Victoria desperately needs a specialist dispute service to assist people sold defective motor vehicles.
Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS), WEstjustice and Hume Riverina Community Legal Service make this submission to the Department of Treasury and Finance during the 2022-23 Pre-Budget period.
We have focused this submission on a service where budget action could make an immediate and discernible difference to the lives of Victorians on low and middle incomes, and those experiencing acute vulnerability.
A specialist service to help resolve disputes when a defective car (a ‘lemon’) is purchased, along with the provision of a free, independent expert report, would solve a critical problem that hurts people and communities, and is a drain on productivity. The service would provide everyday justice to thousands of Victorians.
Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) consumer guarantees, people have a right to a durable, safe, and fit for-purpose purchase that is free from major and minor failures. But far too often, people cannot enforce these rights when they’re sold a lemon car because seeking remedies through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) is costly, time consuming, and inaccessible.
Read the full submission (PDF).