VIC Australian Consumer Law - Major Faults on Ford Vehicle?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


28 November 2016
Hey guys/ girls,

I would like some general help regarding my rights as a vehicle owner.

Last year, I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus privately (in NSW) and the owner gave me his reasons for selling the car and said he had no troubles with it. I had the vehicle inspected by a mechanic and he found no problems with it.

The car has now moved into class action against Ford (decline in value only) due to the faulty transmission installed in this vehicle. While I do experience these issues involved in the class action, I didn't think that my vehicle was a risk to my life, just a poorly designed car. However, the car has had some serious other issues that should not arise in a vehicle of 4 years of age and only 62000km.

The car overheated in 04/16 and did not set off any sensors / warning lights and cracked a head gasket, the centre console screen stopped functioning (05/16) and was useless for months (the dealer couldn't find a part and the rarity of the case lead it to take so long) and yesterday (11/16) the car was towed back to Ford with a suspected faulty fuel rail or injector issue.

All these problems have been within 2000km or 7 months and if the first 2 issues were not covered under (goodwill) warranty I would have spent in excess of $7500 on repairs on a 62000km old car. The car is now out of warranty and yesterday's issue and further will be at my expense, starting at the $1000-2000 for the current issue.

This is not acceptable for Ford to deny all liable for such a poorly made vehicle just because I didn't buy it new. Do I have any bargaining chips or legal rights uder Australian Consumer Law here or am I expected to either:

1. sell it back to the dealer for 10K less than I bought it for,
2. deceive another buyer privately as I may have been done,
3. stick with a dud car and continue to waste money on a car I drive 50-150km a week max.

Thanks in advance as I don't know what to do and don't want to spend money to be told this information.


Well-Known Member
31 October 2015

I'm not sure you have any recourse against the seller, unless you can prove they had knowledge or could have reasonably expected the issues to occur and because you didn't reasonable expect it, they probably didn't either.

If you have mechanic reports that point to significant defects and failures that would not be expected from fair wear and tear and use you may have grounds to seek repair. You would probably benefit from speaking to lawyer and they could advise you as to what can be done.

Faulty Second Hand Car? Your Options as a Buyer - Legal Blog -

Victoria S

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi Campos101,

I agree, since the mechanic report showed up nothing and you can't prove that the seller lied to you in respect of any faults in the vehicle, you would not have grounds to sue the seller for any damages.

The manufacturer on the other hand owes consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law which apply to all successive owners of the vehicle. If you can be bothered I would consider jumping on the class action if you can, and if you feel strongly enough about it. Its ultimately your call whether you escalate the matter and put yourself through the cost and stress or whether you cut your losses and learn from the experience.

The ACL was designed to give consumers recourse against car manufacturers for poor quality lemons, however the actual ability of the laws to get consumers a remedy is yet to be seen.