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A buyer has the right to have the car replaced if an old defect appears after the purchase. Photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: PA

Question: Two months ago, I bought a new car from an agency. But it had factory defect in the transmission. I asked the car agency to repair the car, but it was not done properly. I asked them to replace it with a new one, but the agency refuses to replace the car. My question is, what is the law’s position on the agency’s behaviour? Do I have the right to file a civil lawsuit to replace the car? Please advise.

Answer: You have the right have the car replaced as per Article 544 of the Civil Transaction law which states that (1) If an old defect appears in the thing sold, the purchaser shall be at option either to restitute it, or accept it at the nominated price, but he may not retain it and claim the amount of the decrease in price due to the defect.

(2) The defect is considered old if it was existing before sale, or happened after sale while still under the control of the seller before delivery. (3) The defect occurring upon purchase shall be considered as old if based on a previously existing cause in the thing sold while in the hands of the vendor. (4) The old defect is conditioned upon being occult. A defect is occult when it cannot be discovered by normal look on the outward appearance of the thing sold, detected by an ordinary person, discovered only by an expert or does not show except by practice.

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You may notify the company for the car replacement. If they refuse, you must file a lawsuit in court, where you should request for an expert to check the defect and the court will take the decision with respect to the documents, situation and the expert report.

The lawsuit should be filed within six months from the date the car is delivered to you unless the vendor binds himself for a longer period as per Article 555 of the Civil Transactions Law which states that (1) The lawsuit in warrant of the defect is not receivable due to prescription occurring after the lapse of six months as of taking delivery of the thing sold, unless the vendor binds himself for a longer period. (2) The vendor shall not adhere to this duration if it has been proved that hiding the defect was by fraud imputed to him.