Did you know that two thirds of new car buyers find faults with their vehicles within the first 5 years of purchase? This is information that was made available from the largest Australian consumer awareness group, Choice. To make things even worse, customers are often asked to sign confidentiality agreements in order to get their vehicle fixed or replaced.
In light of this information the consumer group is ramping up a campaign against defective cars and their dubious manufacturers who are taking advantage of innocent customers by peer pressuring them into not speaking out. How can you avoid getting caught out by ‘lemon’ cars in an effort to save money and add value to your next new car purchase? Keep reading to find out...
These findings have been as a result of a survey that was conducted ahead of the review of the national consumer laws later this year. The spokeswoman for Choice, Erin Turner said the fault rate with vehicles was actually surprisingly high. The consumer group Choice, looks at all manner of products and services from fridges to prams, bicycles to cars and they have said they don’t see the fault rates as high in any other product. So how can a product that is considered to be the second most expensive thing a person will buy in their lifetime (after a house) have so many problems?
The fact that two out of three people can expect something to go wrong with their car within the first 5 years is alarming and should be raising great concern amongst buyers. Choice group also revealed that one in six vehicle's faults were so bad that the car was unsuitable to drive. The top three offenders within the automotive industry are Fiat, Jeep and Chrysler
The most common issues are related to technology within the car so be very wary when buying a vehicle with Bluetooth for example. Bluetooth faults are the single most problematic technology in modern cars, followed by electrical systems and then the battery. After the technological issues found in vehicles, the next set of faults most commonly found are mechanical such as brakes and engines. Surprisingly, 14% of customers had major problems with their car.
Under consumer law, a major problem is deemed to exist when something serious goes wrong with your car rendering it unfit to drive. To make matters worse, surveys conducted found that some manufacturers weren’t even fixing or replacing faulty vehicles and the ones who did offer to repair the vehicle forced the customer to sign a confidentiality agreement so they could not speak out about the incident.
Consumer law is enforced separately by each territory state in Australia, thus customer experiences will vary. The Queensland government, for example, have been making an enquiry into the defective car scandal to generate enough evidence to create tougher national laws. This improvement of the law has been nicknamed the ‘lemon law’ which will require car manufacturers to offer replacements after a limited amount of failed attempts to repair a vehicle.
Consumer Affairs ministers from all states and territories have wised up to this dubious behaviour from car manufacturers and will be rallying together to review the national law later in 2016. The Motor Trader Association’s executive, Greg Patten argued that he believed the incidents claimed by Choice group were much lower than figures mentioned, but of course that sort of response was to be expected.
A revision of the law later this year will hopefully lead to a more beneficial outcome to consumers across all Australian territories and states - an outcome we at Buckscoop are looking forward to seeing.