Bought a Renault with full MOT and brake pads are worn!

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Stuart Masson Stuart Masson 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #65251 Reply


    Just bought a Renault Megane 5 door hatchback (2006) from a dodgy dealer by the seems on things. I’m not a mechanic so the best I could do was look into the MOT history before I decided to purchase it. It has only ever failed one MOT and has full service history including a new timing belt done not long ago so seems it has been looked after.

    However within 5 days of having it the toxic fumes warning light was coming on then there was a smell of burning when I stopped at traffic lights. Turns out it was only running on 2 cylinders. Took the car to the dodgy dealer. He said it wasn’t his problem after he sold it to me but would pay something to it. It cost £130 to get it fixed so asked me for £65. I thought that would be the end of it so was happy to pay that to have a good running safe car!

    However there has been a clicking noise when in first and second gear and particularly turning corners. Took it to my local garage and they said it is the CV, driver shaft and also the front brake pads are worn!!! My question is how did this pass it’s MOT and can I sue for this or do something because surely it is illegal to pass this car with these underlying faults especially the brake pads. I mean that is a serious safety issue.

    Thank you in advance for any replies.

  • #65259 Reply
    Stuart Masson
    Stuart Masson

    Sounds like you’ve bought a used car. And the reality is, most used cars from independent dealerships/traders will have loads of niggles or problems. Usually that’s why the previous seller was getting rid of the car in the first place. The dealer will only usually do the absolute minimum work required to ensure the car is safe and legal before selling it. It is the buyer’s responsibility to be aware of any noises and smells from a test drive before buying.

    An MOT will check that tyres, brake pads, etc. are within legal limits. They do not have to be new. You also didn’t specify when the MOT was done – if it was done three months ago, there could have been considerable use in the meantime.

    The problem that you have got is that one garage has effectively said the car is in an acceptable condition (by selling it as such) and another garage (which may, of course, profit from the situation) telling you that the car is not in an acceptable condition. It may be that neither, either or both of them are dodgy. Brake pads are a wear & tear item, and every time you hit the brake pedal you add wear, so you need more objective information than “your brake pads are worn” because they always will be. What is important is whether they are 10%, 50% or 98% worn.

    Your only recourse against the selling dealer will be if the car is a) not as advertised, or b) not fit for purpose. The first is unlikely, and the second is difficult to prove.

  • #100416 Reply

    Mark Ager

    Bought a car for my son on the condition of a full years mot.4 days after sale and after 120 miles the pads are totally worn(metal on metal).Do I have any come back?was listed on the mot report that pads will need attention.My question is should an mot been issued with pads in such a bad state?

    • #100432 Reply
      Stuart Masson
      Stuart Masson

      Hi Mark. If you have evidence that the pads are completely worn after only four days / 120 miles when the car had a recent MOT inspection which passed them as safe, you can probably argue for the dealer to replace the pads.

      Brake pads are a wear & tear item, so it is very difficult to argue the condition – especially if the car has significant mileage. The MOT test will only check that the pads are legal , and by the sound of it, you had an advisory saying that the pads would need replacing soon.

      Given that there was an advisory on the brake pads when you bought the car, it would be difficult to argue that the car was not sold as described or not fit for purpose. Your best bit is likely to be to take the matter up with the dealer and hope that he will replace the pads for free or at a discount.

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