Queensland Law Society

‘Lemon laws’ Inquiry win for consumers

Queensland Law Society has praised the Queensland Government’s response to recommendations of the ‘lemon laws’ Inquiry into consumer protections and remedies for buyers of new motor vehicles.

Society president Bill Potts said the recommendations were favourable for consumers, and align with the Society’s submission to the Inquiry.

"It is pleasing to see the government support consumer awareness programs and increase the monetary limits in the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), both of which the Society advocated for during the Inquiry," he said.

"Having said that, this is merely a start. The only way for the Government to ensure full protection for consumers is to allow legal representation as of right in QCAT.

"In disputes over defective vehicles, consumers will usually find car dealers and government bodies represented by people who appear regularly in the Tribunal, and are very familiar with its precedents and procedures.

"This leaves unrepresented consumers at a significant disadvantage in such circumstances."

Mr Potts said the stakes were too high to force consumers to go it alone.

"New cars cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the sale contracts are often minefields of legalese," he said.

"The dealers are allowed to have lawyers draft the contracts, so it is only fair that consumers are allowed to have lawyers dispute them."

Ends

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, t.keim@qls.com.au.