January 29, 2014
Quebec court awarded compensation to owner of 2004 Toyota Corolla after its transmission failed “prematurely”
After purchasing a 2004 Toyota Corolla with 94,700 km on the odometer from a used car dealer in 2011, Mathile Lapointe Saint-Pierre began to experience transmission problems with the used compact.
Lapointe Saint-Pierre took the car to a shop where it was determined the vehicle’s transmission had to be repaired on two occasions for a sum total of $1,358.55.
Toyota’s warranty covers the first five years or 100,000 km, whichever comes first. However, Mathile’s father, a lawyer, advised she take the issue to small claims court, as a consumer protection law covering a product purchased under contract must “be in working condition for normal use for a reasonable timeframe”.
And that she did. Mathile took the case to court, arguing the transmission had worn prematurely. A lawyer for Toyota Canada countered, stating Toyota had no responsibility to reimburse Lapointe Saint-Pierre as the original manufacturer warranty had expired.
The judge ruled in Mathile’s favour, stating “the evidence shows that the alleged failure of the tensioner as well as to the vehicle’s transmission is abnormal and premature for a seven year old vehicle, which has just over 100,000 km on the odometer.”
Mathile was awarded the full $1,358.55 plus court costs.
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