.

Initiation of legal proceedings

To take legal action, the time limit for recourse available to a buyer is two years from knowledge of the defects. This period may not exceed five years after the conclusion of the sale. This legal guarantee applies to the last seller and all previous sellers as well as the manufacturer. In order to use it, the latent defect affecting the vehicle must meet certain characteristics. First of all, the latent defect is not apparent at first glance. Second, it is not known to the buyer and makes it unfit for use. Finally, the defect is prior to the sale.

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