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QLD Purchased a Lemon Mercedes-Benz Used Car - Compensation?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Geoff Brown, 30 June 2015.

  1. Geoff Brown

    Geoff Brown Member

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    I bought a 2002 Mercedes Benz ML270 diesel 4WD for $11,500 in September 2014, from a Brisbane used car dealer (around eight months ago) The vehicle seemed to be in good condition and the dealer did not say the vehicle had any issues. The following is a summary of the problems and costs to repair to date.
    • February 2015: Diesel fumes into cabin, leaking injectors - Repair cost: $1,225 (paid)
    • March 2015: Low power, auto gear select not working properly, air mass sensor failed: Repair Cost: $436 (paid)
    • March 2015: Similar problems to above, low power etc. Induction pipe failed. Repair cost: $566 (paid)
    • March 2015: Air conditioning system failed. Cost of system test & quote: $299 (paid) Cost to replace Compressor: $1,165 (paid)
    • June 2015: Heater circulation pump failed. Estimate to repair: $1,000 (currently seeking a cheaper alternative.)
    • June 2015: Engine performance diagnosis revealed excessive oil circulating through engine and building up due to failed rings or cylinder sleeve. This could result in complete engine failure. Estimate to repair: $6,000 (Cannot afford to undertake this repair)
    • June 2016: Steering failed while driving. High pressure steering fluid hose failed. Replacement cost quoted: $1,800. Repair (to existing hose) cost: $563 (paid)
    • Total cost of repairs paid to date: $3,955
    • Cost of repairs yet to be done: $7,000
    None of these issues have been the result of poor vehicle maintenance or maltreatment of the vehicle. I now expect something else to fail each day and wonder what will be next. I would like to know if I have a case for any sort of compensation from the dealer. Your advice would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Geoff,

    If you bought the car from a professional dealer, and by this I mean a business that ordinarily deals in the selling and buying of cars, you may be protected by Australian Consumer Law.

    The following articles will help you:
    The first step is to speak with the dealer about the faults. Have ready, quotes from a few mechanics about the faults, the breakdown of costs, when these problems arose or when the mechanic told you these problems likely started. Try and negotiate either a refund for the car (if you no longer wish to keep it) or reimbursement of the costs of repair.

    If the dealer refuses to offer a reasonable resolution, your next step is to contact QLD Fair Trading. FT is the department that oversees businesses and ensures they comply with consumer protection laws. They offer free services for dispute resolution between consumers (yourself) and businesses (dealer). However, the process may take a while (as they have limited funding and deal with many industries and disputes) and have limited jurisdiction, which means they may not be able to help you. In any case, they should be able to provide you with some helpful advice and direction.

    After you have exhausted the above avenues, the next step is to sue them for recovery of the costs in court. However, I would focus on the first two options before considering this.
     
    Ivy likes this.
  3. Geoff Brown

    Geoff Brown Member

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    Thank you for your reply Sarah and for your advice , which I will follow. Thank you again, much appreciated.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome Geoff. Hope it goes well and does not resort to court. Keep us updated on your resolution!
     

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