I leased a new car a few months ago under certain conditions. Whether due to it being on the showroom floor or from whenever it was test driven, there were quite a few paint scratches and paint chips.

Before agreeing to a lease, I said I wanted a written statement that the dealer would cover all paint scratches and chips. Once I got this in writing on a formal dealer IOU slip (it has three copies), I signed it as well as my lease agreement. All files were packaged up and the IOU was stapled to the lease contract.

The dealer has yet to make good on their written promise and, in fact, has wasted my time by taking the car from me three times in order to do the paint yet the chips have never even been touched and most scratches remain. (One of the employees I know there said they actually never even took it in to the autobody shop.)

Is the written agreement legally binding?


UK-based answer:

I would consider the IOU be bundled together with the lease agreeement as all parts of a single sale transaction, because of that I would believe that this IOU is legally binding.

One may argue that variations to contracts require consideration and therefore the IOU wouldn't be binding for lack of consideration, but in court it would be easy to say that the IOU formed part of the core transaction (rather than a variation to a previous agreement) since you wouldn't have been willing to purchase the car in the first place without the promise to have the scratches fixed.

It should be legally binding afaik

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