Summary: Appalling Experience - Had to Sue (Successfully)
Over the years my wife and I have bought more than 15 cars, and dealing with Autofinders was by far the worst car-buying experience I have ever had.
I bought a Hyundai from Autofinders in October 2011, but when I got it home I found that the interior trim had been badly damaged by the fitting of the optional front parking sensors. Worse still, my local Hyundai main dealer advised that the sensors were not genuine Hyundai sensors as specified but were "after market" sensors and they had not been fitted to Hyundai specifications, so that in fact they are not covered by warranty. Autofinders at least paid for the repairs to the damaged trim, but shortly after this the sensors failed altogether and problems also developed with the sunroof, which I had also specified as an optional extra. The sensors had to be rewired by a car accessory firm (because the Hyundai dealer said that because they were not genuine Hyundai parts and not correctly wired they would not undertake the job), and after considerable struggle Autofinders eventually reimbursed me for this.
The sunroof, being a Webasto, is not covered by the Hyundai warranty. I took it to my local Webasto agent who diagnosed it as having been so badly fitted that it would have to be removed and refitted. He then discovered that the original fitter had done the job so badly that he had been unable to make the switch surround or the interior trim clip into position, or to fit a number of essential attachment screws, so he had simply applied a large amount of glue and stuck it all on. This was now causing the switch surround to fall off repeatedly and also causing serious wrinkling of the trim around the sunroof.
The Webasto warranty explicitly excludes faulty fitting, and I pointed this out to Autofinders. They repeatedly denied this, although it is stated in the simplest of terms (and is in any case what would be expected) and refused to pay for the refitting. They then repeatedly threatened me in writing that they would sue me for "wasting their time" by making a complaint. They also stated repeatedly in writing that my complaint constituted "defamation" and that they would additionally sue me for that.
I was obliged to get the refitting done myself, and after a barrage of threatening letters and abusive phone calls from Autofinders I was forced to take them to court. The case was heard in Milton Keynes County Court on 29 November 2011 (case ref 1MK01711), when the Judge found entirely in my favour and awarded me the full claim plus all costs.
By any standards this was an appalling experience, and I would never under any circumstances do business with Autofinders again.
1/8/2012 11:10:41 PM