Car scrappage case sent to arbitration

A man, who claims he was misled about his right to avail of Nissan’s ‘Massive €4,000 Scrappage Offer,’ has been told by a judge he must pursue any perceived grievance through arbitration, rather than the courts.

William Maughan, of Mount Dutton Close, Oldcastle, Co Meath, told the Circuit Civil Court, yesterday, that he had attended Cavan Motors Ltd, a Nissan main dealer, in May, 2016 to avail of the offer for a new car that had been widely advertised on television.

In a sworn statement, he said he had been told by a sales representative that he was not entitled to avail of the offer, because of the value put on a trade-in vehicle he had brought to the garage to scrap.

Mr Maughan, in a Circuit Court claim for damages for alleged misrepresentation and negligence, said a salesman had told him he could buy the proposed trade-in car for €250 in any auction.

He claimed the salesman had added: “There’s no way I will allow you €4,000 on that.”

Padraig McNamee, counsel for Cavan Motors, of Ballenagh Road, Cavan, told the court Mr Maughan was seeking to rescind a deal he had gone on to make, with regard to a used, 2016 Nissan Note.

Mr McNamee said Mr Maughan had signed a standard SIMI agreement, which stated that, in the event of any dispute, the matter “shall” be referred to arbitration.

He said the High Court had already held that arbitration was mandatory in such agreements.

Niall Gallagher, counsel for Mr Maughan, said his client had turned up at Cavan Motors hoping to take advantage of the Nissan offer and, after having been told he could not avail of it and entering into an agreement to buy a used vehicle, he was now “being held hostage” to the arbitration clause in the contract he had signed.

Mr Maughan’s claims are denied by both the dealer and Nissan Ireland.

Mr Gallagher said his client believed he had, as a result of misrepresentation, entered into an agreement that was manifestly to his disadvantage. Mr Maughan believed he could have bought a new Nissan for €2,000 cheaper than he had paid for the Nissan Note.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane directed the dispute be referred to arbitration.

She awarded costs to Cavan Motors Ltd, against Maughan, with any other legal costs to be left to the finality of the arbitration.


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