QLD Australian Consumer Laws on Lemon Cars - Where Do I Stand?

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14 October 2015
Good evening!

I bought a car around 7 weeks ago. Due to the high kms, it didn't have a statutory warranty - however we purchased an extended warranty. We picked the car up late on a Friday afternoon. First thing, we noticed was the steering wheel not straight - wheels were, but not the steering wheel! And a rather loud rattling/clunking.

15 minutes after driving from the dealership the alternator goes. We were stranded in the pitch dark on the side of the road with 4 young children. After getting the car home with the help of swapping batteries, the dealer replaced the alternator after being off the road for 3 days (the Monday).

The day it was replaced the check engine light came on. We then noticed that there were POP RIVETS bent over in the wheels instead of U-bolts, and the clunking sound was coming from the rear engine mount which was absolutely shot. We took the car back that Thursday for them to fix and get the steering wheel fixed. They called Thursday afternoon saying they couldn't give it back until the following afternoon as I couldn't drive it (too broken/unsafe). This car was sold to me with a roadworthy!!!

After picking the car back up Friday afternoon the check engine light came back on again on the Saturday and the following Friday I as back at the dealer getting it looked at. They said it was a faulty sensor and all fixed. That Saturday the check engine light came on again!

My partner got hold of a scan to which was showing O2 sensor problems. Told the car yard, took it back AGAIN! And they replaced three, but I didn't have time to sit and wait for them to replace the 4th (they assured me it would be done in time for school pick up! I simply had to leave!). They said they would call me to arrange the 4th sensor in the coming week.

Left the dealer - check engine light still on - ok, I thought, just the 4th sensor. It'll be fixed next week!

The next week came and went, I called the dealer twice and each time they weren't sure of the mechanic's availability but would let me know when I could bring it it. Another week passed and on the Friday I stopped to get fuel, when I got back in the car it would not stay running.

I had a mechanic come out from the dealer to tell me it was my immobiliser and not their problem, then once he looked under the bonnet found a hose taped with duct tape instead of a sealed hose. He taped it more and said that was the problem now. It wasn't.

I was once again stranded with the children and a broken car, but this time I had to pay for a tow truck.
Once at the dealers I had a call telling me it was my immobiliser playing up and I just needed to get out of the car , lock it, and get back in. (Even tried that at a busy fuel station with 2 small children - SO
FUN! - luckily the others were at school!!).

We were told we could pick the car up, however we were going away that might and couldn't until the Monday after. So Monday afternoon rolls round, we pick my car up, and drive it home pretty happy, as they'd 'fixed' everything. Engine light was even off. Hoorah!

We got home and I didn't drive it again until that Thursday. On Thursday I dropped kids off and popped to the shops. Getting back in the car and it won't start again :'( Tow truck - again. Second time in a week!!

This time they found a faulty fuel relay. They replaced it and I was able to pick the car up on the Saturday. Drove out of the dealers and home fine!

We went out that night and Check engine light came back on. I called the dealers first thing Tueaday morning (Monday was a public holiday) and I was greeted with the response 'I will see what we can do and will call back.' Lunch time came and I assumed they were just too busy to come back, I called them. They said they didn't have an answer for when to being it in.

Called again every day (sometimes twice) for the past 7 days just to be fobbed off each time. Yesterday as I was driving a heard a loud noise and now every time I turn corners the car shakes. There is also a large Clunking/rattling noise similar to the noise before they replaced the engine mount.

I am scared to drive it more than 5 mins from home in fear of being stranded on the side of the road with the children. I have to take corners extra wide and slow or the shaking is intense. They basically told me that the problem is completely unrelated to previous problems and not their problem. Wiping hands of it.

I don't know where to go from here. Where do I stand under Australian Consumer Law? Can I ask for a refund for the lemon car? Replacement? What happens since we traded in a car and got a small loan to fund it + paid extra from Savings?

This car cost $10, 000. Not to mention now the time wasted and money we've spent on fuel to and from the dealers, tow trucks etc.

Thanks so much in advance!


Well-Known Member
2 October 2015