Palaszczuk Government puts squeeze on lemons

The Palaszczuk Government has delivered on an election commitment to put the squeeze on lemons and give greater consumer protection to Queenslanders lumbered with a newly purchased defective vehicle.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said new laws passed by Parliament today would make it easier for buyers of defective cars, motorbikes, motorhomes and caravans to drive a better deal.

“For many Queenslanders, a new or second-hand motor vehicle is one of the biggest purchases they will make aside from buying a home,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“The last thing anybody expects when they get the keys to a new car, motorhome or caravan is to be stuck with a defective vehicle that frankly can only be described as a lemon.

“We understand the financial and emotional heartache when a newly purchased vehicle breaks down repeatedly or isn’t fit for the purpose for which it was sold.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Lemon Laws ensure Queensland motorists get a fair go when buying a new or used vehicle.”

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 makes it easier to pursue a faulty vehicle claim through QCAT when a suitable remedy can’t be reached with the dealer or manufacturer.

QCAT’s jurisdictional limit has been raised from $25,000 to claims of up $100,000 for new and used motor vehicles.

“By increasing QCAT’s jurisdictional limit to $100,000, Queenslanders left with lemons can now get a fair hearing without the risk of breaking the bank against the financial might of corporates, or on-selling a problematic vehicle to somebody else,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Lemon Laws also restore 30-day warranties for motorists buying a vehicle more than 10-years old or with more than 160,000 kilometres on-the-clock from a licensed dealer.

“Campbell Newman and the LNP scrapped warranties for older vehicles leaving buyers stranded and holding a lemon when their purchase soured.”

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said the reinstatement of warranty protection for used cars was an important step in defending buyers.

“When you buy a vehicle, you don’t expect, or often you can’t afford, expensive and unplanned repairs shortly after handing over your money. When things go wrong with a purchase – it can be financially devastating,” Mr Spalding said.

“We welcome the reinstatement of warranty protection which will protect those buying older or higher mileage vehicles.”

The Attorney-General said she was continuing to push for the strengthening of national consumer laws.

“While the Palaszczuk Government’s Lemon Laws are an important step in protecting consumers and getting lemons off the road, there’s more that needs to be done from a national perspective.”

/Public Release. View in full here.