QLD Bought Car from Car Yard - My Rights Under Australian Consumer Law?

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Myke Gardiner

23 January 2016
Hi I brought a car from a used car yard here in Brisbane 5 months ago. The car is a 2011 FG XR6 turbo. The issue I have is I've just found out yesterday that the car originally was a N/A model falcon and that it has had a turbo motor transplanted into it.

This was not told to me by the dealer at the time of purchase. Ford Australia says the car was not a turbo model when it left their factory. I have contacted the dealer in question and have not received an answer as yet. I spoke to the car salesman who sold me the car and his words were, "it's not my problem but the main car dealers themselves."

Could you please help me with Australian Consumer law and my rights?


Hi Myke,

Under Australian Consumer Law, a motor vehicle supplier (i.e. anyone who, in trade or commerce, sells motor vehicles to a consumer) must guarantee to a consumer (you), that their description of motor vehicles is accurate. Failing to accurately describe the model and modifications to the vehicle would likely amount to a breach of this warranty.

When a dealer fails to meet a consumer guarantee, what you are entitled to depends on whether the failure is major or minor. A major failure to comply with the consumer guarantees is when for example the motor vehicle is significantly different from the description given the customer. I.e a customer orders car with a diesel engine but car delivered is petrol engine. In cases of major failure to comply with a guarantee, you can choose to: reject the vehicle and choose a refund or identical replacement or keep the vehicle and request compensation for any reduction in value caused by incorrect description.

I would write to the dealer setting out the basis on which you believe he has breached the ACL (Australian Consumer Law) by failing to guarantee accurate description and request whatever compensation or relief you want. If they refuse - contact the Dept of Fair Trading in your state.