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Case Details

Case Details
National ID AP de Cantabria (Sección 4ª) Sentencia no. 178/2012 de 11 abril
Member State Spain
Common Name link
Decision type Court decision in appeal
Decision date 11/04/2012
Court Provincial Court of Cantabria
Subject
Plaintiff Unknown
Defendant Ssangyong España S.A.
Keywords consumer rights, guarantee, producer, replacement

Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 12

Joint liability of producer and seller: only when it is not possible or extremely burdensome to address the seller. Producer is only liable for the restitution of the good and cannot be liable for the reimbursement of the Price, for which it is liable the seller.
The plaintiff bought a car which, according to him, was not fit for its intended purpose. Therefore, he exercised the legal guarantee in order to get the car repaired or replaced by other of the same or equivalent model. The plaintiff took legal action directly against the producer and not against the seller, without alleging the impossibility or excessive burden of addressing the seller. It was not proven that the seller had closed his commercial establishment, nor had it dissapeared.
The Court stated that the regime provided for in the law is not of joint liability between the producer and the seller, but rather the law establishes clearly that the seller is the only one responsible for the lack of conformity of consumer goods. The aforementioned is without prejudice to the right of the seller to address his claim for the damages suffered as a result of the lack of conformity due to the producer. Only in certain scenarios the consumer may address the producer, thus, proving that exercise an action against the seller is impossible or excessively burdensome for the consumer is a prior requirement for a consumer to be entitled to address his claim against the producer.
Additionally, the ruling sets out that the seller is the only liable party in respect of the reimbursement of the price, while the producer could only be responsible, if so, for the substitution of the good or service.
Is the consumer able to address his claim to the producer when he was unable to provide evidence on the impossibility or the excessive cost of addressing his claim to the seller? Are the seller and the producer jointly liable when the lack of conformity is related to the origin, the identity or the adequacy of the product?
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The plaintiff did not succeed. He addressed his claim against the producer instead of the seller. However, he was unable to provide evidence enough that addressing his action against the seller was impossible or excessively burdensome (as required under applicble law). Furthermore, the plaintiff addressed his claim against another entity within the defendant’s group instead to that manufacturing the product.