Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

A sweet update for QLD "Lemon Laws"

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Do you remember our legal alert in January 2019?

It was about upcoming changes to how motor dealers and buyers resolve disputes. The changes are thanks to new legislation revealed in late 2018 by the Queensland Government, which proposes to alter the dispute resolution process in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for motor vehicle purchases that turn sour.

The new ‘lemon laws’ aim to provide remedies to car buyers who purchase a defective motor vehicle. The new laws came into effect on 1 September 2019 and apply to people who purchase a faulty motor vehicle, motorbike, caravan or motorhome. The new laws apply to both used and new vehicles.

The main squeeze of the new lemon laws is as follows:

  1. QCAT is able to hear claims relating to vehicle disputes up to $100,000 - previously the upper limit was $25,000 - aimed at avoiding the costs to litigate in the court system; and
  2. in addition to existing statutory protections, there is a 30-day or 1,000 km warranty for people who purchase a motor vehicle:
- more than ten years old; or
- with over 160,000 km on the odometer.

The changes attempt to ensure that motor vehicles on the market are of acceptable quality and boost buyer confidence in the motor vehicle industry.

Whether consumers, following this change, will purchase motor vehicles with more peace of mind and a greater sense of security remains to be seen.

Should you find yourself in a sour spot with a motor vehicle, whether purchased or sold, then don’t leave the matter to chance and contact our experienced Litigation + Dispute Resolution team for assistance.

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