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VIC Product Failure - Entitled to a Refund Under Australian Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by David2020, 21 March 2017.

  1. David2020

    David2020 Member

    21 March 2017
    Likes Received:
    A component of a vehicle mounted bike rack I recently purchased (6 weeks ago) has failed. I’m concerned that if replaced, the component is likely to fail again and that the rack might have been damaged as a result of the previous failure. I have discussed this with the retailer who claims that the failed component is not safety related and only minor therefore I am not entitled to a refund and they have offered to replace the broken component.

    The bike rack holds 4 bikes on an arm which extends from the vehicle’s tow bar. The component which failed is a webbing strap used to support the rack under load. The use of the strap is mandated in a warning sticker on the rack. During normal use the strap snapped. I suspect that this occurred whilst driving over speed bumps.

    The dealer has contacted the manufacturer who provided an email stating that I should not be concerned. The email also states that the strap protects critical welds.

    I consider that since the use of the strap is mandated and that it is used to protect critical welds, that it’s failure should be regarded as a safety issue and I should be entitled to a refund under Australian Consumer Law. Am I right?

    Thank you

    Excerpt from supplier’s email:

    “So; the strap, whilst an essential part of the overall system, is there as a secondary safety device. It was introduced in the second generation of the product because I was concerned that as the product was made without the benefit of robotic welding, we had to protect all the critical welded joints from high amplitude oscillations. These loads are caused when the product is fully loaded [four bikes] under severe acceleration.

    In this condition, the strap does two things; 1., it holds the carrier close to the vehicle and retards the resulting rearward velocity of the frame under acceleration, and 2., it acts as a damper to foil any harmonic vibrations. “
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
    Likes Received:
    The supplier/manufacturer has the right to say whether they will repair, replace or refund.
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