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VIC Could I Get Money Back After Buying a Lemon Car?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Daveandmila, 5 August 2016.

  1. Daveandmila

    Daveandmila Member

    5 August 2016
    Likes Received:
    I bought a car from Central West Motors on the 16th of July. The aircon and stereo was not working at this point so they said that the fuse or something needs replacements and to bring it back the next week. As I needed the car and because it was not affecting my driving, I took it.

    I drove it for less than an hour and the engine light came on. The car salesman told me to drive it for the weekend and then bring it in as originally planned. So I took it back on Monday 18th July. The car salesman drove it around with me in it and then said it was driving poorly, so they will get it fixed and mentioned it is probably the coils and spark plugs.

    They got some second-hand parts and replaced it and I got the car back on Monday the 25th of July.

    While driving it back home that night, the engine light came on again. I emailed the dealers that night and rung and spoke to the car salesman the next day. I stopped driving the vehicle and left it in my garage till I could take it back to him. He was going to talk to his boss and work out what to do as at this point, I told him I would like my money back as it is a lemon car. He then rung me on Wednesday and said his boss was so disappointed in his mechanics and he would like the car to go to Holden directly to get fixed and to drop it off at the car yard so they can send it to Holden.

    I dropped the car off on Thursday 28th July. Holden told them the Catalytic converters need replacement and sent it back to them.

    Today is the 5th of August and I still have not had my car back. I rung the car salesman just before and he said he will arrange for a courtesy car tomorrow as they have just sold 20 cars in the last week and it has been busy.

    I am unsure how this is my problem as throughout this whole process, their one-month dealer warranty has been ticking away and I have only driven this car for 2 hours.

    Could I get my money back?
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    Hi Daveandmila,

    Under Australian Consumer Law, vehicle dealers are required to guarantee that second hand vehicles sold to you are of acceptable quality. This takes into account what is reasonable for the age, model and type of vehicle.

    If there is a major failure to ensure a vehicle sold is of acceptable quality then your remedy is a refund for the vehicle and any other costs you incur as a result of the failure. If it;s a minor failure you are entitled to the car being fixed or compensation for the amount of your loss.

    Unfortunately there is not a huge body of NCAT decisions which you can sort through to determine what would be considered a major failure and what is minor. However, there is a guide available online which specifically outlines how the ACL applies to vehicle dealers and repairers.

    This publication states that a major failure (which would entitle you to a refund) is where: "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"

    Therefore, if you made a claim through NCAT for a refund, you may have okay prospects of being awarded a refund of the purchase price and any other expenses you have incurred because of the vehicle.

    Check it out: vehicle sales & repairs - an industry guide to the Australian Consumer Law.pdf
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  3. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

    31 October 2015
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