A Romanian came all the way to Hungary to repair the car he just bought. The court's decision after suing the car dealer

A man from Bistrita accuses Suzuki and its authorized services of not recognizing the engine defect that his car had and kept postponing it to expire the warranty according to Libertatea. He repaired it in Hungary, then sued the car dealer and won in court twice, but is still fighting to have all his costs recognized.

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Marius Zăvoian (58 years old) bought a Suzuki Vitara car from the Premium Cars dealer in Cluj-Napoca in 2015.

He immediately noticed that the car had problems. First, he noticed some knocking on the engine: it sounded like metal hitting metal, the man explained.

He took the car in for service just 11 days after buying it and complained about the problem.

He spent three years trying to solve the problem

The company's specialists told him that they had not detected any problem, and the complaint was considered unfounded.

The man also showed up with the car at other authorized Suzuki services in the country: in 2016, 2017 and 2018, including in Târgu Mureș. Then he called a service in Bistrita, where he arrived six times.

No one would admit that the car had problems.

Sent a recording to Suzuki

In the fall of 2018, Marius Zăvoian sent an audio-video recording of the engine to Suzuki ZRT Esztergom Bucharest Branch, the representative of the Japanese group in Romania.

He was answered that “honestly, watching the movies I don't hear abnormal noises”, according to documents filed in court.

He ended up repairing the car in Hungary

Desperate, the Romanian finally turned to a service center in Debrecen, Hungary, where the specialists found that the engine had a serious fault and replaced it.

Later, the man notified his dealer to pay the expenses, but Premium Cars did not accept.

That's how he ended up suing the company and won both at first instance and on appeal.

Premium Cars explained in court that the driver only complained to the company once about the problem, when no defects were found. He also argued that, during the review, he didn't mention anything, that he later called on other services, that is, not the company sued, so it wouldn't be his responsibility, and that the move from Hungary was voluntary.

The first court ruled in his favor

In 2021, the first instance, the Cluj Court, ordered the company to pay 15,490 lei related to repair costs, an amount of 2,430 lei caused by his travels in Hungary and 513 lei as penalty interest.

The company appealed (judged at the Cluj Specialized Court) and also argued that it offered him 2,496 euros to settle the dispute (Zăvoian did not accept the offer, because his expenses were higher than the amount offered).

He also won at the second instance

The Cluj Specialized Court also ruled in December 2022.

As such, it rejected the company's appeal and forced it to pay 3,729 lei as court costs.

But the fight is not over.

“We recovered almost 5,000 out of about 7,000 euros spent – accommodation, gas, lawyers, etc. Even so, I will never get all the money back“, he says.

The man wants the recovery of other sums incidental to the lawsuits, such as the payment of the court-appointed expert and the stamp duty, plus the fee of the lawyer in the first instance. In total, about 1,300 euros.

He has already sent notices, through a lawyer, to the company.

“I didn't sleep at night then, I felt humiliated. It's a matter of moral hygiene not to let myself be trampled on“, says Marius Zăvoian, according to Libertatea.

The resident of Bistrița also accuses the Suzuki representative office in Bucharest, which he says is the moral culprit for the procrastinations and obstacles that have been put in his way.

What Suzuki says

Contacted by Libertatea, the Suzuki representative stated that it was not part of the process, so the ruling does not apply to it, adding that the litigation was about financial claims, not the recognition of a defect.

“Secondly, regarding the repair of the car outside the country, i.e. in Hungary, please keep in mind that this repair was carried out exclusively at the customer's request and for a fee, but without Suzuki or Premium Cars SRL being involved in this matter“, says the reply sent by Suzuki.

The Japanese company also stated that both it and the dealer offered to bear the costs for some of the parts “although these parts did not show a degree of wear that would not allow the operation of the car”.

When asked why Suzuki or the dealers did not fix the defect, the company replied that the problems could not be identified.

The company denies that it has a policy of delaying repairs to be done by customers at their own expense.

Thus, under no circumstances and at no time, at the level of Suzuki or authorized dealers, has there been and is no policy of delaying or not acknowledging the existence of a defect“, the car manufacturer specified, adding that it has no other litigations or similar cases and that it has not changed its internal policies after the court's final decision.

“We emphasize that Suzuki did not have any capacity in the litigation, and the court did not find failure to recognize a defect or failure to assume obligations by Suzukii”, claims the auto group in its response to Libertatea.

“It could be repaired more quickly and easily if there was goodwill”concludes Marius Zăvoian, according to the cited source.