Car repairs under warranty or guarantee: who pays??

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 car repair shop after buying a car can have several reasons: Either it is a Repair due, because a defect has already occurred in the vehicle, or it is merely a routine Inspection, which should lead to a longer life of the vehicle.

Every trip to the repair shop will quickly raise the question of whether the repair order has caused 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 repairer. Car manufacturer from.

2. Repairs and buyer’s warranty

Warranty Refers to 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 generally lasts two years from the date of purchase. When buying a used car from a dealer, the warranty period can be shortened to one year; for purely private sales, the warranty is often excluded altogether.

Important in this connection Burden of proof rule of § 476 BGB for warranty rights: According to six months the buyer has to prove that a defect he claims was already present at the time of purchase and was not caused by his own carelessness. During the first six months after the purchase, it is assumed that a defect was already present when the purchase contract was signed and that the defect was not caused by the buyer’s carelessness.

Wear damage are not covered by the warranty, as this is not a defect at the time of purchase, but ordinary wear and tear due to use. In the case of a used car, signs of use are nothing 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: Anyone who invokes their warranty rights must contact the seller and assert the defect with them. He cannot visit a workshop on his own authority and send an invoice to the seller.

3. Warranty services and types of damage

For new vehicles, the term "New car warranty" often the usual purchase warranty and an additional Warranty contract combined, although these are different rights. A warranty is therefore in addition to the buyer’s warranty and does not replace the latter. For this reason, it is not permissible for a vehicle seller to refer to a manufacturer’s warranty when warranty rights are asserted with the seller.

Especially with Purchase from the 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. differ from dealer to dealer. It is therefore the Warranty conditions whether a certain damage (z.B. paint or rust damage) or. whose repair is covered by the warranty or not.

The term, i.e. the duration of the warranty is also a matter of the contractual provisions and is not uniformly regulated. For different types of damage, warranty contracts usually also provide for 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 contain a Mobility warranty, which includes an on-site breakdown service or the (free) provision of a replacement car for the duration of a repair.

4. Withdrawal from the purchase contract due to car repair

In our article on the withdrawal from the car purchase contract, we have already described in detail that a withdrawal from the entire purchase contract of the car because of a repair can only be considered if on the car a significant defect exists, which despite a two attempts at repair could not be remedied by the seller within the scope of its warranty obligation.

5. Car inspections and specialist workshop clauses

Many warranty provisions make the assumption of repair costs dependent on whether or not a repair is included in the warranty a vehicle inspection at regular intervals was carried out. Often it is stated in the warranty conditions that a specialist workshop of the vehicle manufacturer must be visited for this purpose. Are such clauses effective and do I have to fear to lose my warranty if I do not keep to it?

A contractual clause stipulating that a warranty shall be excluded in principle if the recommended maintenance intervals are not carried out is ineffective. It is legitimate, however, if the warranty does not 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).

In the case of a used car purchase with warranty, inspections and maintenance can also be carried out in a independent repair shop a clause that ties the assumption of the warranty to a visit to an authorized workshop of the manufacturer is invalid (BGH, Urt. v. 25.09.2013 – Az. VIII ZR 206/12).

6. Repairs with own cost absorption

If a damage or defect is neither covered by the warranty nor by the guarantee, the only option is to drive to the workshop for vehicle repairs at your own expense. But even with a separate repair contract, you are of course not without rights: If the same defect occurs again after the workshop visit 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 and services, for which again statutory 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 own or third party fault (z.B. car accident) is of course not every repair covered by the warranty or. The warranty period is covered by this, even if the term "warranty" in particular initially gives a different impression. Especially in warranty terms, so many types of damage are often excluded that the warranty promise is often limited to a few damages in the end.

Before carrying out a car repair, it should be clarified with the repair shop and put in writing exactly what is to be repaired. A warranty share should also be noted. In case of doubt Estimate or. an agreement that with Deviations an additional consent (telephone call) must be obtained. Blanket orders, In case of doubt, repairing "everything" is dangerous – often something is repaired that should not be repaired and you are left with the costs.

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