A mysterious ticking sound in a newly purchased car led to a legal battle for its repair.
An ute owner spent over $ 7,000 while desperately trying to identify a mysterious ticking sound coming from his engine.
The situation prompted Samuel Dredge to take Performance Cars Dunedin to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.
Dredge had purchased a 2012 Mitsubishi Triton Charger from the retailer, but after a fortnight he began to hear a slight ticking sound coming from his engine.
After asking his mechanic for advice, he contacted Performance Cars director John Sebelin.
* Woman sues Christchurch auto company
* Child’s hearing loss missed for years due to systemic Southern DHB failure
* Doctor who secretly filmed women in the toilet of a hospital suspended for 12 months
Dredge claimed that Sebelin agreed to pay half the cost of the ticking noise repair, but this was contested by the car dealership who said he only agreed to pay half the cost of the diagnostic. the cause.
The repair process was complicated and expensive, with the final bill reaching $ 7,278.79, the court noted in a decision released last month.
Dredge took legal action to recover the full amount from Performance Cars Dunedin.
Sebelin told the court he was still willing to pay half the cost of diagnosing the cause of the ticking noise, which is $ 540.50.
The Dredge mechanic saw damage or wear on one of the vehicle’s camshafts and suspected that was the cause of the ticking.
Sebelin provided two replacement camshafts, but a technician was not satisfied with their condition and purchased camshafts from an alternative source.
Sebelin offered to reimburse Dredge in full for the cost of the vehicle and take back ownership, but Dredge wanted to keep it.
Dredge was told that if he chose to take matters into his own hands, he would be responsible for paying for repairs.
Despite the replacement of the camshafts, the ticking noise persisted.
The diesel injectors were removed and sent for testing, which recommended the installation of four new injectors.
As of January 2021, the cost of the new camshafts and injectors was $ 6,197.79.
But the ticking sound continued and a faulty injection pump was later identified as the potential culprit.
Replacing the vehicle’s injection pump with a used pump cost an additional $ 1,081.
The noise finally stopped after that, but not the question of payment.
Performance Cars Dunedin argued that it was only responsible for half the cost of diagnosing the injection pump fault, as well as contributing to the cost of replacing the pump.
Other than the faulty injection pump, the court said Dredge had failed to prove the vehicle was not sold in acceptable condition.
In particular, there was no evidence that the injectors and camshafts needed to be replaced.
The vehicle was performing satisfactorily – in terms of what a reasonable consumer would consider acceptable given its age and mileage – without these repairs, the court ruling noted.
He noted Sebelin’s willingness to locate a replacement camshaft and then the partner camshaft, which showed the company was ready to help Dredge fix the vehicle.
But the parties’ communication breakdown meant Dredge and its repairman left on their own without involving Performance Cars Dunedin.
The court found Dredge was not entitled to any formal recourse and denied his claim, but said he trusted Sebelin to honor his commitment to pay $ 540.50.