The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal has ordered a car dealer to refund over $6000 to a buyer, after they sold a car that had numerous defects, which the dealer failed to repair prior to sale.

The issue that the Tribunal had to consider was whether the defects of the car were substantial enough to justify an order to be made against the dealer.

When the car was purchased, it had several minor defects which the dealer had agreed to fix. These defects were not fixed and soon after receiving the car, the buyer realised that the car was in far worse shape than he had anticipated.

The car had several defects, some of which included worn out brake pads, oil leaks, engine leaks and a knocking noise from the transmission, as well as many other minor defects.

Taken individually, none of these defects were substantial enough to breach fair trading standards because they did not make the car unsafe or unusable.

However, the Tribunal decided that when taken collectively, the defects of the car were so substantial that a reasonable person would not have confidence in the reliability of the car. This led to an order being made against the seller to refund the full purchase amount of the car.

If the dealer had undertaken the correct tests and repairs prior sale, both parties could have avoided the tribunal process entirely. This would have saved both parties money and time, as well as a large amount of stress.

If you believe that you may be entitled to compensation from a breach of fair trading standards, it is wise to seek help from a professional with expertise in the area.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.