Faults in new cars

October 5, 2017

In 2015, Mr Symon bought a brand-new VW Touareg for $65,000.00. Like many modern vehicles, it had a stop/start mechanism, so that the engine turns off when the vehicle is stationary in traffic. Mr Symon found, to his chagrin, that when the motor stopped, so did the air-conditioning. As he lived in tropical Hervey Bay, he was not happy. It did not, he claimed, amount to the ‘automatic climate control air-conditioning” he had been promised. Not getting any redress from the dealer, he applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking orders that the problem be fixed at the dealer’s cost, so that he could enjoy his air-conditioning, even when the motor was not running.

He relied largely on the law against false and misleading representations and that the vehicle was not of acceptable quality. After reviewing all the evidence, the Tribunal found that the vehicle has a button which can bypass the stop/start mechanism, but that it has to be pushed on each driving occasion. It found that having to press the button each time the vehicle is driven (if one wants continuous air-conditioning) did not render the air-conditioning any less “automatic”.

Accordingly, the Tribunal found for the dealer.

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