Buying a car is a significant investment.
As a consumer, you have legal rights and remedies available under the Australian Consumer Law, set out in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act (NSW) 2010, should your vehicle present with mechanical, electrical or safety issues.
Arida Lawyers are here to assist you in enforcing your consumer rights and seeking the compensation you are entitled to.
What are your rights as a consumer of a defective/lemon motor vehicle?
As a consumer purchasing a vehicle from a dealer, the dealer must ensure that the vehicle is safe, reliable, defect-free (subject to the provision of sufficient disclosure) and fit for its intended purpose, otherwise known as consumer guarantees.
If the dealer fails to satisfy these consumer guarantees, then you may have the right to seek compensation from the dealer/manufacturer.
Compensation will typically involve the provision of repairs by the dealer/manufacturer within a reasonable period of time, a refund and payment of consequential losses (if you are paying finance on the vehicle or incurred hire car fees). The compensation available is dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case.
What remedies are available to you if you have purchased a defective/lemon motor vehicle?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to some of the following remedies from the dealer/manufacturer:
Repair: the dealer/manufacturer may be legally obligated to repair the vehicle at no cost to you if the identified defect is repairable and capable of repair within a reasonable period of time. If the dealer/manufacturer cannot identify and repair the defect within a reasonable period of time, or if multiple defects present with the vehicle subsequent to numerous repair attempts, then you may be entitled to a partial or full refund or a replacement vehicle.
Refund: Should the repair attempts fail, you may be entitled to a full or partial refund of the purchase price of the vehicle, depending on the severity of the issue and the length of time you have owned the vehicle.
Replacement: If the defect is not capable of repair, or the vehicle presents with a major failure, then you make seek a replacement vehicle that is of the same make and model and ultimately comparable to the vehicle you purchased.
Compensation: Depending on the circumstances, you may also be entitled to claim damages in the form of consequential losses that you incurred as a direct result of the defective vehicle, such as, but not limited to, the repair costs, rental car fees, towing expenses, finance payments, insurance and registration fees (during the loss of use period).
What actions can you take if you have purchased a defective/lemon motor vehicle?
If you have observed defects with your vehicle, we suggest you take the following prompt actions to secure your rights and increase your prospects of obtaining a remedy:
Documentation: Keep detailed and comprehensive records that accurately capture your experience with the vehicle's defects and correspondence with the dealer/manufacturer. These records should include stamped photographs and videos, service and diagnostic reports and detailed notes of your telephone conversations with the dealer/manufacturer addressing the defects. This evidence will likely be required to substantiate your demands against the dealer/manufacturer.
Contact the dealer/ manufacturer: As you become aware of the defect, you should notify your dealer or the manufacturer of the vehicle immediately and request a repair, refund, or replacement vehicle. As discussed above, the listed remedies are subject to each case's circumstances.
Contact Arida Lawyers: If the dealer/manufacturer denies your claim for remedy, then contact us today so that we may protect and enforce your consumer rights.
How can Arida Lawyers help you with your defective motor vehicle claim?
At Arida Lawyers, our lawyers specialise in consumer law and have extensive experience assisting and representing clients who have fallen victim to defective motor vehicles.
We will assist you by negotiating with the dealer/manufacturer on your behalf and providing legal representation in courts and tribunals to enforce your rights and protect your interests.
Contact Arida Lawyers today and take advantage of our free 10-minute consultation today so you can learn more about how we can assist you.