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QLD Australian Consumer Law - Manufacturer's Warranty on Motorcycle - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by procrastinasian, 10 July 2015.

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  1. procrastinasian

    procrastinasian Well-Known Member

    31 October 2014
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    Hi everyone,

    I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on a legal issue a friend brought up to me.

    He purchased a motorcycle back in 2012. Since then he has had to replace the radiator every year (2013-2015) because it continues to give out after 6000-8000kms.

    The last repair was covered only under a parts warranty but not the full manufacturer warranty so he had to pay for labour. He is scared to take the bike out for long trips and asked me if he had any legal rights for having to spend so much in maintaining the bike.

    I researched the model of the motorcycle and there were no public recalls or anything to suggest that the product may be defective. My initial opinion would be to just say that he wouldn't have any legal rights to compensation because I cannot think of any real legitimate area this would fall under the ACL ( Australian Consumer Law).

    I am under the impression that him continuing to repair the bike year after year kinda dilutes the manufacturer's liability as well because it brings up issues on whether installation was done properly, etc. Unfortunately, some products are just less durable than others but nonetheless may still be considered 'fit for purpose.'

    What does everyone else think?
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

    10 February 2015
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    Hi there,

    This would fall under the ACL. The ACL gives a consumer guarantee that items (and their parts) will be of an acceptable quality. This means that they must be safe, reasonably long lasting and do all the things that someone would normally expect them to do.

    Manufacturer and dealer warranties can be a bonus on top of the ACL guarantees however the ACL guarantees apply no matter what the warranty says.

    The motorcycle clearly hasn't been of an acceptable quality. The fact that your friend has had to replace the radiator so frequently leads me to question whether something else is wrong with the motorcycle that is causing these frequent break downs. In any case, each time the radiator has been replaced, it has been under the care of the manufacturer. This means that the liability at each point falls back on them, whether the fault is from the original manufacturing quality or from subsequent replacement and repair jobs.

    Your friend should chase this up with Queensland Fair Trading. If I were him, I would be pushing for a replacement bike (or equivalent compensation) and reimbursement on the labour costs from the last repair job. He may need to take this to QCAT (or court depending on the amount in dispute).

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