The Motor Vehicle Litigation Tribunal can render decisions based on the Consumer Guarantees Act.
An Invercargill used car dealership has been taken to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal for a $ 48,000 Ford Ranger.
Rachel Terrill bought the car from Invercargill Motors in March 2019, but believes a number of issues with the vehicle may be related to the fact that it was in an accident before buying it, a court document released in July said.
However, Terrill did not give Invercargill Motors the adequate opportunity to assess and repair the faults, but rather to turn them over to another Invercargill mechanic for repairs, the court ruled.
Invercargill Motors director Darryl Millar told the court it was he who told Terrill his car had been in an accident when he discovered it six months after the sale.
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The car had driven 31,609 kilometers when it paid $ 48,754.
Terrill rejected the vehicle approximately 10 months later, having driven approximately 20,000 km.
She paid at least $ 8,924.38 in legal, diagnostic, repair and insurance fees, the court document said.
Problems with the vehicle included a faulty steering rack, parking sensors, lane assist function, faulty windshield washer warning caused by broken wires and a loose steering wheel bolt.
Despite legal advice in excess of $ 4,000, it appears that Terrill’s lawyers did not advise him to take the simple step of asking Invercargill Motors to fix the car, McHerron said.
At a hearing in June, McHerron adjourned Terrill’s request, so that a more thorough diagnosis of the vehicle could be made and a report drawn up, explaining what was wrong or might not go, what repairs were needed and likely costs.
Millar had made constructive comments, McHerron said.
The only obvious flaw in progress is that lane assist does not work as intended and sudden warnings and alarms are triggered without obvious and explainable causes, the court document said.
If the court upholds the rejection, finding that the failure cannot be repaired, the dealer refuses to repair the failure, or the failure is “of a material nature,” the court may order the dealer to pay a refund.
If the vehicle’s defects can be traced to an event prior to Terrill’s purchase, such as the accident that both parties agree to, it may be entitled to recoup ongoing repair costs from Invercargill Motors, says McHerron. .
After the diagnostic report, another hearing will be scheduled if necessary.
McHerron was of the opinion that Invercargill Motors should pay for the diagnostic and reporting work. Terrill’s legal invoices were not collectable, and repairs, diagnoses and overages to date were unlikely to be collected, McHerron says.