The consumer is also entitled to compensation for damage caused by any defect in the car. No compensation is given for trouble and upset or emotional distress.
To receive compensation, the claimant must present proof of the damage in question. This entails a receipt or some other reliable report of the costs incurred.
Both the consumer and the vendor must act to ensure that the costs caused by the damage are as limited as possible. If, for example, the consumer could justifiably have reduced the costs caused by the defect by acting differently, then any costs viewed as groundless do not have to be covered.
Damage to be compensated
Direct damage includes reasonable travel, postage and telephone costs caused by a defect, and the cost of having the defect or fault analysed (by a goods inspector or similar person), and costs for towing and repairs, if the defect was repaired not by the seller but another party for justifiable reasons.
If the consumer needs to use a car while the car in question is being repaired, compensation can be demanded for extra costs caused by not having access to one's own car. Alternatively, the seller company can offer a substitute car, free of charge, for the duration of the repairs.
Compensation for indirect damage may be claimed in cases where the damage was caused by a company’s negligence. Compensation for indirect damage may be claimed, for example, when:
- the company's negligence results in substantial loss of utility for the consumer, for instance if the car remains in a repair shop for several weeks due to the repair shop's unprofessional or otherwise unjustifiably prolonged repairs.
- the company's negligence results in financial loss, for example if the consumer has had to take time off work in order to investigate or repair the defect and has had his or her salary reduced for the time in question.
- the damage is caused by an argument made by the seller or a preceding link in the sales chain (importer or manufacturer) in marketing regarding the features of the car, for instance stating that the car is able to tow a certain type of trailer, but this is proven incorrect.
In most cases, a technical fault in a car cannot be considered the result of negligence by the seller or warrantor.