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NSW Dealer Gave Back Faulty Car - Open NSW Fair Trading Case?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Gocarrie, 28 August 2015.

  1. Gocarrie

    Gocarrie Member

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    My car has dropped out of Automatic into neutral whilst driving 13 times since I bought it new last year for $20,500. It loses all power and cannot be put back into gear or automatic till you come to a compete stop. This has caused some near accidents, the last one being almost fatal. It happened 8 times last year and I returned it several times to the dealership service centre. They couldn't find anything wrong with it and questioned my driving habits. I've been driving for 41 years and have never experienced this before. They gave the car to a manufacturer's rep who also couldn't find anything wrong.

    I opened a NSW Fair Trading case but nothing was resolved. The manufacturer gave it back claiming never to have heard of this fault before. I have since researched the internet about this fault in this particular car and found there to be many, many so the manufacturer must have been lying when they said they hadn't heard about it.They gave the car back to me to drive and a 3 months later it started again. I brought it back yet again and again nothing was done.

    On the 2nd June I was nearly killed by a truck that was driving behind me. When I lost power it was sheer luck he missed me.

    My question is under Australian Consumer Law, legally, who would have been at fault had there been a major accident? Me or the manufacturer for giving me back a car that they knew to be faulty? I have opened yet another NSW Fair Trading case as the manufacturer has had the car for the last three months.

    Thank you for any information you can give me.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gocarrie,

    Have you had the car serviced? If so, get at least mechanic's opinion, in writing, as to the fault. You need something more than "I believe this is the car model's fault". A google search and other people on the internet raising similar concerns is helpful, but your case would be strengthened with a "professional's opinion".

    When you lodged a complaint with Fair Trading, what was the outcome? Why is Fair Trading unable to help you? If the fault really is the car model, and this fault proves dangerous to drive the car, as it does in your case, it would be reasonable for the manufacturer to repair the fault or refund the car/compensate you.

    If this is outside of Fair Trading's power (Fair Trading does have limited power and resources), you can pursue a claim with NCAT. They are the tribunal (like a court but less formal) that hears matters under Australian Consumer Law and have the power to award compensation. You can lodge an application with NCAT online and you will be scheduled a hearing within 6 weeks, which is relatively speedy for proceedings.
     
  3. Gocarrie

    Gocarrie Member

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    Hi Tracy, thank you so much for getting back to me. Fair trading did get involved this time. We were able to negotiate with the manufacturer / dealer to trade in the faulty 2013 Fiat for a 2013 Mazda2 with similar kilometres travelled. I had to pay an extra $2,000. I felt this was worth it to feel safe again. I'm just glad this nightmare is over as it was starting to effect my health. They verbally admitted to finding the fault during the meeting with fair trading but also that they felt confident they had fixed it. Hopefully this is the case for the next owner! Thanks again
     

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