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NSW Australian Consumer Law - Motorcycle Seller's Advertisement, Invoice and Oral Guarantees False

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Hughie, 2 May 2016.

  1. Hughie

    Hughie Member

    2 May 2016
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    Hi everyone,

    In November 2015, I purchased an ex-race motorcycle from a well-known individual who raced in the Australian Superbikes. For the most part, my conversation was with the racer's father.

    Following the advertisement and numerous written enquiries over email, I was given many guarantees about the value, testing and development of the bike. The sellers were looking for a "quick sale" due to other motorcycling ventures they had upcoming in 2016.

    I must mention that the bike was located in QLD, and due to the distance (being in NSW) and guarantees made (assembled by top race mechanics etc), I did not view the bike.

    As their racing team is a business, once the descriptions and guarantees were given I decided to get it all in writing in an invoice sent from their registered ABN. In this invoice, it stated that the engine, following the 2015 season was completely fresh, rebuild and run in, including the replacement of the majority of engine parts. This was all agreed and a 50% deposit was paid on the price, with the outstanding amount due once they delivered the bike and fulfilled the other agreed terms (bringing the bike to Sydney, setting it up etc).

    Following the bike being delivered to Eastern Creek track, I had a very slow run in day at the track to see how everything was going (I had never ridden it before therefore I was being extra cautious). This day was successful.

    This is where everything went wrong. A few days later, when I had the chance to have a 2nd day at the track, I got 3 laps into my first session and the bike completely broke. It turned itself off mid-track, almost throwing me off. I immediately got in touch with the seller, who gave me some ideas on what the problem could be (simple 10min fix he said). At this point, he told me that he got in touch with the mechanic and they did not put a part into the bike they should have and he would send it to me. I never received anything.

    Long story short, for the past 5 months, the bike has been with a professional race mechanic who has been trying to get the bike fixed. I have not had another day on the bike since. Originally in early January, the mechanic found problems with the Spark Plugs and cylinder heads which totalled $1100 in repairs. I sent this to the seller to find out how this could happen and he responded taking no responsibility. After I gave the go ahead on replacing these parts, the bike was tested again and failed. Now in May, the mechanic has made the recommendation that the bike's engine is in need of a new engine rebuild, which could cost upwards of $3000.

    In the sale of the bike, I was told that the engine was fully rebuilt just before purchase. Not only is there now an ignition failure, but the bearings, timing chain and other components of the engine (which was specifically guaranteed as new in the sale) have failed and are in need of replacement.

    I was assured that the bike was in outstanding nick and would have no problems. The repair's alone will cost me just under 1/3 of the bikes worth ($14500). Ultimately, as I expressed to the seller before buying it and again in January following the first repair quote, if I wasn't guaranteed the bike was in good nick I would never have bought it. If I could give the bike back and get a refund I would not ask for anything more.

    I need some help on what I can do under Australian Consumer Law.

  2. Amanda E

    Amanda E Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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  3. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    Hi Hughie,

    Australian consumer law does not apply to private sales as mentioned in the posts above, however the common law doctrine of misleading and deceptive conduct still applies.

    Therefore if the seller, who you contracted with provided false or misleading information to you about the bike, either fraudulently or negligently, you may have grounds to seek compensation or reversal of the contract (if that is possible).
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