LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Car Became Statutory Write-off after Purchased - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Adam Boussi, 5 March 2015.

  1. Adam Boussi

    Adam Boussi Member

    Joined:
    5 March 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I Purchased a 2004 WRX in November 2014, after two months of driving the vehicle,Ii get pulled over and told my registration had been cancelled because my car was a write off. I done a REVS check to confirm if this was the case and it was true. The car had become a write off on the 13th January which is at least 2 months after I purchased the vehicle. I also performed a REVS check prior to the purchase of the vehicle and it was not a Statutory Write-Off. I contacted the RMS.

    RMS - Told me to contact NRMA, as they where the car insurance company who registered the vehicle as a Write-off.

    NRMA - After raising a dispute, i received a letter after about 3 weeks, stating they are not liable. they told me that my car had been involved in a accident in April 2014 and there was a dispute between both parties as to whom was at fault. Initially the insurers deemed the driver of the WRX car at fault "and then at a later date, received further information which overturned the decision" and subsequently the NRMA insured car was at fault.

    This car was then sold to another individual who done a REVS check on it for me and then sold it to me. the car was purchased damaged and then repaired. it cost me over $10,000 and now i have a perfect car just sitting there that i am told is scrap metal.

    NSW FAIR TRADING - Told me to contact the Ombudsman

    OMBUDSMAN - sorry we cant help because you are not insured by the NRMA to take on a claim.

    and now what? am i just expected to take it on the chin. to allow my hard earn't money be flushed down the drain because an insurance company is so careless in its operations that it cannot control when to register a car as a write off?

    My questions are:
    • If the car was in a car accident in April 2014, why was it registered as a statutory write off 11 months later?
    • Why was the vehicle allowed to be transferred from the previous owner to myself?
    • Why was the Vehicle allowed to be sold by the owner?
    • Why did it take so long to process the claim?
    • Do they have timeframes by regulation or legislation?

    What are the regulations here, there must be something they done that is wrong.. how do you just lose $10K? I don't earn much money and i really worked hard for it. I truly never thought that in Australia a person would have there rights taken from them. Its truly unAustralian what they have put me through, so much stress and pressure, time of work and the list goes on.

    Can someone please tell me what i can do?

    Is this a case between me and the NRMA or me and the initial owner who had the accident and then sold it knowing it was a statuory write off and knowing that the car would not be on REVS?
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 December 2014
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    70
    Hi,

    You would have a claim against the person who sold you the car. When they sold you the car, they should have disclosed that the car has been written-off or will likely be written-off given the accident. Have you contacted the seller directly? Was the seller a private seller or professional car dealership/business?

    You should call NRMA and ask when they first informed the seller that the car was/would be written-off.
     
  3. Adam Boussi

    Adam Boussi Member

    Joined:
    5 March 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    HI tracy,

    Thank you for your answer. The problem is that the person I bought it from was also unaware that it was a write off and they don't know who the original owner is. It was a private sale. I did ask the NRMA about whether they informed the owner at the time that the the car was a write off and they said they did, and that the owner informed them the car would be sold for salvage. They also confirmed that they so no have evidence of this.

    Do you think this is a civil matter between myself and the original owner or was my financial loss due to the fact that the NRMA was incompetent I'm registering a vehicle as a write off which took them 11 months.
     
  4. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 December 2014
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    70
    Hi Adam,

    This would really be a civil claim against your immediate seller. If the seller claims they were misinformed from their seller, then they can sue against their seller. However, their lack of knowledge that the car was written off or in the process of being written off should not excuse them from selling you a car that had encumbered title. They have a duty as seller to check that the car's history and ensure that the car is what they claim it to be. Of course, as buyer, you also have a duty to check the car's history and condition, so that may mitigate your claim against them. However, in selling you an unroadworthy car when claiming it was roadworthy is a breach of contract (implied term) and misrepresentation.
     
  5. Adam Boussi

    Adam Boussi Member

    Joined:
    5 March 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Hi Tracy,

    thank you for your further comments, i see where you are coming from but i was thinking maybe some insurance legislation which implicates time frames on insurers to process their claims.?

    also, the seller also had peformed a revs check and provided this to me and it had no encumbrances on it. so is it still possible to seek litigation against the original seller?
     
  6. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 December 2014
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    70
    Hi Adam,

    You could initiate action against both the original seller and immediate seller (as co-defendants).

    As for the insurance company, I am not too familiar with insurance law. You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Services to enquire about this. They are a free independent regulatory service that oversees financial institutions (such as insurance companies). They offer situation-specific advice and can resolve disputes between consumers and financial institutions. Perhaps they will know more about this issue.
     
  7. Adam Boussi

    Adam Boussi Member

    Joined:
    5 March 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Tracy,

    I really appreciate your answers. unfortunately the ombudsman's service said that they cannot help me as i am not actually insured with the NRMA.
    i guess i will have to contact the seller and tell him that i will be litigating and that he may have to consider litigating against the original owner. but then the original owner may litigate against the NRMA for not telling him it was a write off.. its just one big mess!

    Thank you Tracy, you have been very kind to give your time and effort helping me!
     
  8. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 December 2014
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    70
    Hi Adam,

    Unfortunately, insurers tend to limit their responsibility and actions to the insured only.

    It does seem messy to initiate action against X and have X then claim against Y and so on down the chain. However, given that the only person owing a responsibility toward you and that the only person who has breached this responsibility is the immediate seller, you can only take action against this person.

    Hope it all works out in the end.
     

Share This Page

Loading...