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€25,000 for rat-infested cars on hold for appeal

A €25,000 award over rat infestation of a couple's two Toyota cars has been put on hold pending the hearing of an appeal.

Toyota Ireland Ltd have agreed to lodge in court the award, made last week in the Circuit Court to Galway couple Ina and Alan Dempsey, pending the hearing of an appeal in the High Court which will take place next February.

The Dempseys, both in their 30s, from Cummer, Corofin, near Tuam, bought two new diesel Avensis cars, one in March 2006 and the other in April 2007, from Tom Hogan Motors Ltd (in voluntary liquidation), Ballybrit, Galway.


They claimed that after first noticing something amiss in 2007, they called a pest controller who found rat droppings all over both cars and pools of rat urine in the side pockets of the car boots.

They brought the cars back to Tom Hogan Motors, who confirmed the rats had entered through the vents under the rear wheel arch. Neither the dealers nor Toyota were prepared to offer a refund.

They later sold them on as pest-damaged goods to a trade buyer for €32,000, suffering a loss of €18,200.

Last week, in Galway Circuit Court, Judge Keenan Johnson awarded a total of €25,831 plus costs against Toyota after finding the motor company had made no real effort to engage with the couple.