Evergreen Content, ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Why it's not easy getting a refund or replacement after buying a dud car

Returning or exchanging a defective car isn't the same as replacing other consumer goods.

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) entitles consumers to a replacement or a refund on defective goods, within the first six months after purchase.

But it's not that simple when it comes to cars, the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa explains.

Read: Car deal extras - what they can and can’t add to your finance contract

Motor Industry Ombud Johan Van Vreden says that the component (e.g. indicators) of the car must be replaced if it is defective within the first six months.

"In the event that a component becomes defective, the component becomes the product", van Vreden says.

However, should the faultiness of the component persist after it has been replaced, the car dealer or manufacturer can be held liable to replace the vehicle.

The more serious the failure, and the more safety critical the component - such as brakes or steering - the stronger your case will be, Van Vreden adds.

Also read: Commission to charge dodgy CT car salesman after failing to reimburse customer

In cases where vehicles have to be replaced, Van Vreden says they should be replaced with cars that have a similar mileage and value.

Building cars would become an unviable situation if a company had to replace a high-value item like a motor vehicle.

Johan Van Vreden, Ombudsman at Motor Industry

The manufacturer and motor dealership have to have a fair opportunity to repair the car.

Johan Van Vreden, Ombudsman at Motor Industry

Consumer Wendy Knowler shares several case studies she tackles with Motor Industry Ombud.

Take a listen to the insightful discussion during the ConsumerTalk feature:

Visit our ConsumerTalk feature, for more consumer advice from Wendy Knowler.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


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