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Case Details

Case Details
National ID Supreme Court, Judgment 3-2-1-49-17
Liikmesriik Eesti
Common Name Aleksandr Krivonogov vs Ascar Auto AS and Hyundai Motor Baltic Oy
Decision type Supreme court decision
Decision date 14/06/2017
Kohus Supreme Court
Teema
Hageja Aleksandr Krivonogov
Kostja Ascar Auto AS and Hyundai Motor Baltic Oy
Võtmesõnad commercial guarantee; burden of proof; sales contract; liability

Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 2 Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 3 Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 5 Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 5, 3. Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 6

EE:RK:2017:3.2.1.49.17.11375


There is no renewed commercial guarantee for a part of a car that was replaced during the guarantee period.

The standard for the burden of proof for the consumer cannot be set too high, not even in cases where more than 6 months had passed since the delivery.

In April 2012 the plaintiff (consumer) leased a used car that the leasing company bought from the car seller Ascar Auto AS. The car had a commercial guarantee of 5 years given by the second defendant, Hyundai Motor Baltic Oy, which ended on 20 June 2013.

In May 2013, a part of the car was replaced as part of guarantee works. In August 2014 that replaced part became defective again. In October 2014 the seller refused to perform new guarantee repair as the guarantee period had already expired. In May 2015 the seller repaired the car but claimed remuneration for the repair. The plaintiff paid the remuneration but later filed a claim and argued that the remuneration for the repair should be compensated to him as his damages.

Does a commercial guarantee start running again for a part of a car that is replaced during the guarantee period?

Is a seller liable for defective repairment under the commercial guarantee?

What is the standard of the burden of proof for the consumer in cases where the defect appeared after 6 months had passed since the delivery?

The Supreme Court held that the seller is not liable for failing to repair the car under the commercial guarantee. The commercial guarantee had ended on 20 June 2013 and there is no renewed guarantee for a part that was replaced during the guarantee period. Thus, when the defect appeared in 2014 the car had no commercial guarantee anymore.

The Supreme Court also clarified the meaning of the commercial guarantee and explained that the seller and guarantor are different persons in this case. The seller was only performing guarantee works on behalf of the guarantor and the guarantor remains liable under guarantee contract for defective guarantee repairs.

The Supreme Court, however, found the seller to be potentially liable for breach of the consumer sales contract, ie the non-conformity (defect) of the car. Here, the Supreme Court cited the rules that a) the seller is liable for a defect that existed at the time of delivery, and b) if the defect appeared within 6 months from the date of delivery, it is presumed to have existed at the time of delivery. Although in the given case more than 6 months had passed since delivery, the Supreme Court ruled that it is still the seller who had to prove that the car was not defective at the time of delivery. Namely, the technical expertise lead to the conclusion that the reason for the reappearing defect lies within the defective oiling system of the car and there has been no misuse on behalf of the consumer. Under such circumstances the standard for the burden of proof for the consumer (that the defect existed at the time of delivery) cannot be set too high. Consequently, it is the seller who must prove that the oiling system was not defective at the time of delivery. This is justified, inter alia, by the fact that the first defect appeared already during the guarantee period (in May 2013) and during the guarantee period the consumer should be able to use the car without any problems.

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The Supreme Court repealed the decision of the Second Instance Court and sent the case back to the same Court to be retried.