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NSW Australian Consumer Law - Dealership Wants New Deal for My Car?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by jowiz33, 25 March 2016.

  1. jowiz33

    jowiz33 Active Member

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    I just bought a secondhand car from a big professional car dealership. Part of the deal was trading in my old car.

    I put a deposit on the new car at the end of February, signing the deals on the trade in, etc ., then. It took just over three weeks to finalise the deal and I now own the new car outright ( no loans, etc.) and they have accepted the old car. All signed sealed and delivered.

    The car dealership just rang me to let me know that they have found out that the old car was (unbeknownst to me) previously declared a repairable write-off and they cannot legally sell it, and now want to negotiate some other deal with me regarding the old car. They have had plenty of time (over 3 weeks) to find out anything about the old car

    Do I have any legal Australian Consumer Law obligation to them?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi jowiz33,

    As a registered dealership they should have had the foresight to run checks on the vehicle before purchasing it. The Australian Consumer Law does not apply to private sales - which I assume this would have been.

    I would give them an outright no, they purchased it as is and should have run the appropriate checks before entering into a contract with you. The deal is done. They can't renegotiate now. That is unless there was misleading and deceptive conduct on your part - i.e. they asked you whether the car was repairable write off before purchasing and you knowing it was, said that it wasn't. As long as you didn't lie about it, then it's not your problem.
     
    Hope this helps and jowiz33 like this.
  3. jowiz33

    jowiz33 Active Member

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    Thank you Sophea, I thought this might have been the case, and I had no idea that the car had such a history, and my position is that they had almost a month from when I paid the deposit on the car I bought, to uncover this. As you said, the deal is done and the new car is fully paid for registered and insured in my name.

    Do you think this will affect my warranty, though?
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    I agree with @Sophea - absent any fraud, omission, or wilful blindness on your part, it's "deal done".

    Your warranty on the car you bought should not be affected.
     
    Hope this helps and jowiz33 like this.
  5. jowiz33

    jowiz33 Active Member

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    Thank you, Tim.
     
  6. jowiz33

    jowiz33 Active Member

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    I just received this letter from them


    "As discussed with you on Friday attached is the National PPSR report which states that your trade in vehicle is in the written off status which makes it un-sellable to us. This causes a problem as we gave you $6990 for this vehicle as a roadworthy non-write off vehicle

    Our options are-

    1. You are entitled to come and pick up the car and dispose of it as you wish but payment of $6990 will need to be deposited to our account

    2.We have re-valued the car at $4000.00 ( which we will not get that for it but my manager is happy to wear some of the problem to help you out) in its condition as a repairable write off so you would need to pay us the balance of $ 2990.00 to settle the difference

    Sorry to have to inform you of this but it is law that you trade your vehicle as a sellable vehicle."



    The ppsr states that the car was a repairable write off in 2007, I have owned the car less than 2 years, I had no idea of its history.

    What the sale guy did tell me is that they had the details right at the beginning but their secretary didn't read it properly.

    I have traded in the car with 11 months rego and a roadworthy certificate was all in order. Just say no?
     
  7. Dragondude

    Dragondude Member

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    Right back to them with a single word. no. If they are serious, they will threaten to take you to court. Let them. I am sure they will back out when they realise you aren't going to budge.
     
  8. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    OK, a couple of things...
    1. You have a duty as part of the general law of contract to deal with them fairly and honestly.
      That means that you should not have, either by act or omission,
      withheld anything you knew (or reasonably should have known)
      that was material to their decision to trade the car, or what dollar value to put on it.
      Understand though, that in and of itself, that's not a legal obligation to only offer to trade a car in "sellable condition".
      In any event, it had a Pink Slip, so it was.

    2. Have you actually seen the PPSR entry yourself?
      If not, then do so. Don't take their word for it.

    3. Their secretary's mistake is not your problem.

    4. I am not sure that "buy" the car is the correct way to describe it.
      When a car is "traded-in", it is not always purchased.
      Rather, it can be accepted as an in-kind part payment for the car you bought.

    5. The dealer would have done a thing called "netting the trade-in".
      That is, they inspect the trade-in vehicle and work out what dollar amount they will value it at as a part payment.

      Cars don't have an objective value (things like Red Book and Glass' Guide are indicative only),
      so netting a car is three parts black art and two parts blarney.

      What they are really calculating is how much they think they can on-sell the car for to a wholesaler
      (it's actually pretty rare for trades to go "back on retail", especially in large franchise dealerships).

    6. They take the car as-is/ how-is. Apart from item 1 above, I do not see that you have any obligations to them of the kind they have to you.

    7. When they say "...it is law that you trade your vehicle as a sellable vehicle...", ask them - what law do they rely on for this proposition?

    8. It was registered, and came with a Pink Slip (was it the one you got for the most recent rego?).
      If it was a write off, then it probably would not have been passed for rego last time

    9. No more phone calls. No texts. Letters and email only.
     
    Hope this helps likes this.
  9. jowiz33

    jowiz33 Active Member

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    Thank you, Tim.

    I am still not sure how to respond to these guys. I did contact fair trading also, whom without seeing the actual paper work, seemed to think I had no obligation to them.
     

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