INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greater protection for people buying vehicles

Published: Mon 9 Dec 2002 09:24 AM
CAB calls for greater protection for people buying motor vehicles
People who wind back odometers to increase the value of the car they are selling should be liable for a heavy fine of up to $10,000 says the New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux. The Association recently submitted to the Commerce Select Committee on the Motor Vehicle Sales Bill, which is about to be finalised in parliament.
“Nation-wide, Citizens Advice Bureaux deal with 250 enquiries every week about motor vehicles and motor vehicle sales which tells us that people are having a lot of problems in this area,” says Nick Toonen, CEO of the Association which represents the country’s 87 Citizens Advice Bureaux.
“We are pleased the Bill proposes stronger consumer protection and harsher penalties than those contained in the current legislation.
“One of the enhanced protections is a register of people who sell more than six motor vehicles a year. We support this, and the formation of a list of people who have been banned from selling motor vehicles, that is people who have been identified as ripping off consumers. These measures will go some way to ending the current black market in motor vehicles.
“The proposals will also ensure that existing consumer legislation, namely the Consumer Guarantees and Fair Trading Acts, will provide extra protections for consumers who buy cars from dealers. This fixes the current problem of dealers attempting to contract out of their legal responsibilities.
“We are also pleased that access to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal will be freed up. This means that consumers will be able to take any dispute with a dealer over a car sale direct to the tribunal without needing to go through an industry body first.”

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