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Queensland shows the way with new vehicle ‘lemon laws’ for consumers

Consumer law and faulty vehicles

Under the Australian Consumer Law, the ACCC considers a car to have a major failure to comply with the Australian consumer guarantees when:

A reasonable consumer wouldn’t have bought the motor vehicle if they had known about the full extent of the problem. No reasonable consumer would buy a new car with so many recurring faults that the car has spent more time off the road than on it because several mechanics cannot solve the problem.

What to do if you’ve bought a ‘lemon’

If you think your car is a lemon, you should:

  • Contact the dealer and the Australian head office of the car company;
  • Put all your communications in writing;
  • Mention the Australian Consumer Law and consumer guarantees;
  • Mention “major failure”; and
  • Mention the ACCC and Fair Trading/Consumer Affairs

This might help you reach a resolution and you might get the car company to agree to a refund or a replacement.

New ‘lemon laws’ add to consumer protection in Queensland

But if negotiation fails, Queensland motorists who buy a faulty car will be better protected in future thanks to new ‘lemon laws’ being introduced in State Parliament in November 2018.

Instead of being forced to start expensive litigation in the Courts, the laws will see the vehicle value owners can claim in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal increased from $25,000 to $100,000 and the reintroduction of a statutory warranty for second-hand purchases. The rights will be also be extended to include motorcycles, motor homes or caravans, which were not protected previously.

Do you have any queries?

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Please note that this article has been prepared by Margaret Miller, partner of Bell Legal Group, for information purposes only. It is not legal advice nor should it be relied upon as such.