Why does my dropside have oversized door mirrors?

I bought a new Citroen Relay Dropside truck from my local dealer in April. I've not used it much as i have been building my business in the background to my day job. In the first week, somebody hit the mirror, but it was on a narrow road, I was stationary and no real damage was sustained, and the other car drove off. I put it down to a moron driver in a hurry. Last week, a large van hit my mirror on a wide road, damaging the indicator in the mirror, I ordered the replacement indicator that evening, but the next morning, on the same wide road, a small van hit the outside edge of the mirror and almost completely destroyed it. I went to order a new one online and I discovered that different length mirrors are available.

My truck has been fitted with the longest available, with stalks over 150mm longer than the standard ones. the body on my truck was fitted before I purchased it, as part of the 'ready to run' partnership between Citroen and Ingimex, and although the body extends 10-20mm from the body of the standard chassis cab, there is no need for the extra long mirrors. I have since spoken to my brother who owns a Fiat Ducato Dropside, which is almost identical, yet has the standard short van mirrors, and reports that he has never had an issue with vision or manoeuvring.

I went to my dealer, who at first wanted me to pay for removal of the mirrors to check the part numbers, then came outside and looked at the truck, only to agree that they 'do look a bit long'. I measured them and showed her that the mirrors stick out over 30cms from the side of the truck, and that construction and use regulations allow a maximum of 20cms for this class of vehicle. The dealer said they would find out more and get back to me. They then phoned me yesterday to say that the mirrors that were fitted, were a £300 set instead of the £150 standard ones, and intimated that I should be grateful. They also said that as far as the law goes, I would need to take it up with Citroen UK. I pointed out that the vehicle was purchased from them, not Citroen UK and that they would need to contact head office.

My question is: am I legally entitled to ask that they replace the mirrors for standard ones, even the broken one, which in my opinion, is highly unlikely that it would have been caught by vehicles coming the other way?

For those wondering if I need to adjust my driving style before my mirrors, I should mention that my day job is driving mobile cranes, some of which are nine foot wide, and weigh in excess of 68 tonnes, and in ten years of doing so, I have only ever had one mirror hit.

Asked on 8 December 2016 by Simon

Answered by Dan Powell
It very much depends on the spec of the vehicle. If the wider mirrors are standard fitment for the Relay Dropside model you ordered then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to demand that the dealer changes them free of charge. Unless, of course, you can prove they’re illegal.

However, if the mirrors are an optional extra, fitted without your permission, then you might have grounds to ask for the standard mirrors to be fitted back to the van. You say that the dealer mentions them being a £300 set instead of the standard £150 ones, so they might differ from the vehicle you actually ordered in the first place. I’d recommend checking the spec and order sheets for the vehicle to see if they are listed anywhere. For your legal rights. see: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
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