QLD Major Car fault since purchase - from Dealership

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by B Gibson, 25 April 2017.

  1. B Gibson

    B Gibson Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    First of all anyone's advice on this is going to be greatly appreciated and I thank you for taking the time to read this. I am after some advice on a car I have purchased through finance from Grand Motors Toyota at the end of 2014. I have been having major issues with it ever since I bought it and they are well aware of it. I have tried to come to an agreement with them multiple times, have gone through QCAT twice and they are simply not willing to budge - Is taking it to court the only option? The last letter I hand delivered is typed below & outlining everything.


    Dear Manager and/or Principal

    RE: Purchase of Faulty Holden Cruze Rego 283TYP at Grand Motors Toyota Southport

    In September of 2014, I purchased my first car; a used silver Holden Cruze with 18,000km on the
    clock at your dealership. At the time of test driving the car (approximately midday) around the
    block, it appeared to have no defaults. Over the coming weeks, I noticed problems occurring with
    the car and called the dealership to notify them and have it fixed – this was the first of many issues
    with my car and I now deem it unsafe to drive after nearly being in multiple accidents due to the
    faultiness of the car and the service department claiming the problems have been fixed.

    While each time (around 10 times now) I have called the service department about the same issue
    occurring they have been quick to act in a friendly manner and have it brought in to “fix”. The
    problem is that it has not been fixed. The car constantly jumps, over revs, struggles to have power
    and cuts out completely (this is where accidents come very close to occurring as the motor just
    stops and all power steering goes and I live on a busy road). Approximately one year ago, the
    service department was 100% certain the issue was the battery and I was not. I was promised that
    if the problem persisted after purchasing a new battery that they would refund me the cost – I was
    not refunded and was denied that this was ever the case. I moved on from this issue out of
    complete annoyance that this car is never going to be fixed and I keep being assured each time
    that it has been rectified.

    My biggest concern is that when I try to sell my car it will have dropped in significant value due to
    the issues and also for the time I have owned it – although, who in their right mind would purchase
    a vehicle that is unsafe to drive, so there is the issue of not being able to sell it at all. Under the
    ACL I am covered and have right to being compensated for a drop in value, returning the vehicle
    for a refund or a replacement. I would like to be refunded all I have paid on the vehicle, including
    interest and account keeping fees totalling $11,077.22 as at 9 th March 2017. I am happy to excuse
    the battery cost as part of payments made.

    I am sure that you each aware of the Australian Consumer Law now covering new and used cars
    bought at a dealership, however I am wanting to quote what the ACL considers a ‘major failure’ “a
    problem with your car that is so significant that a reasonable consumer would not have bought the
    car if they had known about the full extent of the problem. This could mean that the car you bought
    is unfit for its normal purpose, unsafe”.

    Due to considering myself a reasonable person and not wishing to take things further than this
    letter, I hope we can come to the agreement of exiting my contract and being refunded all I have
    paid and return the car to the dealership. I wish to leave Grand Motors with a positive
    remembrance as I have had no issue with the friendly staff and note that cases like this are not
    usually handled by them as such.

    Kind regards,

    This is the second letter I had sent to them with the last one being back in March 2015. In between this letter and the last, the car had visited the dealership multiple times for the reasons above, a lodgement had been made with QCAT and they had contacted the dealership where the dealership agreed to look at the car again (and again and again!).

    A few days after delivering the above letter this email chain began:
    GMT Staff Member 10th March 2017:
    Good afternoon Ms Gibson
    I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence and advise as follows:

    My understanding from our Service Department is that the issue you were experiencing with your vehicle has been resolved during your recent service visit. Please advise if this is not the case and we will bring the vehicle back in for further investigation and rectification.


    Myself 10th March:
    Hi *XX,

    Thank you for your email. However, as discussed with the customer care lady who dealt with my most recent enquiry, the issue has not been fixed and I am afraid that this is all too familiar. I wish not to bring the car back up again as there has been so many opportunities for it to be fixed and while I understand the service team believes they fix the problem, it is simply not the case. The car is not safe to drive. I live on the Gold Coast Highway and leaving each morning is a nightmare, not knowing whether my car is going to work or cut out. Either way, the jumping/over revving of the car is persistently increasing each day and the cut out's more frequent.

    As mentioned in my letter I would now like to negotiate the refund of my vehicle consisting of the payments I have made ($11,077.22 as at 9th March 2017) of which I believe I am entitled to. I am more than happy to try and find a car through Grand Motors, should the right one come available. On another note, I feel that you have not addressed my main concern outlined in the letter.

    I sincerely do wish to leave on good terms with Grand Motors and hope that we can come to an agreement, however I fear that the business is trying to hold out until my extended warranty is up and will leave me with nothing but an unsalable vehicle.

    Regards,

    Brighley

    GMT Staff Member 13th March:
    Good afternoon Brighley

    Sorry for any ambiguity in my previous correspondence. Grand Motors Toyota are committed to resolving the issue with your vehicle and I am disappointed to hear that the issue still persists. I will have our Service Manager contact you to arrange collection of the vehicle so that we can have the issue investigated further for you. We take our obligations under Australian Consumer Law very seriously and having reviewed the service file for the vehicle advise that Grand Motors Toyota will not entertain a replacement of the vehicle or refund as we deem it repairable.

    We look forward to working with you to resolve your concern.

    Regards, *XX


    Myself 22nd March:
    *XX,

    Firstly I would like to advise that I never heard from the service manager despite what I am pursuing with our last contact made over a week ago.

    Secondly, I do not expect that Grand Motors thinks that this is of entertainment value
    , nor should they when they are amicably placing a person back on the roads in an unsafe vehicle. Please tell me, if I had actually of been in an accident up to now do you think that the circumstances of this conversation would still be the same? With the nature of the car, being in an accident is not something unexpected, in fact the amount of times that there has been mention of nearly being in accidents, you should be taking this more seriously. Since the first visit to the service centre this has been the same problem, this is also not the first time I have pursued a refund of the car with Grand Motors.
    I am unsure about you, however I am not wanting to repeat my same concerns again. I have been more than willing to work with you and purchase through Grand Motors, however it seems you are not willing to listen.

    *XX, where do you expect me as now an unsatisfied customer with a faulty car who is continually being shrugged off by the dealership to go?

    Brighley Dangerfield

    Finally, a couple days later I had a call from GMT wanting a mechanic to come down and inspect the car and go for a drive - I agreed and four days later the mechanic came. While we took the car for a drive, it almost cut out completely and the exact issues I had been describing happened. He said there was an issue and he will be in contact that day for a time to bring the car up. I never heard anything from them and that is when I lodged the second complaint with QCAT where they advised I take the first step in having them request the refund and then presumably they would not take the offer to then escalate it to the tribunal. Is it worth it and what are the expected costs? I just want the car returned and all repayments I have made to be refunded. It would also now be nice to claim back for the battery and travel costs involved.
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brighley,
    I fear you have been too polite. Your letter to the dealer should have been a short but sweet letter of demand. What you probably need is to have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicle and then tell them what needs to be fix and give a deadline for it to be done by. I would also look at reporting the dealer to the Motor Trades Association of Queensland MTAQ | Motor Trade Association Queensland

    This might also help you Lemon Car? What You Can Do Under Australian Consumer Law - Legal Blog - LawAnswers.com.au
     
  3. B Gibson

    B Gibson Active Member

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    Hi Lance,

    Thank you for your response. Do you think I would be able to take the car back and cancel my contract?
    I have looked at the Lemon Law post, I am just unsure whether I would be successful in making a claim? All other steps leading up to have not really got me anywhere except it being documented that I have tried
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brighley,
    I don't like your chances of having them take it back and cancel the contract with out being directed to do so. Talk to MTAQ and see what they say. The dealer might be more inclined to do something if they get pressure from their registration body.
     
  5. Anh

    Anh Member

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    Hi B Gibson,
    Can you please let me now how you went with your faulty car at the end? I found your topic here as we 're going thru very much the same issue. Our car now have terminal engine failure. we had to replace radiator, gear box, clutch, door clock..and now engine but we have to pay for all that as the dealer stated that the warranty cover only $2000 which is nothing for this. It's bought from Westpoint Auto. We are about to submit our case to QCAT. Would really appreciate to hear from your experience.
     
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