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Old 12 April 2008, 17:19   #1
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Sale of Goods Act

If the goods are not up to the promised job (fit for purpose), for up to six years after purchase, purchasers can demand damages (which a court would equate to the cost of a repair or replacement).

If repair and replacement are not possible or too costly, then the consumer can seek a partial refund, if they have had some benefit from the good, or a full refund if the fault/s have meant they have enjoyed no benefit

My outboard has been attached to my Rib, serviced according to manufacturers schedule by authorised dealers. Its lid is never lifted off by me - it is a 2 stroke hence 'no user maintainable parts inside'.

It was serviced in Mar 07.

Now, when its lid is taken off for its 08 service, after 280 hours and 3 years five months use, the service engineer finds the compressor has broken away and has caused 3,800 of damage rendering the engine only useful for parts.

Barrus have offered, subject to photographic evidence, possibly but not promised free or possibly but not promised reduced price parts, but there is still a load of labour involved here. The engine is 5 months out of warranty.

I haven't done anything crazy with the boat, and certainly not abused (have never touched) the engine.

Should I not have better support from Barrus in this matter?
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Old 12 April 2008, 18:01   #2
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Originally Posted by brucehawsker View Post
Should I not have better support from Barrus in this matter?
No.

They didn't sell you the motor (which was part of a package?) The retailer has the contract of sale with you and is responsible for the supply of goods to you. You should take up the matter with the retailer. The retailer may wish to ask for support from the distributor.
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Old 12 April 2008, 18:10   #3
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Originally Posted by brucehawsker View Post
If the goods are not up to the promised job (fit for purpose), for up to six years after purchase, purchasers can demand damages (which a court would equate to the cost of a repair or replacement).

If repair and replacement are not possible or too costly, then the consumer can seek a partial refund, if they have had some benefit from the good, or a full refund if the fault/s have meant they have enjoyed no benefit

My outboard has been attached to my Rib, serviced according to manufacturers schedule by authorised dealers. Its lid is never lifted off by me - it is a 2 stroke hence 'no user maintainable parts inside'.

It was serviced in Mar 07.

Now, when its lid is taken off for its 08 service, after 280 hours and 3 years five months use, the service engineer finds the compressor has broken away and has caused 3,800 of damage rendering the engine only useful for parts.

Barrus have offered, subject to photographic evidence, possibly but not promised free or possibly but not promised reduced price parts, but there is still a load of labour involved here. The engine is 5 months out of warranty.

I haven't done anything crazy with the boat, and certainly not abused (have never touched) the engine.

Should I not have better support from Barrus in this matter?
Bruce - some points for you to ponder:
  • if you purchased from a dealer not direct from manufacturer then Barus probably has no responsibilty to you under the SoG Act. However the dealer does. [Edit: Richard B types faster than me]
  • if you paid on a credit card the card company also share that responsibility.
  • was the engine properly winterised/stored (your message above implies not)
  • why did the part fail? e.g. faulty part/corrosion/maintainence. (could there be a mechanic who "overlooked" a loose bolt he should have checked)
  • are there any rotine inspections/checks required in the owners manual (i know someone who had car warranty claims rejected as she admitted to never having checked the oil level between annual services) [Edit: even if no checks are required I think it is prudent seamanship to check that the the engine looks ok periodically - e.g. the effects of an oil/fule leak are a lot more dramatic 10 miles off shore than when discovered in the marina]
  • Barus (or the dealer's) initial position is likely to be that they clearly market the product with a 3 year warranty - and this is, implicitly, saying that the product will be fit for purpose for 3 years. (The Act allows for products to have a realistic shelf life (I can't recall the exact words) - now whether that is realistic would be for the courts to decide)
  • if this were a car "out of warranty" would you really expect the manufacturer to fix it/compensate you?
  • 3800 sounds like a lot of damage, presumably that wasn't instantaneous. The dealer may quite reasonably (IMHO) question if you hadn't heard/noticed a problem.
not saying you are right/wrong just may need to step back for realistic reflection.
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Old 12 April 2008, 18:16   #4
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  • if this were a car "out of warranty" would you really expect the manufacturer to fix it/compensate you?
Motor vehicles are, if I remember correctly, specifically exempted from the Sale of Goods Act.
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Old 12 April 2008, 18:39   #5
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Motor vehicles are, if I remember correctly, specifically exempted from the Sale of Goods Act.
Richard - I could be wrong - but I don't think you are right.
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Old 12 April 2008, 18:58   #6
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it seems wrong to blame the boatbuilder! loads of people put optis on ribs - why shouldn't he??

Peugeot have just replaced a seat cushion for me which crumbled after 60,000 miles out of 3 yr warranty....

Engine was being used over winter so no winterisation.

No, we heard nothing - nor did others with more expereince than me when in the rib. The part clearly broke some time last season, with the compressor being held on by its belt only.....

I did not look under the hood - I never do - and the manual does not suggest you do. Joy of a 2-stroke.
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Old 12 April 2008, 19:13   #7
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it seems wrong to blame the boatbuilder!
Because he is legally responsible. His purchase of the engine (for resale) from Barrus is covered by the SoG Act too but is between him and them. He can pursue Barrus (and probably has more clout than you) if he is suffering a "loss".

Quote:
Peugeot have just replaced a seat cushion for me which crumbled after 60,000 miles out of 3 yr warranty....
Peugot or the dealer? And a seat cussion is a few pounds not thousands of pounds and that gesture may just keep you as a customer.
Quote:
Engine was being used over winter so no winterisation.
fair enough - assuming of course it was stored correctly
Quote:
No, we heard nothing - nor did others with more expereince than me when in the rib. The part clearly broke some time last season, with the compressor being held on by its belt only.....
fair enough

Quote:
I did not look under the hood - I never do - and the manual does not suggest you do. Joy of a 2-stroke.
I also have a 2 str. But need to open the hood to put the oil in (small engine). I always have a look around for any obvious issues. I wouldn't feel comfortable taking a boat to sea without first having checked under the hood for loose cables or leaks.

So what failed? broken part (corrosion?) loose bolt? bolt sheared?
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Old 12 April 2008, 19:15   #8
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I don't think you are right.
It wouldn't be the first time and it certainly won't be that last!
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker View Post
it seems wrong to blame the boatbuilder!
But he supplied it to you, in fact he even demonstrated it and recommended it to you! He had the contract with you at point of sale, he is responsible. He may be a nice guy, but he's the one you have a contract with.
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Old 13 April 2008, 02:10   #9
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Hi ,I would absolutely hate to be in your position and would find it so frustrating to have found this problem after the warenty had expired but i think your only option now is to except any good will offered.Manufactures do often do repaired when just out of warenty.These engines do i think have a memery in the computer on its fault codes if any have come up and are dated maybe you could have some recall on this if they fall within the end of warenty
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Old 13 April 2008, 05:25   #10
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I don't see that the dealer would be responsible unless it was a bodged service that was to blame. I would have thought that a dealer would only offer a 1 year garantee on top of the warantee from the manufacturers. If Barrus is representing the manufacturer (Mercury), then I guess the only course or action would be to persue action with Barrus possibly though your dealer if they are a main agent.

If what I expect has happened and either the mounting points have broken away from the compressor or bolts either have fallen out or not been secured correctly then I can't see how you are to blame for not looking under the hood. However it is good practice to have a look under the cowling and have a push and pull on various bit and pieces during the season just for this reson. It might help familiarise you with different areas on the engine that might need attention during a breakdown situation at sea.


Find out exactly what has gone wrong and start looking on iboat forums to see if it's a common problem.
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