It’s been just over a year since Queensland introduced “lemon laws” – the first Australian State to do so. These laws are designed to protect people who buy cars that end up having numerous reoccurring defects or that are out of service for an extended amount of time.
Since the new laws were introduced, one Mercedes buyer took legal action after purchasing a new 2018 Mercedes-Benz X250d for $55,000 in January last year which had to be returned nine times in under a year. The troubles began when the spare key was not working and there was a stain on the hood lining. The tow bar wiring was missing a bolt, the fuel usage was not displaying on the dash and the car was pulling to the side.
The car was also leaking oil, the passenger seat springs collapsed, and the lights were automatically coming on during the day. Taken together the defects amounted to a major failure and the buyer was allowed a full refund.
Another dealer, Westco Cairns, was ordered to refund some $29,000 to the buyer of a VW Passat that suffered repeated failures and had to be returned to service on 14 different occasions.
As a reminder, Queensland’s lemon laws provide that consumers are now able to enforce their rights through the Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal, rather than having to go through an expensive and lengthy court process – as long as the amount in dispute is no more than $100,000. The laws cover vehicles within the first 5,000 kms of travel or 3 months of possession (shorter warranty period applies to older vehicles.)
If you believe you have a motor vehicle dispute that is covered under lemon laws, give us a call and we can help lead you in the right direction.