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NSW Purchased Used Volkswagen Car - Go to Court?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by VWTiguan, 19 May 2016.

  1. VWTiguan

    VWTiguan Member

    19 May 2016
    Likes Received:
    I have bought a car from a used car dealer in July 2015 under a car loan. The car is a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan with 122341 km on the odometer for $19990. The engine check light was on when I purchased but they said it was just minor. The car drives fine and they said it will get fixed before the handover of the vehicle.

    A few days later, the engine check light came back on and we noticed oil leaking from the engine. I called their office and told me to contact the guy in charge of repairs to get my car fixed under warranty. I emailed him on 7th July 2015 regarding the issue and agreed to fix the problems. I got the car back 4 weeks later and they told me it was fixed but after a day of driving, the engine check light came on again and the car was still dripping oil. I informed them and they again agreed on fixing it. It took another 4 weeks before i got the car back and they it was still not fixed.

    I had the car checked with another mechanic and he told me that the car should not be roadworthy at this condition because of the massive oil leak and engine fault light. They have had a chance to repair it 5 times in total and each repair would take at least a month until I was able to get the car back. I drove for around 1000km since owning the car due to it spending more time at their shop than in my possession.

    In the end, they agreed to take the car back for a replacement with one of the cars in their stock or refund of $15000. I have taken the issue to the Office of Fair Trading and they told me that they will talk to the dealer but they cannot force them to give me a full refund and advised me to take the issue to court if that happens.

    Do I have a good chance of a full refund including damages if it goes to court? How long does it usually take before a resolution and how much would it cost?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi VWTiguan,

    Have a look at the case decisions that have been handed down by NCAT on the following sites. It appears that in a similar situation, where someone purchased a vehicle and engine light came on almost straight away, and it turned out to be a major mechanical fault, the tribunal only awarded the costs of repair to the vehicle. However not knowing all the facts and circumstances of your case and how they differ from the ones below, it cannot be said that you would not get a full refund awarded by the tribunal in your case. It is decided on a case by case basis and each one is different.

    I would be going through NCAT, so that you can do it yourself and not have to worry about legal fees since the claim is only worth max $19,000.

    Campbell Stuart Smith v Family Auto Group Pty Ltd t/as Western Auto Group - NSW Caselaw
    Motor vehicles case studies - Consumer and Commercial Division

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