New laws making it easier for buyers who get stuck with defective motor vehicles to seek redress will come into effect from 1 September.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the new laws meant greater protection for people who purchased a defective car, motorbike, caravan or motorhome.
Mrs D’Ath said the aptly-named ‘lemon laws’, passed by State Parliament in April this year, lifted the level for claims able to be handled by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) from $25,000 to $100,000.
Additionally, 30-day or 1000 km warranties for motorists buying a vehicle more than 10 years old or with 160,000 km or more on the odometer were being restored.
Mrs D’Ath said the Newman LNP Government had scrapped the warranties for older vehicles, leaving buyers stranded when they purchased a defective vehicle.
The reinstated protection would sit with the current statutory warranty, which provides a three months or 5000 km warranty for second-hand vehicles bought from a motor dealer that are no more than 10 years old and have travelled less than 160,000 km.
Mrs D’Ath said the law changes meant buyers could make their vehicle purchases with greater confidence and peace of mind.
“These measures will build levels of trust in the industry and benefit the majority of motor dealers who are doing the right thing by offering best practice in terms of refunds, replacements and repairs at no cost, when a vehicle is faulty.
“After buying a home, a motor vehicle is often the next biggest purchase a person will make in their life,” she said.
“People use their motor vehicles for a wide variety of purposes – getting to and from work, running a business, taking their kids to school and sport, going to the supermarket and going on holidays are just some of them.
“When you invest in a car or a caravan, you don’t expect it to be off the road for a lengthy period with all the stress and inconvenience that can cause.”
Mrs D’Ath said the Australian Consumer Law contained guarantees which protected consumers and required suppliers, among other things, to guarantee that motor vehicles were of acceptable quality and fit for purpose.
“Consumers are entitled to a refund if a product has a major failure of the consumer guarantees.
“It is important that consumers are able to have their matter heard through a court or tribunal.
“QCAT provides an easier and less expensive avenue to resolve legal disputes, so this reform will enable more buyers to enforce their rights without the need to go to court.”