The Supreme Court Told Where It Is Better to Have a Car Repaired. Commented by Igor Zapolsky, Project Manager of S&K Vertical for Pravo.ru

30 may 2018

Where should a person go to if a car broke down within the warranty period: to a seller, an authorized dealer or to an authorized service centre? Will not be warranty annulled after such address? Who will be liable, if the car is not finally repaired? Courts doubted when answering these questions, until the case got to the Supreme Court.

            Olga Makarova* entered into the sale and purchase agreement of a car amounting to 3,050,000 roubles with BaltAvtoTrade-M LLC (BMW dealer in Moscow city). Two years later the car stopped starting, the hand brake broke down, and knocking in the suspension appeared. As the warranty period was not expired yet, Makarova gave the car for the warranty repair to the BMW authorized dealer, an authorized service centre Modus-Voronezh LLC in Voronezh. The car was accepted for the repair free of charge, but it was not performed within the time limits.

            Where should a person go to if a car broke down within the warranty period: to a seller, an authorized dealer or to an authorized service centre? Will not be warranty annulled after such address? Who will be liable, if the car is not finally repaired? Courts doubted when answering these questions, until the case got to the Supreme Court.

            Olga Makarova* entered into the sale and purchase agreement of a car amounting to 3,050,000 roubles with BaltAvtoTrade-M LLC (BMW dealer in Moscow city). Two years later the car stopped starting, the hand brake broke down, and knocking in the suspension appeared. As the warranty period was not expired yet, Makarova gave the car for the warranty repair to the BMW authorized dealer, an authorized service centre Modus-Voronezh LLC in Voronezh. The car was accepted for the repair free of charge, but it was not performed within the time limits. Then, Makarova issued the claim to BaltAvtoTrade-M where she informed of the repudiation to perform the sale and purchase agreement, claimed to give all money for the car back and pay the penalty. BaltAvtoTrade-M LLC refused, and Makarova applied to court. In her lawsuit she asked to terminate the sale and purchase agreement, to recover the car cost amounting to 3,050,000 roubles from the seller, to reimburse the difference between the product price established by the agreement and the price of a relevant product in the amount of 1,392,922 roubles as of the time of rendering the decision, to pay her 3,050,000 roubles penalty, 10,000 roubles of compensation for moral harm and 50% of fine of the judgement amount.

            The Ramonsky District Court of Voronezh region, and in short order the Voronezh Regional Court dismissed Makarova. They relied on the fact that there were no contractual relations between BaltAvtoTrade-M LLC and Modus-Voronezh LLC. It means that after going to Modus-Voronezh LLC, warranty obligations for the Makarova's car were terminated, and BaltAvtoTrade-M LLC could not be held liable for the improper fulfilment of obligations by third parties (Modus-Voronezh LLC).

            When it came to the Supreme Court, the latter paid attention that: the dealer Modus-Voronezh LLC is entitled to sell BMW cars and genuine parts, as well as it is under the obligation to carry out maintenance service of cars of this brand. The dealer agreement said that BMW was held liable for defects in goods against the dealer, and the dealer was responsible for defects in goods against the buyer directly. The dealer Modus-Voronezh LLC carries out the required works within BMW responsibility for each BMW client free of charge, no matter how the car was acquired - at the dealer performing the specified works, or at any other BMW dealer. It means that Makarova went to Modus-Voronezh lawfully to eliminate defects in the car owned by her, and warranty obligations were not forfeited. That is why the Supreme Court cancelled the ruling on appeal and remitted the case for a new examination to the appeal (No. 14-КП7-31). The case has not been examined yet.

            "One has to agree with the ruling of the Supreme Court, as all conclusions conform to the effective legislation and acts of its explanation. Examining the case at new instances, it will be important that the defendant in the lawsuit is liable for a breach of time limits to eliminate defects irrespective of the fact that the claimant goes for the maintenance service to the other BMW dealer." Oxana Peters, Managing Partner of Tilling Peters.

           

                        Igor Zapolsky, Project Manager of S&K Vertikal    

           

Igor Zapolsky, S&K Vertikal              

                                    Courts of appeal and the first instances took the dispute examination as a mere formality. The Supreme Court did not take such approach, as it does not take into account the consumer's interests and sets their protection to a direct dependence from maintenance and repair only at the dealer who sold the car. The Supreme Court pointed out that all dealers, with which the importer concluded the dealer agreements, are obliged to carry out warranty repair under equal rules in virtue of these agreements. Moreover, the location of these dealers in different cities and even regions cannot affect the protection of consumers' rights.

                       

           

            Article author: Alina Mikhaylova

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