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VIC Australian Consumer Law - Suzuki Motorcycle with a Latent Defect?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Dragondude, 18 March 2016.

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  1. Dragondude

    Dragondude Member

    18 March 2016
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    I purchased a 2010 model Suzuki VZ1500 motorcycle in 2012. In mid-2014, it developed a gearbox issue. It started jumping out of second gear when under power. I had this issue repaired by a qualified mechanic that assured me it would never happen again. It cost me over $4000 for the repair. About 3 weeks ago the same issue has returned.

    While the bike was in getting repaired the first time, I did some research on the net regarding this issue and found that it was a very common problem across a couple of models. This is also a worldwide issue. In Australia, the cost of repair ranges from $2500 to $5000.

    During this research, I found that nearly all people with this issue that contacted Suzuki were told that it was because of their gear shifting technique. When asked what the correct technique was they would not respond.

    As this is a very widespread problem, has a very high cost of repair (10% to 20% of the cost of the new bike) and is known by Suzuki to exist. Could this be considered a latent defect? Is there some other way these repairs can be funded by Suzuki under Australian Consume Law?

    As an aside to this, the mechanic that repaired my bike the first time suggested that Suzuki gears have not been hardened sufficiently to handle the power of the engine.
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    Hi Dragondude,

    As you may have guessed from the light traffic on this thread, there is not easy or clear legal answer to your question. Whether or not an issue like this would constitute a defect that rendered the motorcycles of unacceptable quality - in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, or otherwise make the manufacturer liable to consumers for a likely repair they would have to have done within a certain period of owning the bike would have to be based on a court's determination.

    If you really feel strongly about it and know others who are in the same boat as you, you could always consider sharing the legal costs of a class action or something like that against Suzuki. You can get some personalised legal advice on whether or not your case has prospects.

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