NSW Fair Trading provides a free dispute resolution service to motor vehicle owners, licensed motor dealers or licensed motor vehicle repairers with dealer guarantee or repair disputes. The following information outlines NSW Fair Trading’s dispute resolution process for warranty and repair disputes.
The dispute resolution service offered by Fair Trading is a voluntary process between the motor vehicle owner and the licensed motor dealer or repairer.
Fair Trading aims to resolve disputes through mutual agreement. Fair Trading will endeavour to bring the parties with the dispute together on site to resolve the dispute. However, a teleconference may be arranged instead if preferred.
Both the vehicle owner and licensed motor dealer or repairer should try to resolve the dispute prior to Fair Trading’s intervention. This is preferable and can save both parties time and money.
If you are in dispute, follow these steps to seek a resolution:
Either party to a dispute can contact Fair Trading for advice on how to resolve a dispute prior to intervention.
If unresolved, you can lodge a complaint with Fair Trading. online or by calling 13 32 20. When you lodge your complaint you should provide the details of the complaint as well as the vehicle identification and any documentation related to the matter such as quotes, reports or invoices.
Once lodged, the complaint will be allocated to a complaints officer who will assess the issues to determine:
If the matter is referred to a Motor Vehicle Inspector, a meeting at the dealership or repairer’s workshop will be arranged with all involved parties. Fair Trading inspectors are qualified tradespeople, who provide impartial assistance, meaning they do not represent either party. However, trade qualified inspectors are able to issue rectification orders to resolve disputes if repair work on a vehicle that is incomplete or defective, or if a dealer guarantee has not been met. Rectification orders are enforceable and are able to be used as evidence before a tribunal. If a resolution is reached the terms of settlement is drawn up by the inspector and provided to you and the repairer.
If you believe the repairer has acted in a dishonest and unfair manner you should report it to Fair Trading. Dealers and repairers who are found to be dishonest or unfair or who perform repair work below the usual trade standard can be disciplined and their repairers licence may be suspended.
Both the vehicle owner and licensed motor dealer or repairer need to be prepared to put their points forward but also to listen to what the other party has to say. It is beneficial for both parties to have suggestions on how the dispute could be settled.
Fair Trading officers are qualified and skilled in the area of dispute resolution and will:
The Fair Trading officer will not:
The Fair Trading officer cannot:
The dispute resolution process is voluntary and depends on the co-operation of both parties to succeed.
If the dispute is not resolved either party may lodge a claim with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
The NCAT can request Fair Trading to provide a report on any dispute resolution process conducted. This report is provided directly to the NCAT.
The NCAT can make orders which are binding on the parties. These may include payment of monetary amounts or repair work to be completed on a vehicle. The maximum claim that can be made through the NCAT is $40,000, except where the claim relates to a new motor vehicle used for private purposes.
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