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G.R. No.

141480 November 29, 2006

CARLOS B. DE GUZMAN, Petitioner,


vs.
TOYOTA CUBAO, INC., Respondent.

Facts:

On November 27, 1997, BUYER purchased from SELLER a brand new vehicle. The vehicle was delivered to BUYER
two days later. On October 18, 1998, BUYER demanded the replacement of the engine of the vehicle because it
developed a crack after traversing Marcos Highway during a heavy rain. As BUYER knows no reason why the
vehicle's engine would crack just like that, the same could only be due to the fact that said engine and/or the vehicle
itself was defective even from the time it was bought. BUYER asserted that respondent should replace the engine with
a new one based on an implied warranty. SELLER refused to answer for this defect saying it is not covered by the
vehicle's warranty. It refused to replace the vehicle as BUYER demanded (or at least its engine, or even repair the
damage). He further alleged that the BUYER's cause of action had prescribed as the case was filed more than six
months from the date the vehicle was sold and/or delivered.

Issues:

1. Whether or not the SELLER is liable for the redhibitory defects of the vehicle.

2. Whether the BUYER's cause of action had prescribed.

Held:

No. Under Article 1599 of the Civil Code, once an express warranty is breached, the buyer can accept or keep the
goods and maintain an action against the seller for damages. In the absence of an existing express warranty on the part
of the respondent, as in this case, the allegations in petitioner’s complaint for damages were clearly anchored on the
enforcement of an implied warranty against hidden defects, i.e., that the engine of the vehicle which respondent had
sold to him was not defective. By filing this case, petitioner wants to hold respondent responsible for breach of implied
warranty for having sold a vehicle with defective engine. Such being the case, petitioner should have exercised this
right within six months from the delivery of the thing sold. Since petitioner filed the complaint more than nineteen
months counted from the date of the delivery of the motor vehicle his cause of action had become time-barred.