Federal Court Rules Mazda Australia Misled Customers
The Federal Court found yesterday that Mazda Australia “engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to nine consumers about their consumer guarantee rights.”
The case stems from October, 2019, when the ACCC instituted proceedings against Mazda, concerning customers that had requested a refund or a replacement vehicle from Mazda, after experiencing “serious and recurring faults with their new Mazda vehicles within a year or two of purchase.”
According to the ACCC, “Mazda ignored or rejected the consumers’ requests, telling them the only available remedy was another repair, even though the consumers’ vehicles had already undergone multiple unsuccessful repair attempts.”
This is a breach of Australian Consumer Law.
The Court found that Mazda made 49 separate false or misleading representations relating to nine consumers, by representing that they were only entitled to have their vehicles repaired, even though they were entitled to a refund or replacement in the insist of a major failure.
“Mazda engaged in long, drawn out discussions with the consumers, often multiple times a day over months, in which it misled the consumers about their rights,” ACCC Chair Mr Sims said.
“Mazda’s conduct towards these consumers was not just appalling customer service as noted by the judge, it was a serious breach of the law.”
“The message to the new car industry is clear, consumer rights are not negotiable and must not be misrepresented to consumers.
“If a vehicle cannot be repaired within a reasonable time, or at all, consumers have a right under the Australian Consumer Law to a refund or replacement.”
The Court will award penalties at a later date.