Irish coach operator Last Bus, trading as Dublin Coach, has filed a multimillion-euro claim against a British unit of Daimler Benz that had supplied it with 30 coaches in 2017 that the Irish company said were defective.
An English company that financed the coaches under an installment purchase agreement has just successfully managed to be removed following a motion as a defendant in the case in the UK High Court.
Last Bus was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur John O’Sullivan, who sold his Aircoach business to FirstGroup in 2003.
Dublin Coach is a major intercity operator.
Between 2014 and 2017, Last Bus agreed to purchase a total of 30 Mercedes Tourismo buses, supplied by Daimler-Benz subsidiary EvoBus, on hire-purchase financing terms provided by Dawson Group Bus and Coach.
These lease-purchase agreements were signed by Mr. O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Last Bus, and Paul Sainthouse, Managing Director of Dawson.
Each bus was priced at £250,000 (€289,000), excluding financing costs, bringing the total order to £7.5 million.
The High Court in London has heard Last Bus claim that some or all of the Tourismos supplied under the agreement were “not of satisfactory quality”, which it said breached the terms.
Last Bus has claimed that four of the new buses have suffered fires as a result, three of which are said to have been caused by a faulty exhaust gas cooling system. The Irish company claims the coach fleet has required stricter and more expensive maintenance regulations as a result.
The bus company claims damage of 10 million euros.
EvoBus denies the allegations. It insists a fire in the exhaust system was caused by contaminated fuel.
A “thermal incident” on another bus was the result of an air hose connected to an engine cooling system that had become disconnected from Last Bus, it says.
Other incidents referred to by Last Bus are attributable to Last Bus or its representatives, emphasizes EvoBus.
Dawson said its terms and conditions, which were made available to Last Bus and accepted by Last Bus, expressly stated that “no condition, warranty or representation of any kind is or has been given by or on behalf of the company [Dawson] in relation to the vehicle”.
Mr O’Sullivan told the court that over the course of his 20-year association with Dawson, he “never read the terms of the contract that he signed”.
https://www.independent.ie/business/dublin-coach-sues-daimler-benz-unit-over-10m-loss-and-damage-42180765.html Dublin Coach sues Daimler-Benz unit over €10m loss and damage