by bustedcar  31/10/2012  463 Page Views
5 Comments  Commercial law, litigation, contracts, IP, property law
Hi All,
I recently (2.5 months ago) purchased a new vehicle. Within 2 days of taking delivery of the vehicle, I discovered the vehicle had sustained accident damage, which was semi concealed behind the rear bumper bar. Upon finding the damage, I returned the vehicle to the selling dealer immediately to make them aware of the damage.

Initially I asked if a replacement vehicle would be on offer, but they declined saying they would do some investigation and then come back with an offer, most likely a repair and compensation.

The initial offer was to repair the vehicle and offer a small amount of compensation ($500) for my trouble. This is for a $56k vehicle.

I declined the offer and suggested a repair and 4 free services (a value of nearly $2000).

From then on, they stuck to their guns and would not increase the offer of compensation.

I requested that a refund or replacement of the vehicle be offered. They declined, reaffirming they were only prepared to repair the vehicle and offer a small amount of compensation.

At this point in time, we are in dispute at the CTTT. Conciliation failed and we are waiting for a hearing which will be in the new year.

The dealer is no longer accepting liability, suggesting all previous offers were of a commercial nature designed to keep a good customer happy. They state that it is likely I damaged the vehicle post delivery and returned it to them for a free repair. They are holding the delivery inspection report saying no issues were identified on delivery and I was happy with the vehicle.

It is obvious that parts have been replaced on the vehicle post incident and in the time from accepting delivery of the vehicle to returning the vehicle to the dealer, I did not have access to those required spare parts. I have arranged for an expert to write a report confirming parts having been replaced.

I am requesting a recission of contract and a refund of the vehicle based on 'Consumer Guarantees.' I am stating the vehicle was not of acceptable quality and did not match the demonstration model. I purchased a new vehicle, therfore I am entitled to a vehicle free from defects and accident damage. A damaged/repaired vehicle is worth far less than a new vehicle.

A repair estimate from a panel repairer was approximately $2500 for the panel repairs.

Does anyone know if the new consumer guarantees have been tested? I am claiming this to be a major failure with the goods as I would not have purchased them knowing that they were damaged and not in new condition.
What are the pitfalls for me? What additional evidence should I prepare for the hearing? Am I being greedy as the dealer suggests?

Your opinion is appreciated!