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WA Car Broke Down After Purchase - Rights under Australian Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by LouBlew, 1 December 2015.

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  1. LouBlew

    LouBlew Member

    1 December 2015
    Likes Received:
    My son's partner bought a car on Friday the 27th November 2015 from New Breed Motors Bunbury. We picked it up and we were driving when it cut out twice on the way home, leaving her upset and scared as she is only on L plates, not to mention how dangerous it was.

    My husband accessed under the bonnet and thought it might just be a loose battery terminal. I rang [name related - Community Guidelines] on his mobile and told him what had happened and that husband would tighten the battery terminal. My son drove her to work on Sunday the 29th 2015 and the new car cut out twice on the way there and on the way back. I again rang [name related - Community Guidelines] New Breed Motors and he said, "just drop it in". I said, "that's too difficult", so they picked it up just after 12.30 pm on Monday the 1st December 2015 and it also cut out twice on him getting it to the car yard.

    This car was purchased for $8000 on the Friday the 27th of November and broke down on the way home. What are our legal rights under Australian Consumer Law?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    Hi LouBlew,

    Since you purchased the vehicle from a licensed motor dealer, it is likely the car came with a 3 month warranty. This is usually a term of sale. you are covered by the statutory warranties of the Australian Consumer Law.

    The ACL provides that retailers must guarantee that their vehicles must be of acceptable quality and reasonably fit for purpose. Obviously it is not fit for purpose (providing a safe and reliable means of transport for your daughter) if its cutting out twice a trip.

    Whether or not a vehicle is of acceptable quality is determined by whether a reasonable consumer, fully aware of a motor vehicle's condition (including any defects) would find it:
    • fit for all the purposes for which vehicles of that kind are commonly supplied
    • acceptable in appearance and finish
    • free from defects
    • safe
    • durable
    Other things that are taken into account are:
    • the nature of the motor vehicle – for example: is it new? 4wd? high performance etc?
    • the price paid; and
    • representations made about the vehicle, including advertising and warranties
    If the vehicle is not of acceptable quality - the remedy you are entitled to as a consumer will depend on whether or not it is classified as a major or minor failure: Major failures to include instances when "a reasonable consumer would not have bought the motor vehicle if they had known about the full extent of the problem. For example, no reasonable consumer would buy a new car with so many recurring faults that the car has spent more time off the road than on it because several mechanics have been unable to solve the problem."

    When there is a major failure to comply with a guarantee, you can choose to either reject the vehicle and choose a refund or identical replacement or keep the vehicle and ask for compensation for the drop in value caused by the mechanical problem.

    Check out these articles:
    Faulty Second Hand Car? Your Options as a Buyer - Legal Blog -
    Lemon Car? What You Can Do Under Australian Consumer Law - Legal Blog -
    Consumer Protection: What To Do If Your Australian Consumer Law Guarantees Are Breached - Legal Blog -
    Rod likes this.
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
    Likes Received:
    But if it is not a major problem, they are entitled to fix the problem and return the car to you.

    Could just be a sensor problem. Don't panic yet, just wait till you find out what the problem is. And make sure it is documented.

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