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NSW Purchased Faulty Secondhand Car - What to Do Under Australian Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Emproft, 15 February 2016.

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  1. Emproft

    Emproft Member

    15 February 2016
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    Hello all!

    I would really appreciate your help!

    My fiancee and I have been in Australia since the beginning of January. We bought a car on 21 January from a car dealer. It's an old car with a lot of kilometers. He said the car had been checked and serviced and he gave us an e-Safety Check Report, stating that it was a "Fail/Now Pass" and it had a tyre exchanged, the windscreen wiperblades fixed as well as an oil leak fixed, so it passed. (btw, the oil leak wasn't fixed - it's still there!)

    From the beginning, we were a bit worried about the brakes, as they screeched. Not even 4 weeks later (13 February), we got the car to a garage and asked them to check out the breaks. The verdict was, that all 4 breaks (AWD) were shot to pieces and a health risk, not only to us but to other people on the street as well. Also, two tyres needed replacing, as they were a health risk as well. We paid $1160 to get breaks and tyres renewed.

    Two days later, the car broke down on the motorway and got towed to a garage. Verdict: a spark plug shot through the engine and then fell through and the threads holding the spark plugs are damaged, so they couldn't even replace it. This could have gone very wrong and also caused a severe health risk in our eyes.

    Also, we know and have been told that fixing this problem will definitely not come cheap at all so, for now, the car is stranded at the garage and my fiancee has to travel three hours by public transport (one way!) to get to work and then getting there again in the morning.

    The car dealer told us that the family owning the car before us, looked after it very well and it serviced regularly - two separate garages told us that whoever owned the car before did certainly not look after it.

    I read on the "Australian Competition & Consumer Commission" website that under the "Consumer guarantee" a "product must be of acceptable quality, that is:
    - safe, lasting, with no faults".

    In my eyes, this product was none of those three things! It is the opposite of those. And if whoever serviced/checked the car properly before we bought it, he would have at least checked the brakes.

    What can we do? Would this be something to take to court, if the dealer makes a fuss under Australian Consumer Law?

    This car costs us time, money and tears.

    Thank you so much in advance!
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    If you purchased the vehicle from a car dealer, it is true that they must guarantee that it is of acceptable quality, however, what is "acceptable quality" depends on the age and the nature of the vehicle. If it is an old vehicle with a lot of km's on it, then you can't expect that nothing will go wrong with it.

    However, car dealers cannot deceive or mislead you in order to make a sale. Therefore, if they knowingly lie about something in order to induce you to purchase the vehicle, then you would have rights under consumer law, either for a refund or compensation.

    Check out this article: Faulty Second Hand Car? Your Options as a Buyer - Legal Blog -

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