In a recent court case, Mazda was found to have breached Australian consumer law because they gave customers the run-around by refusing to refund or replace their faulty cars.

In Australia, the products we buy are required to meet these seven consumer guarantees:

1. Be of acceptable quality

The product must be safe, durable and free from defects. It must have an acceptable appearance and finish and do what similar products commonly do.

2. Be fit for purpose

If you order a product based on a particular need or purpose, and it’s supplied to you on that basis, the product must fulfil that need or purpose.

3. Match the description

The way the business describes the product must be accurate and match the product.

4. Match the sample or demonstration model

If the product was demonstrated to you, or you received a sample, the final product must match that demonstration or sample.

5. Meet any extra promises

If a business makes extra promises, they must keep them.

6. Be repairable

The business must provide spare parts or repair facilities for a reasonable time after purchase.

However, the business can sell a product that can’t be repaired or that doesn’t have spare parts available, if it explicitly stipulates those exceptions and tells you before you buy the product.

7. Be fully transferable

The business must give you full ownership and not try to reclaim it. If the business doesn’t have full ownership, they must tell you that before you buy the product.

Blaine Hattie is a business lawyer and principal at Sutton Laurence King Lawyers.

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