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What If You Buy A Lemon


New cars for sale – what if you buy a lemon?

Many people make the decision to buy a new car to avoid the problems that come with buying a used car. You expect new cars for sale to be free of problems and defects for many years of trouble-free motoring. But this is not always the case and many Australians can find their brand new pride and joy off the road more than on it. There is nothing more frustrating or disappointing than realising your new car is a lemon.

What defines a new car as a lemon?

It is not unrealistic to expect a new car to be free of defects. But they can have them when the workmanship is poor, when there are mistakes during manufacturing or there are flaws in the design. All types of problems can occur. These can range from poor quality materials and workmanship or mistakes made when installing different parts.

There is an old saying that you should avoid buying a car built on a Friday afternoon. Why? This saying refers to a new car that can have excessive faults when built on a Friday afternoon. These only come to light after you buy it and had many warranty claims. It was thought assembly workers paid less attention to what they were doing and made more mistakes at the end of the working week near knock off time. Whether that is true or not today is anyone’s guess.

According to the ACCC a lemon “is a car (often new) that is found to be defective only after its purchase. Any motor vehicle with numerous, severe defects that reoccur after multiple repair attempts is” a lemon. And it can leave you frustrated.

A 2016 Choice report found that 66 percent of Australians reported problems with a new car in the first five years of its life. Further, 14 percent said the car had major faults that caused it to break down or caused serious problems.


Consumer guarantees for new cars for sale

Australia has consumer laws that protect you when buying a new car when it turns out to be a lemon. A new vehicle must be:

·         Defect free. A car dealer must guarantee the vehicle you buy is free of defects. You are also under no obligation to have the vehicle serviced by the dealer once you buy it. A dealer cannot make their defect free guarantee depend on you servicing your car with their service department. You have the right to have your vehicle serviced regularly by the mechanic of your choice.

·         Fit for its purpose. When you buy a new car from a dealer you have every right to expect it is fit for purpose. It is almost impossible to detect minor or major problems with a new car and Australian Consumer Law does not expect you to. This means a dealer cannot refuse to fix any problems you have no matter what they are.

·         Of acceptable quality. Under consumer law, your new car must be of acceptable quality. And this applies to the whole of the vehicle. So do not accept it when a car dealer argues that some things are covered and others are not. Everything must be of acceptable quality.

·         On the road for a fair amount of time without problems. A car dealer cannot deny repairs when you have not bought an extended warranty. Every consumer has the right to expect their new car to last for a reasonable amount of time on the road with fair use. You have the right to repairs or a refund when a new car keeps breaking down with the same or multiple problems and where these are major or safety issues.

Now you know your rights, if you think your new car is a lemon.

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