I was sold a Toyota Hilux with a false service history - can I reject the car?

I bought a 3-year old Toyota Hilux Double Cab pick-up in November 2012. It was supposed to have come straight from Toyota with a full service history, according to the selling garage. A few weeks later I took it to a Toyota franchised garage who informed me the brake fluid was dirty and the air filter was blocked, and the vehicle was ex-lease. I contacted the garage whose two service stamps were in the service book. They checked and informed me they had no record of this vehicle being in their garage. When I described the truck to them they then informed me that it had belonged to a friend of the proprietor of the garage that had supposedly serviced it. I wrote to the garage who supplied the vehicle, rejecting it, and I received quite a nasty reply. I wrote to Toyota GB who advised me to contact Trading Standards. The TSOs had to contact the service garage twice before they confirmed the excuse for not having a record of the servicing was that the hard drive on their computer had frazzled. Trading Standards contacted Toyota Finance who originally owned the vehicle and they said that the vehicle had been sold via Manheim Auctions. When I contacted Toyota Finance to obtain further documentation regarding the servicing of the vehicle they said they could not supply it. As the Toyota Servicing Book recommends that the brake fluid should be changed every two years, and at the third year the fluid was dirty, it appears that this vehicle had never had a service for two years. I am very concerned as to what damage this can cause to the life of the engine. I intend to take this matter to Court and I would appreciate your input regarding this matter.
You could attempt to claim in the small claims track for the loss of value as a result of lack of service history as sold. I'd say the lack of service history and lack of servicing is probably worth about £2000. Law here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/

If you want to reject the vehicle entirely as “not of satisfactory quality” and “not as described” citing Clegg v Olle Andersson 2003 (House of Lords) the dealer might capitulate. Or this might be a long, uphill struggle. The small claims track limit (cheap justice) was raised in April 2013 to £10,000. Full County Court proceedings get expensive and could cost you £15,000 in legal and court fees for a case that fails, so be aware of that.
Answered by Honest John on

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