Mislead by Salesman to Buy Car - What to Do?

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24 September 2015
Hi Everyone,

I was hoping you may be able to help me. I purchased a vehicle from a large dealership in Adelaide around 9 months ago. The car is a Ford GS. We paid $36,000 dollars.

The car, however, is not a standard off the line vehicle and has had substantial work done to the engine. On purchasing the vehicle, the salesman used a magazine which had featured my car in it which specified what work had been done to the engine and the parts that had been fitted. This was all done by KPM motor sports and this was the major selling point and only reason I purchased the vehicle.

This car has only come up for servicing. On taking the car back to KPM, I was advised that the super charger in the vehicle had been swapped out from the one advertised in the magazine to a standard factory supercharger the car was manufactured with, the price to purchase the supercharger I thought was in car is $7,600.00

KPM also confirmed that they swapped out the supercharger for the previous owner.

I approached the dealership that I was mislead when purchasing the vehicle, that in fact the car they had sold me on using the magazine was what I thought I was purchasing. I was never told that any component could be missing from the vehicle nothing!

I advised the dealership that the remedy I was seeking was the installation and fitting of the supercharger that was advertised to me on the vehicle total cost $7,600.00. They have refused. If i knew such an expensive part to this car was missing I would have never purchased this vehicle.

I have contacted Business and consumer affairs and they have told me my claim will need to go through the small claims tribunal. Do I have any chance at wining this or does anyone have any suggestion under Australian Consumer Law?

Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Nicole,

Which state or territory are you in? If you're seeking compensation, then you will need to go to the Small Claims Tribunal because the Fair Trading departments do not cover compensation matters. As for how likely you are to succeed, you definitely sound like you have some cause, but it will depend on more information/factors, for example:
  • did you make it clear to the seller that you were purchasing this car primarily because of what was mentioned in the advertisement?
  • how substantial was this "misrepresentation" compared with the rest of the statements and the car itself
  • did the seller (or contract) have any disclaimers?
  • what is written in your sale and purchase contract
Have you spoken with your local community legal centre first? If so, you should then speak with a lawyer (many offer free preliminary meetings). You can connect with a lawyer here: Find a Lawyer - LawAnswers.com.au