SA Australian Consumer Law on Mitsubishi Car - Options to Get Refund?

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

Peter Taylor

27 April 2016
I have recently purchased a new MQ Mitsubishi Triton utility from Agostino Mitsubishi dealer in Elizabeth SA. During the initial test drive, I asked the salesman about a vibration on acceleration from stationary and I was told it was due to the demo car having high tyeare pressure and that we were on a rough surface. I completed the test drive and ordered the new car, however, the vibration in the new car was evident immediately with standard tyeare pressure and on smooth surfaces. Advise from the service manager was that this is a known fault and Mitsubishi was working on a "fix".

I contacted Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited and I have received the following email on 22 Apr 16:

Dear Mr T
Subject: Mitsubishi Triton
Receipt of your complaint regarding the above-mentioned vehicle is acknowledged.

Naturally, we regret to read of your dissatisfaction and your comments have been noted and are respected.

Please be advised customer's concerns regarding this particular characteristic of the MQ Triton have been escalated to Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) in Japan and after their investigation, have advised that this is normal operation of this model vehicle.

The cause of the vibration in the MQ Triton is the result of suspension production improvements over the previous MN model Triton. The intended design of the suspension was to be stiffer to give better load carrying capability while towing and carrying heavy loads . This vibration is not detrimental to the vehicle.

I am annoyed that this information was not provided to me prior to purchase. I drive this vehicle to work and not for towing etc. I have since been to another Agostino dealership at Nailsworth SA to test another vehicle and was advised by that salesman that there are no known problems with this model. When I demonstrated this fault during the test drive, he asked would that problem stop me from buying the car- I answered Yes.

What are my options to get a refund on this vehicle under Australian Consumer Law?


Hi Peter,

One of the consumer guarantees that car dealers are required to give is that any vehicle would be fit for purpose. If you expressly stated that you did not want a vehicle that did not exhibit the vibration and the dealer knew of that then it is arguable that this guarantee was breached.

In addition, misleading and deceptive conduct under the Australia Consumer law would include circumstances where you have specifically asked about a particular feature and the dealer has given you false or misleading information. This would appear to be the case here. For a statement to be ‘misleading’ no intention or a particular state of mind is required on the part of the person making it. In fact, an innocent (non-fraudulent and non-negligent) statement may generate liability.

I would write a letter to the car dealer setting out your rights under the Australian Consumer Law and noting that you would not have purchased the vehicle had you known of the vibration, as you do not require the stiffer suspension giving rise to the issue as you only drive to work and back and demand a refund and see where you get. It cannot be said with any certainty whether, if a court were to decide the issue, you would be awarded a refund or simply damages.

Here is some other info you may find helpful: vehicle sales & repairs - an industry guide to the Australian Consumer Law.pdf
Advertising and selling guide - Misleading or deceptive conduct | ACCC