Bought your Volkswagen or Skoda using car finance? Some drivers are demanding … – Mirror.co.uk
Drivers who bought their Volkswagen cars on credit may be due a refund thanks to consumer protection laws.
The car company, which also makes Skoda and Seat models, is embroiled in scandal after US regulators discovered it had installed ‘cheat switches’ to pass emissions tests .
The Financial Ombudsman has received a number of calls from drivers of Volkswagen cars about their car finance.
While the ombudsman is yet to deal with any official complaints, there are times when car finance customers can ask for a refund.
Car finance and your rights
While you wouldn’t normally complain to a financial organisation about cars, if you bought it using credit then it is sometimes different.
According to the ombudsman: “In certain circumstances, the financial business that provided the credit can be held liable if something goes wrong.”
This extra protection comes from the Consumer Credit Act, section 75 .
The Volkswagen scandal
VW, Skoda and Seat drivers have been rocked by the revelation that their cars were fitted with a ‘cheat switch’ designed to pass emissions tests.
As for your VW car bought on credit, it’s too early to know how the ombudsman will treat any complaints.
But we can look at previous decisions.
How the Financial Ombudsman deals with cars
Miss G bought a van through hire purchase, but discovered several problems with it. She arranged two separate independent reports – one blamed the problems on wear and tear, but the second found longstanding issues with the vehicle. But the finance provider refused to cancel the agreement.
The ombudsman found the second report more credible. It told the finance provider to cancel the hire purchase agreement, refund Miss G’s initial deposit and all the payments she’d made since the van failed its MOT – plus 8% interest.
In another case, Mr A bought a new car on finance from a local dealership. He tried out the test model in the showroom, but when HIS car arrived he found he had almost no headroom.
This was because he’d opted for a car with a sunroof, which had a dramatic effect on the space inside.
The ombudsman decided if Mr A had been warned about this, he wouldn’t have bought the car. So it told the finance provider to cancel the agreement, refund the deposit and 30% of the payments, and write off any remaining debt.
What both these cases have in common is the complainant had strong evidence that they had not got what they paid for.
Claiming compensation for a Volkswagen ‘cheat switch’
Nine out of 10 Volkswagen drivers in the UK who may be caught up in the emissions scandal think they should get compensation .
And as drivers usually pick diesel cars for certain benefits, like lower emissions and cheaper tax, lawyers believe there could be a case.
But although Volkswagen’s US boss says it is looking at refunds , so far the company hasn’t confirmed it.
If you bought your car using finance and you think the VW scandal has affected it, or you have another issue with car finance, you can complain to the ombudsman here .