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NSW Am I Liable to Have Car Fixed Under Australian Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Tina2016, 15 February 2016.

  1. Tina2016

    Tina2016 Member

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    Hi,

    I was caught in a problem with a private car sale. I advertised a car for sale privately and it was advertised as "no issues", but I have told the buyer the window doesn't work. The buyer did the test drive and negotiate the price with me. He then agreed to purchase the car.

    A week later, he told me the steering wheel has a problem and asked me another $300 to fix it. I then asked him why he didn't say anything when he did the test drive. He said he didn't think it was really bad that day and he agreed to purchase the car and drove away. But for me, I was not aware that the steering wheel had a problem and that it need $300 to get it fixed.

    I checked the NSW fair trading and it said the buyer should have the responsibility while checking the car and no warranty for private sale. So I'm not sure how I should handle the dispute under Australian Consumer Law. Am I liable to fix the steering wheel?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tina2016,

    In circumstances where the buyer was aware of the steering wheel problem before purchasing the car, being given an opportunity to drive it and assess any issues, he essentially agreed to buy the car as is. I would say you are not liable to pay for the steering wheel.

    I would tell him that he had an opportunity to negotiate regarding fixing the steering but that he didn't at the time of purchase and, therefore, he bought the car as is and he has no further recourse to you.
     
  3. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    Fair Trading has given you the correct advice. You are not liable once the deal has been finalised unless the car has been misrepresented in some way. I would say the buyer is just trying it on. It wouldn't cost $300 to fix a steering wheel "problem", surely.
     
  4. Tina2016

    Tina2016 Member

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    Thanks for you reply Sophea,

    I just have one more concern as he said when he did the test drive, it wasn't bad. But now it became worse. He is now complaining that I didn't tell him when he did test drive. But for me, I was not aware of this problem, so I didn't include this issue in the advertisement. Therefore, I don't know if I will be charged for providing deceptive information?

    Thanks! Much appreciated!
    Tina
     
  5. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tina,

    If the steering issue became worse after he purchased the car or his assessment of how bad it was changed after the purchase - is beyond your control and not something that is your responsibility. Provided that you didn't already know about a serious steering problem from your mechanic and you withheld that information from the buyer then you won't have been misleading or deceptive.

    He had notice of a steering issue and common sense would indicate that an issue left unattended could get worse. Therefore, knowing of the problem he should have gone and had it fixed. But ultimately he was willing to purchase the car with knowledge of the steering problem in the first place. So he purchased as is.
     

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