Lawyers are being urged to use their legal powers to stop an Irish hire car company using a controversial “bargain” clause in a new contract to stop the car from charging more than the agreed monthly payment.
Lawyer Andrew Fitzgerald, representing the company, said the clause was meant to give the car company an unfair advantage in negotiating with motorists and to prevent the car manufacturer from making any profits from the car’s sale.
Mr Fitzgerald said the company was seeking to recover damages from the manufacturer and would make a court application in the coming weeks.
He said the car, which is owned by a car dealership, had agreed to the clause because the company wanted to negotiate a more favourable contract.
It is the first time a car manufacturer has sought to restrict the right to buy a car.
It has been widely reported in Irish media that the car maker, Liva Group, is negotiating with drivers to lower the amount of the monthly payment for its new car.
In an attempt to prevent a reduction in the monthly rate, the company has agreed to pay drivers €100, instead of €100 per month.
Liva Group has been criticised in the media and in the public sector for the cost of the new car, and for failing to offer an option for drivers to switch to cheaper models.
The company has also faced criticism from its critics in the car industry who say it has been selling a cheap vehicle with an unproven safety record.
Lava Group has repeatedly defended the company’s actions, saying they are part of a process to make sure new cars are safe and capable of handling the demands of the road.
However, critics have accused Lava Group of a deliberate strategy to increase its profits and its profits to the detriment of consumers.
Lavalas new car will be sold at €100 more per month than the current €100 offered by Liva.
Mr Gallagher said Lava’s “business model” is to sell the car at an inflated price and not offer drivers an alternative.
“They’re trying to push the car out of the market,” he said.
“We’re trying really hard to keep the car affordable.
The car is not a bargain.”
A spokesman for Lava said: “Lava has always been a leader in the design and production of high quality, environmentally-friendly cars.
We are committed to providing drivers with the most comfortable and practical car on the market, and will continue to provide the most affordable option for motorists.”
In response to Mr Fitzgerald’s application, Lava told The Irish Press that the clause did not apply to the new Lava car.
Lavas spokeswoman, Catherine Kelly said: “[The clause] was meant for the car to be offered in a lower rate than the existing price, which Lava was prepared to accept.”
Lava will be making a full recovery from the cost incurred by the company.