Lemon laws a win for motorists: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has welcomed the introduction of new ‘lemon laws’ which would give drivers better protection and the ability to claw back tens of thousands of dollars in losses.

RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said the new laws would see the vehicle value owners could take to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) increased from $25,000 to $100,000.

Related: ACCC’s tough stance on lemon laws

Mr Turner said the increased limit and the reclassification of motorcycles, caravans and motorhomes as vehicles, would massively increase the number of people who could access the protection.

“We know many of these dud cars are $50,000 to $80,000 cars, so this will dramatically improve the chances for motorists to have their day in court, get rid of the dud car and go out and buy a new one,” Mr Turner said.

“We’ve seen the boom in grey nomads and the boom in caravanning and camping for families so these changes will also give coverage for what’s often a very significant investment.”

Mr Turner also welcomed the reinstatement of warranty protection for used cars.

“Most buyers don’t expect, or are often unable to afford, expensive and unplanned repairs shortly after purchasing a vehicle, so when things go wrong, it can be financially devastating,” he said.

“We’re happy to see the reinstatement of warranty protection which will protect those buying older or higher mileage vehicles. This means everyone is covered, even those buying at the cheapest end of the market, which might include those buying their first car.”

Mr Turner said if motorists were affected by a faulty car, the first thing they should do was go back to the dealer or place which sold the car.

“Give them the chance to do the right thing. If they won’t do the right thing, you’ve now got the ability to go to QCAT or small claims court for vehicles up to $100,000. That’s a lower cost in terms of court action, but it’s still court action. In the long run we’d like an even simpler, formalised mediation process but this is a great step forward.”