Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today invited consumers and industry stakeholders to have their say on proposed lemon laws with the release of a new issues paper. "The Introducing Victorian Motor Vehicle Lemon Laws issues paper is a crucial step in delivering the Government's commitment to new lemon laws to protect Victorian car buyers," Mr Robinson said.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today invited consumers and industry stakeholders to have their say on proposed lemon laws with the release of a new issues paper.
“The Introducing Victorian Motor Vehicle Lemon Laws issues paper is a crucial step in delivering the Government’s commitment to new lemon laws to protect Victorian car buyers,” Mr Robinson said.
“We are starting with motor vehicles because they are often the second biggest purchase Victorians make, after their home.
“Last year Victoria recorded nearly 250,000 new car sales, yet despite manufacturer’s warranties and existing consumer protection legislation, purchasers of ‘lemon’ vehicles can experience compensation and rectification problems.
“A lemon is a vehicle with persistent problems where the constant need to repair the vehicle has a significant impact on the consumer.
“This consultation process is about understanding the extent of the problem and the best way the Government can address it.
“To assist the Government with eliciting the views of the community and of industry, Janice Munt, Member for Mordialloc, will lead the public consultation process, including a number of forums across Melbourne and regional Victoria over the coming months.”
In Australia, all new cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty usually three years or 100,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
Under most of these warranties, manufacturers are only required to repair defects during the warranty period. There is no express obligation to replace or refund a defective vehicle.
Part 2A of Victoria’s Fair Trading Act covers implied obligations, namely that goods will be reasonably fit for their common or specified purposes and will correspond to their description or sample.
The problem lies in the fact that despite these implied terms it is reported that some consumers are unable to access adequate compensation when the car they purchase turns out to be a lemon.
The Government is seeking to address the problem by: · clarifying the rights and responsibilities of the purchaser, the dealer and the manufacturer/importer; · providing a clear, simple and comprehensive system of redress for purchasers; and · encouraging the prompt settlement of disputes.
Stakeholders and members of the public who have an interest in the issue are asked to contribute their written submissions by Friday 23 November 2007.
Written submissions need to be addressed to: Lemon Laws Consultation Consumer Policy Branch Consumer Affairs Victoria GPO Box 123A MELBOURNE VIC 3001
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