Is the customer entitled to a free replacement for the third instrument under warranty? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
Is the customer entitled to a free replacement for the third instrument under warranty?
Hello. I would like some advice regarding a warranty claim. I purchased a new aircraft in Dec 2017. Within 10 months, one of the dashboard instruments had failed and it was replaced FOC. Within 10 months, same again, and within 10 months the 3rd instrument has failed. I have asked the seller to replace this faulty instrument but they say "We don't offer free replacements". They have instead offered me one to purchase. I took some professional advice around 2 years ago and I believe I was told that I was eligible for free replacements due to the first instrument failing so quickly. I can't remember exactly which law applied - Fit for Purpose maybe? What is the correct position here please? Am I entitled to a free replacement again due to the poor quality of these instruments which do not last a year? I believe the instruments cost around £350 plus fitting.

Elissa West

25th March 2022

Top Answer
NQ Law Student. That's a good question. Firstly you need to establish whether the original was covered by a guarantee or by a warranty. A guarantee is essentially a promise to replace any faulty items within a set time period (maybe 12 months); in fact, they aren't always enforceable. If an item is replaced within that time period, the period does not reset - so with a 12 month guarantee (for example) an instrument replacement at 10 months would be covered only for the 2 remaining months. Warranties do pretty much the same thing, usually at a greater price, but generally last longer, so I guess the answer is 'it depends' - it would be worth establishing whether the original instrument was replaced under warranty or guarantee. It is a requirement under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (which applies to vehicles - don't see why not aircraft also) that a product is fit for purpose, as described etc but a seller isn't bound to give unlimited repairs or replacements - in any event they are only required to provide one free replacement within a set time period (30 days for vehicles), after which you may be entitled to a reduction in price or a refund, for instance, but the seller might choose to offer additional replacement at their discretion. While I do have some knowledge of aircraft instruments and systems, I've never purchased one so I really can't offer in depth advice on warranties for aircraft or instruments; in fact, my knowledge of warranties in general isn't yet up to lawyer standard. £350 for 'steam gauges' is around about average but, all the same, 3 failures of the same instrument in less than 3 years is a little unusual - especially for a brand new aircraft. It could be down to the instrument itself or could be a separate failure such as a short circuit or faulty sensor. You don't state which instrument it is or whether or not it's a primary - not too bad in VFR but IFR can be a bit of a challenge in that case. It might be worth having someone give the wiring, connections and any sensors a check too and trying a different instrument from another manufacturer. The only other thing I can suggest is maybe see if you can find other pilots who fly the same aircraft or use the same instruments and chatting to them to see if any have experienced similar problems. In my college days (I'm a master in the art of procrastination ) I used to frequent the aviation forums. Key Publishing was perhaps one of my favourites. They have a GA section that might prove fruitful https:// www.key.aero/ forum Other than that, I'm not sure I can help much 😕 Just keep the blue side up ;-)

Brian Dean

25th March 2022

1 upvote

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