Unfair term in a consumer contract for selling a car – judgement of Polish Supreme Court

In a case currently heard, the Supreme Court (case no. I CSK 125/15) referred to an appeal in cassation concerning a clause in a standard form of consumer contract for a car sale. The clause provided that “[in] unusual circumstances preventing the Seller from delivering the car which was ordered to the Buyer, by the car delivery date the Seller may rescind this Contract by a written notice delivered to the Buyer personally or by a registered letter.”

The statement of grounds for the judgment focuses on analysing whether the said provision of the standard form of contract “grossly” infringes consumer interests where it so governs the rights and obligations of the consumer. This way it refers to one of the fundamental criteria of abuse arising from Art. 385(1).1 of the Polish Civil Code (see text: ISAP).

When interpreting the national laws, the Supreme Court also referred to the EU law (Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts – see text: EUR-Lex) and the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU including the CJEU judgment of 14 March 2013 in the case C-415/11 Mohamed Aziz v Caixa d´Estalvis de Catalunya, Tarragona i Manresa (Catalunyacaixa) – see text: CURIA.

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