Last year the Queensland Government conducted an inquiry into “Lemon” laws - Consumer Protections and Remedies for Buyers of New Motor Vehicles.

The inquiry’s findings relate to community expectations of what constitutes a “lemon” vehicle, impacts on purchasers of such vehicles, how protections under existing legislation might be improved and models in other jurisdictions.

The recommendations include:

  • ensuring any legislative changes be implemented as part of the Australian Consumer Law Review 2016;
  • developing mechanisms for a national approach;
  • incorporation of clear and practical definitions and provisions (including mandatory time and repair limits, and clarity about when a supplier/manufacturer must repair, refund or replace a vehicle);
  • appointment of independent assessors to deal with whether a vehicle is a “lemon”;
  • increasing the jurisdictional limit of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal; and
  • implementation of Australian Consumer Law awareness programs.

The Queensland Government indicated that it supports these recommendations, but does not support a recommendation relating to removing the ability to waive cooling-off periods for new vehicles or allowing disadvantaged persons a longer cooling-off period.

AFS will continue to monitor developments.