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Misleading And Incorrect Information


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Hi everyone. Can I get your opinions on something please? I've just purchased an expensive ex-demo car from a main dealer by telephone, and the first time I got to see it was when it was delivered. It was purchased for a number of reasons, one of which was that it had electrically folding 60/40 rear seats. This is listed as a feature of the car in the manufacturers brochure, and on-line at their website. However, when the car arrives, not only do the seats not electrically fold, they don't fold down at all. It turns out that the manufacturer has misdescribed this feature in the brochure, and should have said that the rear seats electrically adjust and partially recline. Obviously this is extremely disappointing if (like me) you are expecting to be able to lower the seats to carry larger loads.

I have spoken to a number of sales staff at different dealerships, and most of them were unaware of this issue. However, a couple of salesmen told me that they had raised this misdescription as a concern when they attended their training courses for this model earlier this year. However, since then the manufacturer has done nothing to change the brochure, or the details on their website.

I admit that I would be very reluctant to reject the car because it is excellent in every other way. I have considered asking the manufacturer for some kind of compensation, or gesture of goodwill, but if I do that and tell them I am prepared to keep the car, they would probably argue that the feature couldn't have been that important to me in the first place. I expect they would try and transfer the complaint to the supplying dealer, but they sold the car in good faith, totally unaware that this issue existed. So, I don't see how they can be responsible for a mistake made by the manufacturer.

I know mistakes are sometimes made, but I feel particularly annoyed that they have done nothing about it, despite being made aware of the issue with the information in the brochure months ago. I know they will probably hide behind a disclaimer that they cannot guarantee the specification described in the brochure, because car specs often change. but this is NOT a spec change, this is something that has never appeared on the vehicle, but has been wrongly printed in the brochure as a feature.

Really grateful for any input. Thanks guys!

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The supplying dealer should ensure that any vehicle supplied conforms to description. Since the pre sale check requires all items to be checked and operating then they are at fault for not ensuring the autofold was operative, which is impossible if it isn't fitted. I think your beef is probably with the dealer since you purchased the vehicle second hand from them and by them registering and purchasing the vehicle from the manufacturer they would surely be liable. It would then be up to the dealer to attempt redress from the manufacturer.

Very surprised though that you bought unseen. Did the brochure give any sizes for the gap on the 60/40 or give capacity with seats up and seats down?

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Hi Dave. Thanks for your reply. It's a difficult one this. The vehicle is only sold at a tiny number of main dealers in the UK, and only a handful have been sold. Ordinarily I would blame the dealer for not knowing the cars they sell well enough, but in this case they were offering information based on what the brochure said, as the car was coming directly from a director of the manufacturer. In other words, the dealer is licensed to sell the car, but given the rarity, may not know all the ins and outs, or have even seen one in the showroom. If I could have seen one prior to buying, I would have done, because when you open the boot and see how it narrows drastically towards the rear, it's obvious there can't be folding seats.

I had the opportunity to talk to a senior officer at the manufacturer today, and despite my argument that the wording in the brochure is misleading, he would not accept it. The exact wording is "60/40 Power Folding Rear Seats". I think most people would interpret that as seats that fold down independently of each other in 60/40 configuration to extend boot/luggage space. His argument was that it is the terminology used by his company to describe electrical adjustment and partial reclining of the seats. Now I think they are two entirely different things, but he refused to accept this at all.

Interestingly the few reviews I have read by the UK motoring press mention the car having 60/40 folding rear seats to increase load space. My guess is they probably never checked, and took the description in the brochure for granted.

The guy I spoke to today was unhelpful, and at times just downright rude. If they had admitted the wording was badly chosen, and that they would amend it, I would have most likely been satisfied. However, their attitude annoyed me so much that I'm half inclined to put in a claim for an expensive roof storage box, to make up for the loss of load space I thought I was getting.

I probably won't get anywhere, but I could back that up with Small Claims action at very minimal cost to me, but maximum inconvenience to the manufacturer. It would be interesting to see how a claims judge would view that wording.

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There is a clear difference between "folding rear seats" and partial reclining. Partially reclining seats are not folding seats. I think you have a very good case.

I would still see the dealer and see if they get a better response from the manufacturer. It may be that there is a director or similar at the manufacturers that they can have dialogue with who you may be unable to get access to.

Hope it goes well for you.

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Thanks Dave. Yes the salesman is speaking to his director to see if he has some luck higher up the food chain. I don't want to reject the car, and I don't want anything from them other than an admission they screwed up with the wording, and will rectify it asap. It's their attitude that makes me want to take it as far as I can.

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Although I can see a bit of grey area in the description. .

I was looking at this model too, but was never under that impression that the seats function in that manner:

If you want to take it further than your local dealer:

These are your rights:

I hope you get a satisf​actory outcome


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Hi David, although I'm a Lexus owner, the car in question is not a Lexus. If it had been, the attitude of customer services towards my complaint would have doubtless been a lot more positive and polite. I won't name the manufacturer directly, let's just say they are a huge company flogging a big, expensive petrol V6 car, which is named after the first book in the bible, and a famous band fronted by Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel.

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Ah, sorry. Only the second link is appropriate then.

But from what I see, their web site is worse that Lexus, which is impressive.

I see very little in the one used car available currently, I suspect that was what you saw when looking for yours.

I agree with you on the wording of the following:

60:40 Power Folding Rear Seat

That is straight from their PDF specifications, and extremely misleading.


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Ah, I got it really cheap - 5 months old and after long & hard negotiation almost half list price, so not too worried about depreciation yet. I figure on keeping it for another 30 months (until it's 3 years old) and then p/ex it with 2 years warranty and service pack left on it. Aside from the issue with the non-folding seats, and the appalling attitude towards my complaint, it really is an amazing car. I reckon in a very short period of time they will have cracked the luxury car market, and the H badge prejudice will disappear. This Gen 2 model is a huge step up from Gen one, and if that continues with Gen 3, they are going to seriously worry the Germans, Japanese and Castle Bromwich. I used to laugh at my brother in law for driving a Sportage and then an i40 and Tucson, but he's been with the brand for 8 years now, and never once had any issues. Meanwhile my Jags, BMW's and Audi's have proved to be a pile of poo. I've still got my NX and Volvo V60, and don't intend to part with them yet, but if I get £12k for the Genesis in three years, it will only have cost me £12k, which is a lot less than I would lose on some other cars. PS The 14 speaker Lexicon Logic 7 Surround system in the car is leagues ahead of ML. I'm not surprised Rolls Royce use the same set up. Everything else is first class too, apart from a couple of nasty cheap switches from an i20, and a handbook written by somebody who learn't English from watching imported BBC TV shows.

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Thanks David, glad you agree. I really can't understand why the senior manager at head office couldn't see it too. Probably did, but knew that if he didn't tow the company line he would be on the first plane to Seoul, and strung up by the genitals with piano wire!!

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