Automotive retail developments: New Car Fact Sheet and Updated Industry Guide

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Automotive Law

The New Car Fact Sheet

As a result of the recent market study conducted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of the new car retailing industry, the ACCC has released a fact sheet for new car buyers to receive at the point of purchase (the New Car Fact Sheet). The New Car Fact Sheet is intended to assist consumers of new cars understand their ‘consumer guarantee’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The New Car Fact Sheet may be accessed at the following link:  https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/just-bought-a-new-car .

The purpose of the New Car Fact Sheet is to provide a concise and simple explanation of consumer guarantees and their interaction with warranties.  It also details what consumers can expect and the remedies available to them, in the event there is a problem with their new vehicle.

As a matter of industry best practice, the ACCC expects that a copy of the New Car Fact Sheet should be provided by suppliers (dealers) of new cars to every consumer at the point of sale.  The ACCC expects that the New Car Fact Sheet be provided to the consumer, as part of the ‘deal jacket’ or other written materials provided to consumers at the time of purchase.

Distributors of vehicles should, in our view, proactively inform their dealer network in connection with the New Car Fact Sheet.

Motor Vehicle Sales and Repairs Guide

The ACCC and other consumer law regulators have released an updated version of the Motor Vehicle Sales and Repairs Guide (“the Guide”).  It may be accessed at:  https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/motor-vehicle-sales-repairs-an-industry-guide-to-the-australian-consumer-law.

The Guide’s primary focus is on consumer issues related to defects and failures in new and used vehicles.  In particular, it provides guidance on the legal rights and obligations created by consumer guarantees provided by the ACL and provides guidance by way practical examples of circumstances where consumer guarantees may be breached.   Indeed it would be prudent that distributors and dealers and their respective staff familiarise themselves with the Guide in dealing with consumer issues.

We may assist  

Our firm would be pleased to present to and advise any distributor group in connection with compliance with consumer guarantees, with understanding its obligations under the ACL and with proper management of consumer claims in compliance with the ACL. We may also assist any distributor group wishing to have its dealer network updated on the topic, something we consider prudent given the above developments and the current legal and regulatory landscape.

Should you wish to discuss this topic further, please contact Eric Louca on (02) 9279 4888 or elouca@clw.com.au.