A record number of complaints about the quality of new cars is being made by consumers, according to Belgian consumer group Test Achats, which stated that it received 200 reports of grievances following the purchase of new cars within the last three months alone.
Complaints mainly pertain to delivery delays or add-on features requested by customers. The global shortage of microchips, which has been an ongoing issue for more than one year, has significantly impacted the delivery times for cars, which are arriving much later than originally expected.
“You have to check well in advance what the delivery times are to avoid surprises,” Jean-Philippe Ducart, spokesperson for Test Achats, writes.
The consumer group advises customers to be patient regarding delivery times, as this is an issue affecting the global market. If the vehicle does not arrive within the agreed delivery window, customers can request that the purchase of the vehicle be cancelled for a full refund.
“If the vehicle is to be delivered within a certain specific time, it must be included as an essential element in the order form. The contract can then be immediately terminated if the first delivery time is not respected.”
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Another recurring complaint heard by Test Achats refers to the additional costs associated with not being able to receive the vehicle that the customer had chosen.
Often, in the absence of the requested model, the customer will be offered a more expensive model. Of course, the customer can refuse this offer. Sellers also cannot demand extra payment for delayed orders.
“In the event of a problem, it is advisable to contact the seller directly to discuss possible alternatives, and a possible commercial settlement. It will be easier and faster to find a compromise with a little goodwill from both parties,” Ducart concluded.