Car repairs under warranty or guarantee: who pays??

Car repairs under warranty or guarantee: who pays??

Car repairs under warranty or guarantee: who pays??

–> by florian wehner – published on 5. December 2021
category: car purchase, traffic law

1. Workshop visit after car purchase

The trip to the garage after the purchase of a car can have various reasons: either it is a repair due, because a defect has already occurred on the vehicle or it is just a routine inspection, which should lead to a longer life of the vehicle.

Every trip to the repair shop quickly raises the question of whether the repair order will result in the repair of a defective vehicle costs incurred by the car buyer or not. This depends on the – to be differentiated – warranty and guarantee rights of the car buyer against the seller or the buyer. car manufacturer from.

2. repairs and buyer’s warranty

Warranty describes the legal rights of the car buyer against the seller for defects in the vehicle that were already present at the time of purchase. The warranty is generally valid for two years from the date of purchase. In the case of used car purchases from dealers, the warranty period can be shortened to one year; in the case of purely private sales, the warranty is often excluded altogether.

Important in this context is the burden of proof rule of § 476 BGB for warranty rights: according to six months the buyer must prove that a defect claimed by him was already present at the time of purchase and was not caused by his own carelessness. In the first six months after purchase, on the other hand, it is assumed that a defect was already present at the time of conclusion of the purchase contract and that a defect did not arise due to carelessness on the part of the purchaser.

Wear and tear damage are not covered by the warranty, because they are not a defect at the time of purchase, but normal wear and tear due to use. In the case of a used car, traces of use are not unusual and are to be accepted by the seller – a warranty for material defects is excluded here (BGH v. 23.11.2005 – az. VIII ZR 43/05).

Important: whoever invokes his warranty rights must contact the seller and claim the defect from him. He cannot visit a repair shop on his own authority and send an invoice to the seller.

3. warranty services and types of damage

In the case of new vehicles, the following are included under the term "new car warranty" often the usual purchase warranty and an additional warranty contract combined, although they are different rights. a warranty is therefore in addition to the buyer’s warranty and does not replace it. Therefore, it is not permissible for a vehicle seller to refer to a manufacturer’s warranty when warranty rights are asserted with him.

Especially with purchase from dealer is often, as highlighted in our article on used car warranties, a additional warranty offered. the new or used car warranty can vary in scope from brand to brand or. Differentiate from dealer to dealer. It is therefore the warranty provisions to find out whether a certain damage (z.B. paint or rust damage) or. The elimination of which is covered by the warranty or not.

The term, i.e. the duration of the warranty, is also a matter for the contractual provisions and is not uniformly regulated. For different types of damage, warranty agreements usually also stipulate different terms fixed. For example, the manufacturers audi, BMW and fiat offer a paint warranty of 3 years and a warranty against rust-through of 8 (fiat) to 12 (audi, BMW) years.

Many warranty provisions also include a mobility guarantee, which includes an on-site breakdown service or the (free) provision of a replacement vehicle for the duration of the repair.

4. Withdrawal from the purchase contract due to vehicle repairs

In our article on the rescission of the car purchase contract, we have already described in detail that a rescission of the entire purchase contract of the car due to a repair can only be considered if the car has a "defect" significant defect is present, which despite a try repair twice could not be eliminated by the seller within the scope of his warranty obligation.

5. motor vehicle inspections and specialist workshop clauses

Many warranty provisions make the assumption of repair costs dependent on whether in a car inspection at regular intervals has been carried out. Often, the warranty conditions state that a specialist workshop of the vehicle manufacturer must be visited for this purpose. Are such clauses effective and do I have to fear losing my warranty if I do not comply with them??

A contractual clause that stipulates that a warranty is generally excluded if the recommended maintenance intervals are not carried out is invalid. It is legitimate, on the other hand, for the warranty not to apply if damage to the vehicle has occurred precisely because the recommended maintenance has not been carried out (BGH, urt. V. 17.10.2007 – az. VIII ZR 251/06).

When buying a used car with a warranty, inspections and maintenance can also be carried out in a independent workshop a clause that ties the assumption of the warranty to a visit to the manufacturer’s authorized repair shop is invalid (BGH, urt. V. 25.09.2013 – az. VIII ZR 206/12).

6. Repairs with own cost absorption

If the damage or defect is not covered by either the warranty or the guarantee, the only option is to travel to the repair shop for the vehicle repair at your own expense. But even if you have a separate repair contract, you are of course not without rights: if the same defect occurs again after the visit to the workshop and you have to go to the workshop again, this does not mean that you have to pay again in every case. The repair contract is a contract for work, for which again legal warranty rights for a defective repair exist. Again, the warranty period will often be limited to 12 months.

7. Conclusion and practical tip

Even without your own fault or the fault of others (z.B. car accident) is of course not every repair covered by the warranty or. The warranty period is covered by the warranty, even if the term "warranty" in particular initially gives a different impression. Particularly in the case of warranty provisions, so many types of damage are often excluded that the warranty promise is often limited to a few types of damage.

Before carrying out a vehicle repair, it should be clarified with the workshop exactly and recorded in writing what is to be repaired. Warranty participation should also be noted. In case of doubt, it is advisable to estimate or. An agreement that in the event of deviations an additional consent (telephone call) must be obtained. Lump-sum orders, repairing "everything" in case of doubt is dangerous – often something is repaired that should not be repaired and you are left with the costs.

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Christina Cherry
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