So many people get confused when buying a car about warranties, guarantees, defects, extended warranties and their rights in general. The Australian Consumer Law have just released a document to help clarify the difference in your rights as an Australian consumer and your rights under warranty as supplied by the car dealer and/or manufacturer.
This report is great. It really breaks it down into layman's terms for the average person to understand. So many people get bullied into using expensive, unnecessary car dealership mechanics when it just isn’t necessary. We must remember that buying a car is just like buying any other piece of equipment or service. It has to work. It has to do the job that you bought it for. If it doesn’t then the laws are there to help protect you, as a customer, as a consumer of the product, against these defects or problems.
A lot of the time dealers will use sweeping statements such as ‘void your warranty’ if you don’t go to their approved repairer. This is a load of hogwash. You purchased a vehicle, to be a vehicle. If it fails to be a vehicle, you don’t have a vehicle. Therefore, you have rights to reject this ‘vehicle’. From this point, is where it can get a bit grey. If the manufacturer/dealer agrees to help you out, they have to do so in a timely manner. What a timely manner is, is not defined and is sorted on a case by case basis. The same problem applies to major and minor defects. A busted gearbox is a pretty major fault! However, some broken wipers, would be considered a minor fault. The only partially good news here, is that if you do have a disagreement on what is major or minor, you can get an independent assessor like RACQ/RACV or equivalent to assess the problem and report. Only problem is - your up for the cost. If it turns out to be a major problem, you can claim this as an expense later on. If not, well, too bad. If the dealer doesn’t repair or replace the vehicle in a sufficient time frame, you are within your rights to get the work done yourself and then claim it back.
End of the day you have the choice. You can choose who your repairer is, who does your services and who works on your investment. They are no more accountable than the dealer mechanic who is going to do the exact same work. Only difference is, your local mechanic, might know what they are doing.
For more information, see the article here from Australian Consumer Law.
Written by: William Lucas, Managing Director, Allied Auto Online.
About: William has been in the aftermarket auto parts industry since 2001. He previously managed Allied Bearings & Tools before moving into the eCommerce side of the business in 2017.