Dispute Resolution Process Unfit for Purpose

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In a recent report released by the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) more than half of Victorian’s who bought a car, used or new, in the past five years have experienced major or minor faults with their vehicle. Coupled with Victoria’s current system for dealing with lemon cars, which at its simplest has over 60 steps and sees fewer than 15% of used car complainants make it to the Tribunal, and it is no surprise that Victoria is overrun.

The problem of lemon cars does not stop at the Victorian border but extends across Australia. In 2022 the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) ran a two part series with CHOICE on the problem of lemon cars for people living in remote First Nations communities. Though the articles focused on the remote Indigenous community of Wujal Wujal in Far North Queensland there were also reports of similar, community-wide lemon car problems from the APY lands in South Australia and from the Northern Territory.

With the release of CPRC’s report, Detours and roadblocks: The consumer experience of fixing faulty cars in Victoria, comes renewed calls from the consumer advocacy sector for urgent reform, and a three step plan to solve the systemic problem with the current lemon car laws.

CHOICE article: Remote Indigenous communities left with broken cars and no redress: Part one

ICAN article: Car sales in remote Indigenous communities, Part two: A broken system

CPRC report: Detours and roadblocks: The consumer experience of fixing faulty cars in Victoria

CALC article: Report: Victoria overrun with dodgy lemon cars as current dispute process totally unfit for consumers